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March 3, 2006 9:32 AM   Subscribe

The cheesesteak -- a veritable cornucopia of heart-healthy ingredients on a bun. Pat and Geno make 'em in Philly (where else?), inspiring a rivalry not quite as intense as Sunni vs. Shi'a. (In bad taste, you say? Since when is a cheesesteak in good taste?) Some people put Cheese Whiz on 'em (a "Whiz wit"). Jim FedExes 'em. Philadelphians have strong opinions about 'em. The leader of the Free WorldTM eats 'em and then lies about 'em. Faux-fu, they ain't. Ever eaten one and lived?
posted by digaman (105 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
A man that lies about his cheesesteaks has no honor.
posted by mullingitover at 9:35 AM on March 3, 2006


Best of the Web! (Pre-emptive strike.) What inspired this topic was a god-awful simulacrum of a cheesesteak I ate in San Francisco the other night. What was I thinking?
posted by digaman at 9:37 AM on March 3, 2006


What baffles me is that every city outside Philly with a crappy little eatery claiming to serve "Classsic Philly Cheesesteaks" seems to think that a "Classic Philly Cheesesteak" must include green peppers by default.
posted by Gator at 9:37 AM on March 3, 2006


Pat's > Geno's
posted by Loto at 9:38 AM on March 3, 2006


Upon reading the "strong opinions" link, I'm glad to see that I'm right about the peppers issue.
posted by Gator at 9:39 AM on March 3, 2006


I had no idea Jim's FedEx'd those jawns. Has anyone ever had one delivered? Is it frozen? How does it taste?
posted by haqspan at 9:39 AM on March 3, 2006


See what I mean? Loto's correcting my gaddam cheesesteak orthography already.
posted by digaman at 9:39 AM on March 3, 2006


I have eaten many and lived, and sometimes lived happily. A recommendation: In Portland, Oregon, you can get yourself a fine, fine, fine, fine philly cheesesteak. Go to Tributes in NW. (Only believe the positive press.)
posted by cgc373 at 9:40 AM on March 3, 2006


Geno's represent!

(solely because it's ten feet closer to my apartment than Pat's)

I had a "Philly Cheesesteak" in an Irish bar in Cuzco, Peru. It was surprisingly edible - better than many I've had down the Shore.
posted by kalimac at 9:42 AM on March 3, 2006


Metafilter: I have eaten many and lived, and sometimes lived happily.
posted by lodurr at 9:43 AM on March 3, 2006


I love this post.
posted by shmegegge at 9:44 AM on March 3, 2006


Here at school I tried to order a cheesesteak from the joint across the street and they gave me a god damned pizza steak. With peppers! WTF.

I'm now really hungry for a real philly cheesesteak...
posted by Loto at 9:45 AM on March 3, 2006


John Kerry even got Swift-BoatedTM for supposedly ordering one with (quel horreur!) Swiss cheese, revealing an unpresidential preference for a traitorously neutral cuisine.
posted by digaman at 9:46 AM on March 3, 2006


Every year, I go to a convention in Philly. Every year, I intentionally starve myself for nearly 24 hours (as close as I can make it). Every year, I go downtown and I eat 2 cheesteaks, one from Pat's, one from Geno's, and then grab a taxi to south street and try to knock one back from Ishkabibble's.

I've never actually managed to finish all 3, but I've come so very close.

Here in the Bay Area, thank god for Amato's. It's as close to the real deal as I've ever had outside of Philly, although the bread just isn't quite exactly right. Still, it's enough to tide me over between those Philly trips.

Also, fantastic post.
posted by wolftrouble at 9:47 AM on March 3, 2006


Christ I am so hungry now.
posted by wolftrouble at 9:47 AM on March 3, 2006


It seems that the farther you are from Philadelphia proper, the more description the steak needs.

In Philly, it's a steak. In the suburbs, it's a cheesesteak. Outside PA, it's a Philly Cheesesteak.
posted by The White Hat at 9:48 AM on March 3, 2006


The entire cheesteak thing is a big marketing hoax. The steak-and-cheese sub has been around in NYC for almost a hundred years. Like most things, the Phillies copy it, claim it as their own and then accuse the rest of the northeast of being also-rans. Bah.
posted by nixerman at 9:50 AM on March 3, 2006


I just moved to Philly a few months ago. Tried Geno's and was underwhelmed. Had a whiz wit and cheese fries. The cheese steak was just so-so, but the fries were pretty good. Oh yeah, they have birch beer on tap! That kinda rocked.

