333 E. Huntington Drive
Arcadia, CA 91006
For several years when I was a kid, Tony Roma's was my favorite restaurant in the world. I had a horrible diet; I pretty much only liked chicken fingers, fries, pizza, and fried cheese. There were actually a couple years when I would only go to a restaurant if they had fried cheese on the menu. Tony Roma's had an appetizer sampler with fried cheese, chicken fingers, potato skins, and buffalo wings, and they would let you substitute extra fried cheese for the buffalo wings. As far as I was concerned, it was the greatest restaurant of all time. I ate at Commander's Palace when I was a kid and I thought it was terrible. But Tony Roma's was great. It's a wonder my parents never left me on the side of the road somewhere.
As I became an adult and started to realize that there is more to life than fried foods, and that not every meal needs to be drenched in barbecue sauce, I forgot about Tony Roma's. Before I went there recently, it had probably been over a decade since I had eaten there. I went for the pulled pork sandwich, not expecting much. There was no smoke ring on the meat, and it was covered in a sweet sauce, but it was still pretty good. There was very little fat on it and it came on a regular bun. It will probably be at least another decade before I eat there again, but it was fun to go back and try and figure out what had appealed to me so much about the place.