Dave McLean’s Magnolia Pub has been a fixture on Haight Street for 10 years, during which time it’s attracted a devoted following of brewpub aficionados. Of course, Dave’s obsessed with beer (and makes some of the best around) but, as befits a Pennsylvania native, he also enjoys a good cheesesteak.
“I grew up in suburban Pittsburg eating Primanti Brothers sandwiches, which are basically like a cheesesteak with french fries and coleslaw on top—one of those quirky foods that comes to define a region. Locally, they make a tribute to that sandwich at Giordano Brothers in North Beach. You can’t say the word cheesesteak at Magnolia unless you’re going to get some for the crew … because once you mention it, the craving and jonesing begins and continues until the mission is completed. We get ours from the Cheesesteak Shop on Divisadero. They buy Amoroso’s rolls from Philadelphia and have Tastykakes [like a Hostess cupcake]. I order mine with mushrooms and onions and a mix of sweet and hot peppers—they don’t have Cheez Whiz, so I get it with provolone. We rust belters aren’t light eaters, but still, I don’t think it’s healthy to eat them more than once a month. You probably should only have them once every six months, though I have a friend who lives around the corner who eats them far more often than I do. I call him the canary in the coal mine.”
Giordano’s Brothers, 303 Columbus Ave., 415-397-2767
The Cheesesteak Shop, 1716 Divisadero St., 415-346-3712
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