We're going to try to hit Pat's this weekend.
So far the best steak I've had has been at a place called Phil's in Berwyn. The steak is shredded really fine, and the bread is crunchy and oh so good.
posted by Eddie Mars at 9:53 AM on March 3, 2006


Anyone know where to get a good cheesesteak in Chicago?
posted by Johnny Assay at 9:55 AM on March 3, 2006


I think there needs to be a Philly meetup at Pat's. mmmmm, cheesesteak.
posted by youcancallmeal at 9:56 AM on March 3, 2006


Yeah, so I guess I know what I'm having for lunch now. Provolone wit.
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 9:57 AM on March 3, 2006


An A to B comparison of Pat's vs. Geno's by one Mark Shields.
posted by digaman at 9:59 AM on March 3, 2006


wolftrouble is 100% right. Amato's. That's the place to go.
posted by jlub at 10:00 AM on March 3, 2006


this foreign infidel has visited Philadelphia and fallen desperately in love with the work of genius that is the Philly Steak. thank God I don't live there, I'd eat lots of them and I'd get lots of heart attacks. thanks for this post, digaman

and yeah, now I'm hungry too (I've had vegetarian ravioli and a cicorino salad for lunch)

for supposedly ordering one with (quel horreur!) Swiss cheese

also, it wasn't Kosher!
posted by matteo at 10:01 AM on March 3, 2006


Best cheesesteak in Philly is the "Philly Steak" at Basic Four in the Reading Terminal Market. I guess the kind with meat in them are OK too, if you're into that sort of thing.
posted by soyjoy at 10:01 AM on March 3, 2006


Dalessandro's.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:04 AM on March 3, 2006


Good to know about Amato's, which is in San Jose. People tell me there's a place on Divisadero in SF with good cheesesteaks, even (gevult!) vegetarian ones made out of... nevermind. The bad one was at BurgerMeister in Cole Valley, which makes excellent burgers. But excellent cheesesteaks notsomuch.
posted by digaman at 10:05 AM on March 3, 2006


Being stuck down South, all I've got is Philly Connection. Anyone know how it holds up to the real deal?
posted by ewagoner at 10:09 AM on March 3, 2006


We in New York can snobbify anything, even the cheesesteak.

This guys secret is that at the end of the day he scrapes down the grill, and adds that to the meat the next day, sorta like keeping a yeast culture alive.
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:09 AM on March 3, 2006


Best cheesesteak in Philly is John's which is almost impossible to find, but neatly hidden away near Delaware (aka Columbus Blvd) Av. and Snyder St. But really, I'm a Tony Luke's pork Italian kind of guy.
posted by fixedgear at 10:12 AM on March 3, 2006


But for "yeast" read "E. Coli."
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:13 AM on March 3, 2006


Funnies Philly Cheesesteak story -

Once upon a time, I ordered a "Philly Cheesesteak" in a St. Louis restaurant. I knew that it wouldn't be like the real thing, but how bad could it be, right?

This is what they brought me - an actual steak, on a toasted roll, topped with a thick helping Philadelphia Cream Cheese!

I could just see their logic, "Well, cheesesteaks come from Philadelphia. So does Philadelphia Cream Cheese. Of course they put the two together!"
posted by Afroblanco at 10:13 AM on March 3, 2006


Eddie Mars, try Jim's.

Philly cheesesteaks are one of the few delicacies that make me question remaining a vegetarian.
posted by amro at 10:14 AM on March 3, 2006


I prefer Jim's.

Nothing in Richmond compares to the cheesesteaks in Philly, but the steak and cheese (Provolone, please, and maybe mushrooms too) with everything at Mary Angela's comes close.

