Battle of the Philly Cheesesteaks

So I’m in Philly for the weekend doing one of my parenting workshops at a local high school and preaching at a church Sunday a.m. I flew in yesterday and met with some new youth worker friends today for lunch. They asked me where I wanna go, I said, “Some place truly ‘Philly.'”

They said, “Okay, we gotta take you to get a cheesesteak.”

Here’s where it got interesting.

There are three cheesesteak places here that have really made a name for themselves. Two of them (Geno’s and Pat’s) are huge rivals and right across the street from each other, and the other is a little place in South Philly called Tony Luke’s. My friends like Tony Luke’s the best, so off we went!

As you can see from the picture, this little outdoor dive was PACKED with a line of people all the way down the street! We waited for about 20 minutes and when we finally made it to the front, I let my friend Chris order for me. He ordered the traditional cheesesteak with grilled onions and the cheese wizz.

Yeah… it didn’t sound appetizing to me either.

But then I tasted it.

Pretty good! Surprisingly good actually! No, it’s no Giordano’s Pizza (shout out to Chicago), but it was definitely worth the wait! Plus, the atmosphere was authentic Philly. It was like going to The Varsity in Atlanta. More of an experience than  mindblowing food.

We then drove through South Philly wear Rocky ran, then through the downtown, etc. Great town, great history.

Back to work. I’m throwing some last minute touches on my parenting seminar. Gonna show them a few music video snippets tonight (Katy Perry, Miley, Far East Movement…)

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; Sex Matters; The Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket; and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers; Connect; and the 10-Minute Talks series. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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8 Responses to Battle of the Philly Cheesesteaks

  1. Chris Reardon says:

    Oh No!!!
    I’m so dissapointed he didn’t take you to Pat’s…
    It’s a much better experience…and a better steak!! 😉

    My first Pat’s was at midnight in December and there was a line of more than 10 people in front of me.

    Enjoy Philly!

  2. Joe says:

    Jonathan,
    As your brother in Christ I must tell you that sadly you’ve been misinformed about Philly cheesesteaks 🙂 While Pat’s and Gino’s definitely have a rivalry going on, Tony Luke’s is not one of the big 3. Jim’s on South Street is my favorite by far. Gino’s is awful, and Pat’s is OK. Also, cheese whiz is not the way to go. It’s not even real cheese. It’s cheese by-product! No way that stuff was around when cheesesteaks were invented. Try it with provolone and the grilled onions next time. You’ll never go back to the whiz, I guarantee it 🙂
    Joe, from Philly

  3. First off all you Cheesesteak lovers, do you believe Starbucks truly has the best coffee? Coffee comes from a bean where Juan Valdez and his boys work. The coffee beans at the supermarket are the same as Starbucks but you spend $4.50 on the Starbucks for the EXPERIENCE! the WIZ WIT is an experience and I must say the provolone is my choice and JIM’s is very good as well. If I would’ve taken Jonathan to South Street he may have jumped right back on the next flight to the West Coast! LOL… We could not have had a better experience with Jonathan coming to our area and bringing a new way of hearing the WORD!! Looking forward to having him back and Joe, we will try Jim’s. Just warn Jonathan about South Street First!!

  4. I vote for Jims too – also South Street at the right time of night would inspire lots of blog posts too. BONUS!

  5. Matt Pilla says:

    Glad you got to experience Tony Luke’s. Its my personal favorite, and I’ve lived here all my life!!

  6. Ha… it’s good to hear all the feedback about the cheesesteaks.

    Chris… thanks for bringing me out to Philly to speak at your church and do the training workshop. I had a great time ministering with ya. (and really enjoyed the taste of Tony Lukes!)

    Joe, Matt, and the rest… you guys shoulda joined us at the parent workshop Saturday night. I would have loved to met ya face to face.

  7. David says:

    Funny stuff. And something to remember if I ever travel there.

  8. Linda Granato says:

    i agree with Joe from Philly. went to wrong place (several are better than there) and definitely NEVER go with wiz! But I’m glad you enjoyed it anyway. Would have attended your seminar but so happens that day i was out of town taking my niece to a teen girls conference planned several months ago. looking forward to next time you’re in Philly and hoping i’ll know in advance and have opportunnity to join you!