I’ve spent months trying to find the perfect Philly cheesesteak in Sonoma County. While I haven’t found the real deal yet, there are some freaking great local takes. Here are my favorite contenders to enjoy on National Cheesesteak Day (March 24) — or any day of the year, really. If I missed one, let me know in the comments. Click through the above gallery for a tasty preview.
Streetside Asian Grill: This Asian-fusion food truck may seem an unlikely place to find the best cheesesteak in Sonoma County (and the closest thing to the Philly version around). The secret to their success is keeping it simple with crispy bits of steak, grilled onions, bell pepper, white American cheese and mayo on an Amoroso Baking Co. roll (from Philly). The cheesesteak isn’t always on the menu; keep an eye on their Instagram page for details and locations: instagram.com/streetsideasiangrill.
Canevari’s Italian Cheesesteak: Available on Fridays only, this is the Italian Stallion of cheesesteaks — big and beefy with a nice gooey center. Pick up some fresh cannoli while you’re there. 695 Lewis Road, Santa Rosa, 707-545-6941, canevarisdeli.com.
Flavor Burger’s Philly Sandwich: Flavor Burger’s Philly Sandwich features chicken or beef with Jack cheese, grilled peppers and onions on a French roll. It’s a little more Cali than Philly, but tasty nonetheless. 6560 Hembree Lane, Suite 178, Windsor, 707-836-4096, flavorburgercafe.com.
Ike’s Hollywould’s SF Cheesesteak: The Hollywould’s SF Cheesesteak comes with steak, mushrooms, Provolone cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and Ike’s signature dirty sauce (garlic aioli). Prepare to be stuffed silly — Ike’s is always a belly buster. 1780 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa, 707-293-9814, ikessandwich.com.
Charleys’ Steak Philly: Charleys’ Steak Philly is a solid order with provolone instead of American cheese. Plus, you can get it delivered. Order online at charleys.com and get $2 off during National Cheesesteak Month. 1071 Santa Rosa Plaza, Suite 2104, 707-545-7596, charleys.com
The Cheese Steak Shop: The Cheese Steak Shop’s sando comes with all the right ingredients: sweet peppers, provolone and steak on a toasty Amoroso bun. 401 Kenilworth Drive, Petaluma, 707-763-4900, cheesesteakshop.com