For the Fourth of July, I ventured to Atlantic City with three girl friends. I wasn't sure what to expect. AC has a reputation of being a bit gross and filled with gambling addicted old people who turn off their oxygen tanks to take a smoke break. But thanks(?) to Hurricane Sandy, a huge campaign to renew interest in Atlantic City was implemented. The result is a cleaner AC that is sure to attract more visitors. We stayed at Revel, one of the newer casinos, but don't think that new means totally great. My only complaint is the vortex of wind that the hotel creates. The pool is tough to deal with. It is WINDY, but there is also a beach just outside the front door that is not windy, so I was happy. Otherwise, it's a pretty nice joint.
Rather than stick just to the boardwalk, we decided to take our chances in real Atlantic City - the part where the homes look they might be condemned, and certainly somewhere you shouldn't be, but it was well worth it. On the advice of Greg, a very friendly and enthusiastic pizza delivery guy we met in the elevator, we were told to check out Tony Boloney's. We put on our big girl pants and walked to Oriental Avenue and Vermont. If you ever decide to go to Tony Boloney's, (which you will, because it's awesome) DO NOT be surprised by the neighborhood. There is a reason those streets are cheap properties on the Monopoly board. But let the rule of thumb to trust the places liked by the locals guide you...it's worth it.
The menu is huge. Hoagies, pizza, and wraps. It also takes forever to read because it's hilarious. For example: The Pigface Killer pizza, a pulled pork barbecue concoction, or the Sweed hoagie, which ends the description with "Bork! Bork!" Unable to decide, my friend and I asked a rather talkative guy behind the counter what to get. His response? "The Tikka?? FUCK YES, get that one!!!" So, we did. As well as another, because you know, vacation pizza is healthy. We grabbed a bench outside and waited eagerly, and Greg the Delivery Guy showed up. He remembered us and was super excited that we came out and chatted for awhile, as well as the "FUCK YES" guy. Turns out, that guy is the owner, Mike. Mike made his rounds with the all the guests at the shop, but stayed to talk to us for quite awhile, which was incredibly nice of him. We laughed at his stories about opening the shop, one which included a rather helpful, but err...unorthodox cop standing up for the pizza shop. He even agreed to take a photo with us.
The beauty of the menu is that the pizza that is described is what you'd imagine, but a bit better, and certainly not lacking any creativity. We got the Tikka - tikka masala sauce, with paneer cheese and cilantro, and the Fennel Franny - sausage, house made (whuuut??? yuuup!!) regular and smoked mozzarellas, and fennel seeds. Both were phenomenal. Slightly overcooked, so you got some delicious browned cheese on the edges, and a slice that didn't require being folded in half. I'm looking at you NY slice. We also got the Cheese Steak Ole, which won a Food Network award. It was a standard, but not your average Philly steak, and I approved of it...although it was a little sacrilege to have lettuce and tomato on it. I'm just saying.
Sadly, I forgot to take photos right away, so all the food is partially eaten. No photo of the hoagie. It was too far gone. Sorry about that. Here is a picture of the boardwalk with some lights to make up for it.
Still doesn't make up for it? Fine. Here is a picture of me eating a giant hoagie from the White House. It was huuuuge...and that monster is only a half! It was loaded up with meat and cheese, and kinda perfect. I don't have much to say about it because a good hoagie is kinda like the SCOTUS's definition of pornography - you know it when you see it.