If you ever talk to someone from Philly about Pat’s or Geno’s, it’s always the same thing: That’s a bunch of tourist bullsh*t, and the real best cheesesteak in Philly is at some random gas station off the freeway. Duh (Seth once took me there; it was pretty great). But, man: Ask about Wawa vs. Sheetz, and the way that these places are described, it’s half an hour into the conversation before you realize they’re talking about goddamn truck stops.
A few years ago, when Castleton and I had to drive from Austin to New England during the Snowpocalypse, we stopped at a Wawa somewhere in Pennsylvania, and I’m sorry, Philly people, but I couldn’t get over the fact that this is a WaWa? It’s a truck stop! It was like a smaller version of those Love’s truck stops in the South. Granted, the coffee was better than most truck stops, and I think we got a sandwich or something that was marginally better than what one might find in the airport.
I would not call it a “mythical place,” but I guess if you’re Kate Winslet and you’re used to shopping at corner shops or bodegas, and you’ve never been in a convenience store where more than 3 people can walk down the same aisle, then I guess it is “mythical.” That’s how Winslet described it on the Los Angeles Times podcast, The Envelope, via HuffPo:
“It almost felt like a mythical place … Wawa. By the time I got there, I was like, ‘It’s real!’ Walking into a Wawa ultimately felt like, it was kind of an honor, in a funny way, because to me that was the heart of DelCo. So to finally walk through the door of a Wawa; I don’t know why I felt like, ‘Oh, yes, I’m here, I belong. This is where it’s at. Wawa.’”
Winslet saying she “belongs” after visiting a WaWa is a bit like Winslet passing for anything less than stunning because she wears a big coat and less make-up in Mare of Easttown. Winslet, however, stuck mostly to the coffee. Evan Peters, on the other hand? He went full Philly:
“He would say, ‘Ugh, you gotta try the Gobbler,” Winslet said of Peters. “And it was this gigantic sub, basically — or hoagie, this huge hoagie. It’s basically a Thanksgiving meal in a hoagie. He was like, ‘Oh, yeah, I just eat that thing and I pass out.’ And I’d be like, ‘I’m not surprised! I’m not surprised, Evan!’”
How is it possible for anyone to eat something called a Gobbler without thinking about Gigli?
Anyway, enjoy the fact that Kate Winslet has ever-so-briefly classed up the joint in Philly. Don’t expect it to last.
Header Image Source: HBO