At this juncture in the township’s history, Hamiltonians must now ponder a critical question.

“Wit wiz” or not?

Tony Luke’s Old Philly Style Sandwiches, purveyors of such Philadelphia delicacies as the cheesesteak, opened its Hamilton Square location — the restaurant’s first ever franchise — on Dec. 22. The new restaurant on Route 33 boasts a full menu, and customers can eat there or take out.

To get a Tony Luke’s cheesesteak with cheese wiz and onions (also known as “wit wiz”), hungry diners previously had to trek to E. Oregon Avenue in Philadelphia or go to a Phillies game and wait in line at the restaurant’s stand in Citizens Bank Park. Now Hamilton residents only have to drive down to 625 Rt. 33, next to Play It Again Sports and across from Staples.

Franchise owner Andy Linardos said visitors should expect the same food they’d get in Philly but in a much different atmosphere.

“There, it’s a trailer. People sit outside,” Linardos said. “Here, people can sit down. The colors are vibrant.”

As the first franchise in company history, the Hamilton Tony Luke’s will serve as the springboard for further expansion in New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania, Linardos said. The company will work out plans so the food and service remains consistent no matter which Tony Luke’s a diner chooses.

For first timers, Linardos recommends Tony Luke’s specialties — the cheesesteak and the roast pork Italian. He warned, with sharp provolone cheese and broccoli rabe, the pork sandwich tends to be spicy. The cheesesteak is a more traditional option.

But, he said, customers can’t go wrong either way.

And for those that are curious, you probably won’t catch Linardos ordering his hoagie “wit wiz.”

“American cheese is my preference, but of course we offer both,” he said.

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Rob Anthes is assistant managing editor at Community News Service, serving as the editor of the Hamilton Post and Robbinsville Advance. Rob's writing has been honored by a number of organizations, including the New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists, the Keystone Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Association of Free Community Papers, most recently in 2019. A Hamilton native, Rob is a graduate of Steinert High School and Syracuse University.