whatsinmattsbelly

Ballard Burger Bliss – Lil’ Woody’s Burgers

December 28, 2016
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Hello Foodie Friends!

I have missed you. Sometimes you just get in a rut of eating at those same, familiar haunts that you love. There is nothing wrong with that, but every once in a while, you venture out and find a gem of a place that will likely become a new fave when in the area. This one is Lil’ Woody’s Burgers in Ballard.

The little lady wanted a cupcake from Cupcake Royale. If you know where these 5 locations are, you know that it as least a 25 minute drive to obtain this specific sugar rush.(Let it be known that we have driven further than that for a cupcake in the past.) I new that I would need a satisfying lunch to accompany this treat. When we got to the cupcakery (yup, that IS a word, even though my spell check says it is not) in Ballard, we noticed a little hole-in-the-wall next to the shop that we had been hearing about. We heard they made the best burgers around. So, we decided to try Lil’ Woody’s Burgers.

Walking in, the restaurant has the menus on the wall to help you order as you wait in line. You can either choose one of their signature burgers, or build your own. All burgers are about 8 to 10 bucks. They have vintage sodas, milkshakes and the best back-cracking chairs in the world.(You know the ones I’m talking about…the hard, plastic ones you sat in when you were in grade school that you could lean back and hear your back pop from neck to waist)

We Ordered:

The Pendleton

Side of Hand-Cut Fries – $3.00

Salted Caramel Shake (Made with local Full Tilt Ice Cream) – $6.00

After all was said and done, we spend about as much as we would going to Red Robin, but had a much better, and fresher product!  I tasted both burgers and I would order them both again in a heartbeat. These are definitely 3-4 napkin burgers. Don’t be afraid to be that carnivore you were born to be….get after it!

The fries and the shake were also money well spent. If you go to this little place, make sure you get these side dishes and you will not be disappointed.

I would give this new, delicious burger joint 5 out of 5 bellypats!!!

Lil’ Woody’s is a great gathering place for good food and shakes. Hope you all enjoy.

http://lilwoodys.com/

A wise man once said…

“When life throws you a burger, EAT IT!”

Stay hungry my friends!

-Matt : )

 

 

 

 


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Marysville Cash Money ‘Cue – Jeff’s Texas BBQ

July 3, 2016
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Going out exploring on a random Saturday, as the wifey and I often do, we found ourselves close to the outlet mall near the Tulalip. Being a holiday weekend with large crowds told us that blowing money on clearance prices was not in our future that day.

As we exited the lots of crazy shoppers with too much cash to spend on Coach bags, the little lady remembered a new ‘cue joint that had been posted on one of her Facebook Foodie Groups. Being the sleuths of sustenance that we are, we decided to find this place. In a small strip mall on the main drag of Marysville, we found Jeff’s Texas BBQ.

Walking in, you are greeted by a friendly staff at the cutting counter. The aroma of freshly cut and smoked meats filled my nostrils and started me salivating. The meats are chalked up above the counter and are marked off after they run out. There is nothing more telling of a good BBQ joint than once it is gone, it’s gone for the day. There are no microwaves or freezers to make sure all of the product they put out is fresh and of the highest quality.

We ordered:

  • The Big Tray (Hefty portion of brisket and 2 sides of baked beans) 

 

This meal was not cheap, but in my opinion, good bbq depends on the time and love put into it, which makes it well worth paying a little more for better quality.

I was able to pick what cut of brisket I wanted (either the fatty side or the lean side) which I have never been able to do at any restaurant.

The Brisket was melt-in your-mouth amazing. Some of the best I have had…and if you follow my blogs, you know I dig the brisket.

The Beans! Oh my god the beans! I called the owner over to ask him about what he put in the beans. We found out that not only does he use pineapple as one of his natural sweeteners, but he also smokes the beans for 4 hours to give the brisket beans their deep, sweet taste. As someone once described amazing bbq to me, these beans are ,”slap your mama good”. The wifey and I agreed that these are the best baked beans we have had at ANY RESTAURANT! That’s right readers….these are at the top of my chart…so you gotta go and gobble ’em up!

