Fun Diego Family is on a search for the best Philadelphia Cheesesteak in the San Diego area. One name that is high up as a contender is Gaglione Brothers, which has two locations. I have been to both locations multiple times since they opened in 2004, but for this review we focused on the original Sports Arena site.
Gaglione Brothers is run by three actual brothers, but they are upfront that they are from California, not Philadelphia. However, I will say my Great Philly Cheesesteak Book lists Gaglione Brothers as one of a handful of top cheesesteak places outside Philadelphia. Men’s Journal almost named them as one of the 10 best cheesesteaks outside Philadelphia.
The steaks at Gaglione Brothers come in three sizes, 9 inch ($7.49), 12 inch ($10.29) and 18 inch ($13.99). An 18 inch is great to split between two people. For only $3.49 you can upgrade to a combo with fries and a drink. I highly recommend both the regular fries and the garlic fries.
Like every other place outside Philadelphia, the sandwiches come on Amoroso rolls. As discussed, premium cheesesteak shops in Philly frown on Amoroso, but they are perfectly fine. The default cheese at Gaglione Brothers is white America, but they also have Provolone and Cheez Whiz. While the beef is very well seasoned, the provolone was not incorporated in the meat as I generally like.
A premium attraction of Gaglione Brothers is the pepper bar. This includes 8 different kinds of peppers including my favorite, hot cherry peppers. With the pepper bar, a solid sandwich and reasonable prices, Gaglione Brothers is right up there with Philly Franks in San Marcos as my favorite cheesesteak place.
Gaglione Brothers also has a wide variety of interesting sandwich choices. One excellent one is the Turk which has fresh baked turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce. This is a take on another sandwich in the Philly area, the Bobbie, from Capriotti’s. Capriotti’s tried opening some places in San Diego, but they went out of business.
Both Gaglione Brothers are small locations with only a few tables. Locations in Mission Beach and Encinitas have closed. However, as of 2018, Gaglione Brothers is the official cheesesteak provider at Petco Park. I have yet to try that location.
After eating at Gaglione Brothers I realize judging the top cheesesteaks is tougher than I thought. My latest visit, the sandwich was not as good as I remembered. Before our final results I plan to go back with some friends to try the Mission Valley location. For more information on our search for the top cheesesteaks in San Diego go here.