ACEats: Tony Luke's At Borgata
tagged: aceats borgata philly steak food court comments: 4
My first Philly Cheesesteak was made by my father - a self-professed awesome cook - who used to serve up Steak-umms torched-to-blackness, onions and white cheese in a roll. As a child, I enjoyed it.
I first encountered professional Philly Cheesesteak when I was hired at Hot Wings Cafe in Glendale CA, who boasted 'East Coast Taste Treats'. Along with the requisite Buffalo Wings (Hot Wings brings the tasty, I might add), the joint offered up east-coast stylings such as 'Mile High' Sandwiches (they were a paltry 3 inches high, no risk of putting Carnegie Deli out of business), Grinders (a sub, hero, wedge, whatever you call it) and the Philly Cheesesteak, complete with steak, sauteed onions and provolone cheese.
Once I tried it, I knew it needed some A-1 sauce, which is why the condiment was offered to so many people who ordered it. I enjoyed it enough to order it occasionally using my 1/2-off-food discount, but generally I stuck with the wings.
When we had a friend come out for a visit saying he wanted a Philly Cheesesteak, I gladly took him to Hot Wings to sort him out. Once he took a bite he declared that 'This is not a Philly Cheesesteak'. I was crushed. I was hoping I would be able to fulfill his desire, but alas it was not so.
As I aged, I begun to hear about the provolone vs. Whiz argument. Whiz sounded disgusting to me, I mean, who would want to put Cheez Whiz on Steak-umms? Really. That said, the argument had come up so much that I had decided that I absolutely needed to form my own opinion.
When we planned our trip to the east coast, I knew that a trip to Philly was in order to gather some data.
However, one evening Chuckmonster and I found ourselves hungry around the midnight hour. Given that we were in AC and not LV, finding somewhere to eat was proving to be difficult as we were discovering that things actually close around these parts. After stumbling around Borgata's casino floor from Bread + Butter to Wolfgang Puck, we found ourselves on an escalator headed down.
What we stumbled upon was a half-closed food court in the bowels of one of the nicest casinos in Jersey. Open: Fatburger, Tony Luke's and Villa Pizza. Closed: Lettuce Head, Panda Express, Hibachi-San and Ben & Jerry's.
Since Fatbuger is native to Los Angeles, we had no desire to check them out and due to an unfortunate allergy to garlic (curses), Villa Pizza was out, too. But what was this? Tony Luke's Cheesesteaks?!?! With Whiz on the menu?
We saddled up to the counter and was greeted by someone in a Bread + Butter chef's coat, who seemed very eager to help us as well as stay very close to the hot piece of Jersey operating the food stall.
I ordered a basic cheesesteak with Whiz to share with Chuckmonster (he is watching his figure) and a couple of Buds for him. One for now and one to take back to the room for later (it appears getting beer to take to your room in the casinos is also hard after midnight).
The sandwich arrived wrapped beautifully in white wax paper adorned with the Tony Luke's logo. After taking a seat in the 'court [at a table made out of crushed wine bottles - Ed], we opened it up to a steaming hot pile of beef and some onions in a roll and Whiz.
One bite, two bites, silence.
Oh my Whiz. I get it. I really, really get it. If you are going to eat a trashy sandwich, you best just eat a trashy sandwich. The molten lava Whiz did not need to melt in my mouth, it was pre-melted. It paired very well with the steak (not -ums) and the onions gave it that hint of sweetness to cut through the heavy cheese.
Now, when the provolone vs. Whiz argument arises, I will not be ashamed to admit that I have changed sides like the dirty monkey I am.
By the way, Chuckmonster finished both Buds before we left the table, leaving him with nothing to drink but water in the room.
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