The Great Cheese-Steak Challenge

The City of Brotherly love was the first stop on my weekend road-trip. Philadelphia is a city full of art, history and some seriously amazing food. While in Philly I decided to join the on-going debate between Philadelphians, better known as the Great Cheese-steak Challenge. The competitors? Pat’s vs. Geno’s.

{ I will admit I mainly wanted to take the challenge so that I could have an excuse to eat two cheese steaks.}

I kept the competition fair by ordering the same thing at both locations.  What was on the menu?  A classic Cheese-steak with “Whiz” and of course, onions.  { In case you don’t know what Whiz is, it is a goopy, ooey gooey cheese sauce, and its AH-mazing }

Ok, so let me do a quick run down of the competitors…

Pats : self-dubbed the “King of the Steaks”  – Pats has been a South Philly staple since 1930.  Open 24/7, this joint is constantly popping out cheese-steaky goodness to its tourists and locals.  With its Mom & Pop feel, Pats offers you a wide variety of subs and sandwiches apart from just the classic cheese-steak.

Geno’s :  fast forward to 1966 – watch out Pats there is a new guy in town, and his name is Geno. With its vibrant exterior lined with flashing lights, celebrity endorsements and the brightest color orange you have ever seen, Geno’s is pretty hard to miss.  The stand is also open 24/7 and can be best described as being the Las Vegas of cheese-steaks.

Now to the exciting part, the taste test

Pat’s : the bread was soft, the meat was juicy, the cheese was cheesy.  Perfectly wrapped, and surprisingly easy to eat – I took my first bite into the sub and was in heaven.  Pat’s did a great job at keeping it clean.  I am not a fan of super messy foods to eat, and I think cheese-steaks can tend to fall in this category.  The meat at Pat’s was thinly sliced and bunched together, making for a crunchier bite when paired with crispy onions.  Pat’s kept it nice and polite when it came to the whiz – plus the bread was super dough-y so it also soaked up a little more of the cheese than I was hoping.

Geno’s : the first thing I noticed about stepping to Geno’s side of the street was that the line was nearly triple the size of Pat’s but major props to the team who was working on speed level overtime – within 3 minutes I ordered and was taking a bite of deliciousness.  Geno’s sub offered a more toasted roll, which I personally liked.  The meat was finely sliced then stacked, leaving a thick, full sandwich. The onions were super flavorful and the sub was PACKED WITH WHIZ.  It was a whiz lovers paradise.  Only downside was the sloppiness of the sandwich.  If you are trying to remain even semi lady-like, I would not suggest Geno’s for a first date.

While both subs are worth the trip to Philadelphia, there can only be one winner.

And that winner is……..Geno’s! 

Although it was a super close call, the sub from Geno’s was everything I was looking for and a little bit more.  The toasted bread and the extra whiz really helped send this sandwich to the top.

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2 thoughts on “The Great Cheese-Steak Challenge

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