As just about everyone in the country is aware of, Philly is home to one of the nation’s most iconic sandwiches: the cheesesteak. A proper cheesesteak requires the right ingredients and preparation: the right roll (Amoroso’s), the right meat (real meat, not meat product) grilled and chopped, cheese (whiz or provolone), and toppings (onions and peppers), properly assembled on the roll. I love a good cheesesteak… done right, it’s a great sandwich, and the one that Philly’s most famous for. It’s also the second best sandwich to be had in Philly. Which leads to the obvious question: what’s the best sandwich in Philly? That would be the roast pork. A close cousin to the cheesesteak, the roast pork sandwich starts with the same bread (the well-loved Amoroso roll), but replaces the grilled cheese with copious slices of fresh-roasted pork loin. But there are several places that are well-known and well-regarded as purveyors of roast pork sandwiches, including John’s Roast Pork (a James Beard award winner), DiNic’s in the Reading Terminal, and Tony Luke’s (nestled under the highway by the Walt Whitman Bridge). So when our trip to Delaware started with our arrival in Philly, we decided to duck over to Tony Luke’s for an early lunch.
Where Offbeat Eats has been:
This Christmas, we decided to visit Carol’s extended family in the Detroit area again, which meant for a long drive through Vermont (picturesque as Vermont is, it’s a terribly slow state to cross East-West. I’d be in favor of building an interstate crossing it), New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. To cross Vermont, we decided to cross along the southern part of the state at Highway 9, going through Bennington, for another try at The Blue Benn Diner. You see, the Blue Benn has been on our hit list for, well, over a decade. It’s not that we’ve never tried to come her before, it has just never worked out. At least once we arrived just after they stopped serving. Another time, a kitchen fire had caused them to be closed. And yet another time, a power outage had them closed… and at that. this visit was a close call on that front, since several power lines were down in the area and detoured us around in our efforts to get there. But this time we finally made it. Pulling into the Blue Benn around 12:30, we got there in time for a late breakfast with only a short wait in line in the cramped vestibule. Moving inside the restaurant, it’s a cozy diner (I originally thought it was a Worcester diner, but more careful research indicates it’s actually a Silk City diner) with the classic long counters and two sets of booths. Settling into a booth near the end of the diner, we selected our items and enjoyed our coffee while waiting and listening to the crowd, a nice mix of tourists and locals.