I really appreciated the friendly service and conversation with the owners and the staff. It was not busy at the time, but I have a feeling that Jeff makes an effort to check on his guests and keeps them very happy.

This happy camper gives this small bbq gem 5 out of 5 bellypats!

Only being open for 6 months, I will definitely be returning to this hidden treasure soon so that it can continue to grow and sell more delicious and decadent vittles. If you are in the Marysville area and you want smoked meat, visit Jeff’s Texas BBQ. You will not be disappointed.

http://www.jeffstexasstylebbq.com/

“It ain’t good BBQ unless you get some on you!”

Until next time, stay hungry my friends!

Matt : )

 

 

 

 

 


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Where There’s Smoke, There I Be! Cask and Trotter Barbecue

April 9, 2016
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In mid-February, the wifey informed me of a new barbecue restaurant making it’s way to Lynnwood. To all my readers, you know I have never turned away a chicken wing or brisket that would have me. So, naturally, my interest was peaked. This establishment has been ranked in the top 10 barbecue in the NW for the last few years. It was time that we checked out Cask and Trotter Barbecue in Lynnwood.

This restaurant has had a few names in the past 3 years. It is formerly Maddox Grill and Rivals Sports Bar. It sits in a relatively unseen location on Highway 99 near motorcycle dealers and auto scrap yards. Can’t find it? Just follow your nose!

Walking through the front doors, you are greeted by the friendly staff and the overwhelming aroma of smoked meat. There is full bar, a pool table and a kind of make-shift man cave with leather couches and game systems. On the outer perimeter, you have booths that complete the restaurant. Large TV’s on the wall make this a great spot for your next Hawks get together or March Madness bracket party.

Perusing the menu, I was amazed with the variety of smoked meats, sides and platter options. As we weighed our options,  the owner stopped by and let us know that all meats are smoked in house and that once they are out of something, they are out of it for the day. He also let me know that there was nor freezer in the place, making all food fresh to the day.

They have an amazing happy hour where they will do sliders of each meat for $4 and all sides are between $3-4. It is a great place to have a lot of little plates to try all of their flavorful and mouthwatering meats. They also had large portions in the forms of full sandwiches and platters.

The wifey and I have had:

Pulled pork, brisket and pastrami, yes..smoked pastrami sliders

Smoked chicken wings

hand cut fires

Baked beans with bits of smoked meat.

All 3 homemade BBQ suaces

You know how when you go to a great bbq place that the sauce and the flavor kinda stay on your fingers and linger for a few hours, even after you wash them? This is what makes you crave the deliciousness more after you have left. Cask and Trotter is that place!! You can taste the quality of the food in each bite of meat you consume and each drop of sauce you sop up off of your plate.

I give this smokey and scrumptious establishment 5 Bellypats!

This has, and will continue to be, one of my frequent haunts. Go visit cask and Trotter in Lynnwood. Have a wing for your boy, or if you plan on going, hit up my phone and I’ll come join you 🙂

http://caskandtrotter.com/

 

I want to end this blog with a quote from my favorite BBQ critic:

“Strong the sauce in this one truly is.” – Yoda

 

Stay Hungry My Friends,

Matt : )

 

 


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Pastrami Heaven: Barney’s Pastrami in Everett

December 26, 2015
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Oh my fellow foodies…it is good to be back! Though I have been to a great deal of restaurants since my last post (like forever and a half ago), I felt the need to share this magnificent find that I visited during my holiday break (one of the many perks of the teaching profession).

I heard about this hole in the wall from a travel network program about “Sandwich Heaven”. This sandwich shop is known for their “Original Pastrami Dip”. You have to check out Barney’s Pastrami in Everett.

Thank the food gods that I have GPS on my phone. Without it, I would have missed this place. Barney’s Pastrami is located in a small strip mall on Evergreen Way in Everett. They are only open from 11-4 each day, so it’s hard for a sandwich savant like myself to get a delicious sammich on a weekday. (seeing as how I am molding young minds and all)

I will not lie, this place is the definition of a HOLE IN THE WALL. Disclaimer: This is definitely not the place to take a girl/guy to impress them on a first date. There is a main counter, behind which Barney, the silver haired man himself, greets you with a warm hello. The lobby is lined with small space heaters and plastic, patio furniture lined with green plaid tablecloths. On the wall are pictures of celebrities that have been framed. Below each of the frames is a small name tag to identify celebrity;  each star having their first names swapped out with the first name “Barney” (EX: Barney Sinatra). This made me laugh as I was waiting to order.

