mcgonagle’s / paradise hills | san diego, ca
I’m secretly always on a Philly Cheesesteak quest. I’ve had a lot of cheesesteaks. I’m not sure where my love for cheesesteaks began. I’ve always thought of it as a “specialty” item, something you can’t get just anywhere. I think the first cheesesteaks I got were at The Great Steak Escape at the mall’s food court. I really loved their skin-on fries, too. Though sometimes if I were at Horton Plaza, I would get a cheesesteak at the Great Steak Escape and then go to Boardwalk Fries for a heaping amount of cheese fries. The Steak Escape is still there but the fries place changed awhile ago. I haven’t been to either place in a long time though I used to frequent it in high school – I went to San Diego High when we had open campus for lunch and my friend, Stacey, and I would wander downtown a lot. We used to get cheap Chinese food and bring it to Drama class and give some food to our teacher who then didn’t mind that we were late for class. Ahhh, high school.
Back to the cheesesteaks at hand – I got a deal from one of the many deal sites out there these days for this place in Paradise Hills called McGonagle’s. I had never heard of this place before. It’s in a little part of Paradise Hills that I had never been to before, not too far from Plaza Blvd in National City. The street was quiet and almost reminded me of a “main street” that you find in other small towns and neighborhoods, but even smaller than that.
We originally tried to visit McGonagle’s one Sunday afternoon, but found that the place was closed. The guy working there (one of the owner’s? I have no idea) explained to us that they were redoing the floors and we closed down for the afternoon. He gave us a buy one get one free coupon to make up for being closed. He seemed genuinely sorry that they were closed and he couldn’t serve us, but we weren’t upset or anything. But we were still hungry and instead ended up going to Royal Mandarin for foods that day.
We went back later that week and finally got to sample some of the food. First thing we got: Cheesesteak Fries.
The Cheesesteak Fries come with Cheese Whiz and a handful of steak meat on top. The fries were okay. The cheese whiz wasn’t really hot and the meat, well, the meat is just okay. Let me get to that… I also ordered the 6″ Cali Cheesesteak Combo Meal ($6.25) with a small regular fry and a small drink.
I got the Cali Cheesesteak because I wanted to choose what kind of cheese I wanted – if you get a regular cheesesteak, it comes with Cheese Whiz, which is not how I like my cheesesteaks. I got my Cali style with Provolone, meat and onions (no peppers, yuck). I liked the bread on this cheesesteak – it was toasted well and slightly chewy. The meat though… it wasn’t seasoned at all (a little salt & pepper at least, please!) and had a serious lack of cheese on it. I thought the steak wasn’t cut up enough, the pieces looked a big large and it didn’t really get any of that nice char/sear on the meat. I was disappointed with this sandwich. The cheesesteak fries were just okay since the meat wasn’t that great.
Ah well. Try, try again.
2319 Reo Dr
San Diego, CA 92139