Philly Cheesesteaks: Pat's vs. Geno's, Whiz vs. Provolone

I know there are other cheesesteak joints and other sandwich options*, but this is the poll I want to construct.

Which of these combinations do you prefer?

*and I know that, despite this clarification, some will still steer the conversation toward Tony Luke’s, Campo’s, Shank’s, etc.


Never been to Pat’s or Genos, but I prefer provolone or American cheese to whiz. With onions, mushrooms, and peppers. Yum.

Pat’s & Gino’s are for tourists and suck balls. Any hole-in-the-wall pizza place in Philly can make a better cheesesteak.

No vote


Mushrooms and Onions. Wit-out (cheese).

Got to be provolone. Of the two I would say Geno’s but it’s been a long time.

Having grown up in Maryland in the 80s, and having made Saturday jaunts to both places for cheesesteaks in my high school days, I vote Pat’s, with whiz, and with his special broccoli rabe topping.

Based on memories I’ll go with Pats with provolone. There is a special place in Hell for those who put whiz on cheesesteaks.

I’ll take mine with onions, mushrooms, peppers, hot sauce, and cheddar cheese.

It (meaning a cheesesteak sandwich from a restaurant) is literally the only application in which I will willingly eat Cheez Whiz. It’s the way I first had it, and I was assured it was the original/authentic way (though they may have been bullshitting me), so it’s the only way it feels right to order now. Of course, most of the cheesesteak places I’ve been to outside of Philly don’t even offer Whiz as an option.

Ironically, if I’m making a steak sandwich with peppers/onions/mushrooms at home, it’s provolone all the way.

I grew up in Philly until I was 9 and we moved to Wilmington. You can get a good steak sandwich just about anywhere in that area, it doesn’t have to be from Geno’s or Pat’s to be good. But if you’re going to get cheese on it, it has to be provolone.

Reported for forum change

I’ve only eaten at these establishments one time. But I did deliberately choose Pat’s rather than Geno’s (for political reasons). And I ordered “with whiz”.

What? Why, you sonofabitch! What the fuck? :mad:

Oh, wait. You mean change to Cafe Society, probably, not the Pit. :o

I am not a tourist, so I must be a suck balls. How should I break this to my girlfriend? I wish I had known earlier.

Never been to either but the one’s I’ve had had provolone and were good enough. Never tried it with whiz.

I grew up in an inner suburb of Philadelphia and have never been to Pat’s nor Geno’s, nor have I ever had Cheese Whiz on a cheesesteak. I never even heard of the idea that Cheese Whiz is the “original” or “authentic” cheese for one until I was in my twenties.

I was at a conference in Harrisburg one year, and they had Ben Franklin address the delegates. Among other things, he talked about mistakes people make in trying to replicate the “authentic” Philly cheesesteak. Specifically, the failures use “good meat” and “real cheese”.

So I guess Franklin would endorse Cheese Wiz.

Only been to Philly twice and didn’t get cheese steaks either time. So I didn’t vote.

However, cheese steaks here in the DC area suck… which I’ve been told is because of the lousy bread.

ETA: Which makes me wonder how good would a cheese steak be in Paris… made with Parisien baguettes.

I don’t know when Pat’s or Geno’s started the cheese whiz nonsense, but there is nothing original or authentic about ruining a cheesesteak that way. That was the kind of thing that used to be expected in Jersey or far north or west of Philadephia. Somehow this stupid idea caught on and people still down there tell me you’re more likely to get something good outside of the city now as a result. I tried many different cheesesteaks in the 70s when I lived there and don’t recall anyone inside the city, out to Paoli or as far north as Easton using cheese whiz.