Philadelphia’s cheesesteak culture is very traditional, so it counts as news when one of the original cheesesteaks changes bread, ketchup or in this case, logo. After 48 years of using the same basic logo, Geno’s Steaks is showing something new. The new logo features a clean block font with the tagline, “Philadelphia Original” below.
Last night the Eagles dominated the Carolina Panthers on Monday Night Football. And in what might be a record, ESPN went to the well worn cheesesteak trope six minutes into its 8 p.m. broadcast. That prompted native Philadelphian and star of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Rob McElhenney to tweet, “My home city is the BIRTHPLACE OF THE UNITED STATES. Why must we be constantly relegated to the home of loose-meat pieces on a roll?” No doubt, there’s much more to show in Philadelphia than just 9th and Passyunk. Incidentally, NBC’s Sunday Night Football deserves acknowledgement for consistently showing Philadelphia in a less stereotypical light during their broadcasts.
But what last night’s broadcast revealed, besides that analyst John Gruden did not react well to a Geno’s Steaks sandwich years ago, was that Mark Sanchez had not had a cheesesteak since joining the Eagles.
Sanchez, who is celebrating his birthday today, made good on his on-air statement that he would have cheesesteaks from both Pat’s and Geno’s if the Eagles won.
UPDATE: The viewing party at SPBG has been cancelled, but the show is still on tonight.
So it looks like Comedy Central’s “Drunk History” series is taking on Philly tonight. Or cheesesteaks. Or both. In any event, we’ve been promised that, as a part of that, Geno’s Steaks is going to be mentioned.
No, I don’t know how much focus is going to be put on the cheesesteak shop. I don’t know if they’re going to be talking about any other restaurants. But apparently, there’s enough of Geno’s in the episode for them to be throwing a viewing party at neighboring South Philly Bar And Grill. From 9pm ’til 11pm, there’ll be cheesesteaks and beer specials ($2.50 Yuengling bottles and drafts, $1 off any Victory or Yards beers) and the episode will be shown at 10pm.
Don’t be so quick to crumble up those cheesesteak wrappers because for the month of July, Geno’s Steaks is hiding golden tickets in five of them. And don’t worry, if you win, you won’t be getting sucked up into a Cheez Whiz-filled tube (most likely).
What the winner, and a guest, will get is a behind-the-scenes tour of Geno’s, lunch with Geno Vento and a seat at the Phillies vs. Mets game on August 10th.
The tickets will be randomly placed in the wrappers, but if you want to keep track of how many are left, follow #GenosGoldenTicket on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Geno spoke to the idea saying, “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory is one of my favorite childhood movies – it brings back so many memories of being a kid in South Philly. I love the idea that my customers love Philly as much as I do. What better way to show them my appreciation?”
And who wouldn’t appreciate another incentive to eat cheesesteaks?
WHYY has this new(ish) health-based show attached to Newsworks called The Pulse. It talks to doctors and discusses high blood pressure and cholesterol and all those things that grownups care about. It’s a good show, but rarely catches my attention until, this morning, I heard them talking about cheesesteaks.
Alan Richman, GQ Food editor and Philadelphia native has ranked his ten favorite Philadelphia cheesesteaks. In a single day, Richman and his crew of cheesesteak eaters managed to try 23-steaks and ranked the top-ten steak sandwiches in order.
There are plenty of zingers and a top-ten list that will be sure to be criticized. Unfortunately we don’t know which places he went to that didn’t make the list.
From noon to 2 p.m. today, Geno’s is celebrating its 47th anniversary by serving up cheesesteaks for just 50 cents (instead of the usual $9.50). Customers will also have a chance to spin Geno’s prize wheel for a chance at t-shirts, pens and sweatshirts. Spins are $5 and 100% of the proceeds go to The American Association for Cancer Research.
Geno’s Steaks [Official Site]
Photo by Pushnik Photography
Last week, Eater Philly ran a photo of rapper Busta Rhymes hanging out at Geno’s Steaks in South Philadelphia. That was all well and good. But what really caught our interest was an update to the item, explaining that the “Speak English” sign is still being proudly displayed at Geno’s, because its preservation was late owner Joey Vento’s dying wish.
Geno’s recently retained Neff Associates, the same public relations firm that’s been handling the Joe’s vs. Chink’s racist cheesesteak drama. Neff PR director Kylie Flett explains the Geno’s sign situation in an email today:
I wanted to reach out to you personally regarding the newest addition to our client roster, Geno’s Steaks.
As you know, Geno’s is under new management since the passing of Joey Vento. Geno Vento, Joey’s openly gay son is the new owner and operator and I think it is important to inform you, that he does not share all of the polarizing views his Father was famous for.
I think it is also important for you to know that we have retained Joe’s Steaks + Soda Shop with this growth. In fact, the work we did, and continue to do for Joe’s, really resonated with Geno Vento.
Our PR counsel and marketing recommendations (I am not sure if you are aware but we also have creative, media buying, social media, website design, etc services in-house) are being taken very seriously over at the Geno’s camp – this is the first time they have ever bought an agency or someone from outside the family into the daily operations of the business.
Our client has reported to us, that per our strong recommendation the ‘American’s don’t press # 2′ sign has been removed.
I can also tell you that we STRONGLY recommended to Geno Vento that the ‘speak english’ sign be removed also. Our recommendation is currently under consideration by the Geno’s Team. Unfortunately, Joey’s dying wish to his son was for the sign to remain, and Geno at this time is choosing to respect his Father’s request.
I can promise you that we have already, and will continue to push for the removal of this sign with our client, Geno Vento. And as a non-US citizen myself, I hope you understand how important this is to us.
At 4:20 a.m. this morning, a still unidentified 30-year-old woman fell from the 12th story window of the luxurious Dockside Condominiums on the Delaware River. She was pronounced dead at 4:36 after after hitting a fourth-floor balcony. It’s unclear whether she jumped, fell, or if foul play was to blame.
A bunch of local athletes and celebrity types have called the place home recently, including Tony Bruno, Darren Daulton, Geno Vento, and once upon a time, DeSean Jackson. Here’s Bruno’s take.
@WaynePezze not me. Some poor woman who was apparently visiting in the bldg either fell off or jumped off a balcony at 4:30am. Very sad.
— Tony Bruno (@TonyBrunoShow) August 2, 2013
Here’s a promo video for the joint, to give you a sense for the place.
Lawrence Ordone lost his job, but he kept his honor. When asked by a customer to make him a steak sandwich with American cheese, onion, and ketchup, Subway sandwich creator Ordone flat-out refused. “He wants ketchup on the Philly cheese steak and I have never put — we don’t even have ketchup at Subway — I’ve never put ketchup on anybody’s sandwich.” Then, he self-admittedly “flew off the handle,” challenged the customer to a fight, and told him to “go buy your own ketchup.” Hey Lawrence, if you need work, Geno’s is always looking for employees to berate customers who don’t know how to order. [Gawker]