April 22, 2010

Billy's Phillys

By Eric Shangraw

July 13, 2010 Updated Jul 13, 2010 at 2:30 PM CDT

A little Peoria restaurant is offering authentic tastes from the City of Brotherly Love.

Eric Shangraw is having lunch at Billy's Phillys in this week's You Gotta Eat.

Billy's Phillys is in a little non-descript spot on Farmington Road that's been home to hot dog stands and breakfast diners.

Owner Billy Horan is a Philadelphia native. A carpenter by trade. He moved with his wife Pam back to her hometown of Peoria last year. Construction work was slow. He couldn't find a Philly Cheese steak sandwich he liked. So he started making and selling his own, like they do back in Philadelphia. He uses rib eye and imports his rolls from South Philly twice a week.

"Bread is pretty much water, yeast and flour. So if the water is different, naturally the bread is different. So I think when you are in the sandwich business; the meat and the rolls are everything," said Horan.

"Peoria doesn't know what a Philly Cheese steak is. And we have the whiz, which is very uncommon here and we are putting it on a beautiful roll from Philadelphia," said Pam Horan.

"It is the best sandwich in the world," said customer Joe Bell between bites.

Photographer Doug Smith ordered the Pizza Steak. His steak sandwich came with marinara sauce and melted mozzarella. Doug called it a pizza boat.

We were both overwhelmed by the 40 plus tater tots we ordered on the side.

I had The Original; thinly sliced steak with fried onions and cheese whiz. Not cheese whiz out of a can. Its melted over the stove and slathered on the Philly roll.

The sandwiches are messy. Greasy. And tasty. You won't mistake it for health food. More like cholesterol enhancement.

Our bill; $21.00 plus tip. The décor is sparse but the flavor is real Philadelphia.

Billy's Phillys is on Farmington Road. They're open Tuesday through Saturday eleven until eight. And they deliver.

Billy's Phillys
4722 W. Farmington Rd.
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11am-8pm

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