April Sims Foodie Diaries: Pat’s vs Geno’s
The BF and I took our first road trip together Wednesday, June 27, 2012. He had been hearing a lot about the infamous Philly Cheesesteak, so I suggested going to Philly to try one. I took him to the two most famous places in Philly for cheesesteaks; Pat’s King of Steaks and Geno’s Steaks; and we decided to do our own Pat’s vs Geno’s comparison.
Both places are located across from one another in South Philly at the crossroads of South 9th Street and East Passyunk Avenue. In the middle of the “x” on one side is Pat’s and across the street in the middle of the “x” is Geno’s. It is a strange configuration, however it has been working for this neighborhood since the 60’s and as the saying goes “if it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it.”
Then we went across the street and ordered a cheesesteak with provolone cheese from Geno’s.
We got a table and split both of the sandwiches in half and proceeded to compare the sandwiches as well as the service and aesthetics.
When it comes down to customer service Geno’s won hands down. Their staff was very friendly and seemed to care as well as be delighted that we chose their establishment over the competition. On the other hand, the staff at Pat’s was loud and kept screaming next the whole time. They rudely took our order, along with our money and then slid our order through the window and yelled next. This behavior was quite entertaining and was just like I had viewed on PBS specials and other food related shows that featured Geno’s and Pat’s.
When it comes to aesthetics Geno’s won again. Their colors and neon signage was bold and inviting. Reminiscent of food vendors at a carnival. On the other hand Pat’s was in a plain white building with vintage (minimal) signage. There was nothing spectacular about the way Pat’s looked.
We were also impressed that Geno’s owned the building across the street from their cheesesteak location that seemed to be dedicated to Geno memorabilia as well as had a memorial in front of their establishment that was dedicated to the fallen Philadelphia firefighters and police officers.
When it comes down to the taste portion of our comparison Pat’s won hands down. Pat’s might not have what those from outside of South Philly consider customer service and they might have lacked in the aesthetics department, however that lack was made up in taste. The bread from Pat’s was warm and the meat was sliced thin, seasoned, juicy and tender. We did not think we would be fans of canned/jar cheese (Cheese Whiz) on a sandwich, however it worked and it was a pleasure to eat. On the other hand the bread from Geno’s was a little tough and chewy. Their meat was sliced thicker than Pat’s and did not seem to have any flavor even though we had onions added to our cheesesteaks.
All images in this blog were captured by April Sims. All rights reserved.