Pat's Rules - Geno's Roils
The City of Brotherly love gets another black eye thanks to the offensive English-only ordering policy at Geno's Cheesesteaks.
"This Is AMERICA: WHEN ORDERING `SPEAK ENGLISH.'" Proclaims a sign owner Geno Vento posted at his Order window.
Simmering just below his professed good intent to help immigrants learn English is palpable anti-immigrant bile. If he really wants to help, why doesn't he sponsor English as a Second Language courses for new immigrants? Or, he could volunteer to mentor non-English speakers. I won't hold my breath.
Apparently, Vento is not new to race-based controversy. He serves "Freedom Fries" - which I thought was ridiculous to begin with and laughably passe. His own Sicilian grandparents faced xenophobia when they immigrated to Philly but memories are often morphed by having achieved a small piece of the pie. Now, rather than empathy for the next wave of immigrants, he holds only contempt. His goal is to hold onto his and prevent them from getting theirs.
As the edgy neighborhood attracts more diverse homeowners, and young Latino and Asian professionals seek affordable housing, one has to wonder if he's just finding an outlet for his anger at the changing face of the neighborhood. (Pun intended.)
Geno's ugliness certainly turns my stomach ... towards Pat's. Insiders will tell you that Pat's is the original and the best. (Thanks for the tip Peter V.!)
For the uninitiated, a long-standing rivalry exists between Pat's and Geno's - both located a stone's throw from each other.
Hey Pat - I'll take mine "wit". For those of you who haven't found your way to Pat's (the King of Cheesesteaks) yet: "wit" is ordering jargon for "with onions." As one commentator notes, it's not the King's English, but it'll do.
How ironic that the tourism brochures flaunt the ordering jargon as one of the city's charms. Will they add a note about Geno's new ordering policy?