Actually, they come really close, as in right to my door.
posted by emelenjr at 10:17 AM on March 3, 2006


I also agree with Amato's being incredible. They certainly beat the hell out of The Cheese Steak Shop, but are not as close to me as TCSS if I need a quick fix. And TCSS beats any place making a "Philly" in the East Bay IMHO.
posted by blackvectrex at 10:19 AM on March 3, 2006


Jinx, amro!
posted by emelenjr at 10:19 AM on March 3, 2006


"Well, cheesesteaks come from Philadelphia. So does Philadelphia Cream Cheese. Of course they put the two together!"

I once ate in an "traditional American cuisine" restaurant in Helsinki that served.... chicken in Coca-Cola sauce.

Yeah, yeah, I know: your Aunt Ethel in Klamath Chowder or Dunghill Beach used to make her famous "Pepsi chicken."
posted by digaman at 10:20 AM on March 3, 2006


While I'll admit to not being an expert on the Cheesesteak, I recommend Texadelphia if you're in Texas and get a hankerin' for the original "Texas Cheesesteak."

Yes, we do rename everything by calling to "The Original Texas ____
posted by papakwanz at 10:25 AM on March 3, 2006


On the advice of my lawyer, I am going to try Jim's this weekend instead.
posted by Eddie Mars at 10:28 AM on March 3, 2006


Jim's > Geno's > Pat's.

All you have to do for proof is look at the celebrity endorsements on the walls. Jim's has Bruce Willis and Hall & Oates. Geno's has Johnny Bones & Nicky Shoes.
posted by nylon at 10:28 AM on March 3, 2006


Like a candle in the wind blowing out of your ass after you eat these things.
posted by digaman at 10:31 AM on March 3, 2006


Now I don't feel so bad when I order them with just cheese and the steak. Everywhere around here in Indy (and the few places I've ordered them in Chicago) throw on onions, peppers and mushrooms. I don't like any of those. People at the bar I used to work at in West Lafayette would look at me like I was crazy when I would just have a regular cheese steak sandwich.
posted by Phantomx at 10:35 AM on March 3, 2006


This guys secret is that at the end of the day he scrapes down the grill, and adds that to the meat the next day,

Is that something like "debris" at Mother's in NOLA?

*sudden fear* Is Mother's still around?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:35 AM on March 3, 2006


ewagoner- the cheesesteak at philly connection is actually allright. i used to work in an office building with one and while it's not as good as the real thing, it's not bad.
posted by youcancallmeal at 10:36 AM on March 3, 2006


It was as of a couple years ago. Best po'boy ever.
And on topic- I've never had a cheesesteak. Should I say that out loud?
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 10:39 AM on March 3, 2006


(I was referring to Mother's)
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 10:39 AM on March 3, 2006


More cheesesteak controversy:

The owner of Geno's is so not into the whole "Free Mumia" thing.
posted by digaman at 10:47 AM on March 3, 2006


My best friend from college is from Philly and raved about the damn things forever. When I went to visit him back home, he took me to Chubby's. It was excellent.

When he came to visit me in OC, I took him to Philly's Best in Fountain Valley. They fly in their rolls from Amoroso's every day. My pal gave it the seal of approval.

Dammit. Now I'm hungry, too.
posted by RakDaddy at 10:59 AM on March 3, 2006


While it is called a Philly Cheese Steak, you can get excellent steaks up and down the East coast at least from Philly to New Haven.

However, the competition in Philly means that most steaks in Philly are a cut above those found outside of the native range. I've had steaks served by those little lunch carts you can find at places like near the U Penn campus that put the outside steaks to shame.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 11:03 AM on March 3, 2006


It's the Amoroso Rolls that are the hardest to duplicate outside of Philly. Without the Amoroso roll, it ain't the real deal.
posted by three blind mice at 11:04 AM on March 3, 2006


"Well, cheesesteaks come from Philadelphia. So does Philadelphia Cream Cheese. Of course they put the two together!"

In Paris there is a restaurant that proclaims: "Authentic Tex-Mex food, from Indiana!"
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:08 AM on March 3, 2006


tbm: It's true that the roll makes or breaks the sandwich. Amoroso is the gold standard, but there are obscure artisan bakeries making rolls in South Philly that make grown men weep. I'm thinking Sarcone's here...
posted by fixedgear at 11:10 AM on March 3, 2006


PhillyPhilter.

