Excellent | Worth a Detour
Tony’s Newburgh Lunch
Review by: Michael Stern
Tony’s very nice website has a marquee motto that says, “Bring Old World Newburgh to your home,” probably referring to the fact that the Texas sauce for which it is famous now is bottled and available by mail. While the storefront diner has a fairly new façade, it, too, is a taste of Old World Newburgh: a lunch counter open at 6:30am for eggs and homefries (with servings of that sauce), then serving mid-day meals at ridiculously low prices.
Texas hot weiners (yes, spelled e-i, not i-e) are the lead item, the standard arrangement being a dog in a bun with mustard, sauce, and chopped raw onion. Some of Tony’s regular customers customize their lunch, getting two or three dogs on a plate with just one roll and (for 30 cents extra per item) heavy sauce (meaning extra sauce), plus maybe French fries or onion rings or even a whole grilled cheese sandwich. Burgers are available also, preferably topped with sauce, as are French fries, also offered with sauce and/or melted cheese.
So, how is the sauce? I don’t love it as much as a lot of other people do. To me, it’s too thin to deliver the gravitas of denser, beefier sauces that complement hot dogs so well. It is, however, exactly right in a relatively new Tony’s invention known as a Tom Tom Patty Melt. The menu describes this top-of-the-line item as a grilled cheese sandwich with a hamburger patty, bacon, sauce and onions; but unless my patty was especially fragile, the menu is wrong, for the Tom Tom I received contained a hacked up patty that, with the sauce, was reminiscent of sloppy Joe or a mini Rochester Garbage Plate. Whatever it was, it was a winning combo; and as counter mate Katherine Curry noted, just about anything between the slices of buttered toast that enclose a grilled cheese sandwich tastes swell.
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