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My Guy virtual bodega in Fresno offers New York-style sandwiches

Eddie Wutangsy exudes a sort of energetic chaos; if he gets caught on social media dancing at ringside during an AWE match (as happened at the Save Mart Center last week) or wave to customers on the street outside Hot Spot Kitchen, where he runs his My Guy Market.

“Usually we should have some music playing,” he says from behind the Belmont Avenue ghost/commissioner kitchen grill, which he shares with three other food vendors.

It’s 11 a.m. and orders are already piling up through the restaurant’s online app, which Wutangsy checks from her phone between working on the grill and fulfilling orders to waiting customers.

He combines diced onions, ground beef and slices of American cheese, which he slams on toasted French bread with ketchup and mayonnaise. It’s the specialty of the market, a sandwich version of a hamburger known as “chopped cheese”.

“Where (expletive) are you going to buy chopped cheese outside of New York?” said Wutangsy, with more than a hint of pride.

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Eddie Wutangsy’s classic NY ground cheese sandwich, made with seasoned Andalusian ground beef, two slices of American cheese, shredded lettuce, tomatoes and fresh onions topped with ketchup and mayonnaise, available at his My Guy Market on Belmont Avenue, just north of downtown. Photographed Friday January 20, 2023 in Fresno. ERIC PAUL ZAMORA [email protected]

Those who know the man know that he is a self-proclaimed “New York chef”. He loves music, of course – his chosen last name is a reference to New York rap legend Wu-Tang Clan – but also art, culture and food.

It was a trip to New York that gave Wutangsy the idea to quit working for other restaurants (at one point he held cooking positions at KuniSama, Benaddiction and Chef Paul’s Cafe) and go out alone.

The way he tells it, he walked 20 miles from Manhattan to Brooklyn, through neighborhoods made famous by rappers like ODB (Old Dirty Bastard) and Mos Def.

He had 20 different sandwiches, from 20 different bodegas; New York’s version of the convenience store.

My Guy Market is a kind of “virtual bodega”.

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Eddie Wutangsy, flaunting a tattoo of his motto for life, has opened My Guy Market, a ghost kitchen along Belmont Avenue just north of downtown that bills itself as an online bodega for customers, offering New York-inspired dishes and more. Photographed Friday January 20, 2023 in Fresno. ERIC PAUL ZAMORA [email protected]

The menu only includes four items.

There’s NY chopped cheese; a bacon and cherry pepper version called Chop Smoke; the Hippy Flip, with shitaki and enoki mushrooms that can be made with vegan cheese; and an egg with bacon and cheese, which is a bodega staple.

It’s not the only food staple you can get from My Guy Market. You can get a single roll of toilet paper, a pack of Magnum condoms, or a Bic lighter and rolling papers. It also offers a variety of snacks and drinks imported from Korea and Japan.

There are pizza-flavored chips that have been popular lately, says Wutangsy.

My Guy Market is only open for take-out orders – 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday – though times may change depending on the crowd. After nearly a year in business, Wutangsy has finally hired an employee to help out in the kitchen, but things can still go wrong.

At one point last week, he had to pause incoming orders to catch up.

Of course, Wutangsy also talks about his hometown, and there’s no shortage of community connections at My Guy Market. Fresno tech upstart Ordrslip designed the mobile app. He gets meat from Renna’s Meat Market and bread from Max’s Bakery. Most imported snacks and sodas come from Central Fish Company.

Last week, the market began selling lime glazed donuts, a collaboration with Lucky’s Donut House.

“We all take care of each other,” says Wutangsy.

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Eddie Wutangsy, center, delivers food to customers waiting outside his My Guy Market, a ghost kitchen along Belmont Avenue just north of downtown that bills itself as an online bodega for customers, offering New York-inspired dishes and more. Photographed Friday January 20, 2023 in Fresno. ERIC PAUL ZAMORA [email protected]

And he watches over his customers.

Recently, he got into the habit of hiding linked stacks of money ($100 in one dollar bills) in carry-out bags. Sometimes he distributes the money directly, just to see the reaction. Of course, it’s a reduction in his results, but it makes him smile, he says.

“It’s fun chaos.”

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The bacon, egg and cheese sandwich breakfast consisting of bacon, two fresh fried eggs and American cheese on a Kaiser bun is one of the items Eddie Wutangsy offers at his My Guy Market, a kitchen ghost along Belmont Avenue, just north of downtown. as an app-driven, online bodega for customers offering New York-inspired dishes and more. Photographed Friday January 20, 2023 in Fresno. ERIC PAUL ZAMORA [email protected]

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Grill-featured Eddie Wutangsy has opened My Guy Market, a ghost kitchen along Belmont Avenue just north of downtown that bills itself as an online bodega for customers, offering New York-inspired dishes and Moreover. Photographed Friday January 20, 2023 in Fresno. ERIC PAUL ZAMORA [email protected]
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Eddie Wutangsy has opened My Guy Market, a ghost kitchen along Belmont Avenue just north of downtown that bills itself as an online bodega for customers, offering New York-inspired dishes and more. Photographed Friday January 20, 2023 in Fresno. ERIC PAUL ZAMORA [email protected]

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Eddie Wutangsy’s My Guy Market, an app-driven online bodega for customers featuring New York-inspired dishes and more, is located on Belmont Avenue at Roosevelt Avenue. Photographed Friday January 20, 2023 in Fresno. ERIC PAUL ZAMORA [email protected]

This story was originally published January 24, 2023 10:38 a.m.

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Joshua Tehee covers breaking news for The Fresno Bee, writing on a wide range of topics from police, politics and weather to arts and entertainment in the Central Valley.