The Philly Cheesesteak Is Ripe for Innovation, and Kwame Onwuachi Is the Man for the Job
Kwame Onwuachi is the latest chef to throw his metaphorical chef's hat into the fast-casual ring, but his new concept is anything but expected. On October 18, the Top Chef alum will open Philly Wing Fry, an eclectic cheesesteak restaurant, inside the Whole Foods Market South Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. For those who follow Onwuachi's every move, you'll remember that Philly Wing Fry made its official debut at short-lived pop-up in Union Market two years ago, but now the Kith and Kin chef is making it brick-and-mortar official.
Combining his love for three of the all-time greatest foods—Philly cheesesteaks, chicken wings, and waffle fries—the chef is reimagining the classics with his signature attention to ingredients and unexpected flavor profiles. Let's talk cheesesteaks, first, as they're one of the more polarizing foods of the bunch. Fret not, Onwuachi will be giving them the love they deserve; the steak will be local ribeye, dry-aged for at least 50 days and served on a banh mi bun from Lyon bakery that is, get this, toasted in dry aged beef fat.
"These are items that I can eat everyday,” Onwuachi told the Washingtonion. (To which we offer a hearty "same.")
And we already know that Onwuachi knows his way around a waffle fry. The D.C. chef's waffle fries are one of the most popular items at Kith and Kin. The secret? He tosses them in berbere salt, and we have the recipe here.
If you're a Whiz loyalist, you may have to get your cheesesteak fix elsewhere; Onwuachi will use smoked provolone on his sandwiches (which is just fine with me, a Philadelphian who is extremely protective of cheesesteaks.) Toppings also include caramelized onions, house sauce, and pickled pearl onion petals.
Onwuachi opened Kith and Kin in 2017 to wide critical acclaim. His debut D.C. restaurant, The Shaw Bijou, closed that same year after a short-lived run. Philly Wing Fry is the chef's first fast-casual concept.
Philly Wing Fry, Whole Foods South Capitol. 101 H St., SE. Open during market hours, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.