What I really miss from my Philly days are the Italian Hoagies from Primo Hoagies. Man, I'd kill for one of those. Cheesesteaks...not so much.
posted by Otis at 11:10 AM on March 3, 2006


I've always heard that it's the unique flavor of Philly tap water that makes the rolls so difficult to duplicate elsewhere.
posted by amro at 11:12 AM on March 3, 2006


Mother's is still around. I looked it up the other day with the same amount of fear that you just had. Thank god. Ferdie and some jambalaya for me.

There's a Tony Luke's in NYC on 9th just south of 42nd. Good eating.

And I have had Jim's, Geno's and Pat's all in one day. And they were damn good. Although I was much skinnier and in much better cardio shape back then. Before that day started, that is.

I'm in SF now, and I'll have to try the Cheesesteak Shop. Someone here just suggested it. Frankly, anything will do right now.
posted by mzanatta at 11:13 AM on March 3, 2006


I'm sorry, but Cheez whiz is unnaceptable in any context.

"birch beer on tap!"

Now I almost want to get on a plane and fly out just for that.
Anybody know where such a thing might exist on the west coast?
posted by 2sheets at 11:14 AM on March 3, 2006


I'm a big fan of Philly's Best in Chicago for a few reasons (and before anyone starts debating their authenticity as a "legit" philly cheese steak, let me just say I've never had a cheese steak in philly. And I don't care.) First of all, they have a location (not listed on the website) that is literally inside a carwash. Second, the guy who works there makes cheese steak related jokes. Almost exclusively. The coup de grace? Their online menu has the most brutal pictures of food ever.

Love it.
posted by hypocritical ross at 11:14 AM on March 3, 2006


I have never been to Philly, but this post makes me want to go, just for the cheesesteaks.
posted by bove at 11:14 AM on March 3, 2006


I saw the creation of a cheesesteak, once, in some bad part of downtown Philly, the street was lined with murals celebrating a corrupt former mayor. Near a gun shop with an enormous dog, there was the cheesesteak stand, a steaming wheeled circumstance in the cold. I walked behind another man ordering one. I witnessed chopped beef, and then melted cheese product ladled and slathered onto a sopping bun. Like a sick corset I grabbed my sides and wished I had never witnessed such a terrible thing.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 11:15 AM on March 3, 2006


I've made two trips with friends from Hoboken, NJ to Philly just to get steaks (from both Pat's and Geno's). I think I need to do that again this weekend. I really do miss my steaks. Provolone wit, indeed.
posted by Godbert at 11:15 AM on March 3, 2006


That tap-water theory is a meta-meme: it's why bagels taste shitty outside da Five Boros, why baguettes outside of Paris are strictly from merde, and why non-San Francisco sourdough is just acetic Wonder Bread. They say. I wonder if any of these rumors are true?
posted by digaman at 11:15 AM on March 3, 2006


and while we're on the subject, I recommend a Chicago Combo (dipped in jus) from B&B Pizza King on Chicago's South side. Garfield and State St. Get a lot of napkins.
posted by mzanatta at 11:17 AM on March 3, 2006


Dalessandro's I think is the best. Pat's and Geno's are for tourists. I happen to like Sonny's right on Market in Old City. Good stuff, and a great guy to boot.
posted by aschulak at 11:17 AM on March 3, 2006


When I first moved here (Philly) from home (Missouri) for college, my standard lunch every other day was a steak from the cart at Broad and Locust, just next to Utrecht. They were, at the time, the absolute best steaks in the city. They've since changed "ownership", and their quality has decreased.

Pat's and Geno's are both terrible examples of the true steak. Complete tourist traps. Find yourself a street vendor on a populated corner (or on a campus) and get your steak there.

Since I don't eat meat these days, I can't recommend Gianna's Grill highly enough. They have fantastic vegetarian/vegan approximations of cheesesteaks. And, if you eat meat, I'm told that's fantastic as well.
posted by Netzapper at 11:22 AM on March 3, 2006


Personally, I preferred Geno's when I lived in Philly, but Pat's was always good if Geno's had too much of a crowd in front of it. 'Course, I ate too many of 'em... there's nothing sadder than a skinny guy with a growing gut.

We just got a pretty good cheesesteak place right up the street from me in Scottsdale. They're open 24hours a day and fly the bread in from Philly a few times a week, so it's actually really, really good. (The bun is the key to the whole cheesesteak.)

