Sunday, March 10, 2013

Tony Luke's - Philadelphia, PA

Featured on Man vs. Food.

Tony Luke's sits under the overpass of I-95 with parking much easier to find than at Pat's or Geno's, and it's better organized for the customer. They treat you like a customer although still in that brusque east coast way.

When you walk into the enclosed sidewalk area, the pungent mildly nauseating vomit funky foot aroma of sharp provolone hits you. That's a reminder that you have to order the pork and in particular the much talked about and hyped Pork Italian with Broccoli Rabe and Sharp Provolone.

One bite and I was hooked.  It was moist, succulent, wet, sweet, salty, spicy, tender, and saturated with flavor to the core.The pork and cheese were fantastic but the garlicky broccoli rabe put it over the top.    The broccoli rabe was sweet more so that bitter, nothing like Chinese broccoli.  The roll had softened a bit at the hinge from the juices to give it a nice mushy texture that worked nicely with the dry parts of the roll. The roll was good but it didn't have a world class crunchy chewy exterior and soft extra moist interior like the competition.

Rib-eye Cheese Steak with American Cheese and onions. I would like to think its not mass produced at the level of Pat's and Geno's because it takes a few minutes before your order is called but still it doesn't have the feel of being made to order. I could be wrong. The Cheese Steak comes with large chunks almost entire fillets of rib eye, not chopped into itty bitty pieces. Despite that, it was not rough, chewy, or sinewy.  The Cheese Steak is a more subtle package - milder, less greasy, less cheesy and less oniony - with all the flavors emerging at the beginning and the end of the chew. It's easily better than the main competition.

One thing is certain because of the after thirst.  Tony Luke's uses MSG.  It could have been in both sandwiches but I'm leaning toward in the Pork.

The Food Network and Travel Channel shills weren't shilling. Tony Luke's lives up to the hype. Tony Luke's is a must try for the foodie.

39 E Oregon Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(215) 551-5725

Tony Luke's on Urbanspoon

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