April 26, 2008

Best Cheesesteak

Glen Macnow had a mission. The Ultimate Cheesesteak Challenge was a mission of sacrifice, eat forty-five cheesesteaks in forty-five days, but someone had to do it. Glen was honored to accept the challenge.

Sure, Philadelphia Magazine started the concept of "Best of Philly", the annual look at what's in in Philly. But Macnow, the consummate Philly guy, placed his focus on the only category that matters, cheesesteaks.

The result, John's Roast Pork takes top honors. Meanwhile, Northeast Philly's Steve's Prince of Steaks (and my personal favorite), known by the locals as Sloppy's, comes in second. Fellow nor'easter and not-so-politically-correct named Chink's gets third.

If you understand Philly-speak, nicknames come from a variety of sources. Friends of mine had nicknames like Nortie, Looney, and Beaker. Chink was the nickname of the original owner, who opened the joint in 1949. That fact was apparently missed by this clueless food critic.

Other, better-known steak shops also made Glen's list. Tony Luke's (8th), and Jim's (12th) made respectable showings. But the original South Philly staples, Joey Vento's Geno's Steaks, and Pat's King of Steaks, finished a lackluster 35th and 42nd respectively.

Tip of the hat to Macnow - sacrificing himself for his friends.

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