"Sarah, your steak is ready," a cashier said over the loudspeaker a few minutes after she ordered.
As dozens of onlookers crowded around her, Palin headed back to the window to pick up the order. The cashier told her the order was on the house, so Palin tossed her cash into a donation jar outside the window. A smiling Palin signed autographs on scraps of paper at the window while she waited.
"Thank you so much for letting me stop in," she said before picking up the bags and heading back to her SUV with 14-year-old daughter Willow at her side.
Ordering cheesesteaks at a Philadelphia steak shop is a longtime tradition in the City of Brotherly Love, where the sandwich is a cultural icon.
Palin said she thinks Arizona Sen. John McCain was "awesome" and "absolutely on his game" in Friday night's presidential debate with Democratic Sen. Barack Obama. Both candidates have been campaigning heavily in Pennsylvania, expected to be a key battleground in the November election.
One undecided voter at Saturday's stop said she was charmed after a brief talk with Palin, and more inclined to vote for McCain. Shannon Sampere, 24, of Newark, Del., said she and Palin talked about good bakeries in the area, adding that she found her to be very down to earth.
"She's a very genuine person," Sampere said.