Pat's claims to be the birthplace of the cheesesteak, and who am I to doubt?
Pat's is plain, white and less flashy than Geno's
across the street. I was scared off on New Year's eve by their lack of
business, but on Jan 1. they seemed to be on equal footing. I'd learned my
lesson the hard way the night before and I was determined to order properly
The tone at Pat's was even more no-nonsense, the line seemed to move
quicker and they didn't even bother to close the sliding window while making
the order. I was shaking in my boots. I sauntered up to the counter and said
with relative confidence, "cheez whiz steak with." I balked at saying "wit"
out of fear that they'd know I wasn't a local and think I was parodying the
colloquialism. But it seemed to do the trick. I was presented with a huge,
juicy, processed cheese-filled sandwich in mere seconds. James made the
mistake of saying "cheez whiz steak with onions." He added the onions
part and got a measly sandwich. I felt pretty smug with my prize specimen.
I was pleased that Pat's had napkins, but they serve their cheesteaks on
an open piece of paper where Geno's wraps theirs up. This would not be a
problem if they were to be immediately consumed, but our intent was to take
them home with us for later (James went as far as also going to Geno's to
get two for the road). We wrapped them tightly in newspaper and stuffed them
in our bags. And even after a two hour car ride, a harrowing trek through
the icy streets of Orange, New Jersey (where we dropped the rental car off)
to the train, and the subsequent subway ride, the cheesteaks held up! We did
have to re-warm them, but their Philly-ness was not lost in transit.
Pat'sKing of Steaks *
1237 E. Passyunk Ave., Philadelphia, PA