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“The Philly Cheese Steak Battle”
Review of Geno's Steaks

Geno's Steaks
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Ranked #55 of 131 Quick Bites in Philadelphia
Price range: $1 - $20
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Families with children
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Takeout
Neighborhood: Bella Vista / Queen Village
Reviewed June 29, 2012

The battle rages on. Geno's or Pat's. Years ago when I was an airline employee I commuted between Minneapolis and Philadelphia every Friday night. Those were those days when airline employees traveled first class. So I started asking my fellow passengers Geno's or Pat's. It was always fun as everyone had an opinion. Once a fight almost broke out.
First off Geno's was not on the scene until 1966. Pat's was the first and was the one that invited the Philly Cheese Steak back in 1930. So Geno's in NOT the original.
At both places parking is hard (the are across the street from each other). Neither place has a parking lot. Both places have a few tables outside. You have to jump in quick when one opens up. Geno's does have a stand up area. Even in the dead of winter it's eat outside or in your car. Both places are open 24 hours a day and every day except Christmas and Thanksgiving. Both have two windows, one for the steak and the other for fries and sodas. You order twice and pay twice.
The big difference between the two is the way the meat is prepared. Geno's does not chop up the meat on the grill. You get the steak in whole slices. The onions at Geno's are also less grilled, they are between raw and grilled. Pat's the onions are grilled.
Both places you order Wiz Wit or Wiz Without. That mean with cheese wiz and with or without onions. Always order it with wiz. I know it sounds gross. Who eats that goopey, neon orange cheese? I would not touch it on anything else, but on a cheese steak it's great. I have tried it with provolone and it's way too dry.
Some people say the bread is different between the two. If that is true it's way too subtle for me to detect.
Of the two I prefer the Pat's cheese steak better.
On a side note, Geno's serves up a little politics with it's steaks. They do not allow you to order in anything other than English. (When is Wiz Wit English?) They also have a lot of articles about immigration and call their fries "Freedom Fries", not French Fries. I just want a good cheese steak, stop the lecture on politics!

Date of visit: June 2012
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Thank Sfphotocraft
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 28, 2012

You can get a better cheesesteak at almost any pizza shop. I tried one here after not having one for many years and it was a complete disappointment, especially since I took someone there who had only heard about it. The steak was so ordinary. Most places chop the meat, but the steak was on the bread in slices, with hardly any fried onions. There was no seasoning at all and it was dry without enough tomato sauce. Only tourists would not know, and I presume it's they who line up to eat this. The place is living off it's name, and there are far better places in Philadelphia and the surrounding area to eat Philly's most famous food. Geno's would be the last place I'd go to get a cheesesteak.

Date of visit: July 2011
1  Thank irishmist1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 26, 2012

A friend and I made the obligatory tourist lunch venture on a recent business trip to Philly. We came here after eating a whole cheesesteak each from Pats. We thought Genos was far better. Softer bread, better steak. Definitely go for the cheez whiz. I also really liked the hot sauce. I still think this is too much to pay for a sandwich.

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Thank Metropop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 23, 2012

went to Philly to try an authentic philly cheese steak and found on the internet that Geno's and across the street Pat's king of steaks were first two places in Philly that started the Philly Cheese steak, and decided to take a trip to try there steak sandwiches. I have to say that my daughter liked Geno's over Pat's and I liked Pat's over Geno's. Either place has a Great Philly Cheese Steak.

Date of visit: June 2012
Thank Lisa W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2012

After seeing the rivalry between Pat's King of Steaks and Geno's Steaks on a television program, we decided that when we traveled to Philadelphia - we HAD to try them both and decide for ourselves.

Be warned - Parking is slim to non-existent! Only narrow streets surround the two restaurants. If you are lucky, you can secure a spot. Our plan was to drop two of us off. One of us ordered at Geno's and the other at Pat's while our driver made a long circle and was to come back and pick us up. As things worked out, our son was able to nab parking nearby, so we were set. But, the drop-off plan is something you might keep in mind if you have enough people with you to do it.

There is outdoor seating, but it is not plentiful. The sandwiches are messy, so plan accordingly.

To the experience: Do your research before getting in line! Order the number of sandwiches you want, followed by the cheese you are choosing, followed by whether or not you want onions on the sandwiches (wit/witout). Once you are at the window -- you are expected to QUICKLY communicate your order so it can be filled and you can be on your way.

Our unanimous vote (four of us) was that Pat's won over Geno's...but I have to add that I also enjoyed Geno's sandwich. It is strictly a matter of preference. Pat's bun was a tad crustier and the cheese was more full-bodied. That would be how I would describe the difference.

The french fries (Freedom Fries) were very good.

Although I'm sure there are other places to get an authentic Philly cheese steak in Philadelphia, this stop was a highlight of our visit. It was just fun to be a part of comparing the two rival restaurants and making a great family memory from it.

Date of visit: June 2012
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Thank Melody86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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