There's an ancient tavern at the top of Chestnut Hill which also has really good cheesesteaks, although they don't serve 'em with Wiz.
posted by ph00dz at 11:41 AM on March 3, 2006


Provolone with, please.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:49 AM on March 3, 2006


My father-in-law believes that he got Hep A from a steak cart 20 years ago.
posted by Mayor Curley at 11:50 AM on March 3, 2006


Any good cheesesteaks in Minneapolis/St. Paul? Help me out folks.
posted by mammary16 at 12:02 PM on March 3, 2006


My co-workers in Conshohocken provided us with steaks from Mamma's. They said that the chest pains were normal. They said I wouldn't be able to walk up a hill for three days, and they said that antacids wouldn't stop the indigestion, but that they did provide some psychological theraputic value. They weren't kidding.
posted by FYKshun at 12:07 PM on March 3, 2006


Miscellania:

It's the Amoroso Rolls that are the hardest to duplicate outside of Philly. Without the Amoroso roll, it ain't the real deal.

Sarcone's - "Open from 10AM until we run out", which in my experience is usually between 1 & 2PM.

Frank Rizzo mural

I'm surprised nobody's explained that "wit" means "with (fried) onions" yet. Or as one of the new SEPTA ads says, "There's two types of people. Those who like wit & those who like witout."
posted by scalefree at 12:11 PM on March 3, 2006


Born and raised in Philly. IMO, Steve's Prince of Steaks is the best, Tony Luke's a close second. Unfortunately, it's going to be a while before I have another cheesesteak, been dieting.
posted by Fat Guy at 12:12 PM on March 3, 2006


Best cheesesteak in Philly is John's which is almost impossible to find, but neatly hidden away near Delaware (aka Columbus Blvd) Av. and Snyder St. But really, I'm a Tony Luke's pork Italian kind of guy.

Amen. Shank & Evelyns does a good cheesesteak too. But the masses? Let 'em eat Pat's & Genos.
posted by desuetude at 12:15 PM on March 3, 2006


MMMMMMMmmmmmmmmm!
posted by caddis at 12:31 PM on March 3, 2006


God damn you Philly. Why must you be so distant from Minneapolis?
posted by graventy at 12:44 PM on March 3, 2006


You cannot get a true Philly Cheesesteak anywhere other than the Tri-State area. Why? It's the water in the dough.
posted by NationalKato at 12:48 PM on March 3, 2006


Finally, someone else gets it! I'm a Philly-transplant living in VA, and people around here don't understand why I visibly cringe when I see people order a "cheesesteak" with lettuce, tomato and mayo. I miss cheesesteaks and hoagies :(
posted by geeky at 12:51 PM on March 3, 2006


I nominate this post for Best Title, 2006.
posted by spock at 12:52 PM on March 3, 2006


Tony Luke's roast pork with provolone and broccoli rabe is the most orgasmic sammich in the world, according to my Italian husband.

hypocritical ross - Those photos are hysterical. Brutal is right.
posted by iconomy at 1:02 PM on March 3, 2006


Thanks, Spock. :)
posted by digaman at 1:05 PM on March 3, 2006


You cannot get a true Philly Cheesesteak anywhere other than the Tri-State area. Why? It's the water in the dough.

You didn't read all the comments, right?
posted by fixedgear at 1:08 PM on March 3, 2006


Tony Luke's roast pork with provolone and broccoli rabe

I so believe your husband. That sounds amazing.

Broccoli rabe separates the men from the boys.
posted by digaman at 1:12 PM on March 3, 2006


Yeah, but it's not melted provolone, it's sharp provolone. It's off the charts, it's so good.
posted by fixedgear at 1:18 PM on March 3, 2006


I visibly cringe when I see people order a "cheesesteak" with lettuce, tomato and mayo

I remember taking a goyische friend to the Second Avenue Deli. When the waiter brought his pastrami sandwich, he asked for mayo.

I'm amazed that I'm still allowed into Manhattan.
posted by digaman at 1:19 PM on March 3, 2006


I'm a Philly-transplant living in VA, and people around here don't understand why I visibly cringe when I see people order a "cheesesteak" with lettuce, tomato and mayo.

