Frankie's Cheesesteaks
Serving the food that makes Philly famous, since 2004


Click to read an article below.

World's Longest Cheesesteak
(Food Network, 2011) Review
(, September 2009)

"Frankie's South Philly Cheesesteaks"
(Tucson Originals Magazine, Summer 2008)

"Cheap Eats: Frankie's South Philly Cheesesteaks"
(Tucson Citizen, May 2008)

"Chef Of The Month"
(Restaurateur of Arizona, November 2007)

"Philly Fantastic"
(Tucson Weekly, February 8, 2007)

"All About Relationships"
(Tucson Weekly, March 24, 2005)

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Food Network - 2011
Read Food Circle Coverage Of The Event

Update: Yes! Frankie Santos of Frankie’s Cheesesteaks broke the Guinness Book of Records for making the longest cheesesteak. Congratulations to all the people involved and the volunteers. It was a hot, hot long day. Read about it on Facebook.


I just got back from the UA Mall between Campbell & Cherry Avenues. Tables are laid end to end and what will hopefully be on those tables later today or tonight will be the world’s largest cheesesteak sandwich.

Today – April 2nd - the temperature is supposed to 95 degrees.

It’s kind of surreal actually, a very hot surreal.

You gotta wonder how two of Tucson’s most fun food guys — Frankie Santos and Albert Hall — came up with the idea of making the world’s largest cheesesteak. Were they sober when they came up with the idea? You know the male animal, someone has always got to prove they are the biggest or the best.

These hard working chefs plus Eric from Frogs Organic Bakery are working side by side along with a crew of mostly choreographed staff churning out what is hoped to be 1200 feet of cheesesteaks.

Here’s a photo from TucsonNotebook on Twitter. This might be 2-feet of roll.

First there’s the bread. Half baked rolls are being baked right before your eyes. And then the grills will be fired up. The estimated time of completion was 4 p.m. but I think it will be more like 7:30 p.m.

Think about it — 1200 feet is almost one quarter of a mile.

After the record breaking sandwich is made, who will eat it?

I hope some of it gets donated to local soup kitchens but I don’t know if there is any health policy for that.

If you want to help and brag that you were part of this record-breaking, cheesesteak-making endeavor, go to the UA Mall and pitch in. I’m sure some of those volunteers need a break about now.

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Not A Cheesesteak Blog -- September 2009 (Read Article Below)
Visit Website

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Tucson Originals Magazine -- By NATE SEARING, Summer 2008 (Read Article Below)

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Tucson Citizen -- By TOM STAUFFER , May 2008 (Read Article Below)
Visit Tucson Citizen Website

What was ordered: 9-inch Cheesesteak ($6.39), 9-inch Italian Hoagie ($6.59), two fountain drinks ($1.50 each) for a total of $17.27 including tax, well within our Cheap Eats goal of a meal for two for less than $20.

Comments: Don't wimp out. Go with the whiz.

Frankie's offers three cheese choices with its cheesesteaks: American, Provolone or Cheez Whiz.

If you're from South Philly, I don't have to tell you this, but for those who aren't, the authentic South Philly version is all about the whiz.

A cheesesteak is not exactly health food to begin with, so go for the gusto. You'll get it at this friendly, bustling sandwich joint. The whiz adds an unmistakable salty and savory flavor, and coalesces the texture and flavors of the beef and bread into a singularly satisfying union that more politically correct versions can't match.

The Cheesesteak (we got this one without onions or peppers) featured a generous portion of chopped Angus beef and the aforementioned processed cheese product on an Amoroso's roll. The rolls are shipped in from the 100-year-old bakery in Philadelphia.

The rolls at Subway and other chain joints are cooked fresh every day for a reason. They have to make them fresh daily because they're so inflated with air that by the end of the day, they have the consistency and flavor of those foam peanuts they use to protect your packages during shipping. Frankie's rolls have a gravitas that brings a nicely robust texture and subtle flavor to the beef and whiz.

The Italian Hoagie featured Capicolla, Genoa salami, Mortadella, Parma Prosciutto, Sopressata and Provolone with tomato slices, onions, oregano and a surprisingly sophisticated balsamic vinaigrette. As with the Cheesesteak, the Amoroso's roll gave a subtle but importantly authentic density in texture and flavor to the well-chosen and generously portioned meats and accompaniments.

Frankie's was originally Daglio's, which was located a few blocks north on Campbell on the other side of the street. The new location features a larger dining room and a much larger parking lot. Frankie's former partner has since opened up a Daglio's at 250 N. Pantano Road.

The atmosphere at Frankie's new digs are clean and comfortable, with a bright yellow paint job in the dining room accented with the logos of Philly's most famous sandwich joints. On all three visits, there was at least one customer in the dining room waxing nostalgic about one or more of the featured establishments.

The homage to Philly also features Wise potato chips and a Colonial-style rear dining room. It's downright opulent as sandwich joints go, and offers you the comically incongruous experience of enjoying your whiz in the refined company of our founding fathers.

Service: Order at the counter and a server will bring your meal to the table.

Bar: no

Children's menu: yes

Web site:

Most recent health inspection: An "excellent" rating March 27. No critical violations were reported.

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Restaurateur of Arizona -- By MICHELE VAN HAECKE, November 2007 (Read Article Below)

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Tucson Weekly -- By RITA CONNELLY, February 8, 2007 (Read Article Here)    
On the other end of the restaurant scale is a Campbell Avenue place called Frankie's, which until a few weeks ago was known as Daglio's. The food is pure Philly: cheesesteaks with all the fixings, hoagies and Wise chips. Counter service is the method here, and the menu obviously favors meat lovers. However, there is still a sense of focusing on what needs to be done to make people happy.