Barney’s is a one man operation. After he takes your order, he works and hums happily behind the counter as he fixes your sandwich.

I Ordered:

The Classic – 1/2 pound pastrami on a fresh hoagie roll with mustard and pickles.  (You can add cheese for 50 cents)

I love pastrami. It is my favorite meat to put on a sammich (and yes I know that is not how it is said, but when I talk about an amazing sandwich, I use the word sammich!) Try using in a daily conversation. It always gets a fun reaction.

Anyway, this was one of the top 3 pastrami sammies I have eaten! The meat is peppered and hot when you unwrap the sammich. Barney uses and delicious mustard spread and makes sure the cheese is melted a bit before serving it to you. Lastly, the bread is fresh and it holds up to the meat. What i mean is when I went to eat the other half of the sammich, the bread was not soggy.

This is an amazing lunch jewel in Everett. Barney only takes CASH and he DOES get busy! Make sure you get in early so you can taste some of the best pastrami around.

I would rate this delicious dive 4 out of 5 bellypats!

This aint the “I love you, you love me” Barney. NO WAY! This is a “I love meat, c’mon let’s eat” Barney! Make sure you visit Barney’s Pastrami in Everett.

Until next time, stay hungry my friends!

Matt : )

http://www.yelp.com/biz/barneys-pastrami-everett

 

 

 


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BBQ Bliss – Roro BBQ in Wallingford

March 9, 2014
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Hello my tens of faithful readers!

I know it has been quite some time since I have posted, and I have no excuse. I have been enjoying a cornucopia of cuisine and not posting my recommendations. Fear not…I am back and ready to eat…for my fans!

The day started out like any other Sunday at the Condo; trying to figure a yummy spot for lunch. The little lady and I decided on Pinky’s, which is a food truck permanently parked in a parking lot across from Dick’s Burgers in Wallingford. If you have never been there…you NEED to try their BBQ as well.  When we got there, there was not parking…not cool.

The wifey remembered hearing about a place that was about two miles away, which also has amazing smoked goodness. It was Roro BBQ in Wallingford.

We drove up to a tiny, red shack on the side of the road. I had passed by it a million times before on my way to the Fremont Market, but had never stopped to look at what it was. If you go hunting, be careful…you may miss it. From the outside, it looks like a rundown, old building with a pick-up window and a sandwich board, showing the specials for the day.

We entered to see a fun use of kitschy, western memorabilia (even the bathrooms are labeled “cowgirls” and “cowboys”) covering the walls. The cozy restaurant has 4 tables and 2 counters; for you to belly up to for brisket and a brew.

I perused the menu hanging above the kitchen window, from which magical smells were emanating. I saw a nice variety of BBQ favorites (pulled pork, brisket, hot links, smoked turkey) and even a veggie option of a smoked, pulled portabello mushroom sandwich. What caught my eye, and what I ordered, was something I had never seen done on any other smokehouse menu:

Me and the wifey had the:

BBQ SUNDAE         9.95

Choice of meat (brisket, pork, chicken) and two sides layered parfait style in a huge sundae dish. Topped with colesalw, pickles and BBQ sauce. Served with cornbread.

I ordered the smoked brisket to be layered with BBQ baked beans and Mac n’ Cheese on top.

Ohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygod!!!!! (I typed this out because writing OMG 8 times would not do this justice.)

What an amazing idea! What a delicious result. It was like having a plate of BBQ at any other joint but all blended together. All of the meat and the sides are made in-house and accompanied by 5 scratch made BBQ sauces that sit atop each table.

This was a phenomenal phoooood experience (I think this is my new word for ridiculously good grub…food with a PH. Whaddayathink?) and I will definitely be returning. I give this place 5 Bellypats!!!

