Saturday, November 28, 2009

Which Wich, Billadelphia, Menchies...

Summary of three visits last week: two hits and one miss.

WhichWich? on Berry Street.  I expected a Subway-type sandwich, (which actually I like sometimes but don't put in the great sandwich category) and was surprised by the better than expected combination of good crusty bread and a decent portion of meat rolled into a tasty sandwich. I liked it a lot. At almost $9.00 for a sandwich, drink and chips, it is a little pricey, but of the chain sandwich shops in Fort Worth: Subway, Potbelly, and Quizno's, I'll take the WhichWich? sandwich. WhichWich? is a young chain of "superior sandwiches" with stores in about twenty states. Dallas Observer voted them the best cheap sandwich in 2006. About the name . . . I don't like it, too cutesy for me, and as you can see, it makes writing about them confusing.

Menchies is a frozen yogurt store in University Park Village, on the southwest corner, next to the Apple store. Menchies, like Which wich? is another food franchiser growing into the South and the West. If you like the new frozen yogurt concept you will like Menchies. The yogurt is excellent, with about 10 flavors, and the toppings are plentiful. If the fro-yo concept is more than a passing fancy, Menchies will do well. The yogurt is very good and the location is great.

I was disappointed in Billadelphia's on Berry Street near Paschal High School because it was just okay. I grew up on the Philly cheesesteak and have my idea of a good one. Billadelphia's looked right but was missing some flavor and texture. The sliced steak is thicker than I like, and I prefer a little hardier roll, but the worst part was that it was kind of tasteless. A good cheesesteak combines the flavors of steak, cheese, bread and fried onions, and their steak part just wasn't right. I did like the fact that they served TastyKake cakes and Herr's potato chips. I hate to criticize anyone trying to promote the greatness that is the cheesesteak but it just wasn't that great.


RJG said...

I wonder if Billadelphia's is getting too big, too quick. I've only been to the Bedford original, which is just a small shack in parking lot off the freeway. Bill himself was always there (he's from Philly), and it was close to a one man operation. It was definitely excellent, and I think you would've been pleased. But then they opened a large restaurant in arlington, which I think is already closed - and now I'm hearing the one in Ft. Worth is kind of iffy. That's too bad.

I'm not yet sold on Whichwich, but we've only been once (the Southlake store). The fill-out-the-ingredients-on-the-bag assembly-line concept seems built for speed, and yet we waited forever to get our sandwich. And it's pretty small - for a lot of money. The taste was good, but maybe not exceptional. We plan on trying it again though.

Francis Shivone said...

I knew I was bashing a Philly guy, which I hate to do. But the sandwich was not too good.

Agree on Whichwich. The fill out yourself seems like a good idea, in concept anyway, the store wasn't busy so the wait was short for me. I liked the sandwich itself, a lot, but again I agree, it's expensive for a small sandwich. Thanks.

Rambler said...

When I was becoming old enough to run around with friends (say 15-16), West Berry was a major stomping ground. Now we hated Paschal with a righteous hatred, but there was the new Taco Bell, Mr. Beef, and Dunkin' Donuts, all right there together. That was a "restaurant row" back in the dark ages. Come to think of it, there was an ice cream store (Ashburn's?) in that little strip center across Berry from Billadelphia. My best friend worked there in the summer of '69.

For these reasons, I love to see businesses succeed along that street, and hope Billadephia's is just having growing pains. I don't actually eat cheesesteak's you understand, but nostaligia is a powerful drug.

Francis Shivone said...

Rambler -- I undrstand the "stomping grounds" idea of youth. We also had a Dunkin Donuts and when I am in the area I always drive by to see the changes. I was curious though -- Mr. Beef? Never heard of that one.

Rambler said...

Mr. Beef was sort of an Arby's before Arby's. No idea what happened to the chain.

wawalt said...


I'm always grateful to reviews of our Philly Sandwiches. Of course, we want to satisfy every taste. Our Fort Worth location is new and perhaps experience played a role in your unsatisfactory experience. We'd love to have the opportunity to gain your trust with another visit.
We ship everything in from Philly right down to the roll and most patrons seem to think we do pretty well for being 1500 miles from Philly.
As for the reason we closed Arlington, it simply came down to rent. Because of the opening of the new Texas stadium, our rent was increased to an amount that just didn't make good business sense. We moved the location to Berry Street.
We are committed to bringing an authentic Philly taste experience to everyone in Texas and have enjoyed our five years in business. Please continue with your feedback and we will make every effort to satisfy everyone.

Bill Walter
owner- Billadlphia's

Anonymous said...

While stationed in Philly I got hooked on great hoagies and cheesesteaks. Married a Texan and ended here forever searching for a great sandwich. Some were close-- Philachi's off NWest Hwy early eighties and Fred's downtown Philly, Duncanville & Plano...but Bill's the real deal. I have referred > 100 people to Billadelphia's and have only a few who acted disappointed (natives). If you ever have a problem let Bill or Kathy know. They will set it right. Give em a try---you won't be disappointed.

Dick S.