Oaklyn Manor Bar & Grill – Oaklyn, NJ
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When Jim Pappas of Philadelphia Cheesesteak Adventure reached out to me asking to have lunch together the only thing that came to mind was ABSOLUTELY. This man is unabashedly a cheesesteak legend and authority. He is on a drive to eat 1,000 cheesesteaks in a few years which will be more cheesesteaks than most people eat in an entire lifetime. If you’re wondering where’s the beef, just ask Jim.
I’ve known Jim since almost the beginning of his journey. It has gone from a hobby and fun way to pass the time to a full fledged enterprise with t-shirts, calendars, website, personal appearances, and being spotlighted in national media such as Food & Wine along with many updates to 6ABC, FOX29, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and many more. He’s the Cinderella Man of cheesesteak storybook tales.
One of the things I know Jim wanted to highlight and promote once he began to have a voice and fanbase is bringing light to the small independent business owners who have a decent cheesesteak that you may not have heard of previously. This is how and where Oaklyn Manor Bar & Grill in Oaklyn, New Jersey was chosen. Around since 1933 this is a mostly local scene with the space staying mostly the same except for a few changes here and there. The location was revived with a new energy 5 years ago when new owners Lisa Del Duke and Gary Mullins took over the helm. They are in high gear celebrating this anniversary year as a few months ago they hired Chef Jason Dubin to head the kitchen preserving local favorites while whipping up new delicious delicacies. They are situated in a tiny town with many great foodie choices. It’s a cozy spot to relax while catching up with friends and neighbors enjoying a decent bar style meal.
So how was the food? It was fabulous! Exactly what you look for in a local spot. I had their Oaklyn Cheese Steak which is Sliced rib eye steak, American cheese, and fried onions served on a poppy seed kaiser roll with a side of spicy pepper relish that went great on the sandwich, an order of fries, and wings that are house brined and baked and then flash fried. I asked to have the sauce on the side for the wings so I could try a few of them. Every sauce was great. Jim as in his words requested and had a John Cohl inspired mash-up as he asked a special request from the chef for a Texas-toast style cheesesteak that he enjoyed thoroughly and can see on his video documenting his visit. (Click Here for video) I did not have anything alcoholic to drink, but the drink menu is large and diverse providing anything and everything you could want. The prices for all items were extremely reasonable for the quality they are putting out. Providing full disclosure our meal was complimentary. Let me be clear though we fought to pay, had the money in hand to provide, and judged the food with the mindset of being a customer, but they insisted on picking up our tab. Overall it was a very enjoyable experience from start to finish. Be sure to stop by and try them for yourself.
Here is link to watch video:
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