There is no better analogy for a whole being greater than the sum of its unique parts than Philadelphia’s cheesesteaks. There is no elegant edge to the local favorite, yet visitors don’t forget to add this vital part where they feed their senses of taste after, before, or during their tour of sights and touch.
Philadelphia is known to have great food, with the Italian Market and the Reading Terminal Market providing worthy alternatives to the generally preferred cheesesteaks. However, for a food choice that at least 60,000 residents consume every day, and still enjoy, is there a lot more to it than meets the eye? Below is a list of places where thoughts like that are forgotten with the overwhelming deliciousness of awesome cheesesteaks.
Pat’s / Geno’s
These two legendary shops should normally feature in different titles, as they are equally illustrious and still offer uniquely-tasting cheesesteaks. However, the history they share is best highlighted by the fact that they share the same street.
Also, they are credited with the creation of cheesesteaks. The generally-approved story of the original cheesesteaks declares that Pat Olivieri, a hotdog seller from South Philadelphia, invented the first stage of the cheesesteak in 1930 by placing beef on his grill. Only for a passing taxi cab driver to demand his own steak sandwich after perceiving an aroma, unlike anything he knew. The following day, cab drivers from all over the city packed in droves to get a bite. This pushed Pat to set up a shop to respond to the orders on 9th Street and Passyunk Avenue christened ‘Pat’s King of Steaks’. Per the urban legend, he added cheese to the recipe in the following years.
On the other hand, while Pat’s grill of steaks came first, Joe Vento, the founder of a rival shop established in 1966, is to be credited with the addition of cheese to steaks. In the following years after both versions of the story had picked up steam, Joe Vento’s Geno’s battled Pat’s, in a bid to discover which family-run cheesesteak shop offers the finest cheesesteak in Philadelphia.
John’s Roast Pork
While Pat’s and Geno’s have battled arrogantly over a title that should normally involve all cheesesteak shops, John’s Roast Pork has won regular accolades for its use of crusty seeded rolls to redefine the essence of cheesesteaks. Since 1930, John’s Roast pork has occupied the inhabitants and workers of dockside South Philadelphia with its unique take at cheesesteak by recently winning the recognition it has deserved through a Culinary Excellence Award from the James Beard Foundation. If you want to taste something positively different, visit this small shop that offers Roast Pork like no other.
In Philadelphia, every restaurant or food kiosk probably offers cheesesteaks. What differentiates Tony Luke’s from the other names on this list, is the commitment given to the sandwiches. As a cheesesteak restaurant, Tony Luke’s has put other shops on their toes since its inception. Now they boast several branches in different locations across the country. The preparation of the food is intentional. Unlike most Philadelphian food shops that thrive on the directness of service, Tony Luke’s embraces food quality. Evidenced by the rib-eye steak used in preparing the cheesesteak, which is always fully reviewed by the USDA. Simply use Tony Luke’s drive-thru approach to get the best steaks for your picnics, party, or your visit to the nearby sports complex.