In all fairness, geeky, we're dealing with two completely different sandwiches here. The meat is different. I love my cheesesteaks with lettuce, tomato, mayo and pickles here in Baltimore, but when I'm in Philadelphia, the steaks are another kind of animal entirely.

(Metaphorically, of course. I hope it's all cow.)
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:19 PM on March 3, 2006


Oy, not to engage in unhealthy cuisine topic-drift, but I just found out that the Second Ave. Deli is gone for good. Gevult!

I need a cheesesteak.
posted by digaman at 1:26 PM on March 3, 2006


Thank God the Roman Catholic Church cut out (most) of that can't eat meat on Fridays stuff. I'm freakin Starving!
FWIW 'round here they have been called Spuckies
posted by Gungho at 1:29 PM on March 3, 2006


I nominate this post for Best Title, 2006.
Donnie Brasco: Fuhgeddaboutit it is like if you agree with someone, you know, like Raquel Welch is one great piece of ass, fuhgeddaboutit. But then, if you disagree, like A Lincoln is better than a Cadillac? Fuhgeddaboutit! you know? But then, it's also like if something's the greatest thing in the world, like mingia those peppers, fuhgeddaboutit. But it's also like saying Go to hell! too. Like, you know, like "Hey Paulie, you got a one inch pecker?" and Paulie says "Fuhgeddaboutit!" Sometimes it just means forget about it.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:39 PM on March 3, 2006


For a while, that "other meat" at tony luke's was Ostrich! the infamous "o" steak for those watching their fat intake. Don't forget the sharp provolone and broccoli rabe. Dee-Lish!

I take philly cheesesteaks down to Raleigh to my friends. My friends love me...
posted by djrock3k at 1:43 PM on March 3, 2006


I had no idea Jim's FedEx'd those jawns. Has anyone ever had one delivered? Is it frozen? How does it taste?

Someone needs to order from Jim's and let us know.
posted by soiled cowboy at 1:53 PM on March 3, 2006


I had a Geno's wiz without...and ever since, I wish I'd ordered two.

Incidentally, my father asked the fellow in front of us in line (a member of the elevator repairmen union, who knew that existed?) why he thought Geno's was better than Pat's. His reply was rather simply,"Pats is dirty, Geno's keeps a clean place."
posted by Atreides at 1:57 PM on March 3, 2006


Late in the thread, but let me go ahead and put in my two cents for Pat's. Definitely my fave, although I think the only real difference is how they chop the meat (explained to me by a drunk Philly steak master).

I have a really great memory from a few years back of chasing an ice cream truck through the pouring rain down Lancaster Ave., stoned as hell, after a tasty Pat's steak that needed a happy ice cream ending.
posted by rollbiz at 2:19 PM on March 3, 2006


Speaking of Texas, there's a little shop called Hoody's who makes 'em way better than Texadelphia. You gotta get the hot cherry peppers on them, or it's just not the same. I was fortunate enough to go to high school right across the street.
posted by blendor at 3:26 PM on March 3, 2006


"Pats is dirty, Geno's keeps a clean place."

Meh, ask another elevator repairman (or any other neighborhood guy) and you'll get the same answer, reversed. Loyalties run about 50/50, if forced to choose between the two.

I live around the corner from Pat's & Geno's. I prefer the slightly-less-hideously-bright lights of Pat's to the alien-abduction-blinding lights of Geno's.

(But I get my cheesesteaks elsewhere.)
posted by desuetude at 3:46 PM on March 3, 2006


You can't leave us with that cliffhanger, desuetude.
posted by digaman at 3:54 PM on March 3, 2006


Always preferred Jim's over Pat's when I lived outside town. Never tried Geno's (maybe because of those lights). This was 20+ years ago, but we always thought Mama's, on Belmont Avenue out in Bala, had the best steaks of all. (Their celebrity photo back then was Tug McGraw.)

p.s. This guy prefers a place called Leo's.
posted by LeLiLo at 4:11 PM on March 3, 2006


No offence, like, but going by the photos on linked pages, these sandwiches look fucking grim, like you'd need to have a shower after eating one. (And I say that as someone who is not averse to a white pudding supper - basically deep fried fat in batter, with chips.)
posted by jack_mo at 5:33 PM on March 3, 2006


Oh goodness, the picture of the Irish breakfast on that white pudding page brings back memories of Europe. I love real Irish breakfasts, and even black pudding.

