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Fat Daddy's 

2443 Wylie Ave., Hill District
412-904-3186

 

Gaylord Williams remembers staring at the vacant storefront at 2443 Wylie Ave. and imagining how he could help fill the Hill District's culinary void.

Working construction in a building across the street, "I used to just look over here from the window," recalls Williams, 45, a lifelong Hill resident. "And I said, 'It's mine.'"

After months spent refurbishing the empty building, Williams opened Fat Daddy's in June. The sandwich shop, named after his great uncle, offers meat-packed sandwiches, gyros and wraps at inexpensive prices. 

"We don't make sandwiches, we build them," says Williams, also Fat Daddy's chef. "We put a lot of meat on our sandwiches."

Case in point: Fat Daddy's gyro. Costing just $4.99, the soft pita is loaded with thick slices of gyro meat and generously topped with lettuce, tomato and sauce. "That's the top seller," says Williams, noting that he learned a few gyro-making tips from "some old Greek gentlemen" in Mount Oliver. "The gyro is number one."

It's especially popular in the Hill, he adds, because "no one around here has a gyro."

Fat Daddy's menu also includes a gourmet burger, barbecued grilled-chicken sandwich and rib-eye steak wrap, all priced at less than $6. "People don't have a lot of money around here," says Williams. 

Most customers live in the Hill, he says, but workers employed at nearby construction sites also frequent the sandwich shop. "We have a lot of repeat customers," Williams says. "That's what's driving us in this early stage."

While most customers order sandwiches to go, Fat Daddy's offers an eat-in counter. And if you're interested in a bargain dessert, Fat Daddy's also sells Hershey's hard ice cream ($1.50 for regular cones; $2 for a cup; $2.50 for a large waffle cone). "The ice cream attracts the kids," Williams says. 

Williams' wife, Beverly, who works the register, says she's been surprised how successful the restaurant has become in just a few months. "I didn't think it was going to turn out as well as it has," says Beverly, 46, a former receptionist at Mercy Hospital's emergency room. "[People] are just happy about having a place that serves nothing but good sandwiches."

And as her husband says, "Good food and friendly service can go a long way."

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