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Willy's – Halifax, NS

June 13th, 2009 · No Comments

Willy's - Halifax, NS Willy's - Halifax, NS Willy's - Halifax, NS Willy's - Halifax, NS Willy's - Halifax, NS Willy's - Halifax, NS

“Pizza Corner” at the corner of Blowers and Grafton Streets in Halifax is where you’ll probably (and probably should) end your night to get in the whole Halifax experience. For years and years, this was the place to go to get a slice of pizza or Halifax’s more fabled (and tasty) donair. But in the last number of years, a bit more variety has been opening up and there’s a new kid on the block called Willy.

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Halifax is the kind of place you can go and just chat with anyone on the street. And so – while waiting in line for a late-night bite, I started talking to the guy in line next to me. It turns out he’s a chef at one of the local restaurants, and a super nice guy at that. We start talking about food, I mention I have a food blog, and he strongly suggests that I go for the whole tour. And by whole tour, he means a) the poutine, b) the Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich and c) the burger. An hour later, most of the food was gone, and we had had a great chat about our shared passion for food, and I got to find out some firsthand insight about life in the kitchen, and get an inspiring glimpse into the thoughts of a young chef who is crazy about what he does for a living.

I have no idea why (or how) I managed to eat this much food, but he insisted that they were all good, and all worth trying. And he was right.

The Philly cheesesteak (have the cheez whiz, not the provolone) was awesome. Nice and salty, with shreds of tasty beef in a soft bun and the cheez whiz gave it that special something that all truly great sandwiches have. This could easily replace the donair as a late-night food for me – and one without all the repercussions for the next day that the donair has. The beef was perfectly flavoured, the sandwich wasn’t too big to finish, the bun didn’t fall apart, and this was one sandwich that just “worked”. The poutine had great chips, tasty gravy and tasty cheese curds, and somehow managed not to be too greasy. Any Montrealer would be happy with this poutine. The burger? It had a thick, tasty patty, a huge pickle, and could stand on its own as a burger that any place (especially a late-night place) could be proud of.

Am I recommending that you get all three? Sure, if you’re that hungry. But if I had to choose one, it would be the Philly Cheesesteak. No, I haven’t been to Philadelphia before. And no, I realize that anything other than the real deal is not going to be as good. But for what this was – a sliced beef sandwich in a soft white bun with cheese, it sure as heck hit the spot.

All that being said, if you’re in line and start talking to the gent (or gal) next to you (they will, it’s Halifax), and if they tell you to have all three, then just take their advice, have it all, and you’ll have made the right choice.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on your passion for food, Ben – it was a pleasure to have met you – and best of luck in the kitchen. And for some words of wisdom – that famous chef who wrote in that famous cookbook for me, “Finesse is everything” – it certainly is at his restaurants. Don’t ever lose that passion for what you do.

Willy’s
5239 Blowers Street
Halifax, NS, B3A 4T6


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Tags: Cheap Eats · Fast Food · Halifax · Late Night · Western Food

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