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Cheesesteak joint is all it's quacked up to be

Duckworth's Cheesesteakery Bar and Grill

1600 E. Woodlawn Road; 704-527-5783; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday. www.duckworthsgrillandbar.com.

In search of a good cheesesteak, I recently visited Duckworth's Cheesesteakery Bar and Grill, a small joint hidden in the Park Towne Village Shopping Center (near the corner of Park and Woodlawn roads). Founder Rob Duckworth has created a hearty menu filled with cheesesteaks, wings, salads, burgers and pizzas. It's quiet, family friendly and the outdoor patio (shared by some neighboring restaurants) is pleasant. There are 20 beers are tap and daily drink specials.

THE SCENE: Duckworth's won't win any interior design awards, but it's simple and it feels relaxing. To the right of the door is a small bar area, large enough for a few small groups. The rest of the restaurant is very long and narrow and dimly lit.

THE MENU: It's bigger than I imagined. While the restaurant may be known for its cheesesteaks (and it has more than 10 varieties), it also offers great wings and a large variety of pizzas. House favorites include the buffalo chicken Philly (chicken breast, grilled onions, buffalo wing sauce, Swiss and ranch dressing) and the Philly cheesesteak supreme (with green onions, green peppers, mushrooms and cheese).

THE CROWD: The crowd was unusually young when I visited. Young children were running up and down the restaurant, and some older teenagers were sitting a few booths away. A few older couples were enjoying dinner on the patio, which offers live music on the weekends.

WHAT THEY'RE KNOWN FOR: Cheesesteaks, of course, but also good pizza and a large beer selection. There are a few Xbox 360 video game consoles. There's also an ICEE machine with four flavors. The patio offers live music on the weekends.

THE CHECK: A regular size cheesesteak will run you $6.79 and most of the large pizzas are less than $15.

CASH OR CHECK: Cash, Visa and MasterCard.

VEGETARIAN ENTREES: A few menu items will work. Try the spring mix salad (mixed greens, feta cheese, dried cranberries and candied pecans served with balsamic vinaigrette) or the vegetarian hoagie (grilled onions, mushrooms, green peppers, banana peppers, black olives and cheese).

KID-FRIENDLY: Yes. There's a large kids menu (you can also order half of any sandwich on the menu), and kids will love the ICEE machine.

FOR HERE OR TO GO? Offers catering and delivery. The beer selection and the patio make dining-in a great option.

SMOKING, SMOKE-FREE? Smoking is allowed on the outside patio area.

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