Philadelphia, PA - The Philadelphia Cheesesteak can be summed up by its delicious components - a fresh roll, thinly sliced beef, grilled onions or mushrooms, and of course, cheese. And no Philadelphia Cheesesteak is complete without Provolone, American, or the classic staple, Cheese Whiz. However that this was not always the case?
Who Invented The Philly Cheesesteak
The mythic history of the Philly Cheesesteak's starts out in 1930 when Pat Olivieri and his brother Harry created a small hot dog stand in South Philly.
Decided to try something different, Pat and Harry crafted a steak sandwich with onions. As the story goes, a cab driver, stopped by and, captivated by Pat and Harry's new creation, ordered one-up himself.
As luck would have it, the cabbie liked the sandwich so much that the brothers decided to add it to the menu, and the “Philadelphia Steak” sandwich was born.
In 1940 the Olivieri brothers opened Pat's King of Steaks at 1237 East Passyunk Avenue. Then in 1966, Joe Vento opened a rival sandwich shop Geno's down the street at 1219 9th Street, and thus began the now-famous cheesesteak rivalry.
According to Pat's King of Steaks, longtime employee, Joe Lorenzo first added cheese to the Cheesesteak 22 years after creating the first steak sandwich to try something new. But, Geno insists they are the original creators of the cheesesteak sandwich.
Today, politicians and celebrities line up at both locations to taste the City of Brotherly Loves signature sandwich.
Restaurants worldwide now attempt to recreate the world-famous Philly cheesesteak, and one can even order one with turkey, ham, chicken, emu, or meatless.
While the cheesesteak debate between Pat's and Geno's remains to this day, and while the creator of the Cheesesteak is to this day shrouded in mystery, but no one can deny their contribution to the world of sandwiches and Philly’s signature
So the next time you bite into a delicious Philly Cheesesteak, offer a word of thanks to the Pat's vs Geno's Philly's Cheesesteak Debate, and the cabbie who started it all.