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Monday, May 25, 2009

Lunch Report: Tony Luke's in Philadelphia

My daughter lives less than an hour from the city of Philadelphia so it was a natural that we would take a drive in for something good to eat. Though she had not been there before, several friends suggested a place called Tony Luke's for the best cheese steak.

I checked out the Google to do a pre-inspection of the menu so I would feel like it was being rushed once there. Additionally, I found a few reviews of the place that helped things out.As expected, parking was pretty interesting. TL is located right next to a highway overpass, so they have some parking under that bridge. We parked there, but some people felt more comfortable parking their cars in the middle of the street. I guess.This place is more like a walk-up stand instead of a restaurant. You walk up and join the crowd milling about waiting their turn to order, or waiting to have their name called to pick up the order. The menu is posted across the front leading up to the single window where you give your order. The line wasn't that long at all, and total wait time from the time we got there, ordered and got our sandwiches was maybe 20 minutes. And luckily, we timed it to where we were able to get a table to sit at.
I was the only one in our group to go for one of the specialty sandwiches. I ordered the Uncle Mike which is described as sharp Provolone, sweet, hot peppers, red gravy, fried onions, spinach, and broccoli rabe. I don't even know what rabe is, but it was great on the sandwich. The bread was soft and delicious. And as you can imagine, it was messy. I didn't need just a bib; I could have used a raincoat. I ended up trading half of it to my son-in-law for half of his regular cheese steak. He ordered his with steak and grilled onions, not nearly the messy affair as the Uncle Mike.
My wife and daughter shared a regular cheese steak with steak, cheese and nothing else. But they also got some curly fries loaded with cheese wiz. By the time we all finished, everyone was pretty much ready to walk it off. And a good thing. There was a family politely hovering over us ready to take our table the minute anyone showed the slightest sign of being ready to get up. If you don't want to feel rushed, get it to go.

Anyway, good stuff. But we are gonna have to try somewhere else just to make sure I get the cheese steak fill I need while we are close by.


Anonymous said...

...i guess tacos at this point are a scoobie snack.............

Dave said...

Snack, appetizer, warm-up...

Matt Stigliano said...

I'm not a huge fan of Tony Luke's, but it was nice to see the photos. I grew up outside of Philly, so I always like to see photos from the city.

Most Philadelphians would probably argue between Geno's or Pat's (both of which I like), but there's some other great places without the big name recognition too. I've always been a fan of some of the cheesesteaks in Reading Terminal Market and some of the best I've eaten have just come from little mom and pop pizza shops (especially Marzella's out in Collegeville - biggest cheesesteak you'll ever eat and it's amazing).

Hope you had a great time out there.

Dave said...

Matt, We'll hopefully have some time before dropping off the rental car and heading to the airport in Philly - I may have to try one of those mom & pop places along the way. If so, I'll make a full report!

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I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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