Those sandwiches do look fucking grim, you're right. Photos don't do them justice. But let's face it -- we're not talking dinner at Taillevent. This is fast food, but made by actual humans.
posted by digaman at 5:38 PM on March 3, 2006


Wow, so many comments!

What digaman said about Mumia is noted in the wiki article:

---
"In Philadelphia, Joe Vento is a prominent local supporter of the family of murdered police officer Daniel Faulkner. The family supports the death sentence of Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted of Faulkner's murder, and are against Abu-Jamal being retried or exonerated. In support of Faulkner's family, Geno's has sponsored fund-raising events such as the 2000 First Annual Justice For Daniel Faulkner Block Party and an annual Daniel Faulkner Memorial Motorcycle Run."
---

I attended the Mumia rally in 98, and I'm still for a new trial (I'm not saying he did or didn't, I just think there's some legitimate concerns)... So, I guess, if I ever head out to Philly again (Mumia rally or some other reason), I am SO not gonna eat at Geno's.
posted by symbioid at 5:41 PM on March 3, 2006


You can't leave us with that cliffhanger, desuetude.

Oh, digaman. Poor digaman. I so can. You don't live here, so it's moot. It's not fair to tease you. If you're in Philly, e-mail me, ask me real nicely, and I'll give you the scoop.

Geno's goes farther than most to memorialize Daniel Faulkner, but it's pretty unavoidable in South Philly. Look, I'm staunchly anti-death penalty, think that our justice system is racially biased, and oppose Philadelphia's death-penalty-happy DA. But those in memorium posters of Faulkner all over the place in the neighborhood made me eventually reconcile that Faulkner was indeed killed by someone, leaving behind a family, and no-one has yet been brought to justice for his murder.
posted by desuetude at 7:51 PM on March 3, 2006


Shit, the one thread I get to late (too much travel today).

First -
One job I had, we bought pats/genoss/jims, cut them up, did a double blind taste test.
Jims one. 5 to zip.

Second,
It's the Jersey water, not the philly water. From Atlantic City. Go to the White House or Sack O'Subs in Ventor and you'll see what I mean.

Third, ANY cheesesteak (more or less) in the philly area, is better than anywhere else in the country. This goes from as far south as Wilmington, east to Atlantic City, North to about Princeton, and west to about Lancaster.

And that's it. No further.

Cheesteak wit, wiz.
Translation:
Classic cheesteak. With Fried Onions. With Cheeze Wiz.
That's the best way to have it.
posted by filmgeek at 10:44 PM on March 3, 2006


My favorite is still Sonny's, near 2nd and Market.

The best hoagie in Philly is still from Chickies, near 10th and Federal.

But yeah, steak wiz wit.
posted by Mercaptan at 11:29 PM on March 3, 2006


Barclay Prime (flash warning) was briefly notorious for serving a $100 cheese steak - it had foie gras, kobe beef, and other fancy stuff.

For me Jim's beats Pat's & Geno's hands down, but it's a little pricey. There's a vendor at the southeast corner of 19th and Walnut that makes very good, very cheap steaks.

Man now I need to get one.
posted by deafmute at 12:33 AM on March 4, 2006


Sandwiches that you will like: documentary featuring both Pat's and Geno's, and a wide assortment of tastiness.
posted by arialblack at 1:05 AM on March 4, 2006


I don't think it's the water. We just have higher bread expectations in the Philly area, and we have lots of local bread bakeries to supply these expectations. You just can't compete if you're trying to sell that cottony tasteless "bread" when you can get good, fresh bread, cheap.
posted by desuetude at 4:31 PM on March 4, 2006


You just can't compete if you're trying to sell that cottony tasteless "bread" when you can get good, fresh bread, cheap.

Someone recently posted a question in AskMe about what makes Subway's bread taste so good. I didn't feel it was right to mock that person (though they undeniably deserved a good mocking) in that thread, but this seems like the proper venue to do that.
posted by soiled cowboy at 4:08 PM on March 5, 2006


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