Restaurant offers authentic Philly-style cuisine

Restaurant offers authentic Philly-style cuisine

A Philly cheesesteak cooked up in Texas probably isn’t expected to taste like an original cheesesteak from Philadelphia – especially when the owner of the joint is from Florida.

Scott Wilkes opened up Billadelphia’s II, located at 2110 West Berry St., eight weeks ago. Billadelphia’s II uses the same ingredients and menu as the original Billadelphia’s, which is located in Bedford, Wilkes said. Wilkes partnered with Bill Walter as co-owners of the two establishments.

Wilkes said what makes Billadelphia’s II unique is that the bread, potato chips, candy and root beer are all imported from Philadelphia. The Philadelphia root beer is called Birch Beer.

“The Birch Beer is imported, and it’s by far our best-selling drink,” Wilkes said. “Its made from the bark of a Birch tree. As far as I know the two Billadelphia’s are the only two establishments that sell it in Texas. We go through a lot of it.”

What makes a cheesesteak isn’t the meat or cheese, Wilkes said. It’s in the water.

“Our bread is imported from Philadelphia from the D’Ambrosio Bakery,” he said. “The key ingredient in baking bread is water. Water makes the bread’s taste. The water source in Philadelphia is what gives our bread the taste.”

Glenna Gaines, Billadelphia’s II manager, said the restaurant has already become a hit with Paschal High School students on lunch break.”We usually get the TCU students later in the afternoon and in the evening,” Gaines said. “I think some of the (TCU) students like to sleep in.”

Joe Wurtz, a senior film-television-digital media major, recently discovered Billadelphia’s II and didn’t let a recent stay in the hospital stop him from getting a cheesesteak.

“I’ve been to Philadelphia a few times and I’ve been to all the famous places in Philly for cheesesteaks,” Wurtz said. “I was recently hospitalized and I had a mass craving for (Billadelphia’s II) while I was in. Once I got (a cheesesteak) it made my week.”

Gaines said while the seating inside of Billadelphia’s II is smaller than the bathroom at other restaurants, the outside tables can accommodate quite a few people.

As Alfonso Reyes, head cook at Billadelphia’s II, wiped the tears from his eyes after he grilled onions to add to a cheesesteak, he said his job was to put the taste of the cheesesteak together.

“The first thing on my mind is making it right for the customer,” Reyes said. “I want him or her to taste it … and for them to like the taste so they can always come back. Basically, however you want it is however I make it.”

Students can enjoy a discounted student price for meals when a TCU ID is shown. A six-inch cheesesteak with chips and a drink is $5, and $5.50 with fries. A ten-inch cheesesteak with chips and a drink is $7, and $7.50 with fries.

Billadelphia’s II also offers more than cheesesteaks. Beer-battered onion rings, chicken fingers, mini corn dogs, Philadelphia pretzels, cold Italian hoagies and Italian ice are all on the menu.

Hours of Operation

Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m – 8 p.m.

Sat. 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Sun. 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.