Dad tracks baby's growth wit cheesesteaks; bon appetit staffer eats 16 Philly steaks in 12 hours

For the first year of his life, Brad Williams documented the growth of his son, Lucas, by measuring him against cheesesteaks.

Computer programmer Brad Williams has an innovative new system for measuring the growth of a human child: cheesesteaks.

In a blog post this week detailing his breakthrough work, Williams, 37, of Glenside, released his photographic findings of the system he calls “Cheesesteak for Scale,” which he bravely tested out on his son, Lucas Royce, during the child’s first year of life in 2015.

It all began, Williams said, when he brought home a cheesesteak for dinner one night and noticed his 2-week-old son was “very similar in size” to the sandwich.

Camera icon Brad Williams
Newborn Lucas Williams next to his first cheesesteak.

“I took a picture showing the Cheesesteak for Scale and my friends and family absolutely loved it!” Williams said. “The tradition was born!”

Camera icon Brad Williams
Lucas Williams, 4 months, with his measuring cheesesteak.

His wife supported the idea. So every month that year, they bought a cheesesteak and measured it against their growing boy. Their friends and family relished the Cheesesteak for Scale photos and even took it a step further.

“In fact, my friend posted a 554 months Cheesesteak for Scale,” Williams said. “It’s not just for babies!”

But Williams’ innovative system is not without flaws. Instead of using a standard cheesesteak to measure Lucas, Williams picked up his steaks from a mix of shops, including his favorite, Dalessandro’s.

Still, all cheesesteaks and babies have certain things in common.

“Wrapped up they are warm and cuddly, but once you unwrap them, expect a huge mess,” Williams said. “Either way, both are worth it!”

Camera icon Brad Williams
Brad Williams compares his son, Lucas, to a cheesesteak.

Unfortunately, now that he is actually able to consume cheesesteaks, Williams’ son won’t even get near one.

“I think one day he’ll come back to loving cheesesteaks, but for now he’s having none of it,” Williams said.

Meanwhile, a staffer with a culinary magazine and website so fancy it has an outrageous French accent in the title consumed 16 Philly cheesesteaks in 12 hours. In a 15-minute video, Alex Delaney, web editor for bon appétit, eats, judges and bestows wacky nicknames like “Bed, Bath and Beyond Steak” on the sandwiches.

Delaney begins his hunt for the world’s quickest-onset heart attack at 9:30 a.m. at Pat’s and Geno’s, even though he claims to be a native Philadelphian.

He is joined at different points on his journey by his dad, Jack, a Philly defense attorney, and by his childhood buddy John Dominy, who has the best line of the whole video with: “As a Philly native, I can’t tell you the last time I had one sober.”

Delaney does pick a favorite at the end — we can only imagine the responses in his email inbox — but even if you don’t care about his choice, we suggest you stick around for the video’s outrageous intro and outro music.