Pagan moved to Marietta from New York City. He graduated from Harrison High School in 2001 and began working in his uncle’s restaurants. He opened Mr. Philly in January with his best friend, Michael Byrd. Pagan said, “It’s good American food. It’s hard to find a real good burger and cheesesteak.”
Mr. Philly’s cheesesteak, including the chicken philly, mimics the Philadelphia cheesesteak with one particular ingredient. Pagan said, “It’s just amazing what they do in Philadelphia. The cheesesteaks are made with Cheez Whiz. That’s a northern thing, a Philadelphia thing.”
He said Cheez Whiz makes the sandwich different: “It’s really good on a cheesesteak. Once most people try it, most people like it. It makes it really cheesy and really good. It’s kind of messy — the way it’s supposed to be.”
Pagan, who has always loved to cook, said Mr. Philly’s gourmet burgers are made Oklahoma-style and are also unique to the Atlanta area. “Oklahoma is known for their fried onion burgers,” he said. “We grill the onions into (the burgers) like Oklahoma does with the fried onion burger. It’s a lot different,” he said. They also make their own spicy “Whammy Sauce” for the burger.
Pagan said there are no shortcuts at Mr. Philly. The burgers are hand-pattied every morning. Top round meat such as that used in Philadelphia is never frozen and is cut fresh daily.
The vegetables, including the French fries, are also handcut daily. Sub sandwiches are made with homemade vinaigrette and premium meat.
“You can just taste it. It’s quality food,” Pagan said. “Good food is just what I like. (Mr. Philly) is just really good food at a decent price.”
Mr. Philly can be found in the Kroger shopping center at the intersection of Burnt Hickory Road. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
For more information, call (770) 575-0615 or search “Mr. Philly” on Facebook.