"In business, no matter what business you're in, everything costs. The service and being nice to people are free. It's the one thing you can give to people that's free," says owner Frankie Santos. "It's the most appreciated thing."

The customers appreciate the effort to the tune of 175 to 225 sandwiches daily. "And 80 percent of that is cheesesteaks," Santos adds.

Twelve years ago, Frankie came to Tucson from his native Philadelphia to play golf with his good buddy Chuck Stopani. He stopped in a sandwich shop (which shall remain nameless) and ordered an Italian hoagie. The sandwich was served with ranch dressing (something unheard of in his hometown), and when he asked for olive oil and vinegar--two basic elements in a true hoagie--he was told there weren't any.

The result? A few years later, he and Stopani opened Daglio's. (Santos has since bought out Stopani.)

"I retired from a company called Delaware River Pilots--31 years, I was with them. We're a service-oriented business. Most of the shipping businesses in Philadelphia have a slogan: 'Service is our only cargo.' (With) the river pilots, everything is about service--everything."

Santos carried that work ethic to his small shop here in Tucson.

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Tucson Weekly :: "Philly Fantastic" -- By RITA CONNELLY, March 24, 2005 (Read Article Here)    
There are plenty of places around town that say they have true Philly cheesesteaks, but when Daglio's says they've got authentic cheesesteaks, they got authentic cheesesteaks, no bull.

First of all, there's the rolls, Amoroso rolls. These chewy morsels are the real thing and are flown in directly from the famous bakery in Philadelphia. They add a whole new dimension to all the sandwiches at Daglio's--which include another Philly favorite, hoagies.

Then there's the ambiance. There's only one table, so diners eat at chest-high counters. According to one of the employees, it's a "little bit classier" than places in the city of Brotherly Love. I think that means that there are stools to sit on, so you don't have to stand and eat your food. It works!

The decor is all Philadelphia as well. Hand-painted signs of famous Philly eateries cover the walls, along with photos of the city's landmarks, sports arenas and the like. There are also photos of the owners with famous people at a variety of events in and around Philly and Tucson. Info on the origins of cheesesteaks, hoagies and two of the most famous steak joints in Philly--Geno's and Pat's, King of Steaks--are there for all to read. And, for all of us folks who don't know the correct procedures in ordering steaks, you'll find written instructions on just how to do so.

And of course there's the food: cheesesteaks (made with certified Angus beef), hoagies, roast pork and roast beef sandwiches, veal and chicken cutlet sandwiches, fries and Philly wings. Plenty of the rest of the food is from Philly as well, from the potato chips to the sodas--Hank's, for those in the know--and even the bottled water.

We visited the tiny spot on an early Thursday evening. There was a steady stream of customers, some eating in, others taking out. All seemed to know the owner behind the counter, and he knew them. Real brotherly love-like.

I ordered a 12-inch cheesesteak ($7.95). John ordered a 12-inch Italian hoagie ($7.95). We both ordered fries ($1.50), but the counterman--again, this is the owner--suggested we split an order, because it's a good-sized amount. That alone is worth a recommendation, since in most restaurants, it's all about upsell, upsell, upsell. John ordered a Hank's Root Beer ($1.50), and I stuck with the Pennsylvania spring water ($1.25).

While we munched on the sweet and hot peppers found in tubs on the countertops, the owner stopped by and visited with all the customers. He explained to us how all the cheeses are from Italy, via Philly, of course, and how the meats and bread are flown in daily. With other folks, he talked sports and family.

Our food was put before us momentarily. One bite convinced us that importing the Amoroso rolls was genius in action! John proclaimed the rolls to be fabulous (and this is coming from a man who grew up eating Kimmelwick rolls--folks from the Buffalo area know what I'm talking about).

My sandwich, by far, was the best Philly cheesesteak I've ever had. The roll had a nice chew to it; the cheese was gooey and hot, and the slices of quality beef were tender, moist and seasoned perfectly. It has become the standard by which I will measure all cheesesteaks from here on in.

John's hoagie was also very, very good. The meats stuffed into the sandwich were capiocolla, Genoa salami, mortadella and Parma proscuitto, with few slices of delicious provolone thrown in for good measure. They were fresh and flavorful--again, the real thing!

Our fries, although the order wasn't quite so big as we thought, were just enough for the two of us, considering we had good-sized sandwiches as well. The taters were sizzling hot and tasty. If you love fries, you might want to have your very own order.

On our second visit, we had just rolled in from a long weekend in Rocky Point and were craving some good, hot food. John decided to have the 12-inch Italian beef with extra-sharp provolone and peppers ($8.75). And I opted for the 12-inch ($8.75) veal cutlet sandwich, Italian style (meaning with provolone, marinara sauce and peppers). I also ordered the Philly wings ($4.75). Again, we went with a Hanks' Root Beer and bottled water.

John's sandwich was OK, a little bit dry, perhaps, but the pretty red and yellow seasoned peppers added a nice touch. My veal sandwich fared much better. The cutlet was breaded and deep-fried. All too often, the meat gets buried under all the breading, and the frying turns a nice piece of veal into something slightly this side of a rock. I certainly can't say that about Daglio's sandwich. The meat was tender, and while not thickly sliced, could be found beneath the Italian-style breadcrumbs. The marinara sauce was obviously slow-cooked and lightly seasoned. I really liked the peppers, too. They added slight crunch and a nice piquancy to the salt in the rest of the dish.

The wings were outstanding! The six wings had a lot of meat on them and were covered with more of that delicious breading. And the "hot sauce" was hot and smoky (probably from a base made with the same chipotle Tabasco sauce that sat on the counters). All I can say is: Watch out, Buffalo; here come Philly wings.

There's talk that Daglio's may soon add home delivery service, and I seriously can't wait. Meals from this tiny eatery would be the ideal thing after a long, hard day at the salt mines.