I love Philly cheesesteaks. There are over a million places that put Philly cheesesteak on their menu and just don’t exactly live up to that Philadelphia standard. Trust me, I know, I have raced the streets of Philadelphia only craving the famous city’s sandwich. I’ve been to Pats and Geno’s. I fell in love with a sandwich from the “city of brotherly love,” and let’s face it, there is no competition. If I tell you “one-wiz-wit,” you better know what I am talking about or you are just dust in the wind.
It wasn’t my first time in the south, more like my tenth. I flew to Gastonia, North Carolina to visit my brother. It was about five weeks before his wedding and I was there to throw him a bachelor party. I arrived on a Friday and I guess I was in luck because it was what he called “Philly Friday.” My brother, William, owns a deli and this just happens to be the day he releases his specialty. It was a crazy concoction he called the “Willie Cheese Steak.” Notice the play on words.
Now I love Philadelphia, so you better be careful with what you do with a cheesesteak. If you try to compare to the real thing you are treading on thin ice.
|The dining area inside the deli|
My brother William wanted to own a deli for quite a while. He worked in one for several years starting at the age of 16. He knew the route, he knew the lingo, and above all else, he knew the food. He could make sandwiches you’ve never heard of, but would have your mouth watering. He could put a crazy spin on a famous PB&J and have you begging for more. Eventually he decided to take the plunge and buy his own deli. Sounds simple enough, but not exactly. He wanted to open up a New York style deli in North Carolina. That’s like selling bibles to an atheist. In William’s words, “Challenge accepted!”
|The front of Will’s Doggn’ It Deli & Dogs|
William opened his own deli called Will’s Doggn’ It Deli & Dogs. Growing up in New York his specialty was the NYC hot dog. He knew how to cook it and serve it up like a professional street vendor. He started off as a hot dog cart vendor and evolved to the deli manager/owner. Back then is when he introduced his famous (not Philly cheesesteak) Willie Cheesesteak.
|A shot the deli case stocked with Boars Head brand meats|
I was summoned to try this crazy concoction being a Food Dude but I didn’t know what to expect. I made remarks that one could never live up to the expectations of Philadelphia.
My brother cooked up the Willie Cheesesteak and served it. It was judgment day and I had a lot on my mind as well as a lot on my plate. At first glance, I couldn’t believe the amount of meat that was on the sandwich. I asked if he served me that much because I am his brother and he replied, “That’s the normal amount.” This was a hefty serving, well worth the price of $7.50. Not to mention it was fresh cut beef. I sat down at a near table and took my first bite. From that point on I turned into an animal, not a man. I stuffed that sandwich into my mouth like it was going out of style.
I’m not going to lie, I was a little skeptical of William’s famous ‘Willie Cheesesteak,” but once I tried it, I knew what the rave was all about. This thing was spectacular. William’s special spin on the Philly cheesesteak was one for the books. Fresh, hot, juicy, flavorful, cheesy, and all together, great! This was a remarkable version of Philly’s sandwich. Considering the 600 mile difference, Will’s Doggn’ it pulls it off. So if you are from Philadelphia and feeling home sick, or just hungry for something great, stop by Will’s Doggn’ It, Deli & Dogs and order his “Willie Cheesesteak.” There will be no disappointment. And if you want a little more of that NYC Taste, try one of his sandwiches, especially the breakfast sandwiches. Them bad boys will have you falling in love, ‘cause you never had a breakfast sandwich like a New York style breakfast sandwich.
Will’s Doggn’ it Deli & Dogs
1301 Spencer Mountain Rd
Ranlo, North Carolina 28054