Friday, October 8, 2010

I ♥ Philadelphia - Part 2 - My Take On Geno's vs. Pat's

The famous intersection of Passyunk and 9th Street. Pat's vs. Geno's?? The two cheesesteaks are done a little differently and both obviously very good but I gotta go with Pat's King of Steaks.. :)

I was well prepared to be taking back leftovers to my yet to be checked in hotel room this night of arriving to Philly but the sandwiches turned out sized smaller. Still they were both fairly good fills and I did have some of both sandwiches to take back. (So had a chance to try them cold later which was also a neat experiment, haha.)

Anway, first starting with the more flamboyant Vegas-like lit shack of Geno's Steaks.

It was a late Monday night coupled with some drizzling of rain so gladly there were no crazy lines to contend with.

I ordered the classic which is the Cheesesteak wit Onions and Whiz. Or shorter, a 'Whiz Wit'..

Wow what a beauty. The fresh Italian long roll (either an Amoroso or equivalent) had almost a golden smooth sheen to it. Picking up, your fingers sink in but doesn't tear with good stretch.

The meat here is supposedly ribeye. They are unchopped whole slices, maybe on the thicker side. It was moist enough but not exactly juicy and also felt rather unseasoned which seems like the route some places prefer to go. The Cheese Whiz here complemented and helped with the salty flavoring. The sweet sauteed onions were chopped larger with some tooth left.

It was a good sandwich and while I'm not a huge Whiz fan I thought I had done a good choice here. With the smaller size and relatively higher price at $8.50 (not to mention the loud neon lights), maybe geared more toward tourists but definitely a steak sandwich that's worth a try.

Next we have Pat's across the street. People were sitting behind the building to get out of the direction of wind and rain this night.

I was a bit Cheese Whizzed out and so this time ordered wit Onions but with Provolone. The choice in cheese for the sandwich would again turn out to be the better decision for me.

A hint at what my meal would be was the waxed paper bag that it came in, haha.

It was a pretty greasy sandwich but in a good way.. ;)

The meats, also ribeye was chopped this time and had (to me) nice bits of smaller fat pieces intermingled and it was also well seasoned. The seasoning my guess would be some sort of light onion powder based blend but just a wild guess. The onions were chopped on the finer side (compared with Geno's) and caramelized really well with even soaked up flavors of the beef.

The perfectly just chewy enough bread was either an Amoroso or Vilotti-Pisanelli from what I gathered online but either way would have all the great characteristics of the bread I experienced from Geno's just a moment ago (or the Amoroso of Jim's Steaks to be had the next day).

Geno's was nice but the better seasoned flavors of Pat's with also the slightly more greasy contents were what I had imagined an authentic Philly Cheesesteak would be, and at least to me the winner this night.

My Philly Part One post at Jim's Steaks here. And I still have a couple more! :)


kaszeta said...

Brave of you to wade into this battle, since it usually turns in to arguments whenever I've discussed it (I'm more of a Pat's fan than Geno's, but quite frankly prefer many other places).

Geno's I've been bitten too many times by tired, overcooked, leathery cheesesteaks. They apparently have some quality control issue. That, and I have to always enjoy the delicious irony of them posting an "English Only" sign... I'm not sure what language "Whiz Wit" is, but that isn't English...

Dennis K. said...

Hi Kaszeta! Haha, really great point. Yeah I didn't touch on that borderline racist aspect of Geno's.. Like their Italian immigrant ancestors would've then been sent to the back of the line or not served at all? Anyway I didn't have much time to research and everything was rushed and played by ear this trip. So I ended up at a lot of touristy places.

My second visit to Pat's (will eventually explain), I was overhearing this poor grown man passionately defending his choice of provolone over whiz to his drunk collegues.. So awesome, haha. :)

caninecologne said...

great post dennis - and i like the side by side photos too.

mmmm, cheez whiz!

Dennis K. said...

Hi CC, funny how the Whiz wasn't invented until so much later than the sandwich but many Philadelphians consider it "the most authentic".. Most popular with the locals maybe, but I still prefer provolone (unless the steaks lack seasoning).