Any college student can tell you, they are probably stereotypically “starving”. I mean of course they are, they live off of mediocre dining hall food and are sick of eating chicken nuggets monday-friday, and pizza on the weekends. As a graduate of The University of Rhode Island (Go Rams), I can tell you that I heavily sought out the tastiest food in the area, and that is where I would spend the little funds I had. After being out of college for quite a few years, I returned to my old stomping grounds to try out a new gem: Tilly’s Cheesesteaks. Eating there made me think of just how often “college me” would frequent. Likely often enough that I would have had inside jokes with every person on staff. All I can say is that current URI students have been blessed by the cheese gods, and I hope they are damn grateful!
The glorious sandwich that is “The Philly Cheesesteak” is often imitated but sadly, very difficult to duplicate. Well Rhode Island, no need to saddle up for the 273 mile road trip to Philly for an authentic experience, because we’ve got the real deal right in South County. It’s been years since I last had a real cheesesteak in Philadelphia, and nothing really can compare. But when I took my first bite into Tilly’s, the bells a-rang.
First of all, when the chef brought out this sandwich, I was momentarily confused, because I thought I had ordered a cheesesteak and what this man put in front of me was a boat. A boat made out of bread, filled with shaved steak, onions, and cheese whiz. What I am getting at, is this thing was magnanimous. Good thing I had company to tackle this this big boy, because it was hefty.
The sesame crusted torpedo roll was just absolutely smothered with shaved meat, caramelized onions, and that classic cheesy cheesy cheese whiz. I have never fully understood cheese whiz, but it is one of those things where you don’t ask questions you just accept it and enjoy its mysterious decedency. I cut it in half and the cheese runneth over. It was beautiful.
The sandwich was served with crispy jalopeno dusted tortilla chips and a side of pickled veggies (they were spicy AF just the way they should be). With the sandwich oozing cheesy meat, I naturally used the chips as a spoon and boy, that was a good choice. I am starting to think that is the sole purpose of the chips…. I am on to you!
When I placed my order, I jumped the gun and ordered two desserts. Had I known that the first course would be the size of my purse, I may have only gone with one. EH, who am I kidding, I live and die for sugar, which was to my pleasure when I noticed their killer sweet selection. We went with the hand pie of the day and the monthly special cabinet.
The hand pie was luxurious, sweet Philly cream cheese frosting holding together two carrot cake halves. It was like a whoopie pie went on the TODAY show’s makeover segment as a drab stay at home mom and came out a sexy cougar ready to hit the town. OH BABY this thing was heavenly!
And the cabinet! For those of you who aren’t from Rhode Island, no I am not referring to the wooden boxes in your kitchen where you stock pile fruit loops and ground coffee. In little Rhody, a cabinet is a thick and creamy milkshake. And Tilly’s secret ingredient to make their cabinets so tasty? Charity. A portion of their monthly special cabinet go to a selected charity. A spoonful of helping others takes this shake to new heights. You can taste it, I swear. The special we had was the Zebra shake”, crushed oreos and RI vanilla icecream layered to look like everyone’s favorite black and white pony. The zebra is the mascot of Elhers Danlos Syndrome, while is a disorder that weakens connective tissues in the body. A portion of the proceeds from the zebra shake went to the Rhode Island Elhers Danlos Syndrome group. What better way to help others than to drink a milkshake? Tastes good and feels better.
Tilly’s does food decadently. They do food that make you look your “diet” square and the eye and proudly tell it to get lost. And to top it off, they make the food look so good your “diet” will feel like a rejected ex who just got replaced with a supermodel (the supermodel is the cheesesteak, and it just stepped off the runway wearing a couture gown of melted cheese). So if you’re in the market for a huge and delicious meal, you already know.