The debate is endless as to which is the better cheesesteak and the long lines that snake around each joint further prove that a common opinion is still a ways off. Given that either would probably be a safe bet, we opted to go to Pat's since they claim to be the originator of the cheesesteak as we know it. Anyone who's seen the Soup Nazi episode of Seinfeld has an idea how the ordering process works at Pat's. There must be no hesitation when ordering unless an open reprimanding and trip back to the end of the line is what's desired.
Fortunately, no major snafus in the ordering process and Dana and I were presented with two perfect examples of Pennsylvania's official state food along with a side of fries and a glass of birch beer. The verdict? Pretty damn good. However, I should have heeded Dana's advice and gone with the Cheese Whiz topping instead of provolone cheese. We finished up and were ready to head back to the city when this little conversation came up:
"Uh, are you still a little hungry?" I asked, a bit incredulous that the thought could even cross my mind after polishing off all that food.
"Well, I wouldn't say I'm stuffed."
"Would we be crazy to go grab a cheesesteak at Geno's; you know, for comparison's sake?"
And that's how we ended up sampling cheesesteaks (and fries and birch beer) at both venues in the matter of about 30 minutes (this time I went with the Cheese Whiz, though – a much better call than the provolone).
The rest of our time in Philly was spent checking out the stairs that Sylvester Stalone ran up in Rocky, the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, taking a walk around the city and trying to survive a serious case of the meat sweats.