Origin date: December 8, 2009

I was in Philadelphia this past weekend and so, of course, one of my goals was to have a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich. And not just any sandwich – a sandwich from one of the oldest rivalries in the city of brotherly love. I was going to go to Pat’s King of Steaks and Geno’s Steaks and see who was better. Let the battle begin…

There are 2 Cheesesteak stands that are right across the street from each other and even though they serve similar faire, they couldn’t be more different from each other.

Pat’s King of Steaks was founded in 1930 by a man named Pat Olivieri. Originally the owner of a hot dog stand, its said that he just wanted to try something new. He sliced up some beef, tossed it on his hotdog grill, dressed it with onions and put it all on an Italian roll. With the later addition of cheese as a customer request, that is essentially how the Philly Cheesesteak was born according to the folks over at Pat’s.

Pat’s also has instructions on how to properly order a cheesesteak. They also have a very large menu which is really just different variations of the classic Philadelphia Cheesesteak. They also do some amazing looking cheese fries as well.

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Pat’s claims to be the originator of the Cheesesteak and the best in town.

But you might miss Pat’s unassuming exterior and be lulled across the street to a striking display of neon and orange brick. Enter the competitor to the King of Steaks: Geno’s steaks:

WAY showier, with the flashing and the bright colors. When I stopped to ask for directions to Geno’s I was greeted with a smirk, “Go down this street, make a left, go 5 or 6 blocks and you can’t miss it. If you do well… there’s nothin’ anyone can help ya with.” It glows brightly into the cold night and tempts diners with its Vegas-like exterior.

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Geno’s was started in 1966, so they don’t claim to be the original but they do claim to be the best. They offer only one thing on their sandwich menu: Cheesesteaks. You have a choice of 3 cheeses: Cheese Whiz (that’s right folks, Cheese Whiz), Provolone, and American. They also offer cheese fries and -get ready for it- Freedom Fries. You eyes will want to drift over that one more time in disbelief. Freedom Fries.

As for who won the battle….

That will be the next post when I get my photos from my coworker’s phone. My camera’s battery died right after the 3 photo of my Pat’s Cheesesteak. Guess you’ll  have to tune in next time for the results of the triumphant battle….. *smirk*.

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