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Rick's out, Tony Lukes in at RTM, best news I heard this week

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I felt so bad for the people who would wait in line at the market, hoping to get a taste of the much hyped Philly steak. This place was garbage, and I'm glad it's gone. Now when the old "where to get a cheesesteak" question pops up in CC, we can simply offer this as the answer. I hope Tony Luke's keeps the quality as close as possible to the original. This should also make for an interesting shootout between Dinic's and Tony Luke's for roast pork supremacy.

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/bre...

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  1. Rick's was not garbage. That is an overly harsh characterization. They make an average steak, and the savvy diner knows there are so many better lunch options at RTM. From what I have read so far, there is a good chance that Tony Luke's will be prohibited from offering the pork sandwich at the RTM location.

    1. I'm not a fan of Rick's cheesesteaks, but the way he's being pushed out (not because of his product, but because he advocated for other RTM merchants) is very unfortunate. I think I will wait and see how the RTM Tony Luke's cheesesteaks are before I recommend them.

      2 Replies
      1. re: gina

        Why would T:'s be "prohibited" from offering their premier sandwich? And have market politics become even more hostile??

        1. re: Alice Letseat

          Tony Lukes' pork it would compete with DiNic's. For the same reason, Hershels can't sell a turkey sandwich (though they can sell a turkey club), as doing so would compete with Bassetts. Whether, in fact, Tony Lukes will be prohibited from selling pork depends on what DiNic's lease says about competition and, in the absence of a prohibition, what market management deems best.

          While I am of the opinion that Tony Lukes would make a great addition to the market, I agree with Gina that evicting Ricks may intimidate other merchants and give management free reign to trample on them. On the other hand, many of the merchants are a little too wedded to tradition (e.g. their reluctance to open on Sundays). If they're going to continue to thrive, maybe they need a little push.

      2. as an ex-philadelphian who still visits the rtm every time i'm in philly every year,i welcome tony luke's addition as i feel their cheesteaks are superior to ricks.Unfortunately it appears that ricks is being replaced by imho,a far superior tony lukes,for the wrong reason of being a strong spokesman for tenants versus what their landlord desires.Can anyone tell me the 4 other tenants of rtm whose leases were not renewed(and the 2 others who were granted reversals of termination of their leases.I must say i enjoyed having rtm open on sunday as being a tourist now in philly i dont get as much time to visit trm as the locals do.It appeared that only 20% of the shops were open when i was there in may though i applaud the managements decision to force the shops to open on sunday.Now if only philly chowhounds will tell me why a great cheesteak shop is not open in the airport instead of the lame politically connected choices offered.Its a shame to have the cheesteaks offered at the airport represent the only chance tourists may have to try philly's representative sandwich.

        4 Replies
        1. re: bluehensfan

          I don't know why everyone is sooo excited about Tony Puke's coming to the terminal. Hasn't everyone had enough of that crap by now? ANd their cheesesteak is really, really bad I think. There are so many better cheesesteaks in philly! Rick's being one of them. The whole cheesesteak thing is a little exausting by now to me, everyone loves to rate them, but there really isn't that much difference between them! People just like to be able to say where their favorite steak is. And that's cool, locals take pride in their "city sandwich" but really? Geno's, Pat's, Rick's those 3 have no difference between them. They just don't. The only standouts for me have always been the fact that John's (roast pork) is bar none the best steak in town, and Tony Mook's has always been the worst! All the rest are just a freakin' cheesesteak. Chink's is runner up though.

          1. re: bluehensfan

            One of the other places that did not have its lease renewed was Haltman's Poultry.

            1. re: Cruz

              Not to be confused with Halteman's that is still there and around the corner from the other stand (now Giunta's meats)

              1. re: Bigley9

                Obviously, if you ask which is a better establishment, Tony Luke's or Rick's at RTM, Tony Luke's wins hands down.

                But the story is not good. Give Oliveri credit, he's spun the story successfully. "RTM forces out one of its own" is the tone of the coverage.

                Who knows if RTM management will change their mind but I hope they do because its the right thing to do.