Philly Cheesesteaks and Burgers

Jonathan Amato
Philly Cheesesteaks and Burgers

Philly Cheesesteaks and Burgers

Location: Pioneer Courthouse Square (near the corner of SW 6th and Yamhill) and SW 4th and Hall Pod


[Originally written Nov. 2008; updated Aug. 2009] Philadelphia Freedom! Perhaps it is this monumental 2008 election year, but after dropping off my ballot at the Multnomah County drop box downtown, I found myself craving a cheesesteak. I mean, really, what is more patriotic than life, liberty and the pursuit of melted American cheese on tender grilled and thinly sliced beef?

For it was in 1776 that the founders of our great nation declared, in Philadelphia, the Declaration of Independence. In 1976, during our nation’s bicentennial I traveled to Philly for the festivities. Wearing a red, white and blue bell bottom jumpsuit, star printed tennis shoe laces on my converses and sporting a Dorthy Hamil haircut, I made the Spirit of ’76 pilgrimage. I went to the Liberty Bell, visited Independence Hall and watched actors and actresses in period costumes and white wigs talk in big words that I had no idea what they were saying. I do however, remember my first cheesesteak on that very same trip. It was dripping with grease, filled with grilled peppers and onions, thinly sliced tender beef and loads of oozing American cheese. It was heaven on a hoagie bun.

Philly Cheesesteaks and Burgers knows all about this particularly American sandwich. Their version is also pretty darn close to the ones found in Philly. With a simple menu that also includes that other quintessential American food, The Hamburger in all its forms, Philly Cheesesteaks is a quick, cheap and filling bite of Americana.

Sample Menu:
Philly Cheesesteaks – Thinly sliced steak grilled with onions, green and red bell peppers, mushrooms topped with melted white American cheese and served on a soft hoagie roll.
Small – $4.25
Medium – $5.25
Large – $6.25

Hamburgers, Cheeseburgers – $4.00 – $6.25

Soda – $1.00
Extra Steak – $1.75

Lettuce, tomato, extra cheese, pepperoni – $0.75 extra

Hours: Lunchtime Mon-Fri

Phone: Unknown

Website: Unknown

Email: Unkown



  1. The election gave me a cheese steak hankering too, however I got mine from Christopher’s Gourmet Grill on MLK. I look forward to trying this one!

  2. My only question is how on earth you managed to write a review about this fabulous PDX cart without even a mention of Ben the wonderful gentleman that serves up those delicious cheesesteaks and burgers every Monday-Friday without fail?!? Some days I make the trip down from PSU not because I’m actually craving that delightfully cheesey, perfectly-seasoned thin sliced steak on the best hoagies in town (although I usually am by the time I get there), but simply because I know the five minutes of friendly chit-chat with Ben will be one of the best parts of my day. From your first time at the cart you will feel like a regular, Ben just has that great style of banter that pretty much anyone can relate to, and is almost always hilarious. I know that Portland has more than its fair share of incredibly friendly and wonderful food cart servers, but I have yet to have another one brighten my lunch hour like Ben does.

  3. I completely agree with Janelle! Ben is a great guy and my boyfriend and I really enjoy coming to get our cheesesteaks from him, because he is so personable and nice!! The cheesesteaks are incredible!!

  4. Hands down the best cheesesteak in this town. period. Way to serve-em up Ben!

  5. Is this cart still currently there and opener biz ?

  6. Very sad. Was craving a Philly and stopped by this cart after a late-lunch errand to the bank. The gentleman was busy cooking, and I walked up to place an order and politely said hello. He looked and me, then looked back down to his grill without a word. 3 or so minutes went by and he never looked at me again or said, “just a moment” or anything. He DID turn around and stop to talk to some girl who had come up to bring him some food from one of the other vendors at the market.

    Not sure if I missed the proper ordering ettiquete or if he was having a bad day. But I refused to stand there and be ignored. I had to satisfy my hankering, so I got a Carls Jr Philly Cheesesteak burger. NOT the same thing. So sad. Not sure I’ll risk going back, though.

    Note to all vendors: if you have a specific way you would like people to order, etc, don’t expect everyone to be a repeat customer!

  7. Hey Teresa – try out the Philly cart on the SW 5th and Washington strip (same owner, 3rd location). It tends to be less busy, and the guy there is a bit more attentive.

  8. Hi Teresa. I’m sorry I wasn’t attentive to you when you came by the cart. Hopefully I’ll get another chance to do better by you. Sincerely, cheesesteak guy.

  9. Ate at the new 4th & Hall location….had the grilled chicken and guacamole sandwich (minus the bacon that comes on it)…OH MY GOSH…it was well worth the price $7 (a full fresh chicken breast was put on thier flat-top grill, diced up into decent sized chunks…and the whole thing went on my sandwich along with some grilled onion and guac of course. I will be going back for sure. Friendly guys run it.

  10. Having the best philly cheese steak in Portland was the high light of my visit there!! Ben you were so busy but yet very polite. Was sad to read that poor girl had such a bad experience she’s definitely missing out. I hope I make it back there again some day!! Til then will have to settle with the not so comparable pcsteaks Sacramento has to offer.

  11. I love both locations!! I Just simply love their great customer service and great quality & freshness of their food!!

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.