March 12, 2009 |
Let's cut to the chase: The reaction to the news last week that Tony Luke's, the gritty South Philly sandwich stand, was coming out with a frozen, microwavable/boil-in-a-bag version of its venerable cheesesteak was not exactly positive. "Sounds gross," was one of the milder e-mailed posts. "Two words," went another: " Nas-Tee . " "Blechhh," spat another. Then they got personal: "Tony sold out to The Man!" They had another thing in common. None of the commenters (except one, a defender)
March 3, 2009 |
Frozen steak sandwich in a boil-in bag? It doesn't exactly have the mouth-watering appeal that comes from the sound of thin steak sizzling on a griddle and, oh my, the aroma of those onions frying next to it. But after nearly two years - and more than 100 attempts - South Philly sandwich impresario Tony Lucidonio Jr. says he has found the winning formula for preparing frozen cheesesteak sandwiches for sale in grocery stores that won't result...
October 2, 2008 |
Here are some off-the-wall and off-the-cuff observations from around Citizens Bank park yesterday. Food department 1 While the pregame crowds at Tony Luke's and Rick's Steaks in Ashburn Alley were as thick as the grease on their grills, the lines for McNally's Schmitters were surprisingly short. 2 Here's guessing that the cheesesteaks also outsold the $10 Chili Glazed Duck Quesadillas at Harry the K's. Philly is many things. A duck-quesadilla town isn't one of them. 3 A trip to the ballpark can also be educational.
April 4, 2008 |
Barack Obama vows he shall return and sample a cheesesteak. Just one? Yesterday, sports talker Glen Macnow of WIP (610 AM) posted his nearly final rankings of 45 cheesesteaks sampled between West Chester to Atlantic City. Only the order of the top six could change, pending a final on-air showdown at noon on Saturday, April 19. Interestingly, ranked No. 1 was also the place that finished first with Inquirer restaurant critic Craig LaBan after his 2002 whirlwind tour of 23 eateries: John's Roast Pork on East Snyder Avenue in South Philadelphia.
August 3, 2007
Nothing says Philly like litigation over cheesesteaks. Take your high-cholesterol sandwich, which Philadelphia claims rightfully as its own. Add legal documents flying back and forth, another proud Philadelphia tradition. The dog days of summer are here. The Eagles have yet to play a game, the mayor's race is in a lull, and many folks are escaping heat and gunfire at the Shore. But the pending eviction of Rick's Philly Steaks from Reading Terminal Market has filled the news vacuum like a "works" sandwich on an empty gut. On Wednesday, Rick's first day "wit-out" a lease, more than 25 dedicated patrons waited in line for sandwiches before 11:30 a.m. "Gotta get here before the sheriff does," joked Ron Pressley of Lawnside, a fan of Rick's.
August 3, 2007 |
South Philadelphia restaurateur Tony Luke yesterday tried to distance himself from the volatile dispute between Reading Terminal Market management and steak sandwich maker Rick Olivieri, hiring his own lawyer and vowing not to start formal lease talks until the dispute is resolved. Luke, 45, set and then canceled a news conference yesterday morning at his original location on Oregon Avenue near Front Street. But his public relations consultant, George Polgar, said Luke stood by statements in an advance copy of his remarks.
July 9, 2007
IF YOU gathered all the cheesesteaks the Oliveri family has fried up in this town and laid them end-to-end, they would circle the globe. We don't believe anyone would actually do that. Then again, we wouldn't have believed that an Oliveri legacy would be unceremoniously booted from one of Philadelphia's culinary landmarks, the Reading Terminal Market. His grandfather, Pat Oliveri invented the cheesesteak, according to local lore. But Rick Oliveri's steak shop is about to be kicked out of the market after 15 years to make way for another South Philly sandwich tradition, Tony Luke's.
August 20, 2006 |
Philadelphians are different. I discovered this truth, as I have many others, while listening to sports-talk radio. It was Dec. 20, 2004, and I was driving from Philadelphia to Washington. The day before, the Eagles had beaten the Dallas Cowboys, running their gaudy record to 13-1, best in the NFL. But during the game, one of their wide receivers - his name shall not pass my lips - had gone down with an injury. So for two hours in the car, I listened to fans calling in to lament that without He Who Must Not Be Named, the Eagles were finished.
February 10, 2005 |
Love is juicy, pungent, redolent. It's like garlic. It lingers, makes a mess, leaves a mark. You know what love is not? A box of chocolates. The concept of romance, especially around Valentine's Day, as something sweet, fussy, pristine, expensive and, inevitably, French, is so pervasive and tired as to be sitcom trite. Beyond that, it's just wrong - romance as an artificial, aspirational state detached from passion and longing, as if engineered by a Harlequin hack, not a seasoned adult.
April 29, 2004 |
After suffering through decades of sub-mediocre food at their ballparks, Philadelphians finally have a stadium in Citizens Bank Park that reflects the soul of the city's street-food glory. Ashburn Alley, the crowded boardwalk-like strip that stretches just beyond the right-field and center-field walls, should be renamed Cheesesteak Alley in homage to the landmark steakeries that dot its promenade - Geno's, Tony Luke's and McNally's Tavern (actually tucked just around the corner, on the third-base side)