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Posted on Fri, May 3, 2013 : 2:30 p.m.

Frugal Friday at Gabriel's Cheesesteak Hoagies - limited menu but tremendous value

By Mary Bilyeu


Mary Bilyeu | Contributor

Frugal Floozie Friday is a feature that seeks out dishes — appetizers, drinks, snacks, desserts, sandwiches, whatever — for $5 or less per person. Sometimes I split generously-sized items with loved ones, saving both money and calories; sometimes I find a great deal on a single serving that fits perfectly within the mandatory budget. I try to showcase several options to choose from, and you never know where I'll find them. Check out the column every Friday!

When I first met Mary Catherine Smith, the fabulous host of "Brazilian Sol" on WEMU (Saturdays at 9 p.m.), she recommended Gabriel's Cheese Steak Hoagies as a great place to visit for my Frugal Floozie Friday column: good, honest food served for good, honest prices.

Well, it's taken awhile to get there, but Craig and I had lunch at Gabriel's recently and it definitely proved to be a tremendous value!


Mary Bilyeu | Contributor

It's easy to stay within our mandatory $5 per person budget, with hearty sandwiches that are readily split. Costing just over $5 each, you can supplement your half with a bag of chips and a cookie to make a complete comfort food meal and still stay within our financial limits.

The menu is small, focusing on what the shop does well. You can order a cheesesteak hoagie, a steak hoagie, a Lunchmeat Special, or a ham and cheese sandwich. Prices range from $5.14-$5.54, with extras (cheese, mushrooms, peppers, or Provolone) costing anywhere from 20-69 cents to add on. A bag of chips will set you back a whopping 89 cents.

A small, quaint, tremendously friendly diner, Gabriel's is welcoming to everyone but vegetarians — there aren't any options for you beyond the Garden Salad for $3.49.

But carnivores can celebrate at Gabriel's for not much money!


Mary Bilyeu | Contributor

Gabriel's Cheesesteak Hoagies
2585 East Michigan Ave.
Ypsilanti, MI 48198
Monday-Saturday: 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.

972 East Michigan Avenue Saline, MI 48176 734-316-2651

1919 Wayne Road Westland, MI 48185 734-722-4224

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Mary Bilyeu writes for on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, telling about her adventures in the kitchen - making dinner, celebrating holidays, entering cooking contests, meeting new friends ... whatever strikes her fancy. She is also on a mission to find great deals for her Frugal Floozie Friday posts, seeking fabulous food at restaurants on the limited budget of only $5 per person. Feel free to email her with questions, comments, or suggestions:

Go visit Mary's blog — Food Floozie — where she enthuses and effuses over all things food-related; and look for her monthly articles in the Washtenaw Jewish News. "Like" her on Facebook, or send a tweet on Twitter, too.

The phrase "You Should Only Be Happy" (written in Hebrew on the stone pictured in this post) comes from Deuteronomy 16:15 and is a wish for all her readers - when you come to visit here, may you always be happy.



Wed, May 15, 2013 : 2:02 p.m.

Maplewood Lanes in Saline has a great Cheese Steak Hoagie.

David Wanner

Sun, May 5, 2013 : 3:53 a.m.

Been going there for years and they cannot be beat. They are a Ypsi staple along with the Chick Inn Bill's Hot Dogs, etc.


Sat, May 4, 2013 : 4:27 p.m.

I have not found a good cheese steak in this area. Mr. Spot's is about the best on a good night, but it is often not a good night. Izzy's is your basic cheese wiz - steak umm's type sandwich. Gabriel's is the same, but smaller. Izzy's has a bad rep for customer service but I have had no problems. Customer service at Mr. Spot's is pretty good considering its size and the fact that it is often busy. Customer service at Gabriel's has been unremarkable. As for the "hot chili sauce" some folks are wild about, it is standard pepper relish that can be purchased by the jar in many places (Izzy's has pepper relish that taste's the same). If anyone knows of a source for good cheese steaks (in SE MI) with real steak and decent bread, I'd love to hear about it.


Sat, May 4, 2013 : 1:23 a.m.

Sorry, their hoagies are dry and tasteless. They have gone downhill over the years. I would not waste my money on their product.


Fri, May 3, 2013 : 11:50 p.m.

OH YEAH! Great find, mary! Thanks for reminding us who already knew this place is "stash"!


Fri, May 3, 2013 : 8:29 p.m.

Questions: What brand of roll is that? That also looks like cheddar. Is wiz available? Thumbs up on the ribeye and grilled onions!

Pretty Gritty

Fri, May 3, 2013 : 8:27 p.m.

Why on earth would someone put that "food" in their body?


Fri, May 3, 2013 : 9:32 p.m.

Because life is for living, not worrying about every single thing you consume.


Fri, May 3, 2013 : 4:20 p.m.

Izzy's > Gabriel's I think gabe's must have been sold from the original owners. Their customer service leaves a lot to be desired, and I think they changed bread suppliers to cut costs, because their bread is just terrible now. They used to be really good...but they've been extremely disappointing the last couple times I've tried them. Izzy's is still just as good as the day they opened.

Nicholas Urfe

Sat, May 4, 2013 : 2:46 a.m.

Izzy's rules.


Fri, May 3, 2013 : 9:31 p.m.

...which is to say, not very good. I've been to Izzy's twice. Mediocre sandwiches, indifferent service. I won't be back.

Lynn Liston

Fri, May 3, 2013 : 2:33 p.m.

Mary, what took you so long to discover them? :) Gabriel's is one of the county's true foodie gems! I've been getting hoagies from them since I was in college, a long time ago, and they are still the best. Love the "regular" aka an Italian. Their continued success is well deserved.


Fri, May 3, 2013 : 2:29 p.m.

Gabriel's Cheesesteak Hoagie is the best...yum! If you like hot chili sauce, take home a jar or two of theirs. It is fantastic!