Philly Cheesesteaks & Burgers (cart)
701 SW 6th Ave.
This Pioneer Courthouse Square cart team packs a mean hot-beef punch, even in nasty weather. Its combo of "intangible" assets—perfectly grilled steak, bell peppers, mushrooms and onions—slathered in white American cheese (classic!) and served on an authentically tough Philly-style roll is 12 inches of pure heaven ($6.25). This team also takes direction from one of the sport's most lovable coaches, grillmaster Ben Isaacson.
MVP: The virtual cream sauce that forms from this sammy's combo of steak juice and and melty cheese—simply unbeatable.
6800 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 247-7211
Undoubtedly a tough competitor for the PCS cart, this Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard-based team brings on a fierce combination of plays, from A.1.- or barbecue-sauce-laden steaks to chicken steaks and, of course, the classic Cheez Whiz steak ($4-$9).
MVP: Steakadelphia's untraditional but awesomely delicious topper of shredded lettuce, tomato and mayo (or ranch!)—think Carl's Jr. commercial applied to a cheesesteak and you're getting close.
Ford's on 5th
121 NW 5th Ave., 226-2828
A classic downtown team, Ford's works overtime (open late!) and handles the ball with finesse—each Angus cheesesteak ($6.95 with side) features roasted-garlic mayo and large slices of grilled green bell pepper. The coaches are knowledgeable old-timers, and their Italian (pizza) steak—a mozzarella-subbed cheesesteak plus marinara—hits the opponent where it counts.
Special Teams: Ford's bitchin' red-potato salad runs it back every time.
Philadelphia's Steaks & Hoagies
6410 SE Milwaukie Ave., 239-8544
Philadelphia's undoubtedly has tradition on its side, as this team offers real-deal Philly-shipped bread and tough-to-beat Tastykakes (the Little Debbie of the City of Brotherly Love). It's also got tasty benchwarmers like the buffalo chicken variation ($8.25, topped with blue cheese!), as well as an authentically prepared classic ($6.75).
Penalty: Philadelphia's bread gets a flag thrown for occasional dryness.
529 SW 4th Ave., 228-7605
This once-thug-filled team has cleaned up its act, and it gives fans what they often want: Cheese Whiz. The Rialto offers up a mean defensive line of sometimes-too-thick steak and a super-long crusty loaf, meaning its strength sometimes overpowers its skill.
Penalty: The Rialto's cheesesteak ($8 with fries) receives a 15-yard penalty for roughing the passer (your stomach).
Brooklyn Park Pub
3400 SE Milwaukie Ave., 234-7772
A relatively new Southeast side team, the BPP cheesesteak ($5) comes on quick with a slippery offense of melty cheese, and a lineup of eclectic players (great microbrew and whiskey selection) wins the Brooklyn Park Pub the extra point.
MVP: The BPP cheesesteak's super-beefy taste—like the meat's been grilled in a bath of reduced beef bouillon.
2272 NW Kearney St., 299-1200
Tributes' cheesesteak ($7.
45) storms in with a tight, meaty defensive line, but a showboaty draft pick—the charming creamy hot sauce—overpowers the rest of the players' talents, proving to be the team's downfall.
Penalty: Tribute's hot sauce receives a 15-yard penalty for roughing the tastebuds.
NY Sub Shop
725 SW Alder St., 525-4414
This expansion team (more of a deli-oriented competitor) offers tasty sub-style sammies, and its cheesesteak ($5.85 half, $10.70 whole) features classic sub toppers like mayo, lettuce, tomato and Italian dressing.
MVP: Banana peppers add some zing to the NY Sub Shop's plays.
Every team except Philly Cheesesteaks & Burgers, Ford's on 5th and the NY Sub Shop is open Super Bowl Sunday.