Bring the Noise aka A Tony Luke Jr's Review
First the rant, then the rave...Ever have days like the one in the picture above? Grey days in which the grey gets inside of you. It feels like there have been too many lately. Now spring is so close that if a good stiff wind came by it would knock it off the vine and I think it's making me antsy. Maybe that's alot of it-- I want to be outside cooking up some brisket and ribs, not sitting here (no offense...) typing away. A couple of hours beside a fire nursing some cold ones might help me to forget my mother's cancer, friends' failing marriages, deaths, the drudgery of work and the general, garden variety free-floating day-to-day questions that put me to bed at night and wake me up the next day. Oh, crap, I have to do my taxes.
All this will pass, I know, and that's why I'm here to tell you about one of the best sandwiches I've ever been lucky enough to eat (drum roll): the pork and provolone sandwich from Tony Luke Jr.'s in Philadelphia.
I have to thank my friend, Wai, from work for introducing me to this delight that was packed with thinly sliced, moist roast pork that tasted to me like it was roasted fresh (uncured) ham. I asked for the provolone on my sandwich, no broccoli rabe or anything else. There was a light tang, almost slightly vinegary character to the meat, which had a nice chew to it--not tough or dry, and not greasy or too rich. Thankfully, the meat was not entirely lean. Thin ribbons of fat seemed to instantly dissolve and convey more flavor in each bite.
Of course, a sandwich is nothing but some filling in your hands without the bread...and Philadelphia sandwiches have some damned good bread. We all know that their water is the secret, but I digress. The bread was supple with a pleasant, almost negligible, crust. About as much as one can possibly ask of a real good hoagie.
Tony Luke's is a big name Philadelphia steak sandwich house and people's opinions of Tony Luke Jr.'s, a spin-off, have been mixed, though often positive. Jr's is a barebones operation, so don't go looking for decor, but I'll say this, while Pat's is my preferred Cheese Steak Place, I'd have a hard time deciding which sandwich to have for lunch.
Tony Luke Jr's
118 S 18TH St
Philadelphia, PA 19103-4901
Phone: (215) 568-4630