Boston Bill’s, the new roadside restaurant in Pacifica on Highway 1 next to Rockaway Beach, is officially open.
Fresh cheesesteaks and chowder are what’s on the menu, inspired by popular East Coast fare.
It’s no wonder. The owner, Bill McGowan, is originally from the South End of Boston and has had a love of cheesesteaks — sandwiches made from thinly sliced steak and melted cheese in a long roll with roots in Philadelphia — his whole life, he said.
“I was frustrated that no one made cheesesteaks anywhere around here,” said McGowan, a Pacifica resident for more than 20 years. “I’m also a big-time Patriots and Red Sox fan,” he added, and even though he admits to liking a good San Francisco Giants or 49ers game, “I won’t give up my allegiance to my teams.”
Which is obvious upon setting foot inside Boston Bill’s. A life-size black-and-white photomural of Boston’s Fenway Park covers the back wall of the restaurant with Red Sox hats and jerseys adorning doorways and ledges. The woman taking orders behind the counter sports a Red Sox sweatshirt and one of the line cooks at the grill is in a Red Sox baseball cap.
But you don’t have to be a Red Sox fan to appreciate this place. It’s the cheesesteaks and chowder that pull people through the door.
“It’s been like crazy since opening two weeks ago,” said McGowan. “We’ve had some people come in two to three times already. We’re trying to keep up with the orders, we’ve been so busy, and will soon enlarge the grill so we can move orders out faster.”
Orders are placed at the counter. Diners can sit at either a booth, bar stool and counter or table and chair. Many coming in yesterday were taking their lunch orders to go. The line was 10 people long and moved along pretty quickly. Still, the guys at the grill couldn’t move fast enough to get the orders out.
“It’s been a smooth opening so far,” said McGowan. “But we realize now that the grill has to be bigger so we’re working on that and finding ways to get the food out faster.”
MoGowan’s personal favorite on the menu is “The Original Philly Cheese Steak” with “super thin slice Harris Ranch Ribeye Steak, grilled onions, sweet cherry peppers, and choice of cheese, either white American cheese, Cheez Whiz or Provolone cheese," he said. "Fuggetaboutit!”
He also recommends a cheesesteak that he invented, called the “Cali Steak,” which consists of “super thin slice Harris Ribeye Steak, with grilled bell peppers and grilled onions, with jack cheese and chipotle sauce.”
There’s also a “Pizza Steak” with pepperoni, fresh garlic and sauce with mozzarella and a “BBQ Steak” or a “Mushroom Steak,” both with the thinly sliced Harris Ribeye Steak, bell peppers and grilled onions and choice of cheese.
Cheesesteaks are $6.50 for a six-inch and $8 for an eight-inch. A classic house New England clam chowder is also on the menu either in a cup or bread bowl as well as a chowder of the day. Yesterday it was Italian Wedding Soup. Side orders include onion rings, French fries, poppers, and mozzarella sticks.
Boston Bill's hours are as follows: Sunday: 11 a.m.–7:30 p.m., closed Mondays, closed Tuesday, Wednesday: 11 a.m.–7:30 p.m., Thursday: 11 a.m.–7:30 p.m., Friday: 11 a.m.–7:30 p.m., Saturday: 11 a.m.–7:30 p.m.