Whitley's Philly Grille in Charming Downtown Waxahachie (First Time "Philly" and "Charming" Ever Used in Same Sentence)

Remember how we keep talking about getting the kids out of town more often? How they need to see open fields, get some fresh air and experience the snail's pace of small-town life? And how that's good for about three hours at which point it gets boring and then it's time to head back to the big city. Oh, and if we leave now we can make the 7 o'clock movie and still have time to hit Starbucks beforehand.

I've been to Waxahachie a few times recently, and I love the beautiful Victorian and Gingerbread houses with huge porches along Main Street. And the old downtown square has various shops and restaurants and an old-school barbershop should you need a proper trim. On Saturdays there's a farmers market from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This past weekend we stopped at Whitley's Philly Grille, mostly because I just think it's funny that there's a Philly cheese steak place in old downtown Waxahachie. Plus, they had a sign out front that they had new flavors of fried pies.

Owners Jamie and Terah Whitley bought the place a couple of years ago. It wasn't doing so great at the time, but Jamie has worked at turning it around and seems to be doing well at it. He told me that May was their best month ever.

Inside Whitely's Philly Grille the rustic charm of the turn-of-the-century building is left unfettered and exposed. The air-conditioning works extremely well and the place is spotless.

The menu starts with a basic Philly cheese steak made with thin slivers of rib eye, then builds upward. The Bacon Philly has hickory-smoked bacon, grilled onions and white American cheese ($5.49). The Ultimate Philly (in photo) has bacon, finely diced onions, green bell peppers, cheese and mayo ($6.49). The Smokin' Texas Philly has grilled onion, jalapeño, cheese and a chipotle cream sauce ($5.89).

Whitely tells me his hoagie rolls are from Amoroso in Philly. While eating my Ultimate, the bread stood out. It bear-hugged the juicy meat, veggies and cheese, never failing; yet wasn't too doughy.

The little fried pies are made from scratch by a local family. They have pecan, peach, chocolate, apple and apricot, and there's absolutely nothing bad to say about the pecan and apple, for sure.

Another place in town (the old part) that looked interesting was Oma's Jiffy Burger at 403 Water St. It's been around for more than 30 years and, I didn't try it, but the reviews focus on the great atmosphere and "decent" to "great" burgers. It sits next to an old fire station and oozes small town dive-charm.

Road trip? I love road trips. Waxahachie is having a big brouhaha with a parade and such on the Fourth of July if you're looking to get out of town for a bit.

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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.