The Judges Vote on Delaware's Best Cheesesteaks

The Judges Vote on Delawares Best Cheesesteak

Photo: Jim Pappas

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NJ/DE Region - 1st roundPhiladelphia, PA - We kicked off the NJ/DE region in the state of Delaware. Delaware is a fascinating tiny state with an interesting little cheesesteak scene.

The Judge's Bracket - NJ/DE Region - 1st round

The four cheesesteaks representing Delaware are; Tenderbones Rib Shack, Scalessa's 'My Way' Old School Italian Kitchen, Iaononni's Specialty Sandwiches, and Zach's Grill. Do long names make up for being in a little state? I don't know, but this is a good mix of cheesesteaks. Tenderbones makes a massive cheesesteak. Donnie Scalessa's is famous for (in order); singing, meatballs, butter cake, and then cheesesteaks. Ioannoni's is a 2nd generation family operation. They slice their fresh meat every day. They have an excellent reputation and customer base. Zach's is the new kid on the block. Zach cooked in a local restaurant for 12 years and is now trying his own thing.

Cross marketing is a beautiful thing. Judge Vincent Shea Garman may be a genius. He realized judging cheesesteaks was a great way to get his real estate office in front of tens of new people. You will meet Vincent and his team in the video.

2022 March Cheesesteak Madness is 64 entry bracket-style cheesesteak tournament. Same 64 cheesesteaks and two brackets. 1, A people's bracket, completed by online voting. 2, A Judge's bracket, conducted by the Judge eating each cheesesteak. The People's bracket is complete, and Donkey's Place won. Now it is time for the Judges to eat their way through the 64 cheesesteaks. The Judge's bracket is a big time and gastronomic commitment, but I really enjoy it. I watch my new judges go through the three emotional stages of judging cheesesteaks.



Stage 1, Confidence. 'I have been eating cheesesteaks my whole life. This is going to be easy.' Stage 2, Confusion. Oh my goodness, these cheesesteaks are so different. Stage 3, Jim, you are much more handsome in person - not a stage, just making sure you are paying attention. Stage 3, Confrontation with reality. Do I have to pick a winner?



The logistics of judging; The 64 Cheesesteaks are broken into four regions; 1. Philadelphia. 2. Delaware County. 3. NJ/DE. 4. The Other Counties (primarily Montgomery, Chester, and Bucks). We judge four cheesesteaks at a time. We use my five categories 20 points for each scoring system. Depending on where the cheesesteak places are, we go to each place or take the cheesesteaks to a central location. Availability of alcohol is a factor in deciding where we eat the cheesesteaks. We judge four cheesesteaks at a time to get through 2 rounds. Cheesesteak 1 vs. cheesesteak 2. Cheesesteak 3 vs. cheesesteak 4. The winners go head to head. Do you want to judge? Contact me.

Missed a video? Want to see more videos? All of my videos are on my YouTube Channel, Philadelphia Cheesesteak Adventure. I've eaten, reviewed, and videoed over 1,000 different cheesesteaks in the last four years. All of the videos are on my YouTube channel with the same basic title; Philadelphia Cheesesteak Adventure at…….. …… being the name of the cheesesteak place. Easy to search for your favorite cheesesteak spot.



  • Tenderbones Rib Shack - 2504 Red Lion Rd, Bear, DE VS. Ioanonni's Specialty Sandwiches - 624 E Basin Rd, New Castle, DE
  • Scalessa's 'My Way' Old School Italian Kitchen - 1836 N Lincoln St., Wilmington, DE VS. Zach's Grill - 739 Ferry Cut Off St, New Castle, DE

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Jim PappasThe Philadelphia Cheesesteak Adventure -   Hi, my name is Jim Pappas, and I have eaten hundreds of different cheesesteaks in the last year. On May 16, 2018, I started my Philadelphia Cheesesteak Adventure to find the ultimate cheesesteak. To see more great cheesesteak places, check out my website at The Philadelphia Cheesesteak Adventure.

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