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Philadelphia: A Weekend Trip

Saturday, March 30, 2013 8:00 AM

My girlfriend and I decided to take a short trip from New York to Philadelphia recently for the weekend to enjoy some of the food we've heard about.

There is a well known rivalry between two Philly Cheese Steak restaurants in Philadelphia that sit directly across the street from each other.  I happened to catch a segment on the Food Network discussing them and I knew that I was going to have to give them a try sometime down the road.

First up was Pat’s King of Steaks located at 1237 East Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia, PA.  It was opened in 1930 by a hotdog vendor named Pat Olivieri who is credited with creating the cheese steak. Directly across the street is Geno’s Steaks, 1219 S. 9th Street, Philadelphia, PA which was opened by Joe Vento in 1966. Each claim to have the best Philly cheese steak, I decided to see which was right.

The experience at ordering at both places was almost exactly the same. They each only take cash, no credit or debit, both have separate windows for ordering the cheese steak and another for ordering fries or drinks and both had ample outdoor seating. The difference came in the cheese steaks themselves. I ordered the same from both places, a cheese steak with cheese wiz and onions. Pat’s King of Steaks won hands down. The Geno’s Steak sandwich was too soggy. I can’t say it wasn’t good, because it was, but the consistency of the Pat’s sandwich was just much more enjoyable.

In Man vs. Food, another sandwich location was featured as having the best sandwich in America at Tommy DiNic’s located at the Reading Terminal Market. This sandwich is the Roast Pork Sandwich with provolone cheese and broccoli rob. I had it with sweet peppers instead of the broccoli rabe and the sandwich was pretty good, just not the Best Sandwich in America. The line for this place was about a thirty minute wait.  There is limited setting at the counter, otherwise you wait on line for your food to go and can eat at a common seating area towards the center of the market. The Reading Terminal Market itself was crazy awesome. It was like a mall food court on steroids, without all the chain food.

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