And the winner of Philly’s Italian Market Festival cheesesteak contest is ...

May 24, 2023 398

BY: Michael Klein

Seven Philadelphia shops competed in the South 9th Street Italian Market Festival’s inaugural cheesesteak contest Saturday. When the smoke cleared and judges voted, the winner was Lorenzo’s, whose shop is about two blocks from the contest. Vinny Caramanna, working a grill at the cheesesteak contest, looked over at the judges tasting his sandwich.

He’s seen the look of a happy customer before in his 10 years of managing Lorenzo’s Pizza in South Philadelphia, said his boss, Keith Vellios. ”He saw [former Eagle] Jeremiah Trotter’s eyes,” Vellios said. “Then [Trotter] mouthed, ‘What the … ?’” What he was savoring? Lorenzo’s regular cheesesteak — ribeye from Liberty Bell Steak on a Liscio’s roll. The winning entry.

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