Every time we visit Wilmington, NC, we ALWAYS stop to eat at J. Michael’s Philly Deli. They serve the BEST Authentic Philadelphia Cheese Steaks in the South. On the way there, our mouths salivate and our stomaches growl with anticipation for the soft hearth baked hoagie roll, topped with thinly sliced steak, and messy, piping hot, melted, gooey, cheese heaven.
J. Michael’s Philly Deli has three locations; one at Porters Neck, one at Monkey Junction, and one at the original location in the Hanover Center, the oldest shopping center in Wilmington. Our favorite location is the original.
The Philly Deli prides itself in making cheese steak fans happy for over 33 years.
It isn’t the prettiest of restaurants. To be quite honest, it is a true Diner and Dive. I can’t be sure, but most of the decor looks original. Not much changes and updating over the last 33 years… But that just makes this place timeless and more fun.
Just sit down and order a Root Beer Float. They will serve it to you in a frozen glass mug the “Old Fashioned Way” and order a couple of those fried appetizers. I suggest the fried pickles or fried mushrooms. They are my personal favorites and they are worth every calorie.
Now the hard part; deciding how you want you cheese steak. I like mine with mushrooms and sweet peppers added. My husband likes his with mushrooms. My daughter likes hers with banana peppers.
My son likes his with lettuce, tomato, and banana peppers. My mother likes hers with mushrooms and banana peppers. They have a dozen different ways to order your cheese steak to include adding an egg, pizza sauce, or ham… We stick with tradition. I have ordered the Chicken Philly Cheese Steak and it is also pretty darn good. I am certain the rest of their menu is excellent, but we never make it past the cheese steaks. Their menu includes Grinders, Pastrami and Cheese, Chili, Italian Sausage, Meatball Subs, Reubens… and much, much more. If you are daring, they offer a John’s Island Dog which is topped with Peanut Butter, mayo, and onions. I, myself have not been that daring, but I am curious to find out if it really is good.
We leave with bellies so full we hate ourselves. And we highly recommend you going there and eating so much that you hate yourself too. Tell them A Fork’s Tale Sent you. You will love it. And when you do, I told you so!
J. Michael’s Philly Deli 3501 Oleander Dr Wilmington, NC