If you are from Philadelphia or in the surrounding area, you know how big of a deal cheesesteaks are. Even if you are not, many people across America know that this city is home of the original cheesesteak. In fact, Philly is so famous for its cheesesteaks that when you go to other cities in the country, that city will have cheesesteak restaurants that try to replicate Philly’s. They will go as far as calling it a Philly cheesesteak. Caution: If a restaurant has to say their cheesesteaks are Philadelphia cheesesteaks, it is more than likely that they are not.
Within Philadelphia, there is a debate on what cheesesteak restaurant is the best. Common answers are Pat’s King of Steaks, Geno’s Steaks and Jim’s Steaks. Other not so common answers include Tony Luke’s and Steve’s Prince of Steaks. That is where I come in. I am going to do my own personal analysis of these cheesesteak places and judge them for myself. I am going to judge them for the actual food, the quality of it, their location, their staff and the price. After taking these into consideration, I will give each place an overall score.
First up is Pat’s King of Steaks. This is the restaurant I hear everyone rave about. I have only been there once, but to be honest, I think people hype this place up way more than it deserves. First of all, the location is not very central. Coming from University City, there is a subway ride that requires you to switch lines and a decent amount of walking in a not-so-great area. Little did I know, this restaurant does not have indoor seating. For a place as famous as this, I would expect there to be indoor seating. Do not get me wrong; it is fascinating that they have been around for 80 years and owned by the same family the whole time, but isn’t that more of a reason to try to renovate, expand and improve your restaurant by including that? If I had known that, I definitely would not have gone there in 30 degree weather.
The staff was friendly and the price was decent; I paid about $10 for a meat-packed cheesesteak and a water bottle. I have to admit that it was a disappointment because I only ordered two toppings on my cheesesteak, and they somehow managed to mess that up. I made sure I ordered correctly –– yes, for all those who are foreign to the cheesesteak life, there is a correct and specific way to order a cheesesteak in Philadelphia. Maybe this is a rare occurrence for them to make a mistake, but for my first time here and for my first real cheesesteak, it was indeed a let-down. What I ended up with was “one American witout.” This means one cheesesteak with American cheese, without onions. Yet I had ordered “wit,” meaning with onions. Overall, the cheesesteak itself was delicious. The steak was cut up nicely, and the cheese was melted throughout. Somehow these two simple ingredients tasted extremely flavorful and scrumptious.
If I had gone when the weather was warmer and if they had not messed up my order, my visit would have been more enjoyable. Overall though, I would recommend Pat’s King of Steaks with a 3.5 out of 5 stars.