Friday, July 25, 2008

Delicious Mumia-steak

Over the last month a couple of friends have spent the night on our lovely futon. We haven't yet dragged anyone to the bell, but if we ever see it ourselves, it'll probably be because a guest wants to see it. As far as 'things to do in Philly because you are here' go, cheesesteaks have to be pretty high on the list. I have yet only eaten a philly cheesteak in the presence of a visitor. Pat's King of Steaks and Geno's Steaks are the cheesesteak shops. Real Philadelphians who don't live a block away all insisit there are better sammiches to be had in a million different locations around the city. Tourists are pointed towards Pat's and Geno's. Two of those times I've been it was in the middle of the night. 24 hour service may be a gimmick, but it's a darn good one.
Pat's and Geno's sit diagonally across from one another on triangular blocks caused by Passyunk, the one diagonal street running through the grid. Pat's is older. Geno's is flashier. A steak sammich come with onions ("wit") or without ("witout"). A steak sammich comes with american cheese, provolone, cheese whiz, or no cheese. To order, you stand in line for upwards of an hour while the people around you quiz you on what you want, and if you know the proper way to order what you'd like when you get there. When it's your turn you say "wit whiz" and three seconds later a made to order sammich is pressed into your hand.

Even though most here have a better shop to buy a steak sandwich from, everyone has an opinion as to which is the better. Almost a Hellman's and Miracle Whip level of distinction. Some claim better service, some better meat cuts, some design aesthetics. On one late night trip, a neighbor was drinking on the stoop as we left and told us not to buy from Geno's because they have a sticker next to the window which says: This is America when ordering "speak English". I shrugged it off. The political opinions of most food establishments does little to deter me. I eat at Sordy's.
There is indeed such a sign. It's mostly goofy. The men on the inside were all wearing shirts with the same slogan on them. Silly Italians. But then I sat to eat my food at the very tip and I noticed the giant sign for slain officer Daniel Faulkner. Included on the sign was the insistence that he was killed by Mumia Abu-Jamal. All I knew about Mumia was that Karl or Eric had worn a Free Mumia shirt in high school and that there was some dispute as to the honesty of the trial that put him away for Faulkner's murder. I was, to tell the truth, a little grossed out.

Yesterday I decided to look this Mumia back up, see what I could learn. He has had enough attention and celebrity to stay in the news and in white liberal college kid's minds for years. I've had a little experience with railroaded justice, and I could easily imagine what could happen to someone the police are intent on holding responsible of killing one of their own. I did set out to see it from Mumia's point of view. I really tried.

Forgive me Geno's, I judged you harshly, I was ill informed. Forgive me Faulkner. There are rumors on the internets that you were in pockets, that you were not straight. Your death covered all that up, as the blue stands behind their own, especially their fallen. Besides the fact you were probably a crooked cop, your death was nothing but tragic. Mumia, congratulations on your prison celebrity. You have very pretty dreds. Now go to hell. There are zero facts defending your position.

Pat's does make a better sammich though.

8 Comments:

Blogger Lord of the Barnyard said...

Pru has a blog. It's in my sidebar. Under Pruitt. She's a blogger in real life too. Professionally she far more popular than either of us.

July 25, 2008 at 1:34 PM  
Blogger simonzayne said...

I agree.

Pat's is better.

July 25, 2008 at 6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

didn't karl do his senior project on free mumia?

July 26, 2008 at 10:53 AM  
Blogger laughjon said...

Pat's is better. But the places that are off the beaten track are the best. I get em wit mayo, lettuce, tomato, and onion.

July 26, 2008 at 12:31 PM  
Anonymous JVS said...

A cheesesteak is a cheesesteak is a cheesesteak. I agree on Pat's as the lesser of the two evils, but I have had even better cheesesteaks in cities other than Philadelphia (when I used to eat such things). It tells a lot about a city on what its citizens take pride in. I never understood how a community of people could be proud of a greasy sandwich...

July 26, 2008 at 2:53 PM  
Blogger Lord of the Barnyard said...

karl's senior project? maybe. i wonder if they still have it...

jesse - yeah, but i don't even know of a place in columbus oh that serves a cheesesteak sandwich. we only have "cheesesteak style" foods, which mostly means peppers/onions and sliced beef, fried.

July 26, 2008 at 10:43 PM  
Blogger estelluxx said...

mmm pats

July 26, 2008 at 11:25 PM  
Anonymous John R said...

Yeah Karl did his sr project on Free Mumia.

July 29, 2008 at 8:37 PM  

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