In Philadelphia, you are either a Geno's person or a Pat's person. Just south of downtown, the pioneers of popular cheesesteaks are just across the street from one another, and locals and visitors alike pick sides and line up for long periods of time to enjoy them. For the uninitiated tourist, this can be somewhat intimidating and stressful as people in both lines do not appear that different from each other. It must all come down to politics. I am sure some choice disparaging remarks about the wrong cheesesteak in the wrong place could definitely cause a political uproar in Philly.
Thankfully obtaining a good one in Staten Island is very unstressful. An Italian-American named Giacomo (we'll assume he is the "G" who knows) has opened up a spot in homage to the city he spent much time in. He seems to let his affiliation known in the title, but I don't think any philosophical arguments need take place here. It's just a small casual spot with friendly people. The people I saw come and go in the short time I was eating my sandwich seemed like regulars.
So onto the cheesesteak, a creation of thinly sliced ribeye on bread that comes with American or Cheese Whiz. My cheesesteak ($7.50, below) came with a 75 cent upgrade to grilled onions and peppers and picked "wiz" rather than American cheese. I thought this was in fact the standard, but some further research online reveals the sandwich is enjoyed many ways.
When it arrived in front of me after a long afternoon of walking, I needed nourishment and went for a mouthful too fast. Be careful, it's hot off the grill, each one freshly made. Even with tentative plans to enjoy other food elsewhere later in the day, I devoured the whole thing and stuffed myself. It was too good to eat just half.
The place is housed in a three unit strip mall type building at the intersection of busy roads, has a few parking spots, and a small square space inside. A counter runs the length of the two windows with some stools, while two additional tables provide seating as well. It was mid-afternoon and not that busy, but half of the customers I saw seemed to get takeout.
You can take your cheesesteak a few different ways, and the menu goes on to cover fast food staples as well as "Hollywood Specialty Sandwiches" which name various creations after sports figures and actors. The only thing missing is a draught beer line, really. Philadelphia, welcome to the island.