AMSTERDAM: wit or wit out

July 23, 2010 By Archives, Travel

After a quick ride to the airport this morning I was ready to crash on the plane ride to Philly, and boy did I crash. The last thing I remember after reaching the gate in Philly was the security procedures by the flight attendants in Chicago. When we landed I knew I had to wake myself up so I could survive just long enough to experience some of Philadelphia.

First thing first, I had to see some history. I have visited Philadelphia a few times before, but it has been a while. It was nice to refresh the images of the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, City Hall, and a few other interesting sights I stumbled upon.Philadelphia is a very unique city in that it is very old for this country. So much of our nations history took place in Philadelphia, and it shows throughout the cities architecture, and over all character. Most of the buildings involved with the planning and signing of the declaration of independence are still in very good condition today, and if you have time I highly recommend checking out the sights. You can also learn so much about our nations history from where it actually took place almost 250 years ago.

After the history it was on to the bigger and better history that Philly had to offer; the Philly cheese steak. I have wanted to try two Philly cheese steaks in particular for some time, so I told myself I would make it happen. The two spots were Geno’s, and Pats. Both have been featured numerous times on the food network and travel channel. I believe I first heard about them after watching an episode of food wars on the travel channel. Besides both of these places having a reputation for having great tasting Philly cheese steak, they both boast about having the best one in town. This claim has ignited a rivalry for decades now, which continues to this day. Located right across the street from one another in Philly’s south side, this cheese steak rivalry is one I could not say no to, and I had to find out for myself who rally is king of the cheese steak.

I first worked up quite the appetite during the walk from the historic district to 9th street and Washington, which is wear Geno’s and Pats are located. Geno’s came in sight first, so I thought that would be a good place to start. It had all the lights, and marquees of an old fashioned diner, and drive up restaurant. Thousands of military patches, and pictures of famous faces trying Geno’s lined the outside windows and tabletops where most people we sitting. The choices were limited but who needs choices when everyone is getting the same thing? Just two questions separated you from a cheese steak. Wit or wit out? Wiz or no wiz? The first of the two is referring to wit onions or wit out onions, and if you think I am continuously spelling “with” wrong, that’s how its said and spelled down there. The second is cheese wiz or no cheese wiz. Cheese wiz is the cheese sauce that’s makes is a Geno’s Philly cheese steak. I was told if you say no to any of the two then its not a real Philly cheese steak, so my decision was an easy one to make. I ate half of the sandwich to leave room for Pat’s, and then I was on my way across the street to settle the debate once and for all.

Pat’s place was a little less flashy with just a few signs, and had the appearance of being a mom and pop type shop. The ordering system was pretty much the same, but I had a little problem with my wallet that made it much more intense then it should have been. Having just paid for Geno’s all of my cash was not very organized, and if you don’t have your act together over at Pat’s they’ll let you know. With the line at my back, and me fumbling though my money I could feel the presser mounting. You know they mean business when they have a sign next to the register describing how to properly order a cheese steak. I finally paid for the sandwich, and it was off to the tables.

After finishing half of the sandwich I knew it was decision time. It was tough at first, but in the end I had to go with Pat’s. Pat’s cheese wiz was much better than Geno’s.Geno’s was less of a wiz, and more of a sauce. Pat’s wiz actually stayed on the sandwich and just tasted better which ultimately was the deciding factor for me.While I do believe Pat’s makes a better Philly cheese steak, I would never turn one down from Geno’s, and if you are ever in south Philly I highly recommend trying them out.

With the taste of Geno’s and Pats still fresh, it was time for the walk back to the train. Overall it was a great day in Philly, and I knew my trip would only get better in the time to come.

Amsterdam was just a few hours away.