Walter Mencken 6:15 p.m., Feb. 28
Twist Sandwiches and More replaces Philly Grill
North Park sandwich and munchie shop offers something a little different.
It pains me to have invested so many bites and miles into Tour de Cheesesteak, only to have the place that began it go out of business! Philly Grill is no more. 86’d, as they say. In its place, Twist Sandwiches & More (2041 University Avenue, 619-260-1813). The typography on the shop’s makes the S look like a Z, but Google, Facebook, and other sources confirm the use of S.
Since Philly Grill wasn’t the king of the cheesesteaks, letting it go isn’t all that hard. Especially since Twist is kind of awesome.
Saad, the owner, is a Moroccan guy and he told me that he was “trying to be different with it” when he started the restaurant (his first!). Super nice guy, for starters, and he surely hit a niche. His food acknowledges the spicy flavors of the Maghreb and the Moroccan tagine, incorporates some border town taco shop style, and lays all that out over a base of delicious American football food; i.e. wings, burgers, fries, and sandwiches.
The Moroccan fries ($7.99) are good enough to earn praise on their own for the entire restaurant. Like a better version of carne asada fries. the dish uses tender, spicy Moroccan beef to smother crispy french fries. Feta cheese, chipotle yogurt sauce, and a peculiar pickle-heavy version of pico de gallo turn the dish spectacular. Imaging all the piquant, herbal, spiciness of the best kufta wrap from Mama’s Bakery…and then put that on top of some excellent fries that are coated in a thin, crispy batter and shaken in a sweet/spicy/salty mixture of seasonings.
The result is off the chain.
Menu doesn’t stop there, either. Various treatments for chicken wings deserve exploration, particularly the “twist wings” that use only herbs and spices, not a sticky sauce. Burgers come on brioche buns (apparently the same ones used at Slater’s 50/50) and the sandwiches come on torta rolls. Both include fries in the ~$8 pricings!
To hear Saad tell it, the menu is still evolving, but as long as those Moroccan fries stick around, Twist will be A-OK in my book.
More like this:
- Cheesesteak isn't the only food from Philly — April 17, 2014
- High concept sandwich shop aims for the sweet spot — Dec. 21, 2013
- Ten great dishes (and the places that served them) — Sept. 4, 2013
- Tour de cheesesteaks — Nov. 27, 2012
- Back to Basics: Canada Steak Burger — Jan. 16, 2012