Hangriest Hour: Philly West

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Why you’re here: Authentic cheesesteaks and East Coast-style thin-crust pizza are the primary reasons. You may also remember that Indy readers named Philly West Best New Restaurant in 2012 or know that the West Broadway eatery recently marked its two-year anniversary.

Why that guy in the Eagles shirt is here: He wants to talk about Charlie Manuel’s recent firing and/or offer his two cents on the football team’s quarterback controversy. The Philly West crew is the real deal and, in addition to serving up a true taste of South Street, will happily talk Phillies, Eagles, Flyers, Sixers, Soul, Union, Phantoms or Will Smith. (Actually, maybe not Will Smith.)

How you’re ordering your cheesesteak: Contrary to popular belief, there is no right or wrong way to order a cheesesteak. “That’s a common misperception,” says co-owner Dave Jones. “It’s not like there’s a provolone versus Whiz battle raging in Philly.”

Even so, you want to be prepared. Philly West serves shaved rib-eye on a fresh Le Petit hoagie roll with your choice of cheese and toppings (starting at $7.75). Jones goes with grilled onions and provolone. Co-founder Mike Fitzgerald prefers green bell peppers and American. Both of them recommend a side of Disco Fries, which are slathered in gravy and cheese, and baked ($5.50).

The Florentine Stromboli
  • The Florentine Stromboli
What you’re ordering when you’re not ordering a cheesesteak: Don’t sleep on the menu’s other standouts. We recommend the Florentine Stromboli ($10), a turnover-style dish with sliced chicken breast sautéed in white wine with onions, garlic, spinach and mushrooms, and stuffed with provolone and mozzarella. The key is Philly West’s handmade dough.

What you’re looking at while eating: Philly West could charge admission for what may be Missoula’s most entertaining restaurant décor. The walls are packed with sports and pop culture relics, like a life-size Phillie Phanatic (and Darren Daulton) tape-measure poster and signage from the old Veterans Stadium. The Missoula-Philly connection is celebrated with each city’s skyline stenciled on opposing walls and an autographed photo of former Griz and current Eagle Colt Anderson near the cash register.

Where you’ll find it: Philly West is located at 134 West Broadway. Keep an eye out for a two-year anniversary event in the coming weeks.

Hangriest Hour serves up fresh details on western Montana eats. To recommend a restaurant, dish or chef for Hangriest Hour, email editor@missoulanews.com.

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