I had NEVER had a philly cheese steak.
That’s right, never! I don’t know when I decided this, but at some point in my life I decided that the first time I tried a philly cheese steak was going to be in Philly. I mean that makes perfect sense to me. I didn’t care how long it took, or if it never got done, but if I was going to have one, then I was going to wait until I could have the original. Phil decided 27 years was way too long to wait for this and rushed me to Philly as an anniversary get-away (and since we were going to be on the east coast anyways, he easily penciled it into our vacation- he’s a very clever man). So while, yes we were going for our anniversary, we were also going to stuff our faces. haha Phil did a lot of research and prepared for me my very own personal philly cheese steak tour. I had 3 of these babies in less than 24 hours; I was waddling by the end! lol
First thing I had to learn was how to order. This is a BIG deal. If you’ve ever seen Seinfeld’s “Soup Natzi” it was exactly like that: say what you want and step to the side. You either say with “wit” or without “wit-out” onions, and then what type of cheese: plain, wiz, provolone, American, or pizza.
Now the cheese is another big deal. The original philly cheese steak was made by two brothers. Eventually there was a huge disagreement on the type of cheese, and the fight was so big that the brothers separated. They now are exactly across the street from each other: Geno’s and Pat's. Pat thought wiz was the only way to go, but Geno thought other forms of cheese were ok as well. Now both restaurants serve both, but this is how the original restaurant became 2 restaurants. SO of course I had to have both to really compare ;-) Wiz is the popular & traditional cheese choice though.
Then Phil & I walked across the street to Pat’s and ordered the same thing, plus one steak wit and provolone.
Then the text day we went to Jim’s Steaks. Jim’s does not claim to be the original philly cheese steak; instead, they claim to be the BEST. For comparison, I again ordered one steak wit-out, and wiz.After 3 of these monster sandwiches it was time to compare. They all cost exactly $9 so that didn’t factor into the equation for me. Phil and I both agreed that Jim’s was in fact the best, followed but Pat’s and then Geno’s. The flavor and thickness of the meat and the consistency of the wiz was absolutely perfect at Jim’s; it was so delicious. This was such a fun trip, and it was so fun to have our own personal taste-testing challenge! If you have not done this, I highly recommend it! It was definitely worth the 27 year wait :-)