HOME > Chowhound > Philadelphia >

Discussion

Pat's or Geno's for cheesesteak?

Heading to Philly in 2 weeks for a ballgame, and the boy and I love to search out must have food when we travel. Please don't tell us to go elsewhere -- Pat's or Geno's it is.

Which do you prefer and why?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. I went 2 years ago. Got 4 sandwiches. 2 from Pats, 2 form Ginos. Tried all with everything One each provolone and one each with Whiz. I liked Gino with whiz.

    1. I'd say go elsewhere unless you want tourist stuff,

      7 Replies
      1. re: Quine

        Seriously! Jim's is way better for cheesesteak. At Tony Luke's I liked the chicken cutlet with greens and cheese and Dinic's does a good roast pork with greens and cheese.

        1. re: melpy

          Jim’s doesn’t use ribeye and the chop the steak to oblivion, I’m not a fan of meat that’s that finely chopped and whatever cut it is, to me isn’t as good as rib-eye, I actually like to be able to bite INTO the meat and have that little bit of chew, as opposed to everything being minced finely and falling out all over the place when you bite into the roll (though Jim’s does have a nice roll, it’s no better or worse than the rolls at Pat’s or Genos)
          (Oh, and you smell like b.o. when you leave Jim’s even if you’re taking out)

          1. re: cgarner

            Agree with this. Never understood the attraction to Jim's other than the storefront. I really hate when a steak is chopped into individual meat atoms. Yuk. I think those cooks must think they are putting on a show with the spatulas like they were working at Benihana.

            1. re: cgarner

              The steak is also really bland and watery from all the water they pour on it to steam the meat. And the rolls are too soft.

              1. re: barryg

                Glad you mentioned that. My recollection (from many years ago) was a pile of cooked meat on the grill. When that happens, it turns into steamed meat atoms. I've seen that in several places and not a good sign IMO.

                1. re: RC51Mike

                  Nope. Pat's is the same way -- though they don't aggressively douse the steak in water. During busy times, Geno's actually steams the meat in little metal boxes in the back, then they just throw it on the grill for show and a little grease when serving. Both places will grill meat to order during off hours--and the sandwiches actually taste pretty good then.

              2. re: cgarner

                I prefer some sort of chopping. Doesn't need to be fine but the whole hunks are not my cup of tea. Dickinson College used to have a good texture of meat with little crispy edges. Haven't had a cheesesteak there in years but I would be curious if they still sell them.

          2. Both are tourist traps. John's roast pork or Tony Luke's.

            If you must, Pat's has more fans, but you may be disappointed.

            1. Of the 9,846 places in Philadelphia that you can get a cheesesteak, Pat's and Geno's may not be at the top of the list, but they sure as heck are not at the bottom. I don't know why people on this board love to dump on them, when they are way better than at least 98% of the competition. Because they're popular, I guess. As to which of the two is better, they're very close. I prefer Geno's, but only because it's cleaner.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Vladimir Estragon

                Thanks, Vladimir. Yes, we're tourists, and hey! we want to do the tourist thing. We've only got one night free, and if tourist cheesesteak is what we want, then dammit that's what we're going to get. It's not as if I asked which Applebee's we should choose.

                1. re: irishnyc

                  I appreciate that, but it would not take long to drive past the neon empire of those two and park instead at Tony Luke's or Jim's Steaks, equal in ambience but superior in cheesesteakery.

                  If you must choose between those two, I prefer Geno's foodwise b/c they don't chop the meat as much, but despise their anti-immigrant politics -- so I vote Pat's.

                  1. re: Hardart

                    What makes Tony Luke's superior to Pat's? I ask only because I am an infrequest visitor to Philly and I don't know if I'll ever get past ordering the roast pork at Tony Luke's.

                    1. re: Steve

                      It's just generally superior, food-wise. More of a cooked-to-order, less assembly line, higher quality.

                      I agree on menus -- when I go to TL's, I get a chicken or veal cutlet instead of the cheese steak, but the steaks are still darn good.

              2. Personally prefer Geno's. You might also try Jim's Steaks 4th and South. It's another traditional cheesesteak spot

                1 Reply
                1. re: productionjon

                  I love Jim's! That's my favorite. Whiz wit, a bag of wise chips and soda.