Now that you know know, go go get you some finger lickin’ goodness down at Roro BBQ in Wallingford.

As my wife always says, ” It ain’s good barbecue ‘less you get some on ya!” Go get some!

rorobbqseattle.com

Enjoy your next meal and stay hungry my friends!!

Matt : )


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Awesome Brunch…In a Bar? – Burgundian Bar in Wallingford

June 29, 2013
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Before the Mariner game last week, the little lady and I wanted to take in a killer brunch. Since she works in the city now, she told me about a little spot that caught her eye as she was driving home one night. The Burgundian is a hidden gem that was completely worth the trip down to the Wallingford neighborhood.

You could pass by this bar and not even know it was there if you weren’t looking. Walking in, the walls are filled with a fantastic selection of bourbon, tequila and rums. Low lighting and dark wood tables gives the dining room a warm feel. All of the servers were very knowledgeable about the menu and were extremely pleasant.

If you had a crazy Saturday night (you know what I mean) and need some good scratch cooking to sop up that alcohol, this is a place you need to visit. They have numerous varieties of the bloody mary and all of their food is fresh, seasonal and local. Let me clarify…this is a bar, not a bar and grill. You must be 21 and over.

We Ordered:

Bonney’s Biscuit Sandwich
Your choice of fried chicken, ham, or house made sausage on a bacon white cheddar biscuit topped with two organic eggs and cream cheese Hollandaise.  Served with seasoned red skin potatoes.

Biscuits & Gravy
Bacon cheddar biscuit stuffed with house-made breakfast sausage, topped with country gravy and two organic eggs. Served with seasoned red skin potatoes.

 

If you haven’t read my previous blogs or you just don’t know me, I am kind of a biscuit snob. When I am cravin’ a biscuit, Pillsbury just don’t cut it. These were BISCUITS! And, even better, they had bacon and cheese baked in. (Seriously, drooling now thinking about them) I could tell that they take a lot of pride in the food they put out. Though the kitchen is small and we had to wait a little while longer than in a typical restaurant, but it was well worth it.

We just had the breakfast. I’m guessing since we enjoyed breakfast so much, we would also enjoy their elevated pub fare as well. Some of the dishes include: poutine, scratch-made gnocchi, house cured meats and giant burgers.

This is a place that I would definitely visit again; for breakfast or during the typical Friday night rush. This is a great place to get a drink with the boys or recover after a night of getting drinks with the boys. The Burgundian in Wallingford is a fun and casual spot to get specialty coctails and share some awesome food.

I give this bar a 4 out of 5 bellypats!

I will leave you with this joke: Two fat guys walk into a bar.

One says to the other, “Your round.”

The other says, “So are you you fat  %#$@#$!”

Thanks for reading and stay hungry my friends : )

 

http://burgundianbar.com/

 

 


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Dude…Where’s My Fork? : Din Tai Fung Dumpling House

April 21, 2013
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Loyal readers…lend me your palates!

It has been many months since I have blogged about my adventures in eating, but this place was so amazing that I had to share.

A few months ago, the little lady and I saw a large line forming near Lucky Strike Lanes in Lincoln Square, located in downtown Bellevue. We got closer to find a window looking in on 20 chefs making individual dumplings by hand. This immediately caught our attention.

Might this place be the next hip spot in the upscale neighborhood of Bellevue? Well, just after admiring the intricate work being put into the making of the delectable dumplings, we saw no other than Dan Wilson, former catcher of the Seattle Mariners, stroll out. That was when we knew that Din Tai Fung in Bellevue would be a great dining experience.

We thought today would be a good day to go early. The wifey and I had just completed a 5K in Renton and were craving carbs! Who eats dumplings at 10:45 in the morning on a Sunday? Apparently, a ton of people in Bellevue enjoy these tiny temptations as early as 10AM. (WARNING: Call ahead or show up early. There is always a wait!)

We were shown to our seat and greeted by a waitress who showed us the how to mix soy sauce and vinegar correctly to create the perfect dumpling dipping sauce. Our server was very knowledgeable about the menu and very gracious with newbies like us. All dishes ranged from $7-10 each.

