And now, the story of how three friends piled into a rented Dodge Dart (immediately nicknamed the Dodge Fart, because we are five years old) and drove 2,543 miles to the magical Breaking-Bad-land of New Mexico to sadly move one friend into her new home, and maybe get a nice meth business started up on the side.
Friend #1: Allison, the mover in question.
Friend #2: Brittany, chief navigator.
Friend #3: Me, singer of car songs, taker of pictures, and exterminator of bugs.
There were a lot of bugs.
From Boston, Allison and I drove to New Jersey to pick up Brittany. With the exception of the unpleasant man who got out of his car at the toll booth to tell me that I am stupid (complete with that cobra-striking, Donald-Trump-you’re-fired hand gesture, which really delighted me), nothing much happened. Though I did contemplate stealing this sign.
She’d never see it coming!
Jersey to Pittsburgh, by way of Philadelphia, with one goal in mind: eat all of the cheesesteaks. Based on hours upon hours of extensive research (i.e. watching the Philadelphia episode of Man vs. Food and then halfheartedly asking Brittany’s fiancé what he thought was the best), we decided to hit up three restaurants: Steve’s Prince of Steaks, Pat’s King of Steaks, and Geno’s, who does not have a noble title. (Though might I suggest Viscount of Steaks? Has a nice ring to it.) We split all three sandwiches, and got each of them with onions and Cheez Whiz, as is the custom of these strange folk.
Of course, I am a sucker for anything with cheese, ezpecially if it’z unnecezzarily zpelled with a Z, and so, belting the West Philadelphia line of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song over and over (because it’s the only one I know), we descended upon the city. First up: Steve’s. It was really, really good. Granted, we were starving and a bun full of shredded tire rubber would have tasted good (heck, anything tastes good drenched in Cheez Whiz), but we thought it was something special. And thus began the weeklong endeavor of becoming what I normally loathe–a person who takes photos of their food.
The guy who sold it to us yelled something like “Steakbook photo!” or “Instagramwich!”, further fanning the flames of my indignity fire.
The restaurant, however, I had no problems taking a photo of.
Not pictured: Prince Steve’s crown, which in my head is made of solid, congealed, passed-down-through-several-generations Cheez Whiz.
And here’s a nice shot of the Philadelphia skyline, Brittany’s chocolate soda (!!) and one of our roadtrip mascots, Michael J. Fox.
Actual naming brainstorm session: “Matthew Fox?” “Jaime Foxx?” “Michael J. Fox?” “Well, he does shake a lot…” *
Then it was on to the street corner in Philadelphia where Geno’s and Pat’s have forever faced off in this big, legendary rivalry. We tried to go into this tasting with an impartial mindset, but Pat’s had a wedding party taking photos out front (turns out the couple met when they were both working there), so that just melted our hearts like…like a neon yellow substance that melts…if only I could think of an appropriate metaphor…oh well.
The funniest part was that the groom wanted to leave for the reception, but his groomsmen kept ordering steaks.
Pat’s also had rules, complete with detailed pronunciation.
Which we promptly butchered.
I won’t bore you with more photos of sandwiches (spoiler alert: they all looked the same) so I’ll just tell you this: Pat’s steak was really, really, really good. That’s three reallys! Better than Steve’s!
Finally, we crossed the street to Geno’s, which was really, really good.
In conclusion, all Philly cheesesteaks are delicious. Pat’s had the best steak, Geno’s had the best onions (I don’t know what they were cooked with, possibly the sweat of angels), and Steve’s had chocolate soda. But in the end, we had to give the advantage to Pat’s. However, a special honorable mention must be given to Geno’s, for this and this alone:
Someone please superimpose a floating, gold-chained bust of me over a neon-signed restaurant one day, okay? It’s all I want in life.
Coming up tomorrow: Day 3!