When in Philly…

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…I have to have a cheesesteak. After disembarking from the trusty MegaBus, the first thing I wanted to do on that chilly winter day was to check out the fare at rival cheesesteak shops Pat’s King of Steaks (map!) and Geno’s Steaks (map!).

It’s very convenient that they are across the street from each other:

Pat's in the foreground (blue & red), Geno's across the street (orange & white)

We tried Pat’s first. The service is lightning quick, so you had better know what you want when you get to the counter. Gimme a wiz, no onions. Done.

Wow. I’ll never speak ill of cheez wiz ever again. This was an amazing sandwich. The meat was tender and juicy, the bread was fresh, and the whole thing was a warm, wondrous heap of deliciousness that I barely have words to describe. So, uh, yeah, that was awesome.

Barely out of the initial reverie, we strolled over to Geno’s for cheesesteak round 2. Same deal, wiz with no onions:

Where has this cheesesteak magic been all my life? It’s a good thing I don’t live in Philly because I would probably eat cheesesteaks every single day and gain 200 pounds. Geno’s served up a mean contender to Pat’s. The meat and cheese were about the same level in terms of flavor, so I liked both equally, but Geno’s bread was a little different. Maybe a bit more chewy? It had a crispy exterior with chewiness in the fluffy dough part.

So the verdict? I have to say……Pat’s. (Please don’t flame me, Geno’s fans!) Both were excellent, but I think I preferred Pat’s bread to Geno’s. I will say, though, that Geno’s wrapped up their cheesesteak when they served it to me, and some of the steam had condensed onto the bread, making it a teensy soggy. Pat’s did not wrap it up, so maybe that made the difference?

Well, the only solution is to try them both again for a rematch. Hopefully that day will come soon.


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