Matt Bonner's Sandwich Hunter: March 1: Philadelphia Pg. 2
Page 2: Pat's vs. Geno's (...and Wawa): Philadelphia
Sauce, Veggies, Desserts, Chips, Soups: N/A
Ratings (out of 5)
I went to Pat's first. They had a very specific ordering process (see picture below). The guy taking the orders was very frank and when I deviated from their ordering protocol to ask what their most famous and popular version of the cheese steak was, he looked at me like I had 4 heads. He then shouted, "Cheesesteak. No onions! Next!" And that was it. I paid and my sandwich was out to me within 20 seconds.
I then walked across the street to Geno's where I had their version of the same sandwich waiting for me with my Dad and his New Hampshire posse who had driven down for the game. The evening before, we all went to see Philly legend Kenn Kweder perform an acoustic set at a local tavern. It was wicked awesome.
We sat down at Geno's and braced ourselves against the February windchill. I opened my two sandwiches and examined them before the big taste test. Pat's used chopped up meat and a ton of cheese whiz. Geno's used sliced meat and not as much cheese whiz. Cheese whiz, is apparently a key component to a true Philly Cheesesteak. The breads seemed to be about the same.
I ate some of the Pat's cheese steak. Then some of the Geno's cheese steak. Then some more Pat's. Then some more Geno's. It was a bit anticlimactic. They were good. But I guess I was expecting some insanely amazing cheese steak like I had never tasted before. However, I can say with confidence that the Geno's cheese steak tasted better. The Pat's one had way too much cheese whiz and the Geno's sandwich had better quality and better tasting meat. So to me, Geno's wins.
As for the Hoagie Grail, neither spot gets that title. I have to admit that when I woke up, knowing I was heading to two of the most famous sandwich spots in the world, I seriously thought it could be the day. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be. Visiting Pat's and Geno's was a lot of fun. It was great to experience two historic sandwich shops in one shot. Like two birds with one stone. But I did not find the great American sandwich so I must keep searching.
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