It's summer time and what better way to celebrate than with some delicious cheesesteaks, sno-balls and mini golf?! And if you've got some young kids, have I got a place for you. Tucked away at the Swift Creek Shopping Center at the Raleigh-Cary line off of Tryon Road are family favorites, Anvil's Cheesesteaks and Pelican's Sno-balls! Guilty pleasures, who can resist the meatiness and cheesiness of a cheesesteak? Or the super-sweet, fruity texture of a Snoball, not me! So let's take a quick tour of this little corner of Raleigh and Cary, and yeah, bring the kids along.
Anvil's Cheesesteaks has been a long-time favorite for me but a recent change in jobs has brought me to the area so now, they're part of my regular lunch rotation. Anvil's is a bit hidden in the back of the Swift Creek Shopping Center by Barry's Cafe but trust me, it's worth the effort. Step inside and you'll likely be greeted by a family member running the place. The place is basic and small with only about eight tables inside, 3 or 4 outside. The menu is focused on mostly beef cheesesteak options along with one pork, one chicken and one portobello/veggie option. My faves include the pizza cheesesteak and roasted pork sandwich. After you pay at the counter fill up your drink, maybe grab some Utz chips on the rack and hang loose! It'll take five or ten minutes but with all the clanking on the grill, you know Anvil is working hard on your sammich.
And what a sandwich it is, beef and pork deliciousness. Think of well grilled steak with a rich, melted provolone along with some well sauteed onions and/or peppers. All on a fluffy Neomonde roll. Throw in some marinara sauce for the pizza cheesesteak and you've got yourself a meal! The roasted pork is a sandwich stuffed with thinly sliced loin, a layer of aged provolone, spinach and peppers. Much lighter than your typical cheesesteak but still rich. They've got a couple of other sides here but who cares? Their sandwiches are that good and just the right size for a solid meal. Add the 80's music, Philly paraphernalia on the walls and you might be back in the Northeast, woohoo! Some TastyKakes would just totally complete the deal here.
So after you're done with that delicious cheesesteak, how about some chilly sweets to take the summer edge off? Fifty yards away from Anvil's is the refreshing Pelican's SnoBalls. A small chain specializing in New Orleans style SnoBalls, think of a fluffy cup of ice that melts in ten minutes so you better eat it quick! Add the hundred or so flavors ranging from margarita to fuzzy navel and more, you'll start to understand that these sno-cones are not just for kids. The top is saturated with delicious syrup, the middle is ok and then the flavor filters back in at the bottom. Toss in the miniature golf course next door and you have a very happy ending to your meal.
So sometimes life can be simple and delicious! You don't need a frou-frou restaurant, just some down-to-earth eats that take you back to your high school days. Take one delicious steak sandwich, add a sweet cold treat and then go knock a little white ball around some astro-turf and windmills. You really can't go wrong with an Anvil's cheesesteak, fruity and sweet SnoBall and a little mini-Arnold Palmer athletics. And in the summer time, that's the perfect formula for some family fun, bon appetit!
2893 Jones Franklin Road
Raleigh, NC 27606
Anvil's Cheesesteaks - Reviewer: Ron Wen - Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars