Nothing says Philly grub more than the cheesesteak. And now they’ll be available in the Middle East – Bahrain to be exact.
The Philly cheesesteak has been around the City of Brotherly Love for some 80 years. Tony Luke’s, the iconic Philadelphia sandwich shop on the city’s South Side, is celebrating its touching down in Riffa with a grand opening on Dec. 12.
More locations are expected to open over the next few months in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The opening in Bahrain is the first of 60 cheesesteak shops planned for the Middle East and North Africa — all indoors, and all halal.
Tony Luke’s is the baby on the block, with only 20 years of serving under the belt compared to the decades of Geno’s and Pat’s. Still, the new kids aren’t anything to sneeze at considering the Tony Luke’s family recipe has caught the attention of critics from Gourmet magazine to the New York Times.
“The cheesesteak is as part of Philadelphia as the Liberty Bell,” said Tony Luke, Jr., co-owner, adding that he was approached about the venture after patrons from the Middle East ate at his shop. “I wanted the world to see what it was like to have a cheesesteak, and little by little I’m starting to get there.”