Food Dudes on the Road: The battle of Pat’s vs. Geno’s: Clash of the Cheese Steaks

The age old Philadelphia debate has always been Pat’s or Geno’s? Luckily for you, we, the Food Dudes, had the City of Brotherly Love in front of us and in Ethan Hunt, Mission Impossible style; we chose to accept the mission.

The facts are…Pat’s King of Steaks is the original and was in place 30 some odd years before Geno’s Steaks opened in the mid 60s. The cheese steaks are different. Pat’s is shredded ribeye; Geno’s uses thin-sliced ribeye.

And talk about competition…Of course they both claim to have the best cheese steak in Philly. Not to mention, they’re diagonally across the street from one another. It’s the Hatfields and the McCoys, Philly style.

Let’s eat! Or as we would say, “Let’s Food Dude this place!” Yes, it’s now a verb.

Andrew’s take: When we were eating Geno’s cheese steak, we loved it. Geno’s was our first food experience in Philly. The bread had that soft but chewy thing going on that I love but I wish the sandwich had more steak on it. The day after, we went to Pat’s. Pat’s was the better sandwich. The bread was similar, if not the same, Cheez Whiz is Cheez Whiz no matter how you break it down, and onions are onions. Pat’s steak was better; the hoagie was packed tight with shredded ribeye and was juicier. If someone bought me a Geno’s cheese steak, I would eat it, but I won’t go back.

Damion’s take: Given the choice between the two for who has the best cheese steaks in Philly, Pat’s or Geno’s, I would have to go with the OG(original gangsta, if you didn’t know) Pats. Both were great and hit the spot, but Pat’s stood out the most because it was meatier. The steak was also shredded which made it easier to eat. When I think of a Philly cheese steak I think of shredded steak and cheese and Pat’s did it for me. Just writing about it makes me want to drive to Philly for another one! To add, the fries were great. They had the crisp, non greasy texture to them. Pat’s hands down is my cheese steak.

Rob’s take: Pat’s served up a better cheese steak. The steak was a lot easier to pull apart and chew, and the wrapper didn’t get all soppy with juices to the point of having to fold it over. The Cheez Whiz and onions provided the perfect toppings, and it simply overpowered Geno’s version. I’d take Pat’s King of Steaks any day, always go with the original.

Let this be a lesson to you, always go original. Always go Pat’s. One thing we noticed was the lines at the two places. After a while, Geno’s line was thinning out, Pat’s line was consistently long. Go with the longer line, it’s worth the wait.

Food Dudes Tip: Know how to order when you get here. This is Seinfeld Soup Nazi in real life. Have your cash in hand, NO CREDIT CARDS! When you order, it’s simple; first you say the number of cheese steaks. Example: If you want two, say just “TWO.” Then you say the type of cheese. Example: If you want Cheez Wiz, you say “WIZ.” Then you say if you want onions or not. Example: With onions, you say “WIT.” That order would go as follows, “Two Wiz Wit.” Hand your cash over and step to the side, wait for your sandwiches, and go to the next window for fries and drinks. You were warned, so if the employees seem a little snippy, it’s not you, both places are busy, they don’t have time to put up with hesitation.

So Pat’s wins but don’t let us sway you, go to Philly and check it out for yourselves.

Pat’s King of Steaks
Where 9th Street Crosses Wharton and Passyunk Avenue

Geno’s Steaks
1219 South 9th Street

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