Gabriel's brings cheese steak hoagies to Saline
When Kenny Dailey worked at Gabriel's Cheese Steak Hoagies in Ypsilanti, a local staple that's been around since 1959, he often spoke with customers from Saline who lamented that there wasn't a location near them. In March, he decided to satisfy their cravings, launching a Saline location as a co-owner. In addition to the Saline restaurant, there is also a Westland location that opened in 2007.
"I thought it was a good product that would work well in Saline," he said, adding that lines out the door the first two weeks proved him right. The Ypsilanti location has a cult-like following, and Dailey says there are no cheese steak offerings like it in Saline.
Gabriel's, located in a sterile strip mall, has a sparkling fresh and clean interior, with vivid, bright blue carpet and linoleum covered tables. A painting of a giant hoagie takes up most of the wall. You place your order at the counter and then it's brought out to you.
972 E. Michigan Ave., Saline
- Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
- Plastic: Visa, Mastercard, Discover.
- Liquor: None.
- Prices: Inexpensive. A cheese steak hoagie is $5.29.
- Noise level: Quiet.
- Wheelchair access: Yes.
There are also two types of salads. In addition to a basic garden salad, another simply has ham, provolone and American cheese added to the greens. We decided to sample everything.
On a searing-hot Memorial Day, we were the only party in the place, and I was impressed by the blazing speed in which our order was delivered by a friendly server — within five minutes of us sitting down. This hoagie was enormous and would satisfy anyone's craving for a hearty sandwich.
I ordered mine with cheese and mushrooms, which saturated the entire top of the sandwich. Though the rib eye steak was high quality, I was less enthused by the use of Kraft American cheese, which had that processed taste, along with the canned mushrooms. Dailey says they are "premium Monterey" canned mushrooms, but they're canned nonetheless.
The bun was fresh and spongy and absorbed the massive quantities of ground meat well. Overall, the ingredients melded together nicely to make a decent sandwich.
The lunchmeat special consisted of a variety of delicious, fresh meats: spiced ham, salami and polish ham, along with high quality provolone. However, it was particularly dry and I couldn't detect the oil, nor the oregano that would have provided essential seasonings. A dressing would have improved this sandwich.
The salad consisted of fresh greens, though it was accompanied by pre-packaged Kraft dressing. With only a few menu items, I think the owner could go the distance to whip together a homemade dressing.
I devoured the chocolate chunk and oatmeal raisin cookies offered for dessert. They're delivered by an outside food distributor, but still tasted fresh and were soft and chewy.
If you're a cheese steak fan — and crave an inexpensive sandwich as early as 10 in the morning — this new location of Gabriel's is worth a try.