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The Taste Off: Philly Cheese steak Style


Extensive research was performed in Philadelphia to ascertain our favorite cheese steak sandwich.  Extensive.  And we are excited to share our results with you.  While we agree on our top choice, we do have varying preferences when it comes to the others.  I’ll save our favorite for last, but here’s our respective 2-5 lists:


2. Pat’s

3. Geno’s

4. Tony Luke’s

5. Jim’s


2. Geno’s

3. Tony Luke’s

4. Pat’s

5. Jim’s
Here’s what we each have to say about each one (and naturally, some unflattering pictures of us eating):


Joe- 3rd cheese steak we had, but the first one I fully, thoroughly enjoyed.  All previous ones had something off about them.  This one felt special.  Juicy & delicious.

Molly- Too juicy, dripped on my favorite shirt which is an automatic deduction in my book.  But overall, a good sandwich.  It only fell further down on my list because others rose above it.

Directly across the street from Pat’s…. GENO’s:

Joe- While the exterior seemed loud and brash, and the recently deceased owner had a somewhat abrasive  reputation, I was somewhat surprised that the flavors of the sandwich were as low key, balanced, and harmonious as they were.  The sandwich was simple and delicious.

Molly- There was a lot of hype for Geno’s, so I had my stubborness ready to dislike it.  But then I went and tasted the sandwich.  YUM. Things I loved: the bread (always an important factor in my voting), the provolone, the flavor, and the just the right amount of juiciness.


Joe- I most looked forward to this one because I had seen Tony Luke’s featured on several shows and heard his name most often when the topic of cheese steaks was broached.  While the sandwich was good, it didn’t have that ‘wow factor’ I had hoped for.  While the bread was tasty, nothing about the sandwich felt special or unique, and the meat was served in odd, stiff sheets.

Molly- The bread won me over with Tony Luke’s cheese steak.  I didn’t have a problem with the “meat sheets” like Joe did, I thought the meat was tender and flavorful.


Joe- This comes with an astrix (is that how you spell this: * ?).  This was the first sandwich we tried, so I went with the traditional route: cheese whiz & onions. Mistake. Cheese whiz is terrible.
Memo to Philadelphia: Cheese whiz is terrible. Pretending otherwise just makes you seem silly. 

Contrary to Tony Luke’s, the meat was chopped, making it easier to eat.  However, it did seem under-seasoned.   Perhaps if I had the sandwich my way (provo & onions), it would have fared better in the rankings.

Molly- Poor Jim’s.  You had the odds stacked against you.  We had such high expectations going into our first Philly cheese steaks.  And then we walked a long way to get there.  Then we waited in a very, VERY long line.  Then I got really dizzy and thought I was going to pass out (in my defense I had ran that morning and was really hungry… but yeah, I’m a wuss).   I certainly didn’t hate the cheese whiz like Joe did.  But I found the sandwich to be a little dry.  Still pretty okay, but just dry.

{Aside: Joe’s thoughts on Rick’s.  (I didn’t have Rick’s) (it was in a mall food court, which was a red flag for me) “Rick” is the grandson of Pat from “Pat’s Steaks,” and the black sheep of the family- at least that’s what the sandwich communicated.}

And our favorite Philly cheese steak??????



That’s right.  It’s not even a cheese steak.  But it was far and away our favorite.

Joe- I first learned about this sandwich on an episode of Man vs. Food.  A local commented that this sandwich gives the cheese steak a run for its money.  I scoffed at this idea while watching the episode.  After trying the sandwich though, I can safely say it is 10X better than any cheese steak we had. 

The pork is juicy and well seasoned, the hand-carved sharp provolone has a welcome salty bite to it.  The bread is fresh and chewy.  And the slightly bitter broccoli rabe smooths everything out, cleanses your palate, and makes you want another bite.

We went back for this sandwich at least half a dozen times.  And when I think back on our time in Philadelphia, it will be one my fondest memories.

Well my sappy husband said it best, so I will leave it at that.  And also, Memo to Philadelphia: thanks for the delicious memories!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Carol Bailey permalink
    11/23/2011 6:34 am

    Makes me hungry reading this blog. Thanks for sharing this adventure with us. Love your blog!!

  2. Marie Eckstein permalink
    11/23/2011 8:33 am

    Love reading your blog! Makes me want a cheese steak sandwich.


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