Humankind has been deluding itself for far too long about many things; not the least of which is the cheesesteak. Not to be dramatic, but the thought that the cheesesteak belongs to Philadelphia is basically tantamount to the thought that if you sail far out into the Atlantic you’ll eventually reach an edge and fall off. Again, forgive the histrionics, but the notion that the City of Brotherly Love can lay claim and ownership to melted cheese on meat, stuffed into a deliciously crusty hunk of bread, is just flat-out hurtful to the very essence of truth, rightness and nature of reality.
Don’t get us wrong: Gino’s and Pat’s are respectable establishments. Whether you’re a lifelong Philadelphian or a recent transplant to the native lands of Mike Schmidt and Frank Reynolds, you’d be a fool not to recognize the two grease pits as nothing less than solid standbys — when you’re hungry, the cheesesteak joints both provide satisfying bolts of lead directly to the stomach.
But neither compares to the delightful and hearty meals served up at Shorty’s, a New York City-based Philly cheesesteak outfit that haunts four different Gotham neighborhoods, and the Downtown Alliance can certainly attest to the cheesesteaks served at their Pearl Street location in Lower Manhattan. And so much more delicious than anything Gino’s, Pat’s or any other Philadelphia cheesesteak operation serves.
Will this revelation permanently damage the sense of identity Philly holds? Maybe. And perhaps we should leave our little sister city be. But we wouldn’t be proud Lower Manhattanites if we didn’t point out that we have cheesesteaks. We have them here in this oldest part of New York City. And they are delicious. To the City of Philadelphia, all we can say is we’re sorry. But at least you still have… the Eagles.