PHILADELPHIA, PA - The history of the Philly Cheesesteaks began in 1930 when brothers Pat and Harry Olivieri opened up their South Philly small hot dog stand. One day, the two brothers decided to craft a steak sandwich with onions, and the story goes, a regular who happened to be a cab driver stopped by and asked to try the new sandwich.

It's a good thing the cabbie liked it so much because the brothers decided to add it to the menu, and the rest is history. At least for "The Steak Sandwich."

The Pat's Vs. Genos Debate

In 1940 the Olivieri brothers opened "Pat's King of Steaks" at 1237 East Passyunk Ave. In 1966, Joe Vento opened "Geno's Steaks" across the corner from Pats at 1219 9th Street, a rival sandwich shop, and thus began the Philadelphia cheesesteak rivalry.

And thus began the controversy of the "CheeseSteak" and just who added cheese to the steak sandwich.

According to Pat, a longtime employee, Joe Lorenzo was the first to place cheese on the steak sandwich 22 years after creating the first steak sandwich. But, Geno insists they are the original creators of the cheesesteak. To this day, the battle for the title of the Original Cheesesteak continues.

Today, restaurants worldwide attempt to recreate the world-famous Philly cheesesteak, and at Pat's and Geno's, tourists line up at both locations to taste the South Philly's signature sandwich.

While the cheesesteak debate between Pat's and Geno's remains to this day, the "Cheesesteak" creator is still in dispute. There is no doubt that The Cheesesteak has made its mark world of sandwiches.

Source: PhillyBite Magazine


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