Profile: Another Damn Shack Serving Up Food

LA: the City of Brotherly Shacks?Chrissakes, man. You keep reviewing these lunch joints instead of seedy dive bars and people are going to think you’re trying to take on chowhound or the lafoodblogging massive. Still, there is the great western hoagie shack to consider.

I recently saw – by pure accident, mind you – a nondescript brown shack (photo) at the corner of Lincoln and Superba. It’s easy to miss: brown in color, not flashy in the slightest, sitting there on the corner in a stretch of Oakwood adjacency that seems to encourage speeding and not gawking, not for fear of danger so much as the desire to drive out of what is essentially a slowly-crumbling few minutes of your life.

Driving north, their sign has fallen by the wayside. Only the southbound driver can clue in to the fact that this establishment might be worth a closer look. By then though, it’s far too late to turn around in the heat of Lincoln traffic and the driver is already to Mindanao, cursing Marina Del Rey with its facelifts, fake juggs, white mustaches, admiral caps and abundant cocaine.

Having devoured cheesesteaks all over the City of Brotherly Love on more than a few occasions, I was ready to find out if this shack could walk the talk. It’s a simple fact that most places can’t hold up to Philly when it comes to cheesesteaks, no matter their claims.


Although these guys give a rat’s ass about the upkeep of the shack and northbound signage, the food is pretty good and I must concede that’s the important part if you have a regular customer base. The sandwiches aren’t fully authentic Philly style, but definitely close enough: hot as hell (photo), juiced as all hell (photo), and worth the money (photo) when you’re extremely hungry. Vegetarians stay away. This is not a place for you. If I were in one of my veggie phases I probably would’ve glazed over this place, anyway – like I said, it’s extremely easy to miss the place when driving.

All things considered, you’re still eating at a shack on the side of the road. Let’s do a side-by-side comparison with another known LA shack, Oki-Dog. Just for shacks and giggles.

Great Western Shack Oki-Dog
Shackfactor A A+
Cost-to-food ratio, in pounds $3.75/lb $1/lb
Average Meal Cost $8 $2
Public Health Rating A C
Hangover required to stomach the food? Not necessarily Absolutely, if not full-on drunk
Old enough to have served numerous hungry groovedaddies in the 1970s? Yes Yes
Menu with customer-editable letters? Yes Yes
Menu with easy-to-reach customer-editable letters and hot cock on the menu? Hell no! This is a philly joint Yes! This is a WeHo joint
Video Games Present? No Yes
Playable Video Games Present? No Are you kidding?

So there you have it. The table speaks for itself. What it says is open to interpretation.

In closing, I was all too happy to discover that citysearch has no idea of this shack’s existence. I did find a few chowhound mentions and one quotable page which I shall now share:

It’s located in a shack – if you blink you’ll miss it. I thought it was condemned until I saw someone walk in….but what GREAT VALUE !!

Great Western Steak and Hoagie is run by two guys who crank out the best value cheesesteak, and one of the best tasting, in the area. I can see that they put the money into the food and not the decor as there are only two broken tables to sit at.

Couldn’t have said it better myself, unless I were to chop off the preposition. RM