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From what I'd gathered during my extensive Philly research, it appeared that
there was a rivalry between Geno's and Pat's since
they're across the street from each other and both do a booming cheesesteak
business. I got the impression that Geno's was rowdier, more of a late-night
drunk food hang out.

We poked around both early on New Year's eve and there was a crowd at
Geno's (I'm always scared of places with no customers) so we ate there
first. I'd also read that there was an ordering protocol, along the lines of
the Soup Nazi so I was a bit nervous. And of course, I botched my order. I
knew that Cheez Whiz was the default cheese and that you could also get
American cheese or provolone. This is the first component of the order, you
must specify cheese choice. "Wit" means with, which means you want it with

I got up my nerve, approached the take-out window, got my money out
(they're brusque and wait for no one) and repeated what the guy ahead of me
said, "steak with," which got me a steak sandwich with onions, yet no
cheese, which is the whole point of a cheesesteak! Duh, I didn't say cheese
because I thought that was a given (and I was mimicking the previous
customer, thinking he knew what he was doing). It was perfectly fine, but
not a cheesesteak. My only complaint was the peculiar absence of
napkins (I'm so not an eat-with-my-hands person). I gobbled it down in the
freezing cold and rehearsed how I'd order at Pat's later. (12/31/00)

I always forget to mention when I go to Geno's. I seem to be there at
least twice a year. They give you napkins and bags now, which is a plus when
you're transporting a near trunk load of cheesesteaks back to NYC. But the
best part of bringing my visiting from out-of-country sister to Philly for
no good reason was seeing a fight break out between a big, drunk oaf and the
Geno's staff. (4/29/04)

Geno's* 1219 S. Ninth St.,
Philadelphia, PA

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