"How much longer till we get there? I'm hungry!"
It's a backseat refrain my kids have perfected - even on the relatively short trip to the Shore. It's a good thing that Mr. Bill's, the classic custard stand and deli grill with the three-story-high huckster statue out front (and sandwiches nearly as tall), is perched halfway to Atlantic City. This Winslow landmark has seen a half-dozen owners in its half-century, but found its latest groove under the previous steward, deli-master Russ Cowan, who passed it on to current owner Joe Radano two years ago. Radano has diligently maintained the Cowan formula of super-sized portions and old-school scratch cooking, from the huge hot reubens and football-sized eclairs to soft-serve made from real custard. But Radano has also given the menu his own twist with a foot-long cheesesteak made from griddled pastrami, onions and provolone that is inspired Italo-Jewish deli fusion. It's also a surefire peacemaker for the rest of the trip.