Skip to content

Try a Spiedie from Upstate NY

by Tom Hanchett

What’s a spiedie? If you’re from the Binghamton-Endicott-Vestal vicinity of Upstate New York, it’s likely the sandwich you most miss from back home.

“Cubes of meat marinated in cider vinegar, oil and herbs. We use Lupo’s, a marinade made in Endicott. Ship it down here by the pallet.” That’s Shawn Dobozin, a chef and recent transplant from Vestal to the Queen City. This summer he and his uncle Rick Thomas launched a Charlotte food truck called WhatzaSpiedie.

Choose chicken or pork, which arrives hot, herb-flecked and tangy with vinegar. Ask for it nestled into a soft hoagie roll or arrayed on a simple slice of Italian bread. The marinade marries with the bread, a comforting counterpoint to the meat. It’s great with a beer — though non-beer folks like me will enjoy it, too.

No one is sure but the name spiedie might come from the Italian word spiedino, for skewer. “An Italian guy in Endicott started selling them at the train station” back in the ‘thirties, says Thomas.

“Lots of people from Upstate New York live around Charlotte. They started coming down with IBM in the late 1970s,” Dobozin adds. Thomas knows that first-hand. IBM transferred his wife from the computer giant’s hub in Binghamton to the UNC Charlotte Research Park nearly forty years ago.

After careers in other fields, Dobozin and Thomas hatched the spiedie truck idea over beers on the patio one evening. You can often find WhatzaSpiedie at 26 Acres Brewing, a newly opened brewery tucked into the back of a NASCAR-themed business park near Concord Mills Mall. Or track it elsewhere via Facebook.

Charlotteans seem to like spiedies. “Some ask for toppings,” Dobozin says. “No toppings, that’s how the original spiedies were served.” Dobozin is willing to innovate, though. He’s worked up a spiedie in a tortilla wrapper instead of bread. He’s created spiedie-flavored rice as a side dish, an alternative to the traditional salt potatoes.

And on the condiment counter, next to the squeeze bottle of Lupo’s, you will find North Carolina’s favorite made-in-Winston-Salem hot sauce, Texas Pete.

WhatzaSpiedie truck
(980) 258 – 2031

Center City & nearby
Carolina apple cider
Indian street food
Greens from South Carolina
Upstate NY Italian sausage
Swiss-German bakery
Blackberry memories of Brooklyn
Puerto Rican kabobs
South Boulevard, South Tryon & southward
Mexico + Greece = holiday treats
Cuban box pig
Snack foods from India
SC meets Vietnam
Little corner of El Salvador
Arepas from Venezuela
Indian sweets for Diwali
Colombian soup
Korean at China Wing
Indian food in south Charlotte
Mexican take-out
Mexican Tamaleria
Fort Mill — real Chinese
Ready for Laotian food in Charlotte?
Psst! There’s a European Market hidden just south of Ballantyne
Independence Boulevard, Monroe Road & environs
Nigeria in east Charlotte
Korean BBQ
Brazilian bakery
Secret Greek grocery
Colombian BBQ & snacks
Detroit hot dogs
New York bagels
Halal Latino
Russian-Turkish Grocery
Iran Kabobs in Matthews
Ramen in Matthews
Russian picnic fare
Armenia in Matthews
Katayef – holiday dessert at Pita Kabab in Matthews
Crispy NJ pizza comes to east Charlotte
Central Av, Albemarle Road & vicinity
Family-style Ethiopian
Dominican street food
Jamaican black cake
Somali stew and sides
Schawarma from Jerusalem
Oriental buns
Greek pastries
Bosnian sausages
‘Tis the Season for Champurrado
Latino bakery feeds a region
Taste Monterrey, Mexico
Tamales in Plaza Midwood
One restaurant, three Latino traditions
Guatamala in east Charlotte
Mexican Seafood
You buy – We fry
Dominican Deli
French/Vietnamese pastry arrives in east Charlotte

North Tryon, UNCC area & northward
Asian Moon Cakes
Mexican carnitas
Beef on Weck from Buffalo
Dominican fruit shakes, pressed subs
Mexican ice cream
Louisiana Viet crawfish
Salvadoran comfort food
NYC pastries – Lake Norman
Vegetarian eats from south India
Indian Dosa Night
Middle East via Lynx
Bahn Mi Brothers
Ethiopian sandwiches
Turkish near UNCC
BBQ from Pakistan
Find a taste of Hyderabad at Nawabs Kebabs
The Patio at Our Lady of Guadalupe
NC fish camps
Fried baloney
Grits & cornmeal
El Tamarindo
Laos in Kings Mountain
Lawrence Caribbean
Multiple Places & Food Trucks
5 eateries for Black History Month
Charlotte’s International food scene
South’s Love Affair with Soft Drinks
5 Places to “Eat Northern”
Northern Favorites: Six More Eateries
Curry journey: Vietnam, Trinidad, India
Spiedies – Food Truck
5 best bites on Albemarle Road
Lao Sausages – Food Truck
Western Indian – Food Truck
Himalayan flavors – Food Truck
Shaved ice goes global in Charlotte