Wednesday, September 22, 2010

When in Philly . . .

"Where do you get the best cheese steaks?"

We asked this question to nurses, doctors, orderlies, bus drivers, cab drivers, parking attendants, hotel workers, and even people we happened upon during walks.  No one in our path escaped us.

"Pat's all the way."
"Pat's for sure."
"Jim's on Southside."
"Duh, Pat's."
"Geno's is the best."
"Gotta love Jim's."

Our unofficial poll of Philadelphians led us to conclude that Jim's was the best place to sit inside and drink a beer with your cheese steak, but that Pat's had the best cheese steak.  In the end, we just couldn't pass up the tourist enticing lights of the two most famous cheese steak joints. 
If the competition was for racking up the electric bill, Geno's would have won.  They lit up the intersection like the 4th of July, while Pat's had an unassuming, simple sign.  We decided we'd patronize the humbler signage.
We played tourists very well by reading the "How to Order a Steak" sign out loud.
Then we asked the kids behind us how to do it for real.  
"American, Whiz, Wit is where it's at!"

"Oh, and don't forget the ketchup!"
Look at that hoagie bread.  The crusty outside, the soft inside.  Just how bread should be.
After the heart attack jokes died down, it was time to put the steaks where our mouths were.
I could lie and tell you that the meat was disgusting, I'm never eating whiz again, and that I regret my decision ever to partake in this grease fest.
But I love you too much to lie.  This was the best cheese steak I have ever eaten.  I licked whiz off my fingers.  I licked whiz off of Mr. Palindrome's fingers. 
We rolled back to our hotel bellies full of carbs, beef and fake cheese.  In the words of our God Father Almighty, "It was good.  It was very good."


  1. I love the novelty of taking Philly visitors to Pat's (definitely better than Geno's) for a cheese steak... but I have to say that Jim's is pretty darn good, and I have had some pretty amazing cheese steaks in the suburbs, too. Nick and I swear by a shop in our neighborhood called La Forno... it's all about the roll, the greasiness (more grease is good!), and if the meat is chopped up or in slices (chopped, please).

    Shoot. Now I want one!

  2. my town! for 18 years of my life i lived just a few blocks away from pat's and geno's on 9th street. i have to say, if i were picking one of the two, it would be pat's all the way. i'm glad you made the right decision :D

    but there is one place - totally tucked away from it all - some blocks away in an unassuming shack off the railroad tracks on front street and snyder avenue called john's roast pork. without a doubt, it is the best cheesesteak in the city. they have tight hours friendly for the working man, but not so much for the tourist. but if you get another chance, i'd highly suggest checking them out! (also, their roast pork is so good that the only thing i can say about it is that i saw god the day i had my first sandwich there!)

  3. Oh my!! I will need to bookmark this should I go to Philly anytime soon!

  4. Can you believe I've only eaten a cheesesteak once? It was Jim's, and it was awesome.

    Our friend Joe swears by some place near AC, and he's been to all of them.

  5. Jim's, La Forno, John's Roast Pork - amazing! I'm seriously craving a steak right now and I've just been equipped with a best of the best list . . . off to look up the next available flight!