It was a family tradition: Big Al Costillo and his son Adam would feast on massive cheesesteaks and watch the Phillies game, collecting dollops of sizzling hot cheese on their plates. When the Costillo family moved from Philadelphia to Florida, the duo was devastated to find that the local cheesesteaks paled in comparison to the beloved sandwiches they enjoyed back home. "We spent six years trying every local spot that claimed they had a real philly cheesesteak, only to be disappointed," Adam explained to reporters from Atlantic Avenue. Unable to stifle their craving any longer, Big Al and his son opened their own cheesesteak shop— Big Al's Steak. They arranged for fresh Italian steak rolls to be shipped to their restaurant straight from Philadelphia before firing up the grills in the kitchen. There, they layered the crusty bread with thin slices of juicy, rib-eye steak before topping it off with Cheese Whiz, provolone, and American cheese.
Since then, Big Al's Beef has expanded to numerous locations in Florida and the West Coast, including Tualatin, Oregon, and has earned numerous awards from publications such as New Times Magazine. These cheerful, laid-back eateries faithfully follow the Philadelphia tradition, doling out authentic cheesesteaks, as well as hoagies, french fries, onion rings, Tastykakes, and even tall, cold beers to wash it all down