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12/06 10 Inexpensive 9th & Passyunk Cheesesteaks with Whiz the stupid language debate


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Geno'sGeno's and Pat's have a long-standing rivalry, located diagonally across the street from one another, and doing very much the same thing. Geno's has more neon, and various shrines and political statements posted all over its exterior, but eyes closed, you could be forgiven for confusing one place's steak for the other's. They both have windows for ordering, separate lines for steaks and drinks, and outdoor seating.

Both can be unwelcoming in cold or wet weather, because there is no indoor seating.

Geno's got a lot of attention in 2006 for posting a sign admonishing customers to order in English, because this is America... While there might be plenty of room for debate about immigration, assimilation and language aquisition, it's hard to not see this sign as an overtly hostile reaction to the recent influx of Mexican businesses in the neighborhood (which has made a dramatic improvement to this part of the Italina Market, if you ask me...)

Of course it's a purely personal decision whether you find such declarations to be offensive, or something that needs to be said, or merely amusing, and whether to translate your reaction into behavior. Personally, I think that intolerant attitude stinks, so I'm eating elsewhere, but hey, it's a free country.

If you are unfamiliar with cheesesteaks, check out the reviews of Pat's and Jim's. Then go ahead and try a Geno's, compare it to Pat's and Jim's, and wherever else.... You can load up a steak pretty well for about $5. Go ahead, have one at each place and you be the judge..... For some reason, if I'm on this corner, I'm drawn to Pat's even with uneven results on that side of the street.

It's a very personal thing, and the quality of the steak on either corner is varying minute-by-minute. It's worth the $5 for you to figure it out for yourself. Get one of each.

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