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Noted Philadelphia Cheesesteak Eatery at the Center of Debate About Language, Immigration, and Such

Geno’s hit with bias complaints NPR: One Philly Steak With? Better Order In English [Real Player] Talkin’ turkey about Geno’s Geno’s The Best Philly Cheesesteaks Over its long and venerable history, Philadelphia has truly been a survivor among the pantheon of noted American places. As the city has undergone a veritable urban renaissance over the past decade, this rather fun and culturally diverse city has worked to shed the indignities heaped upon their piece of the Eastern seaboard by W.C. Fields, John Kruk’s shaggy mane, and of course, Sylvester Stallone in the various installments of the Rocky saga. All of that may be undone by the recent debate that has gone on at another hallowed part of the city, namely the corner of 9th and Passyunk in South Philly. About six months ago, noted cheesesteak purveyor and owner of Geno’s Steaks, Joseph Vento, placed a sign in his restaurant window that read: “This is America: When Ordering ‘Speak English’”. Recently, Vento has come under fire from a number of groups, including Juntos (a Hispanic neighborhood organization) and the city’s Commission on Human Relations, which filed a discrimination complaint against Geno’s. In a recent interview with a local NBC affiliate, Vento commented that “We got troops (that are) getting blown up, and here we’ve got this big, bad Joey Vento who’s got the audacity to try to teach people to speak English in America where the language is English and if you don’t know it, you’re not going anywhere.” Of course, some unkind wags have already suggested that most residents of South Philadelphia (regardless of their ancestry, origin, and other such details) don’t exactly adhere to the King’s English. Meanwhile, the noted cheesesteak eatery across the street, the equally venerable Pat’s, has reported increased sales as of late. [KMG] The first link will take users to an article from the Allentown Morning Call that reports on some of the tastier aspects of this ongoing imbroglio. The second link will whisk users away to an article from Tuesday’s Philadelphia Inquirer that reports on the bias complaints filed against Geno’s. The piece also contains an audio feature with local patrons chiming in with their take on the controversial sign. The third link leads to an audio feature on this whole business, straight from the inquiring mind of Joel Rose, a reporter from WHYY. The fourth link will take users to a rather risible piece of commentary on the whole affair by David Brown, who is the president of a multicultural marketing firm in Philadelphia. The fifth link will take users to the homepage of Geno’s Steaks, where they can learn about the restaurant and the many celebrities who have stopped by this mainstay of the culinary landscape of South Philly. The final link leads to the rather appetizing page maintained by John Russ, which as its title suggests, provides users with information about where to find the best cheesesteak in their own state or city. Interestingly enough, neither Montana nor North Dakota seem to have any place to find adequate cheesesteak sustenance.
Alternate Title
Restaurant’s English-only policy discriminates, Philly agency says
Archived Scout Publication URL
Scout Publication
Date of Scout Publication
June 16th, 2006
Date Of Record Creation
June 16th, 2006 at 8:09am
Date Of Record Release
June 16th, 2006 at 1:02pm
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