Saturday, February 25, 2012

Pat's vs. Geno's: The Philly Cheesesteak Debate

New York is famous for pizza.
Chicago is known for the Chicago Hot Dogs.
And Philly is known for Philly Cheesesteaks.
They make them all over the country and call them not just "cheesesteaks" but Philly Cheesesteaks.

What you may not know is that there are TWO restaurants
 on opposite corners
in South Philly
that compete for who has the BEST 
Philly Cheestesteak.

We decided to order 2 from each last time we were there.
And we did our own taste-test comparison.

Geno's is more glitzy.

The story with Geno's is that Joe Vento's dad was in the meat business.
Joe knew he could get a good cut.
He named it Geno's because there was already a Joe's Steaks and someone had written Geno on a door.
It's an Italian neighborhood ;-)

There are photos all over of famous people with the original owner, Joey Vento.

Sly Stallone and Matt Dillon with Joe Venti, owner of Geno's Steaks.
Pat's King of Steaks is less glitzy.

Pat and Harry Olivieri are credited with creating the first Philly Cheesesteak in 1933.

Theirs is a simple, straightforward operation.
A sign in the window lets you know you can have a steak with provolone, American or Cheez Whiz.
Traditional Philly cheesesteak is made with Cheez Whiz.
Also, another simple sign in the window warns you to 
be prepared to order "wit" or "Wit-out" onions
There is ALWAYS a line and they don't like being held up by your indecision.

 P and I went to Pat's.
We ordered one cheesesteak with provolone and one with Cheez Whiz.
Jason and A went to Geno's and made the same order.
We debated on the Cheez Whiz.
We are not fans of processed cheese.
Provolone seems more...sophisticated.

Pat's cheesesteak Provolone wit' onions
Pat's uses a very thinly sliced, almost "shaved" beef that is very flavorful.
Geno's cheesesteak Provolone with onions
Geno's meat is thicker sliced.  We found it to be a little fatty.
Geno's cheesesteak made the authentic way with Cheez Whiz
You can see the thickness of Geno's meat.
Pat's cheesesteak made the authentic Philly way with Cheez Whiz
'wit-out' onions
We were shocked that we all agreed that Cheez Whiz won HANDS DOWN.
Cheez Whiz stands up to the meat better and adds flavor.

Provolone seemed bland and tasteless next to the meat.

The meat from Geno's was thicker cut, but we preferred the "shaved" type of beef from Pat's.
The meat from Geno's had some grizzle on it, some fat.
Pat's in our opinion had more flavor.

Jason, P and I all preferred Pat's with Cheez Whiz the authentic "Philly Cheesesteak".
A preferred Geno's with Cheez Whiz.

It's probably all a matter of personal preference.
We prefer Pat's King of Steaks.