Friday, September 4, 2015
*** CLOSED *** Billadelphia's Authentic Philly Foods ~ North Richland Hills, Texas
May 16, 2016 update: Billadelphia's is now closed. It's a Mexican take out. I mean, where else can you find one of those? Meanwhile, authentic Philly Steaks are an endangered species in these parts.
Here's a place I probably should go to more often than I do. it's just a little far off for a quick lunch, but certainly close enough for a weekend visit. Lately I've been allocating Friday's for places like this. Let's see how long that lasts.
Food: What it says on the sign above, "Authentic Philly Foods". Billadelphia's is all about the food of Philadelphia, including their signature cheesesteaks. My first visit to Billadelphia's was in 2006 (while still in Bedford), and my interchange with owner Bill went something along the lines of: "I'll have a wiz wit", and he immediately struck up a conversation along the lines of "You from Philly?". Nope, but been there a few times for business I said. He then went on to explain that he imports almost everything from Philadelphia including the Amoroso rolls, Taskykakes, Herr's Chips and anything else that he could to make it feel like "Philadelphia in Texas". Now Tastykakes is no longer a big deal, as they are sold in local grocery stores (after the original implosion of Hostess). But at the time, Billadelphia's was the only place to obtain the yummy Twinkie-like treat. While the menu looks like something you will see many a time walking the streets of Philly, I never seem to get past the cheesesteak. And perhaps there's little reason to, as the meat is wonderfully grilled, and the rolls have the perfect chewy texture. These days I prefer their provolone offering to cheese-wiz, but honestly authentic is not always best.
Drink: I meant to look while there, but I believe Billadelphia's still serves birch beer, yet another Pennsylvania favorite. If you haven't had it, it's a bit like root beer (though as you will read in the link provided, thems fightin' words). You can read more about birch beer here.
Location: The current location, and the most stable by far, is the little shack found on Davis (east side of the road). It's south of Mid Cities and north of 820. This used to be a Kountry Burger. Easiest thing to do is park, walk up, and order at the front. And then patiently sit on one of the benches while they prepare your food. But they do have a drive-through window as well.
Notes: Billadelphia's started in Bedford in a bright yellow and red shack, most likely an old hot dog stand, but it was a serious pain to get to (especially considering the construction zone of 183/121). At one point, Billadelphia's operated a restaurant outside the new Dallas Cowboys stadium, and filled it with Eagles gear and memorabilia (now that takes guts), as well as a gas station location off of Mid Cities in NRH. Predictably the Arlington location closed and they finally settled here on Davis.
Rating: 4.0. I would eat here more often if time allowed.
Hours: Mon-Thu 11:00a-7:00p; Fri-Sat 11:00a-8:00p