A cab driver who ate at Pat’s daily insisted on trying the new sandwich, and with the first bite declared, “Hey, forget ‘bout those hot dogs, you should sell these!” Cab drivers know fast food about as well as anyone, so the brothers did just what the cabbie suggested. In no time, the modest stand turned into the Pat’s that exists today. Controversy remains, however, over who’s responsible for putting the cheese in cheesesteak. Pat’s claims it was the first to do so (in 1951), but across-the-street rival Joe Vento of Geno’s Steaks (opened 1966) insists he added the finishing touches.
Other winners include the Rutgers University grease trucks, hamburger birthplace Louis’ Lunch in New Haven and Illinois’ Cozy Dog Drive In (home of the corn dog).
The 10 Greatest Birthplaces on the Great American Food Trail [Mental Floss]