Also, just as a heads up, don’t ask of a fork…you won’t get one. Soup spoons and chopsticks are provided as the only utensils. Be prepared to bring your dexterity along with your appetite.

We Ordered:

Pork Dumplings

Chicken Dumplings

Chicken Fried Rice

Chicken and Veggie Wonton Soup ….yeah…it was a lot for lunch, but we just did a 5K. We earned that feast.

First of all, I cannot stress how fresh these little pockets of joy are. The cooks make the dumplings on the spot, they go into the steamer then are served to you. Our meal was fantastic!!! I have eaten all of the items listed above at other restaurants. None of them compare to the food we sampled today. Authentic flavors in a modern environment make this establishment a great venue for a small plate and a drink after work or a night on the town with your honey.

I give this restaurant 5 out of 5 Bellypats!!!

 

Din Tai Fung Dumpling House in Bellevue is a MUST GO for anyone looking for authentic dumplings!

Was it amazing? Yes.

Was I hungry an hour  later. Yes.

Would I go back 2 hours after I ate for another round of dumplings? YES!!!

 

I will leave you with this quote:

“I am the emperor, and I want dumplings.” Emperor Ferdinand I

 

http://www.dintaifungusa.com/

 

 

 

 


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Turkey Day Everyday: Gobble Restaurant in Woodinville

January 12, 2013
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While Christmas shopping a few weeks back, the little lady and I spotted a sign on a strip mall display in Woodinville. This sign intrigued us, seeing as how it was one word: “GOBBLE“. After pointing out the sign, I raised one eyebrow and glanced at my wife….just in time to see her giving me the exact same look. Our curiosity took us to the door to puruse the menu. We found that the focus of the restaurant was…you guessed it….everything turkey on a plate.

Gobble restaurant was opened 3 months ago. The whole point of this little spot is to make you feel as if you have come home to your childhood kitchen table to enjoy your mother’s home cooked vittles. As you enter, you see kitchen tables with white legs and matching chairs. There are 4 communal tables to encourage guests to meet new people and engage in warm conversation over come cooked comfort food. There are also kitchen cabinets that have been put in the back of the restaurant, along with a bar with seating, to complete the kitchen experience.

The only protein on the menu is turkey. There is an amazing selection of tantalizing turkey treats to choose from including: the classic turkey platter with all the fixins, sandwiches, salads and soups. They even have turkey italian sausage sammies and turkey bacon on their BLT’s. They also serve giant turkey legs for all your inner cavemen OR current King Felix fans.

We enjoyed:

Carved Roasted Turkey Platter (comes with stuffing, gravy, 2 sides and cranberry sauce)

Turkey Meatloaf Plate (Mashed Potatoes, gravy and 2 sides)

How do I describe this…hmmm.  I don’t know if you culinary carnivores out there have seen Disney film Ratatouille. When the evil food critic (whom I am nothing like ….I swear….no way I have ever been that thin….heheh) finds himself flashing back to his mother’s kitchen after sampling a favorite and satisfying  dish…that is what this plate of food felt like to me.

All of the turkey is roasted fresh daily. All soups and dishes are made from scratch and are done the right well. The owner himself came by to ask about our experience and how we like the food. He said that his mission is to serve good food with healthy options and never let a customer leave hungry. We certainly did not leave hungry….we left with a doggy bag of deliciousness.

This is a local, one-of-a-kind business that depends on repeat customers. If you find yourself in April looking for a good Thanksgiving plate but have no desire to make a turkey to get it, this place will hit the spot. We will most certainly be back to sample more varieties of this amazing bird. Gobble Restaurant, I give thanks for you…what an awesome and unique concept.

I give this delightful little place 3 1/2 bellypats!!

I will leave you with this quote: I can’t cook a Thanksgiving dinner. All I can make is cold cereal and maybe toast – Charlie Brown

Snack Responsibly Everyone!!

http://gobblerestaurant.com/#

 

 


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Lovin’ Sammiches: Tom Douglas’ Rub with Love Shack

January 3, 2013
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Date night in downtown Seattle is always fun for me and the Mrs. I stumbled upon this new sandwich shop wandering around Pike Place in the evening. It was closed at the time because it keeps lunch hours of 11-6. I am so glad we went back, because I have been raving about the Rub with Love Shack ever since.

