Jims Galley

Jims Galley

Monday, September 19, 2011

Pats or Ginos'?

The great cheesesteak debate over which one is better, Gino’s or Pats in South Philly has been raging for years. Ever since I first saw these two places featured, well, on just about every travel and food network I can think of, I always wanted to visit south Philadelphia to find out for myself. These places seemed to have so much character, and the cheesesteaks did look awesome.
We arrived at Pats at around five o clock. I was at first surprised to see how close Pats and Gino’s was. They almost mirror each other, each one just across the street from each other.

We stood where Sylvester Stallone stood in the movie Rocky and began to figure out how to order our first cheese steak. We had been warned…. that you better have you order ready when you get to the window, or it could be trouble.

I had a plan, we would order the same basic sandwich from each place, and spit each one and decided for ourselves which was better.

As we found out, there is no looser here. Both where fantastic, however there was some clear differences, that may just end up being up to personal preference. In other words, do you like your onions seen??? Or so small they blend into the sandwich and not even notice they are there. That sort of thing, both are good, just which one would someone prefer.

We ordered Pats first. This Cheesesteak was really good. The meat seemed to be both chopped and also sliced. We gave it a 10, thought it was great, and also loved the way Pats had a bin of all fresh peppers. You could really make one awesome sandwich here, however we wanted to keep it simple for comparison, just the basics.

Next, we happily walk across the street to Gino’s. All the celeb pictures pasted all over the place was really fun. Once again we ordered without any problems, found a seat, and dug in.

I thought right from the start at Gino’s, there was a marked difference between the two cheese steaks.

Gino’s sub roll was better. It was softer, hotter, and had more flavor. I do know a little something about bread baking, and even have two sourdough starters in my fridge. Gino’s sub roll was better for sure.

Next, the meat. Gino’s was better, seemed to have more flavor. It was all sliced cuts of meat, and this may have been the difference.

Next, the onions, WAY better at Gino’s. They were cooked perfect, tender, and you could actually bite into one. VERY good.

As far as the cheese wiz, no secret there, both Pats and Gino’s offer the “Wiz” and for this sandwich I highly recommend doing the wiz.

So, we voted hands down Gino’s for the best Philly cheese steak. No doubt both are fantastic.

If you go, do what we did. Go to one, and then the other, everybody join in and decide for yourself which one you like best. If you ever go near Philadelphia, don’t miss going to Pats and Gino’s. These places are legendary and it is quite a treat to go there and experience there ambiance, and of course, world class Philly cheesesteaks.
While we were happy to give Gino’s our number one spot in our little taste tester, we of course were sad and of course disappointed to hear that Joey Vento passed away only two weeks prior to our trip. We had really looked forward to meeting him and am sure he will be truly missed by his legions of fans worldwide.

RIP Joey Vento.

Well folks, that was our last trip out to sample some of our favorite goodies only five days before we open Jim’s Bar and BBQ! We will be posting some of our pics and recipes here soon and also on Facebook. Check us out, open for lunch Wed-Sat, and happy hour starts at 3 and runs until 7 when the live music starts.

All our 16 hour smoked hand pulled BBQ is smoked with a secret mixture of fruit and hard woods over charcoal. We will start with just the BBQ sandwich boat, then introduce ribs in a few weeks.

Happy hour features wine specials, smoked foods, and dollar beers floating in a tub of ice.

This should be yet another, interesting adventure.

Jim Baugh

Jim’s Bar and BBQ is located only at Victorian Station, Phoebus * Hampton just by the Chesapeake Bay