For all those times you're in Koreatown and have a hankering for a cheesesteak sandwich as opposed to, say, a sizzling bowl of soon tofu: Whiz opened in the neighborhood last Saturday, Feb. 15, a small shop on the corner of 6th Street and Oxford Avenue, or right around the corner from craft beer bar Beer Belly.
This location is no coincidence, as the shop is brought to you none other than Beer Belly's owner Jimmy Han and executive chef Wes Lieberher. You could have guessed as much just by the artwork: MR44, who did the mural at Beer Belly, collaborated with artist Swanski to create a beautiful piece outside Whiz.
“We're trying to bring something new, different and creative to the neighborhood,” Han says. And a Philly cheesesteak joint certainly is all of the above, though when you consider that Han is from Koreatown – “born and raised” – and Lieberher is from South Philadelphia, exactly this sort of sandwich shop in the heart of Koreatown doesn't seem particularly out of place.
Whiz's cheesesteaks are served on a 9-inch Amoroso roll; currently, there are six on the menu, including the Whiz Wit, a Philly cheesesteak with grilled onions and housemade cheese whiz. This being a place from the folks who cook up especially comforting foods like duck fat fries and deep fried Oreos over at Beer Belly, you won't be surprised to find other less traditional cheesesteaks here, like one with bacon and American cheese.
And then there's a hot sandwich stuffed with “balls o' bacon” (meatballs made with applewood-smoked bacon and pork shoulder) and fries heaped with “Sriracha Island dressing.” You'll also find burgers, cold hoagies and three types of wings (buffalo, red curry, sweet and spicy basil). And if you really want to live out the Philly experience, throw in a bag of Herr's potato chips for good measure.
Whiz is primarily a takeout operation, but there are a few tables outside, in front of that nifty mural. And if you live or work within a one mile radius of the shop, you can have your cheesesteaks and wings delivered straight to your door. Meaning you now know who to call when you can't leave your couch while watching the final matches of the Olympic games, or the entire second season of House of Cards – whatever suits you.
Whiz is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.