WILDWOOD CREST, N.J. —I have been trying to sample all the main Philly Cheesesteak places over the last few years, but I don’t get to the city of brotherly love that often. Judging by the Tony Luke’s Web site, a lot of the growing chain’s appeal is built around the personality of Tony “Luke” Lucidonio Jr an Philly actor, singer and now entrepreneur. I had heard good things about his cheesesteaks though and a visit was on my list for a few years. I overheard a location in the Wildwoods was opening this summer, I figured I would have a chance to stop on my way out of Stone Harbor this summer.
Tony Luke’s is unusual in that it doesn’t use Amoroso rolls like most cheesesteak places. The rolls are of higher quality, so that isn’t a bad thing. The meat is lean and not too greasy. Since I’m a tourist, I ordered mine with Cheese Whiz. Overall, I’d rate it a close second to Jim’s Steak’s.
In addition to the cheesesteak, we split a roast pork sandwich which some Philadelphians seem prouder of than the traditional cheesesteak (The Inky). While that is not going to happen, the roast pork sandwich is a good meal. The lean shaved pork and spices work well together and my wife says the broccoli rabe works — I don’t care for broccoli, so I’ll take her word for it. I can see why people would elevate the roast pork sandwich over the humble, fatty cheesesteak. I have craved cheesesteaks before though and that can’t be said about the roast pork sandwich.
We also got a chicken cheesesteak for some reason (probably for the 3 year old) and well, it was chicken breast with cheese. Not worth the money, nothing you couldn’t do at home if you felt like having a bland meal.
We’ll probably make hitting Tony Luke’s on the way out from future trips down the Shore.