Definitely a “mis-steak”
Before I “rip” into Pat’s Cheese Steak, I have to say “Eden” Rocks! I know I’ve semi-bashed it before, but I was working late last night so I decided to order dinner from the Eden Wok and bring it back to the office. Since BBQ is on the agenda tomorrow night, I decided some sodium-laced Chinese oughta hold me over for now. I’ve had the decently tasting chicken and cashews before so decided to go with the Crispy Shredded Chicken w/ Brown Rice and a Miso Soup. Let me just say it was one of the tastiest take out dishes I’ve ever had (then again at $9.95 for a small portion it better be damn good). The chicken was tender. The sauce was tangy and sweet. The brown rice perfectly neutralized any hints of heat. It also blended perfectly with the light and refreshing Lime Green Snapple I drank. I was very pleasantly surprised with the dish.
The Crispy Shredded Chicken at Eden Wok
I put my fork down at 8pm with a half full dish. By 8:05 I had another few forkfuls while I tried to fill myself with those crispy lo-mein noodles. My mouth was watering for some more sweet goodness. By 8:10 I had just enough left to close the lid and save it for left overs for lunch (thus eliminating any need for a $11 lunch tomorrow – which I’ve been “skewered” on this board by "some" from MidtownLunch.com for doing. You know who you are…mr. anonymous).
Anyway it was a very, very good dish if you’re ever on 34th street and Madison and craving some kosher Chinese (I mean…who doesn’t crave Kosher Chinese?)
Anyway onto the meat!
I spent the weekend in Philly for John’s bachelor party. I won’t bore everyone to death with the details, but let’s just say a great time was had by all and that the Citizens Bank Ballpark (where the Phillies play) kicks the shit out of Yankee Stadium or Shea….let’s just hope the two new NYC ballparks are just as nice.
One of the highlights of the trip was making the requisite trek over to Little Italy to help try to settle the debate between who had the better cheese steak, Pat’s or Geno’s.
I was beyond amped for either of the two, especially since either one would have been my virgin voyage to the “meccas” of Philly Cheese steak land. I had especially high expectations of the places being that these places were the faces of Philly cheese steaks, despite being obvious tourist traps (side note, I know there are 100 better places to eat a cheesesteak in philly – Tony Luc’s, Mike, Pete’s, Dan, Al’s, Sam’s, Jim’s, wherever…so please no “you should went to”…”or you’re a fuckin idiot for going there”….ok? Capice? Mucho Gracias.)
There were 8 of us so we split into groups of 4 (unintentionally of course, as I wanted to try Pat’s after hearing some sources it was superior to Geno’s). The Geno’s line was considerably shorter than the line at Pat’s, which seemed to play into my rationale that Pat’s must therefore be better.
The group of 4 at Geno’s ordered and ate their cheese steaks within 30 minutes, while me and my group of 3 on the Pat’s line still had about another 10 minutes or so to go before we ordered. I was getting ancy, but seeing the vats of Cheez Whiz in the window just heightened the anticipation.
The vat's of Cheez Whiz at Pat's
We finally got near the window…and people were ordering in droves. One guy ordered 6. Another woman ordered 5. It took about 10 minutes to walk from one sign of the “how to order” sign to the other. It got me thinking. I should just order 100 and sell it at a markup to the poor bastards waiting on the line that wrapped around the building onto itself. Seriously. No wonder we waited over an hour to order…when people are ordering 5 a person you don’t move a fuckin inch.
With people ordering 5 at a time, we had plenty of time to read the rules
Anyway, we placed the world’s quickest order (how fast can YOU say “Wiz Wit”) and after grabbing a soda I sat down for a taste of heaven in a bun.
Or so I thought.
You see…I made a cheese steak a few years back during my annual super bowl bash. I used real prime rib and sliced it real thin. Trimmed off all the fat on the meat and seared it. I sautéed up some diced onions and green peppers, combined the ingredients on the grilled and poured on the cheez whiz. A few tosses with the spatula, lay it on the soft soft hero bread and viola! It was fantastic. One of the best I’ve ever had and I’m not saying that just because I made it. It was fuckin good.
So Pat’s, despite using mass produced, industrial items, must be as good if not better, right? Well…I’ll be damned. This pile of shit before me looked like frozen chewed up steak-ems with cheez whiz. I’d expect that from my high school cafeteria but Pat’s? “King” of the Cheese Steak?
THIS is the "King of Steaks???"
The cheez whiz wasn’t even spread out evenly, it was lumped in the middle. There was chewy fat on the edges. It was not a pretty picture. I mean I wasn’t expecting much knowing that they pump out thousands of cheese steaks a day. But I was expecting something more from the “King of Steaks”.
The guys had already long devoured their Geno’s steaks so there was nothing left for comparison. But I was starving so I ate my cheese steak in about 60 seconds. Ok maybe 30 seconds. But I was just trying to get it out of the way. It tasted decent enough thanks to Mr. Cheez Whiz and his infectious flavor. But thoroughly and utterly disappointing as a whole. I could’ve eaten three or four…but why bother.
So without even getting a chance to compare the two I’m gonna have to say Geno’s was better.
The group of 4 enjoyed their Geno’s steaks. The 4 of us were impartial about Pat’s. Sorry Pat’s fans. That’s the way the cookie crumbles. But Pat’s left such a sour taste in my mouth that next time I go there (IF I go there) I may have to order the Hot Dog. Or the Fish Steak. Because either may be infinitely better than the Steak-ems slabbed on a bun that is masquerading as something called a "cheese steak".
The verdict? Eating at Pat's was a "mis-steak"
Monday, July 02, 2007
Definitely a “mis-steak”