The best Philly cheesesteak is in New Jersey
When a world-famous travel vlogger/food critic/chef proclaims you the best Philly cheesesteak, people take notice. It was almost a local secret a decade ago, but over the last few years the word got out that Donkey's had amazing cheesesteaks.
That was in part the work of Anthony Bourdain's TV episode proclaiming them the best "Philly" cheesesteak even though it was across the river in Camden New Jersey.
Back then their second location in Medford was just getting started. Since then, the Lucas family has opened a third location in Mt. Holly.
The Medford location is a tiny corner of a small strip of stores right down the street from me. The original is still going strong in a tough town to survive, Camden. It's a corner bar on Haddon Ave. that has built its reputation since opening in 1943.
Leon Lucas was an Olympic boxer with a punch that made you feel like you were kicked by a donkey, which earned him his nickname "Donkey." His bar is Donkey's Place. His grandsons now run the stores and have kept the tradition and recipe the same.
They use a poppy seeded Kaiser roll with white American cheese (as it always should be) with seasoned fried onions. It's a unique twist on the iconic Philly classic that people around here can't get enough of.
To add to its legend, now the place has a book written about it by local author, Russell Lloyd. Russ lives next door to the Lucas family and has been a loyal customer for decades. He felt compelled to tell the story of the legendary South Jersey eatery that keeps growing both in reputation and locations.
When a guy on TV says you're the best, that is something. But when they're writing books about your place, that's next level for sure.
The best cheesesteaks in New Jersey
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Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.
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