philly cheesesteak


Firstly, please don't send us hate mail for not going to Pat's. As much as we would have loved to eat Philly cheesesteaks everyday, it's probably not a great idea. Geno's was our choice after a few people sent us emails recommending it over Pat's. We promise that if we ever go to Philadelphia again, we'll try the competition.

Okay, now that we've cleared that up: Geno's was good. Meat, cheese, and bread - what's not to like? We went out of our way to go there and weren't sure what to expect. When we approached a surly subway employee for directions, he felt it was necessary to give us his two cents. Let's call him Stan

Stan: Why you guys going all the way to Geno's, you can ge
t a cheesesteak down the street.
Mina: Oh, you know, it's a tourist thing.Stan: Where you from?

Alex: Canada

Stan: What's that coffee place up in Canada?

Us: {I think we just shrugged and looked confused}

Stan: ...with the coffee and donuts.

Alex: Tim Horton's?
Stan: Yeah, yeah. Tim Horton's. You guys like Tim Horton's?
Mina: Not really.

Stan: Exactly. Everyone told me to go there and it ain't nuffin special.

Despite his compelling argument, we made our way to Geno's anyway. The line up at the restaurant was quite long, but moved very quickly.

The signs before the order wicket were kind of scary and confrontational. Why is Geno so angry? We both ordered, quickly and clearly, in English to avoid a soup nazi incident. We later read that if you order with too heavy of an accent all you'll get is a bun with cheese whiz on it because they "need to keep the line moving". Yikes!

So, would we go to Geno's again? Probably not. But, if we hadn't gone we'd still be upset that we didn't try it. So, we're glad we did. Oh, and by the way, when you're in Canada, don't bother going to Tim Horton's - Stan was right, it "ain't nuffin special".

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  1. Anonymous23.8.10

    You're making me homesick!
    Look, there are plenty of places to grab a good cheesesteak when you're in Philly. But Geno's is a must, at least once. I'm glad you went :-)

  2. Those intolerant signs are ridiculous.

  3. That's pretty funny. Stanley is right, us locals don't really bother with Geno's or Pat's (I don't have a preference of either except I'd choose Pat's since Geno's has the xenophobic "Speak English" signs). Next time you come back to Philly - forget Pat's, and go straight to Jim's on South Street. Now that's sumpin' special :)

  4. Wow - those signs would have made me turn around and never go back. How incredibly rude.

  5. great pics! where are you continuing your travels?

    love me,
    the globetrotting gamine


  6. Jim's on South Street is definitely the best! I avoid Geno's, not only because their steaks are no good but I don't find the attitude there appealing. Glad you had a chance to visit my hometown.

  7. I've been to Geno's and had a similar experience.

    I actual told him he didn't have to be so mean about it all! of course they looked at me like i was insane.

    you'll have to try pat's next time.

  8. Anonymous23.8.10

    What a great post ! Next time, skip Pat's and head to Tony Luke's off of Oregon Ave. They don't have any scary signs. Joey Vento isn't a mean dude - he's actually very nice - he just needs to work on his tolerance a little bit !

  9. hello there!

    hope your time in winnipeg was lovely! mike & i went to grand beach yesterday - OH MY GOSH. favourite thing about home for sure!!

    have heaps of fun in montréal! i love that belle ville!


  10. haha wow! Those signs are quite scary! Why wouldn't readers NOTE YOU OF THAT!

  11. ha, your post is cracking me up because i recently went to philly and wrote about the pat's vs. geno's debate. in my mind it was an easy contest -- pat's wins. but when people started telling me about the xenophobic issues over at geno's, i was glad i liked pat's better.

  12. Ain't nuffin' wrong with Tim Horton's. Part of its appeal is that there are so many of them, so if you feel like a bagel or a donut at any time of day or night, you pretty much need to turn in any direction and there will be multiple Tim Horton's restaurants in sight.

    Who cares if it's only mediocre (but cheap) food? Its appeal is its ubiquity.

    Within a 5-10 minute walk from my work, there are five different T-Ho's. What other restaurant is that unnecessarily convenient?

  13. That place looks like it deserves it's own flag - it's a whole other country down there. Unbelievable.

  14. even though im american, that sign is horrible. i would have never even gone in.

  15. Ahhhhh Mina this post made me laugh so hard. Being from Canada I definitely agree that Tim Horton's really isn't that fantastic I don't miss the coffee or timbits! lol

  16. I live a few blocks from here...
    should've gone to Pat's. I tell everyone that because of those ridiculous signs at Geno's.

    But I agree with SMK - Jim's or Tony Luke's in the future. :)

  17. Anonymous23.8.10

    Wow, Geno/ Joey Vento is a dick. Next time I'm in Philadelphia, I'm going straight to Pat's as a big F-U. No need to even try Geno's. And I'm totally surprised I haven't heard more of an outcry on this before. Thanks for posting and letting me know!

  18. cute post..but we go to Pats :)
    and your making me hungry

  19. yummy - i totally get the draw of going to the touristy place. sometimes you just can't help it! there's a place in philly where they yell at you when you get your cheesesteak, i can't remember the name, but call me crazy, i want to go there! ha!

  20. Wow sounds like an interesting experience. I'm not sure how PC those signs are, but I guess it makes for a unique environment! Ugh don't even get me started on Tim Horton's...I'm definitely one Canadian who doesn't like the place!


    Haha. You shoulda ordered in Canadian just to see what would happen. :))))

    Timmy's is pretty awful. Never understood why they praised it so much up dere.

  22. People who talk shit about Tim Horton's are just hipsters who automatically think something isn't cool because it's popular.

  23. Wow, Geno is kinda a d-bag. I think I remember hearing about this guy on the news, or someone similar who refuses to serve anyone who doesn't order in English. Not sure how that's legal; you can't refuse to serve a particular race, sex or sexual orientation, so how is this any different?

  24. haha it's just one of those things you HAVE to do when you're in a specific city, right?

  25. i shall refrain from hate mail :) but i do agree with reader above on jim's!

  26. The order in English sign is ridiculous. What a jackass. If I ever go to Philadelphia (which is not likely) I think I will order in Spanish, just to piss him off.

  27. oh wow...those signs are totally offensive. i would certainly have not spent my money there...

    on a brighter note, i must be the only canadian that likes tim hortons.... :)

  28. i hate to say this NOW and all but you guys should have skipped Geno's AND Pat's altogether and gotten yr steaks from Jim's on South Street. BY FAR the best there is...

    u know...for when you come back!