There are only two iconic eateries long associated with the history of Philadelphia and they are Pat’s “King of Steak’s” and Geno’s Steaks. Why do we say this you may ask? Well, just by looking through all the press they have received over the years and the inspiration that they have on other cheese steak vendors, it is no wonder why they are credited for being the originators of the steak sandwich. It all dates back to the year 1930, the day that changed American history forever. Pat Oliveri owned a hot dog stand in a South Philadelphia neighborhood on Passyunk and Wharton Streets. One fine day, curious Pat decided he wanted to try something different. I mean how many hot dogs can you eat? So Mr. Oliveri walked to a local meat shop asked for some sliced meat and picked up some Italian rolls (emphasis on the Italian) and brought the ingredients back to his hot dog stand. He cooked up the steak on his hotdog grill and added some diced onions. The distinct aroma filled the Philadelphia air catching the attention of a local cab driver that just so happened to be driving by. The cab driver hoped out of his car following the scent of steak. He walked up to Pat asked to try it and insisted, after tasting the best sandwich he has ever tasted, Pat should open a steak sandwich shop. Pat’s Steaks was then born.

Following in the footsteps of its precedent, Joe Vento felt that he had what it takes to make great steaks that people would enjoy in an environment that was well kept and bright, so he opened up Geno’s Steaks, directly across from Pat’s Steaks. Geno’s neon light fixtures and bright colors dominate the building and the entire block, which started to draw in its consumers like a bug to a light bulb causing the overshadowing of its top competitor, Pat's "King of Steaks."