Geno's vs Pat's Cheesesteaks

>> Wednesday, March 11, 2009

So this past weekend I made my first appearance in Philadelphia and while there for other reasons, my main goal was this: to find and eat as many cheesesteaks as possible.

So you may remember this post that moved so many of you to comment on which place is the best for cheesesteaks. Wellllll I decided once I was there that I might as well just go to the two most tourist-y places first so I would have something to bench mark against.

We set out towards Geno's and Pat's (pictured above, Geno's left, Pat's right.) We found parking (no easy feat) and walked towards these two cheesesteak icons or "Steak Vegas" as Jef's friend Morgan referred to it as. If you have never been to Philly before here's a fun fact, Geno's and Pat's are across the street from each other. Literally. Across the street. And there is no way you would miss them. Genos is a little more ostentatious than Pat's and is lit up like the Las Vegas Strip. We get it, you sell cheesesteaks. Pat's is a little more subtle simply calling themselves the "King of Cheesesteaks..."

Ok so let's start. Morgan waited in the 20 minute line by himself while Jef and I waited in line at Geno's (which was wrapped around the block and then some...) Morgan got Pat's cheesesteaks and fries first so he brought them to us. Pat's - 1. Listen, skip the fries, there's really nothing special there. After 30 minutes in the Geno's line Jef and I finally placed our order that we had been practicing (didn't want to seem like a tourist at a tourist trap): 2 cheesesteaks whiz with onions and mushrooms. To our dismay they didn't have mushrooms. Pat's - 2, Geno's - 0

Finally we had our cheesesteaks, four to be exact. We secure a table and the showdown began...

Let me preface this by saying that Pat's had been sitting for about 10 minutes so I wasn't expecting it to be at its prime. However, it still won in my book. Yes, Pat you are the King of Cheesesteaks in tourist land.

The meat was chopped, the onions tender, the cheese whiz, well cheesy and processed but oh so good, and the mushrooms were perfect. I knew it had won by the fact that I kept coming back to it.

Don't get me wrong, Geno's was good. The meat was sliced thin, the onions sauteed nicely and the whiz is again whiz. Maybe if they would have had mushrooms they would have won, but I doubt it. It just didn't have the same flavor as Pat's and honestly I liked the chopped meat better.

Listen, overall this was a fun thing to do on a Saturday afternoon. It was crowded and you can definitely tell there were only a few locals, but whatever it was fun and the cheesesteaks were good. It wasn't like eating at Bubba Gumps in Times Square.

Next time I got to Philly I will definitely have to check out the steak shops that are off the map,
but I am glad I will always have Steak Vegas to benchmark by.

Thanks again to our wonderful tour guide Morgan, who literally showed us every part of Philly and really showed us some great places to eat (The Belgian Cafe being one of them!)


Unknown March 12, 2009 at 4:58 PM  
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Unknown March 12, 2009 at 4:59 PM  

I don't know if I have ever wanted a cheesesteak more in my life than I do right now! Great Post! Its makin me HUNGRY!!!


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