Selecting a dining option may be difficult between all of the smells wafting through Union Market, but the Philly Wing Fry station is a must-try.
The fast food stand doles out greasy cheesesteaks and fried side dishes like waffle fries ($5) and vegetables. While the vendor does not have it’s own seating area, the market’s energetic noise and outdoor common seating creates a relaxing venue to enjoy any summer meal.
Philly Wing Fry boasts a simple selection of dishes, including three different sides and three cheesesteaks options – either seven or ten inches in size. The vendor’s signature option is the Philly Wing Fry Box ($20), which – as its name suggests – includes a cheesesteak, four tamarind-glazed wings, waffles fries and a fountain drink.
For diners who want more options throughout the day, the counter announced last week that it will open early on the weekends for breakfast to serve egg and cheese sandwiches filled with ingredients like steak ($12) and bacon ($9) on its classic Amoroso’s bakery rolls. Breakfast sides include tater tots ($4) and tater tots loaded with eggs and cheese ($9).
As a vegetarian for the last several years, I have discovered an increasing number of options to try at diners where meat is the basis of each dish. But I have struggled to find substantial vegetarian sandwiches because they are typically on the healthier side and packed with hummus or vegetables instead of melted cheese and grease.
The seven-inch spicy mushroom sandwich ($10) was an exception to my bland vegetarian fare.
Pickled fresno chili peppers, smoky provolone cheese and spicy mushroom sauce topped the cheesesteak’s hearty serving of mushrooms, giving the filling an overall tang that wasn’t too spicy or overwhelming. Herbed lebneh, a lemony spread similar to the sauce used in Greek wraps, cooled the dish’s heat.
The inside of the sandwich was flavorful but the bread put the dish over the top. The buttery, sweet bread reminded me of a Hawaiian roll or a sweet brioche and covered my hands in grease.
I did expect more texture in my cheesesteak, and the mushrooms and sauce lacked a crunch to offset the overwhelming creaminess. Although I did not order a side dish with my sandwich, the crispy brussel sprouts ($5) would have provided me the crunchiness I was craving.
To wash down all of the spice in the sandwich, a good drink is essential to cool off, especially if you opt for the outdoor seating in the hot D.C. summer.
Luckily, there are several vendors to choose from in Union Market including Peregrine Espresso for an iced coffee or Suburbia for an iced cocktail if you decide to pass on Philly Wing Fry’s soda fountain. Before I opted not to shell out another $11 and settle for water, I eyed one of Suburbia’s coconut and rum frozen cocktails.
For an intensely flavorful, fast-food experience, Philly Wing Fry will deliver on greasy comfort food you can take home or enjoy with the backdrop of Union Market.