Philadelphia: Philly Cheesesteak: Pat’s, Geno’s or John’s?

Last day! My group had 3 hours to tour Philadelphia, so we hired a driver to take us to the popular landmarks like Independence Hall, the Reading Terminal Market…

the Rocky Balboa steps, the LOVE park…

…. and of course trying a Philadelphia Cheese steak… or in our case, cheese steaks, as in plural. When I asked locals where to find the best cheese steaks, they all said John’s Roast Pork. Say what? Apparently roast pork is as popular as the cheese steak. In fact, Philadelphia is better known for the roast pork, but tourists seem to think its just cheese steaks.

Before heading to the most recommended place, we had to hit the touristy stop of Geno’s Steaks (claimed as Philadelphia’s original) and Pat’s King of Steaks (the originator of the steak sandwich). Hands down, locals will say these are not the best steak sandwiches, but its like telling someone coming to California to avoid going to Pink’s hot dog in LA, or an In-N-Out Burger. They’re not bad… but they’re not the best either.

Stephen liked Geno’s who uses sliced meats where Pat’s uses chopped meat. If I had to pick, my vote still remains with Pat’s. They also put the cheese on top, which makes their sandwich look fuller.

Score: 1-1

Now, off to John’s Roast Pork, where the locals say have the best sandwich in Philadelphia.

John’s Roast Pork has been around since 1930 and have been voted Best Philly Pork, and have won the “James Beard” award. The hot roast pork is their specialty. Adding cheese (provolone or cheddar) is extra, as well as spinach. Upon entering, you have to go to the correct queue to order your pork or beef sandwich. The first stop is for the grilled items, such as a cheese steak, which I ordered a steak sandwich with provolone. It comes only 1 size, and made to order.

The next counter is the pork sandwiches, where you can order a large or small, with or without cheese and greens/ spinach. I thought I ordered with spinach, but apparently I received a small with provolone only.

I really liked the steak sandwich, but wasn’t a fan of the sesame seed roll. The roast pork was delicious, but sadly missing the spinach. I tried a bite of my friend’s and the spinach really did add the extra flavor.

I’m glad to say we were able to try a few places while in Philly. It’s a great city with a lot of food and culture. I’d gladly come back to explore the city some more. Limited, covered, outside eating area available and slightly heated. You’ll probably need a car, so if you can’t find a driver, Uber it! Here, use code micheller1202 and get a free ride on me.

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