In 2012, I moved to Kansas when my wife was stationed there by the U.S. Army. On our trip out, and during our subsequent stay in the Kansas State area, I was struck by how many restaurants and fast food joints offered a “Philly Cheesesteak.” As a Philadelphian, I was certainly aware that these impostor sandwiches existed … I suppose I was just blissfully unaware of how common they were.
So in August of that year, I started a Tumblr called Better Than Geno’s? that would review a bunch of “Philly Cheesesteaks” by a simple parameter: were they better than a Geno’s cheesesteak? Geno’s is the place where tourists go in Philly, and the cheesesteak there is mediocre at best. What better way to judge sandwiches that often were sold thousands of miles from Philadelphia, perhaps by people who hadn’t even had a cheesesteak (or worse, only had a Geno’s cheesesteak)?
I reviewed several such sandwiches in Kansas, and began finding them in my travels as well. Better yet, friends of mine started participating as well.
As of March 2014, the site has featured reviews of 35 cheesesteaks in 14 states, as well as Canada and Kuwait.