Cheese Steak Chowdown!

by jerseygirl on September 27, 2008 · 27 comments

The two little piggies finished their trip to the market and then it was time to eat. They walked down the street to see two bright signs shouting cheese steaks. When you’re in Philadelphia, you gotta have one!

Philadelphia is the city known for cheese steaks. They started serving them in the 1930’s and Pat’s Steaks was the first to have them. So I thought it would be fitting to get a picture right by the sign. Right across the street from Pat’s is another cheese steak place. Geno’s Steaks has been around since the 1960’s. Both places have a limited menu of steak sandwiches and fries but that is what customers come for. The good news is that both places are open 24 hours.

On any given hour, there are lines at both places. It doesn’t have to be lunch or dinner time. Even though there are lines, service is super quick. And you better know what you want to order if you don’t want 5 south Philadelphians screaming behind you. Plenty of tourists are also in line to see what the rage is all about. There is no inside dining but plenty of outside picnic tables to eat at.

On our trip, we decided to get a pizza steak from Pat’s and a cheese steak with Provolone and fried onions from Geno’s. Both sandwiches were awesome. The pizza steak came with red sauce and cheese whiz. In both sandwiches, the meat was tender, fresh and delicious. The bread really makes the sandwich. Both rolls were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The toppings were different but both were tasty.

I really had a hard time deciding on the better sandwich. Pat’s had a bit more steak on the roll. Being the gluttons we are, we would probably go back to the place with the shortest line.

Even if you don’t live near Philadelphia, you can still have a cheese steak. But you’ll have to make them at home. Do not use steak umms. I repeat , do not use steak umms! I am not trying to cut up steak umms but they are nothing like a good Philadelphia cheese steak. Use steak umms only if you want an ordinary steak sandwich. Both Pat’s and Geno’s use sliced rib eye steak. Click here for the recipe from Pat’s.

After the two piggies finished lunch, it was time for a nap. They had a full half hour before the kiddies came home from school. Don’t worry about the arteries. Next time I will have a healthy fish recipe for you. Time for the two little piggies to go to the gym! Happy weekend!

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Barbara Bakes September 27, 2008 at 11:44 am

I’ve never had a genuine cheese steak sandwich 🙁 I’m glad you onked them down – they sound wonderful!!

Patsyk September 27, 2008 at 12:21 pm

I’ve got to get to Philly! It’s not like I live across the country (like I did growing up)… no excuses!

Stacey Snacks September 27, 2008 at 12:44 pm

Love Patsy’s better, but can’t do the cheese whiz thing.


Clumbsy Cookie September 27, 2008 at 4:16 pm

I used to have very good ones in a place right in South Street. But Pat and Geno’s are really the most famous ones!

Maria September 27, 2008 at 5:29 pm

glad you splurged and had a fun lunch out!

Nora Bee September 28, 2008 at 1:54 am

Ah, a trip down memory lane for a transplanted Pennsylvanian. Thanks!

hot garlic September 28, 2008 at 5:15 am

Oh! Jealous! I would so LOVE to go to Philly on a Cheesesteak Vacay. I would be in heaven, I love them.

I love your Steak ‘Umms ban at the end. Hilarious. I’m trying to do the same thing with chocolate chips! Hopefully they take your advice better than mine!

Adam September 28, 2008 at 7:44 am

Woo thanks for the cheesesteak review. I’d probably go with whatever steak is bigger, but they of course are both amazing. If I head down to Philly, that’s my first stop 🙂

Prudy September 28, 2008 at 9:06 am

Nothing like a Philly cheesesteak. So worth all the extra time at the gym.

Mary September 28, 2008 at 9:33 am


You’re right about bread making or breaking a cheese steak. Chinese or Asian markets usually sell very thinly sliced rib eye and thats what I fall back on. I LOVE YOUR BLOG’S NEW LOOK!!!

RecipeGirl September 28, 2008 at 10:06 am

My husband won’t even let me try to make them at home. He travels to Philly almost weekly on business and is quite fond of the original! I had one once while in Philly and loved it too. They just know how to do it there I guess!

Katrina September 28, 2008 at 1:57 pm

I’ve never had a real Philly cheese steak sandwich either, but I hate onions, will they do one without. If so, I wouls probably really like it! What lucky little piggies!

Emiline September 28, 2008 at 3:17 pm

I’m really hungry for a Philly cheese steak now! They look really good.
It would be such a tough decision on which one was better.

Judy September 28, 2008 at 3:26 pm

I grew up in Philly and attended school in South Philly. I married a man from Trenton, NJ, and in our early years of marriage, every Friday night we ate at Maruca’s where we pigged out on Delmonico steak sandwiches (1/2″ thick) on Trenton Italian People’s rolls (lightly crisp outsides, soft and featherlike insides, nothing like them anywhere on earth and, of course, French Fries. No one, including Maruca’s, makes these any more, unfortunately. Not only was the meat tender, it was also aged well and had a delicious flavor. Beef nowadays tastes bland because it is not aged properly. How I miss Maruca’s steak sandwiches. While Pat’s steak sandwiches are good, nothing compared to that 1/2″ thick well-aged Delmonico.

Dawn September 28, 2008 at 4:20 pm

Oh no you didn’t!
I love Pat’s. Geno’s is ok.
I haven’t been in a while. I love philly.
I get to practice my Italian everytime I go there. I love how proud philly folks are of their town.

Aggie September 28, 2008 at 5:28 pm

I hear about those places all the time, my mouth is watering for one of those sandwiches!! I love that you got one from both, I would have to do the same, I’m always so indecisive!

That Girl September 28, 2008 at 7:32 pm

One day I will go to Philadelphia and eat a cheese steak and think of you 😉

Reeni September 28, 2008 at 7:55 pm

I keep seeing Philly cheesesteaks on the food network! Bobby Flay had a throwdown with one of them, I think it was Tony Lukes? I am so jealous of your authentic ones, my mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Debbie September 28, 2008 at 7:59 pm

My husband is crazy about steak and cheese. He would love to go to Philly and try them all!!!!!

Candy September 28, 2008 at 8:50 pm


1215656559s20768 September 28, 2008 at 9:43 pm

Those look awesome. The closest thing I have to Philly cheesesteak around here is the version at Sonic.

nicole September 29, 2008 at 12:15 am

I saw the food network do a thing on both of those places. I think both of those sandwiches look good. They sure sound good.

Jenny September 29, 2008 at 12:33 am

Man, what I wouldn’t do for a genuine sandwich like those, talk about heaven! Great post.

Robin Sue September 29, 2008 at 8:42 am

Pat’s Rules!!

Elle September 29, 2008 at 11:31 pm

Ack! Those look so good!

Emily September 30, 2008 at 12:32 am

Okay I have heard about these places and even seen them on foodnetwork . . . .which did you like more?

Maria September 30, 2008 at 2:45 pm

OMG Lisa that looks so yummy, my hubby would love this!


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