Friday, April 18, 2008

Post Traumatic Cheese Steak Syndrome

Thank you folks for NOT holding your breath for this one. I apologize for the delay, but I have been undergoing intense psychiatric treatment for this and I am only now ready to talk about it.

So, there's the tale of two cheese steak places . . .We'll call them Pat's and Geno's for lack of better names. I even happen to have a photo of these fictitious places. Not sure how I conjured them up, but alas.
We had DP's sister here to visit us from Minneapolis, and we thought it would be fun to go get a real south Philadelphia Cheese steak. After all, they are famous, and some places are even making headline news.

We head down to the city for some fun, and as lunch time approaches our stomachs are aching for some cheese steak. We find a perfect, and close parking space-which by the looks of the surroundings was quite a find! We approach the corner and we see our two options. Sister says that she's been to Pat's before and thinks we should go there. We have no loyalties, and so we go.

First of all, the line was wrapped around the building. Once could only hope this meant that the steaks they had were to die for-literally since as you can see in the above pictures, people stand in the middle if the street for these things at Geno's.

Secondly, we are noticing the line moving quickly-though still quite long with storm clouds looming ahead. This is good cause as I mentioned before, we were hungry. Still unsuspecting of what was to come, we dream of our cheese steaks and fries. What would we do in the event of rain? Nothing would deter us from our mission.

As we round the corner where we see the counter, the anticipation grows and we become nervous. Things are moving very quickly, and we rapidly take in the sign that gives you instructions on how to order.Easy enough, right? We get nearer the counter and things are moving at breakneck speed. We see meat flying, onions flying, and hear lots and lots of yelling. Turns out the way they keep the line moving is to YELL at you. "Have your money ready" Let's Go, Let's go" What do you want?" Let's go, let's go" Move it, Move it" I am scared . . .

Let me set the scene. There is a window that says steaks only, and we are thinking we want steaks and fries. We are not sure if you can order all those items at this window. Thinking it is like a cheese steak express line, we go to the next window, which we are yelled at again and told now that it is only for fries and drinks. We try and BACKTRACK to the steak window, which has now processed about 50 people in one minute and those people are not liking the fact that we are now trying to get back there. Everything is moving so quickly that I have forgotten how to order-I need the Cliff's notes and I can't think, I am being yelled at, and I have no freaking idea what I want. There's no time to think when ordering your cheese steak in Philly. DP ended up with a cheese steak with cheese wiz on it cause she didn't know what she was doing and got scared, and I got mine mostly right, but I had a ton of onions as I guess I uttered the code word for butt load of onions.

Then we are thrown our sandwiches and change, literally, and the dictator starts yelling again, "MOVE IT, MOVE IT". We get to the next window and there is more yelling, more money throwing, and little time to think. Finally we all walk away with cheese steak and half filled fountain drinks and some fries. We look stunned. We try and find the ketchup station, and after we locate that and look for a table, we find that there is none to be found. We end up sitting on a stoop of an abandoned store with our food across the street.

Let me add in here that it is not too long ago that I was heavily medicated for OCD, and we are sitting here with greasy steaks, fries, on a dirty stoop-- with 2 napkins to share between the three of us. None of this matters now because we have the beloved Philly cheese steak in hand, and we have the battle wounds to prove it. The anticipation is too much to handle and we bite in with such abandon . . .only to find . . .

it's a cheese steak. . . Nothing special .. .after all that we'd had such high expectations and were quite disappointed. The fries were cold, the steak was greasy, and all together a waste of a few million calories.

So there you have it. Between the yelling, the dirty eating accommodations, the million calories, and disappointing finish, you can see why I have affectionately called this Post traumatic cheese steak syndrome.

I say next time we stick to this cheese steak place-Tony Luke's in Philadelphia. The steaks were better when we went last year with DP's family, and there was no psychological abuse involved. I drove by the scene of the event yesterday and I began to shake. I am sure in the distance I saw flying cheese steaks and heard the sounds of screaming men-just as I put the pedal to the metal and drove far, far away.

The End.


Jenster said...

I'm so cracking up right now because you tell it perfectly!! I've been there and it was exactly the same - only to find out there's better cheese steak elsewhere. We like Sonny's Famous Steaks on Market. A reinactor at the flag chick's house - Betsy Ross's house told us about it a couple years ago and now it's our favorite in the historic district.

ECand3 said...

You crack my ass up with this story! Brilliant - PTCSS - brilliant!
I used to go to Newark (yes, Newark) with an old boyfriend for the "best Italian hotdogs on the east coast". I endured much abuse and finally learned how to order them myself after several visits. It really is mind-numbing and frightening, while being exhilarating and ridiculous at the same time. Crazy what we'll do for a million calories.

Patti said...

Hi Beans i'm here via Lynilu!
This is too funny! I have been in your shoes but not this exact place. I can't deal with yelling and I have to THINK when i'm ordering my food. Also Cheez Whiz on a Philly Cheese Steak is just not right!

Locks said...

yea i thought those were gross even before i went vegan!

live and learn :-D...

Eliot Spitzer said...
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