218 Brings the Smoke

218 IN Wilmington

This post appears courtesy of New Market Wilm, who features a new blog about Downtown Wilmington each and every Wednesday! View the original post here

The specials call to us from the sandwich board on the sidewalk. Smoked chicken cheesesteak? We’ll take one, please. What do we want on it? We defer to owner Darril Guilford for suggestions: “Mayonnaise, fried onions, salt, pepper, ketchup, that’s gonna do it for ‘ya. And the cheese.” All that on a fresh roll with crispy fries? It’s a fantastic quick lunch at Market’s newest restaurant – the 218 Grille at, yes, 218 Market. The fourth (!) restaurant to open on Market in the first half of 2018, the grill has found its own niche with great sandwiches and some killer wings (including Thai coconut curry, mesquite barbecue, and the best-selling jerk seasoning with plantains). Head on in for all that and a giant welcome from one very welcoming owner:

“I want to be known for the best wings in Wilmington, and that’s my thing. It was important for us to try to bring something different, and the difference for us is the smoke. All of our meats are smoked, and that creates the flavor down to the bone. I actually did some demographics to see what was around, and there’s no chicken anywhere around here. This is what we need.”

“A lot of people remember this place being Steve’s Deli. He and his wife had been here for 30 years. They had a successful business, and he and I got to sit down to talk. It was a little like passing the torch, so to speak. I love it here. It’s a very beautiful place, the area is really nice, and all the other people who own different businesses have been so welcoming and warm.”

“I was always a big cooker at home for my family. I would do all the major events. Not this year! I’ve been super busy, in here, working like crazy.”

“I first started cooking when I was probably about 13 years old. My grandfather was an avid fisher, so he would always teach me how to clean fish and get them ready, filet them. It’s always been important to me.  When I was younger, everyone kept saying, ‘Why didn’t you just go into culinary?’ I wanted to cook, but I didn’t want it to be my job, per se. So I went into corrections. But, you know, getting older, having grown children, now it’s time for me to do what I want to do. It just came the time. My wife said, listen, just go ahead and do it.”