Geno’s vs. Pat’s King of Steaks. The Great Philly Cheesesteak Debate. You’ve seen it on the Food Network. You’ve seen it on the Travel Channel. You’ve read about it in a tired newspaper travel section story about Philadelphia. I was here to violate my own travel philosophy. I sought a cheesesteak because I was supposed to, not because I wanted to. I really only eat beef about once a month, and I try not to gorge myself when I travel.
Set the stage. South Philly. A land of row houses and pedestrians. Street parking replaces driveways. Restaurants caddy corner from each other. Huge signs. Huge lines, wrapping around the building or down the block. Tourists. Locals with their out-of-town guests. All here to order from an outdoor window, sit on a picnic table (should a seat be available). We looked at the menu, at the lines, and at each other. “Do you want a cheesesteak that bad?” “No.” We ate a cheesesteak at a sports bar instead. I’m sure they would have been delicious, but you’ll have to trust the Travel Channel on this one.