THE OTHER DAY, I was in the mood for something disgusting. You know how, every now and then, the mood will strike you to just devastate yourself, to abuse your body and show it who’s boss? That was what this was. To shake off all instinct for self preservation and do myself palpable harm, to rebel against this prison that is my body; to strike a victory for the monster against my very self. And that victory was to come in the form of a Philly cheesesteak. Mmmmm.
Philly Phlava is just the kind of place I am attracted to, a little hole in the wall serving a giant menu of greasy, delicious food. I’ve been past it so many times, and for some reason I’ve never stopped by. It’s located in Carrollwood, at Fletcher and Dale Mabry (by Sam Ash and The Fresh Market). As you may have guessed by the name, they are attempting to bring the “phlava” of “Philly” to “Tampa”. Which, you know, hurts your eyes to look at. Then again, I have done my fair share of disrespecting the english language.
So if you weren’t convinced by their name alone that these people are clinically obsessed with Philadelphia, the inside of the place is covered in sports paraphernalia that I can only assume is Philadelphia related (like the Philadelphia Lightning Bolts, touted in flag form above the door in the photo). These guys are really into it. They serve crazy Philly-type things, like HERR’S potato chips (first discovered on an episode of The Office, and later reviewed by me), Tastykakes, Hank’s Gourmet Sodas, Wawa coffee, and Panzarotti (some kind of ungodly pizza crumpet). And, of course, they brought the power of Philly cheesesteaks to Tampa.
The place is not fancy, it is not especially nice. The people are friendly. But the food will perform sexual intercourse on your mouth hole.
Awww yeah. Like I said, there’s a huge menu, including burgers, hot dogs, salads, wraps, and other assorted sandwiches, but let’s be for real – you’re here for the cheesesteak. I ordered mine with onions mushrooms and peppers, and that’s it. Straight up. You have your choice of cheese (white american, provolone, mozzerella, or ye olde Whiz), which I didn’t realize, and just ended up with white american. Which is good, and probably would have been my choice, though I’ve always wanted to venture down the Whiz path. Next time.
The thing is a giant delicious meat bazooka (sexual subtext). It’s just… well I mean look at it! That’s what you’re getting. It’s greasy piles of savory beef bathed in a mild cheesy slime, polka dotted with onions peppers and some mushrooms, shoved into a warm pillowy bun straight from Philadelphia. Have you been to Philadelphia? Have you had a Philly cheesesteak? That is exactly what this is. It’s like I stepped into Philadelphia and pulled out a cheesesteak. I have had better in Philly, but this is definitely on par with them.
I got a side of bay fries, which are fries covered in Old Bay Seasoning (apparently not unusual). They were solid french fries, nice and spicy, definitely worth the order, and they’re served in a delightful baggie, which made me feel like I was buying from a street vendor! Terrific.
And, of course, I couldn’t pass up the wings. WINGS. Wings. Ahh. They come in medium, hot, and garlic variety, and were pretty much your standard wings. Fried and crispy, I got the medium, which was an adequate sauce. Get it if you’re in the mood, but don’t go out of your way to get them from here. They shouldn’t be your main course.
So yeah. It’s great. Awesome sloppy cheesesteaks served exactly how you want them. Other menu options if you’re a fool. I will be going back, and I will be dying of a heart attack at 36. These are things I’ve accepted. You should accept them, too.