What happens if you order a Chicken Philly at Pat's King of Steaks?

Pats King of SteaksSo this past Memorial Day weekend I took my son to the NCAA Lacrosse National Championships in Philadelphia.  It was an amazing event featuring the fastest growing sport in America.  If you’ve never seen a college lacrosse game live, you should add it to your bucket list.

While in Philly I wanted to take in a few of the well known sites, and Pat’s was at the top of my list.  I can’t resist a good cheese steak.  My son really likes them too, although he’s grown to like chicken cheese steaks due to a rare red meat allergy caused by a tick bite.  This bizarre allergic reaction was first thought to be more common in adults, but more and more kids in the Mid Atlantic states are being diagnosed. It can be dangerous if you’re not careful, but for most people it’s an irritating nuisance.

While reading the Internet based touch screen kiosk located in the hotel lobby, we found that Pat’s also had “chicken cheese steaks”.  It was game on! After a nice evening walk through downtown Philly and the Italian Market area we arrived at Pat’s. The line wrapped around all 4 sides of the building.  A lot of the other lacrosse fans had the same thing in mind.  Not to worry though, Pat’s is famous for order taking efficiency.  So famous, that if you order incorrectly they will kindly give you a do-over at the end of the line.

How to Order a Steak at Pat's

That’s part of the experience though.  We joked with folks we met about getting an order incorrect.  We practiced while making fun of each other.  I had never enjoyed waiting in a long line before this.  Eventually we made it to position #1 and it was our turn. My son went first and said, “I’d like a chicken…”. This was followed by a quick and assertive interjection from the gentleman behind the counter. “No chicken, next!”  I then stated that the hotel information kiosk said Pat’s had chicken. Clearly this must be true, right?  I read it on the Internet. He said, “mista, there hasn’t been a chicken in this building for 83 years.”

I turned to my young son. He was silent and had a far away stare that persisted for the next several hours. To him it felt like a swift and unexpected kick in the gut.

We’ve all been there. Sometimes it’s a harmless kick like his, and other times it’s a major blow. Those experiences often present us with opportunities to pivot in a new and productive direction. They give us the motivation to try something different, to volunteer, align ourselves with a cause, start a small charity, and even take surveys with Op4G to benefit a non-profit. What will you do the next time you’re kicked in the gut?

Despite the minor set back, our experience in Philly was still unforgettably good. And, if Pat’s ever adds chicken cheese steaks to the menu, we’re heading back.

Photo Credits: Flickr Creative Commons – Photo 1, Photo 2




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