It’s Saturday night in the big apple. Right at this very moment I should be over the Atlantic, but due to the apocalypse that appears to have gripped London, my flight was cancelled. So instead, I’m gonna hang out with my blog and share with you this photo, which may not look all that appetising, but I won’t apologise because if there’s one thing you don’t want to be too neat? It’s a traditional cheese steak hoagie from Philadelphia.

I went to Philly for work on Thursday and my co-worker, Samantha, insisted (not that it took all that much insisting) that I should try a traditional Philly “cheese steak hoagie” before I left. Didn’t take much to get me to agree. I mean, a cheese steak hoagie is basically grilled slices of beef with drippy oozy cheese in a bread roll. What’s not to like?

So after work on Thursday, she takes me into the heart of Philly and explains to me the history of the Philly cheese steak. I won’t drag you through the details but basically there’s this place called Pat’s King of Steaks. Pat’s claims to have invented the cheese steak hoagie. And then there’s this other place called Geno’s Steaks. They claim to have first added cheese to the steak hoagie, making it a cheese steak hoagie. I know, it’s a rager this battle (it’s even documented in wikipedia) and all you want to do is tell them to settle down boys, you both taste pretty damn fine.

But you can’t do that. Located directly across the road from each other, no one (strictly no one) is allowed to play both teams. You pick your team, your favourite cheese steak hoagie, and you stick to it. You loyally buy your hoagie, camp your butt on one of the steel outdoor settees and glare venomously at your nemeses as you chow down, wiping the oozing cheese from your chin like you’ve never tasted anything so awesome.

It turns out Sam likes Pat’s, so that’s where we went.

Despite the icy conditions, Sam and I queued and ordered our cheese steak hoagies. There are instructions (cheat notes) for the plebs amongst us. Pat’s runs a tight show you see, and if you get to the window and stumble on your order well sorry mate, back of the queue for you. That all made me a bit nervous so I pretended to have to take a photo and made Sam do the ordering.

Sam and I both had a “wit whiz”. See if you can figure out what that means 😉

Anyway, so it’s like snowing in Philly and freee-eeeeee-zing, but we still camped our butts on the icy steel benches and gorged on the oozy, cheesy, juicy cheese steak hoagies and boy did I enjoy it a little too much. I mean, sure I’m curious about what Geno’s might taste like, but I’m a little scared to venture over there. Having now been branded by Pat’s, I think I’ve inadvertently picked my camp!

Pat’s King of Steaks
1237 East Passyunk Avenue
Philadelphia, 19147
215 468 1546

Pat's King of Steaks on Urbanspoon

16 Thoughts on “the original Pat’s Philly cheese steak hoagie

  1. Samantha on December 19, 2010 at 4:38 am said:

    Haha, there’s no need to try Geno’s. You’ve had the best. You can just trust me.

  2. It’s great when locals take you to their fave places to try local delicacies, and I also love the backstory about Pat’s v Geno’s. But now you’ve chosen Pat’s, I don’t think you could really go to Geno’s? Besides, what would Sam think? Would you be able to look him in the eye (metaphorically) after cheating on Pat?

  3. PS: Hope you make it safely back.

  4. Wow this looks delicious! I don’t care if it’s messy. The messier the better.

  5. Samantha: I trust you 😀

    Mr Noodles: I know, I love trying all these places I probably wouldn’t have known about if I was on my own. Samantha also took me to the first pizza place in NYC – blog post to come! You’re right, I can never go to Geno’s but seeing as I am deathly loyal to Pat’s now, why would I need to go to Geno’s? Their hoagies aren’t as good anyway 😉 Am rebooked on a flight on Monday night. Fingers crossed.

    jenny: It was pretty great.. the cheese whiz oozing out all over the place 🙂

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  8. Linda at Pink Elephants coffee,LLC on December 20, 2010 at 1:49 am said:

    Doesn’t it just figure that the two are across the street from eachother? I can just
    picture the two of them, having a good laugh at it all on their own time. Philly
    cheesesteak sandwhiches are all over the States. Even in frozen foods in the
    grocery stores. It’s just another food to most of us. In Philadelphia, it’s a different
    story. It’s sort of like how Southern Californians know their Mexican food, yet it’s a
    completely different type of food in New Mexico. Everyone claims theirs as authentic. And just because someone is Mexican, that doesn’t mean they can cook
    well. I was born and raised in Southern California and now live in the north. Up
    here, I don’t like what the Mexicans pass off as food, period. Feta cheese in their
    burritos, black beans (YUK!) instead of pintos, crappy tacos, soft “tacos”, bland
    rice, no lard used, and overpriced. Their tamales suck, too. No flavor other than
    cilantro. (I hate cilantro.) The Chinese use it without letting it take over, the way
    an herb should be used. I don’t mind a hint of it. And in California, we all play-
    fully engage in salsa wars if we are into Mexican food. I learned from the Mexicans who could cook like nobody’s business.
    Every region has its “food thing”. The Philly in your photo looks delicious!

  9. I love me a philly cheese steak too!!! shorty’s here in nyc does a damn good one the next time you come back here!!

  10. Linda: I hate cilantro too!!!

    sarah: Oooh thanks for the tip. Am stuck in NYC right now, may have to go find it, otherwise am back with the bf in Feb and will go then! 🙂

  11. It’s all about Pat’s… you did well.

  12. LOL the rivalry is hilarious! I wonder if anyone has done both in one night? And with (or wit) cheeze whiz? That’s crazy 😛

  13. This needs to be part of the itinerary for my next Philly visit! Last time I only had philly cheesesteak eggrolls (!!!!! yesss !!!!!) but they are not substitutes for each other. Clearly. Love the photo!

  14. I don’t think I’d be able to resist trying the other place for comparison.

    The only time I’ve ever had a philly cheese steak was from the meatwagon and it was gooooooood.

  15. justcooknyc: I know, and I thank my friends for guiding me the right way!

    Lorraine: wit (cheese) whiz! 😉 that’s right! haha, have you seen cheese whiz before? cheese in a jar man, so cool.

    Lara: You HAVE to make Sam take you there, it’s worth it, even the whole sitting out in the snow bit!

    Lizzie: I know. I kinda sorta wanna try the other place. Must go buy a wig and disguise.

  16. I used to love reading your blog, but lately it’s been a little boring. I’ll still read it though =)

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