The Rub with Love Shack is located past the tourist attractions by Pike Place Market. You know what I mean. Everyone, tourist or not, seems to gather around Beecher’s Cheese. A little further down the road, the tourists crowd in to get their fix at the original Starbucks. Walk 2 blocks past these landmarks and you will hit this tiny, (it is, in the title, a shack) yet delicious, establishment.

Outside the storefront are tables and chairs for outside seating. The only seating in the shack itself is a counter that faces out toward the patio sitting area. Though it is small, the counter and the patio provide premium views for ferry/people watching.

When you enter, you are welcomed by the friendly staff and a heavenly aroma of spice mixtures. Tom Douglas has a line of dry marinades known as “Rub with Love”. (You usually see them in small tubs in the grocery store…or in my case, in the Christmas presents of some of my friends…hope you are enjoying them M&S : ))

The shack is also a store where over 20 of these spice rubs are sold. In order to taste some of them before you buy them, however, you can order an enormous (about 8 inches) sandwich cooked with these scrumptious spices at an amazingly reasonable price.

The Wifey and I Ordered:

Peri Peri Turkey Sandwich  $7.50

Ancho Molasses BBQ Chicken Sandwich  $7.50

You have to understand…all this place does is roast different cuts of meat with spice blends. They have a small menu, which ensures fantastic quality with these yummy bundles of meat. You are also able to order their roasted meat by the pound for banquets and parties (Yeah, I’m thinking bout ordering catering from this spot….don’t have any events to order it for…..but I really don’t care.)

I would eat one of these sandwiches each day for lunch if I could. (I don’t think my wallet would object to that statement as much as my doctor would) If you are down by the market and prefer a sub to the fresh seafood, strut on down to the Rub with Love Shack. You’ll thank me when you do.

What a fantastic product for a great value. Tom Douglas…you brilliant bastard and savvy sammich shop owner…I tip my cap to you yet again.

I give this restaurant 4 out of 5 bellypats!

I’ll leave you with a thought…depending on which one you get, a Subway sandwich can be up to 10 dollars. Just sayin’.

 

http://tomdouglas.com/index.php?page=take-away-2


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Philly Cheesesteak Back Again: Philly Fever

December 8, 2012
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Ok loyal readers, listen up. There is a delicious secret being kept on the back side of Capital Hill. It is where I get my Philly cheese steak fix. My BFF, who recently visited Philly, says that this place is as authentic as making the trek to city of brotherly love. Let me introduce you to Philly Fevre.

This spot is where my best friend takes me when he needs a break from his girlfriend’s vegetarian lifestyle. This is my first time writing a review that does not include my wife accompanying me on my adventures to Yummtown. Thanks for getting me out of the house Brad! Hahaha!

First of all, you can drive by this place very easily. It is located in an old brick building beneath a white and green striped awning. The outside looks as if this mecca of monstrous meat sammies has been abandoned for years.

Ok, I’m not going to sugar coat this…this place is a hole. The walls are wood panelled, the booths are taped together and the decor is…well…vintage at best. But Philly phanatics know that finding the perfect cheese steak requires some sacrifice. The atmosphere is the sacrifice. The staff is friendly and the food is to die for.

I usually get:

Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich (Choice of meat and cheese) I go with the Wiz! You gotta!

Large basket of Crinkle Cut Fries

Soda : All for around  $11.00

NonNomNomness! So delicious! This is true stick-to-your-gut food. This sandwich comes with a free, much needed, nap upon completion.

I give this place 3 Bellypats

Authentic Philly at a great price. Please go down and visit Philly Fevre in Madison Park.

I will leave you with this quote:

“Few people truly understand a good sandwich” – James Beard

http://www.phillysteakshop.com/home.html

P.S. – Anyone who can name the music reference in the title of this post, message me and you will get a free high-5, from your portly purveyor of provisions. : )


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