The Philly cheesesteak has dated back to the early 1930s and it was only now that I’ve actually gotten to try one. I was in Philadelphia last week for work and got wind of the Pat’s vs. Geno’s rivalry on 9th and Passyunk in South Philadelphia. I had some time when I got there and when I was leaving to give them both a try to figure out who I felt had the better bite.
Pat’s King of Steaks® was founded by Pat Olivieri in 1930. Geno’s Steaks was founded in 1966 by Joey Vento who just passed away in 2011. Pat’s has claimed to have invented the cheesesteak back in 1930 by crafting the sandwich on his hot dog grill. It was only years later that the signature Cheez Whiz was added.
So here came the competition: Cheesesteak with onion and Whiz. (You’ve gotta be quick to order and know what you want because they really rush you through this process.).
I started with Pat’s….They serve up their cheesesteak made with a chopped meat and more of a sauteed onion on a crispier french roll. I felt like there was a good ratio of onions on the sandwich and a good amount of cheese. The bread was a tad crispy for my liking but I ate the entire foot-long sandwich right up. The restaurant itself is a bit more of a hole-in-the-wall and seems a bit more original in the styling. Looks dumpy but the food is delicious.
Then came Geno’s. (Mind you that I didn’t eat these both in one day.) The big difference here is that they slice their meat (vs chopped) and the onions are cubed and slightly less sauteed. The bread is a bit softer as well. I felt as though the sandwich was greasier and there were too many onions on it. I did prefer the softer bread. The overall feel of Geno’s is a bit more ‘commercialized’ and the restaurant seemed cleaner.
And the winner is…(drum roll, please)
Pat’s! Definitely the King of Steaks®. I would highly recommend doing your own taste-test if you’re ever in the Philadelphia area. Do you have a favorite cheesesteak spot?