The Filling Station in Comstock Park

Some friends and I decided to try a new place for lunch, and decided to head over to The Filling Station in Comstock Park. We entered the restaurant and headed to the ordering line . It’s cafeteria style ordering, one person takes your order as you slide a tray down towards the other end to pay – the food is definitely not ready by the time you get to the end, I’ll get to that later.

The menu seemed quite large – both literally and the number of items. I didn’t have a chance to take it all in because I quickly saw what I wanted – a Philly cheesesteak sandwich – what caught my eye was the optional cheese whiz. I’d heard from a native Philadelphian that a “real” philly steak sandwich has cheese whiz on it…this just happened be the first time I’d seen it in the Grand Rapids area. So, I decided on the philly with a half side of onion rings. I can’t remember what the rest of my friends ordered other than a mix of burgers, fries, and onion rings.

The prices seemed pretty reasonable for the amount of food you get. After ordering, we grabbed a booth and waited (key word) for our food. I immediately noticed the decor, the dining area is adorned with old gas station type signs throughout. The dining area seemed clean and surprisingly quiet; it wasn’t empty, but not overly busy either.

It took a good 20 minutes for the first order to be called out…another 5 or so minutes later two more orders came out….and finally another 5 minutes later the last order arrived. And from what I can remember, the last order came out incorrect. This was by far the biggest complaint – TTGF (time to get food).

Anyway, when my order finally arrived, there was a heaping pile of battered onion-rings, deep-fried to golden perfection. Maybe not the best I’ve ever had, but pretty darn good nevertheless. Underneath these golden beauties was a delicious looking Philly sandwich. There were actually two “halves” about 6 inches each. The melted cheese whiz was oozing out over the very thinly sliced grilled steak and onions. I took my first bite….ohhhh yeah – the bun was toasted perfectly, everything in perfect harmony. It was like a party in my mouth. This was definitely the best philly cheesesteak I’ve ever had!

I can’t say that the rest of my friends had the same experience as me; one said the burger was “OK”…it looked to me like it was pretty overdone. I don’t remember anyone saying they wouldn’t come back; however, I think we were all in agreement that the speed and service had a negative impact on the whole experience. Overall, I’d have to give it a thumbs up for the great good food I had. Maybe next time I’ll try The Filling Station for breakfast or dinner and see if the service is any better.

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