Geno’s Steaks may have turned a new leaf this year with the removal of that “Speak English” sign, but the kindler, gentler look didn’t help among Billy Penn readers.
Nope, the neon-draped half of Philly’s most famous cheesesteak locus didn’t even make it out of Round 1 in our bracket. It was edged out 60 to 40 percent by just-down-the-block Cosmi’s Deli (the facade of which is basically the polar opposite — you almost can’t find it unless you know it’s there).
Geno’s loss was the biggest of just three upsets. Its caddy-corner rival, Pat’s, pulled out a triumph in its race after starting off slow, beating Gooey Looie’s 55 to 45 percent. All other top seeds advanced except Jimmy G’s, which fell to Del Rossi’s, and Koch’s, which lost to Barry’s in a squeaker.
In Center City, Jim’s soundly trounced Oscar’s 80 to 20 (guess not enough people know about that cheesesteak-and-a-half deal), and Rittenhouse newcomer Cleaver’s notched 36 percent in its race against Ishkabibble’s — pretty respectable for such a newbie. Same kudos to Spot Burger, which didn’t advance but did nab 37 percent of the vote. South Philly shack John’s Roast Pork slammed its cross-town rival, besting Philip’s 84 to 16.
Now things are getting fun. Can North Philly’s Creed-famous Max’s pull out a win over longtime Northeast favorite Joe’s? Does Abner’s in University City have any chance whatsoever against Roxborough giant Dalessandro’s, which racked up the most total votes of any Round 1 contender?
Cast your votes below to push your faves into the Elite Eight — next week we’ll be going into details of what makes each of the quarterfinalists so great.