Thursday, March 04, 2010

French Fry Diary 98: Tony Luke’s, Philadelphia

This was a hard review to write, because I like Tony Luke, Jr., a lot.

Tony makes entertaining commercials, how to videos. He faced off with Bobby Flay on television and showed him up, he provided food for the folks making "Eye of the Tiger" a few years back, and of course I love his new grocery store miracle – the microwave at home cheesesteak – that actually tastes like a real cheesesteak. And that last bit is why I had to finally try the real thing. After weeks of loving the microwave version – I needed to do it for real – and while I was there, review the fries.

The night was frigid cold after watching the Philadelphia Wings lose (again) so I was glad that the area for the long line at Tony Luke’s was sheltered unlike other famous Philly cheesesteak places. It was in line however that we saw the sign. I had intended to merely try and review Tony’s fries, but this sign promised something far more exotic in the realm of the favorite fried food – “Frank Fries” - oh yeah, baby, you know we had to give those a try as well.

The cheesesteak was perfect, and the bread, which Tony always stresses is one of the most important elements, was more than perfect. I can’t rave about the roll enough. This is a damn good cheesesteak, one of the best in the city, period. The problem, unfortunately, was with the fries. As I said, I like Tony a lot, so I kinda wish this was Cheesesteak Diary, and not French Fry Diary, ya know?

The curly fries were just average, and worse than that, they were overdone. Maybe it was because they were busy (which they were, eleven o’clock on a Saturday night, and they were crazy hopping, the line filling the shelter and spilling into the street) and rushed, or maybe this is the regular state of the fries – but they really weren’t great.

The Frank Fries were... interesting. They fall into the realm of non-potato fries, so not really fries, but they were good. They sorta have that bubble gum flavor Jelly Belly vibe going on that this shouldn’t taste like this, but it’s good. They are more or less corn dog strips waaay well done with an onion ring batter texture. All in all, they weren’t bad, I’d get ‘em again.

Tony Luke’s is definitely the place to go for a cheesesteak, all aces there, but for fries... maybe not.

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