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Geno's lights up Philadelphia's cheesesteak universe

The bright neon lights of Geno's attract the eye...and the appetite!
The bright neon lights of Geno's attract the eye...and the appetite!

Geno's Steaks


While the world is anxiously awaiting more detailed news on Malaysian Flight 370, let’s not ignore the rumble in our stomachs. After all, cognitive thinking does require a source of energy, the best of which being food.
It enables us to process information like, for instance, the recent Geico commercial featuring the popular green, slimy gecko doing the Philly Cheesesteak Shuffle. It was satisfactory to know the little reptile stopped off for a bite on his highly-followed world tour.

If that commercial taught us anything, it’s that the culinary scene of Philadelphia may change from time to time, but the one unmovable aspect of the city is the cheesesteak. That much will not change. They’re a staple, a tradition that dates back to 1930 when Pat Olivieri brought a future of taste to the forefront of modern cuisine.

Of particular interest to cheesesteak enthusiasts is a small section of South Philadelphia where the neon signs of Geno’s Steaks signal the distant taste buds of city dwellers and out-of-town visitors alike.

Everyone flocks to the bright lights of Geno’s for the experience, including the little green gecko. The aforementioned commercial is set in front of Geno’s (as well as neighboring cheesesteak house Pat’s).

Geno’s, located on the corner of South 9th Street and Passyunk Avenue in South Philly, has always been host to a stream of life under the successful neon brilliance of the cheesesteak scene, in part because of the hallowed grounds it rests upon. The structure is situated nicely atop the legendary stomping grounds of Pat Olivieri.

But that's not what makes Geno's truly authentic. This thriving corner in South Philly has a reputation for laying down the greasy truth: you won’t find better cheesesteaks anywhere!

The actual ordering process must be done with a touch of urban finesse. It has a shape and a structure, and according to many different people, is as simple as what kind of cheese (provolone, American, wiz) you want and whether or not you want fried onions.

Like the famed Soup restaurant in Seinfeld, each patron should know what they want ahead of time to avoid upsetting the hustle and bustle of city folk. After all, it is one of the busiest sites the city offers in terms of food. A little military influence on the ordering process can’t hurt.

Now, if you want the full cheesesteak experience order the “provolone with” (the ‘with’ denoting the addition of fried onions). This is a crowd pleaser for many dedicated foodies and cheesesteak enthusiasts.

The legend is simple: cheesesteaks are a revolving door connecting the previous generation with our generation today. They seem to satisfy the rumbling in our stomachs. Perhaps, for some, these cheesesteaks may make us shuffle.

Regardless, the point is that cheesesteaks make up the axis, of which Philadelphia’s culinary enterprise revolves around. But these cheesesteaks have not only withstood time, they’ve acted as a passage in time. With each mouth-watering descent, the same simple ingredients have been lighting up taste buds since the years before WWII. And they continue to do so today. Funny, how a sandwich can produce such a turning, just like revolving doors.