Sunday, January 30, 2011

Philadelphia Steak and Cheese Challenge - Geno's vs Pat's

Today I find myself in Philadelphia for just long enough to conduct a very important comparison.  Geno's vs Pats.

So this all starts with your standard 48 minutes of flight time from Hartford to Philadelphia on US Airways. My final destination is Greensboro, NC for the rest of the week for meetings. 

Once I was off the plane it was a dash to "ground transport" to get a taxi.  I somehow get screwed up and arrive at the check in desk for US Airways.  So I figure why not check my bag so I don't have to drag it around with me.  So I do.

Then 37 seconds later I realize my coat and hat are inside the bag I just checked.  That was a pretty stupid move I must say.  So I ask "is there any place I can buy a sweatshirt"?  Yes, on the other side of security.

No Thanks, I can take the cold.

So off I go to find a taxi and I find a minivan driven by Steve Wall who is a 300 pound black man originally from Philly.  He doesn't prefer Geno's or Pat's, he thinks Jim's is the best.  On the way I ask him if I will be able to find another taxi when I get done eating.  Steve responds "you'd have to be blind not to find a taxi over there".  Ok, I'll take that as a yes.

So about 200 yards from the destination I look to my left and see a very Vegas like set of flashing neon lights, "GENOS" was lighting up the night sky.

So I say, "boy that is hard to miss" "where is Pat's"?  Steve lets me know it is the small building with the little sign on it.  Then he says "Pat says he don't need no F#(KING lights to sell his sandwiches"  This made me laugh.

This is my first taste of the Philly attitude. 

So I go to Geno's first, I step up and pretend I know what I'm doing "whiz wit" I say with some make believe confidence.  There was a group of asians in front of me who found one of the signs interesting.  It said "this is America, order in English".  About 34 seconds later I had a sandwich in my hand and I was stuffing it into my face with extreme joy.  Keep in mind that due to my new found diet I was "saving up" for this meal by not eating hardly anything all day.

So at this point I'm basically freezing my A$$ off, shoveling cheesesteak into my face and loving every second of it.

So next I stroll over to Pat's and get in line.  There is more of a line at Pat's and they took the ordering much more serously.  So once again I step up "whiz wit" I say as I'm getting the hang of this.  I think it helps to pretend like you are slightly irritated by everyone around you.  This one is even faster, I'd say 15 seconds max.  I was freezing at this point and focused the task at hand.  I have to say, this was a tasty sandwich too but there were distinct differences and I had found my favorite.

Geno's distributed the cheeze much better and layered the meat in a way that made it much more eatable.  Pat's just dumped the cheeze on top and it was a bit of a challenge to get that perfect bite.  The steak, although chopped up, tended to have more stringy bits in it that took away from the eating pleasure slightly.

Overall, Geno's is the winner for me.

I flagged another cab driven by Abolade Desalu from Nigeria.  He quickly told me that Geno's was his favorite too.  Then he drove like a mad man toward the airport.  I don't think he was in a hurry I think he just liked to drive fast.