Steak Scarfdown: Geno’s and Pat’s, Philadelphia, PA

Pat’s: Pat's King of Steaks on Urbanspoon

Geno’s: Geno's Steaks on Urbanspoon

OK, I love cheesesteaks. Or just steaks, as they call them here in Philadelphia.

I was lucky enough to fly in to PHL last year when I could not get reasonably priced flights into the DC area. I drove the 120 or so miles down to DC with no problem. Since I got here at 1130, I was able to drive downtown first and score a steak from Jim’s steaks. After my meetings in DC were over, I drove back to Philly to spend the night, and the next day, I got a Geno’s steak, and toured some of the stuff in this wonderful city, before flyng back home.

It was very similar this week. The flights into the DC area airports were very, very high, and I flew into PHL for about half the cost. I got here too late Monday to get a steak, but today…

I got back into Philly about 1700, and headed straight downtown. My targets were Geno’s and Pat’s, which are right across the street from each other. I remembered the tight streets and difficult navigation, which was made slightly worse by the fact that Philadelphia had had some snow yesterday. Even so, I parked right next across the street from Pat’s.

In both cases. I walked up to the window and placed a simple order: “Wit wizz”. I went to Pat’s first, ate it, and then went to Geno’s, and ate it. I then sat there a couple minutes, stuffed to the gills, and thought about exploding. I didn’t get any fries or anything to drink since I wanted to reserve room for the steaks. This was a good plan. The Pat’s steak was $7.50, and the Geno’s steak $8.50.

The winner? Geno’s, hands down. The bread of the Geno’s steak was lighter and easier to chew, the meat had a richer flavor, and the Whizz was milder and melted throughly into the steak. The sandwich was just plain better! It also had more meat on it. That steak was 8″ of intense flavor.

Both sandwiches were hotter than heck, and fresh. I ate both of them sitting outside in 32F temps, since neither place has indoor seating. There was no line, probably because of the low temps and the early dinner hour.

It’s worth repeating that both places are cash only. You order your steak at one window and pay for it, then go down to another window to order drinks and/or fries, and pay for them there.

For what it’s worth, I didn’t like the Jim’s steak very much. I felt the steak had been cooked in something like W-sauce, and it left an odd aftertaste. I would eat there again if I were going with other people, but I wouldn’t go on my own again.

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