PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Citizens of the Middle East have the opportunity to take a big old bite of classic South Philly cuisine: the cheesesteak. Tony Luke has opened a store in Bahrain, will be opening one in Afghanistan and has his eye on several other countries in that region as well.
The Gulf Food Show is the world’s biggest annual food and hospitality event and the Tony Luke’s booth is one busy place.
“There are 50 people in line — 100 people in line. So many people that they blocked the walkway,” Luke said.
Luke says the political situation in that region is not affecting business at all. In fact, he finds food to be the great equalizer.
He said he attended a gathering in Bahrain, where everyone brought food from their culture, “And all of a sudden there was no more American Middle East. There was no more Christian or Muslim. It was a bunch of people sitting down talking and enjoying food and I thought, ‘what a way to get people to understand each other,’ because food brings the walls down. We let our guard down.”
Luke said he has a much different perspective of the region than when he arrived.
Reported by Michelle Durham, KYW Newsradio 1060