Even in the post Joey Vento world, the mighty cheesesteak reigns supreme. Just who makes the best version of Philly’s signature sandwich will be decided Sunday when Square 1682‘s Guillermo Tellez host his second annual Cheesesteak Challenge and block party to celebrate the restaurant’s second anniversary. The competition pits an impressive showing of the area’s top culinary talent against each other in a battle to see who can sling the most delectable cheesesteak. Reigning champion Peter Woolsey, chef-owner of Bistrot La Minette, returns this year to defend his title. Other participating chefs who will try to unseat him include Fish’s Mike Stollenwerk, McCrossen’s Tavern’s Townsend Wentz and R2L’s Daniel Stern. For last year’s competiotn, Tellez entered a braised short rib cheesesteak with a truffle white cheddar sauce. This year he wants to enter either an Indian-spiced leg of lamb cheesesteak or one made with duck confit. “We’re all going to make or interpretation of the great Philadelphia icon,” Tellez told Grub Street. “No matter whoever wins or loses, it’s about having fun.”
From 3 to 5 p.m., Square 1682 will block off Sansom Street between 16th and 17th streets, and set up a bar and tables. Twenty dollars gets spectators a chance to taste each of the entries and vote in the People’s Choice category. All proceeds benefit the Philadelphia Academies. Tickets are available here.