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Hoagies at the top of the heap

Celebrity judges and everyday eaters disagree.

The celebrity judges agreed - barely - with the radio talk-show host: Paesano's of Northern Liberties makes the area's best Italian hoagie.

The audience of more than 500, however, named a different favorite: Primo Hoagies, with many area locations.

Food fans packed the Fox & Hound Pub in King of Prussia on Saturday, as Glen Macnow of WIP-AM (610) emceed a live broadcast of the finale of the Great Hoagie Hunt, his fifth annual food hunt.

Macnow tried and rated more than 50 hoagies in two months, then invited his top eight finishers to bring samples for everyone at the event.

"That was by far probably the best hoagie I've ever eaten in my life!" said judge Matt Levin, former executive chef at Lacroix, after trying the Paesano's hoagie.

Only ex-Eagle turned WIP host Ike Reese gave so-so marks, calling the meat meager - and NBC10's sports director Vai Sikahema "embarrassing" for going on about the arugula and peppers.

Finishing close behind were Carlino's Market of Ardmore and West Chester, and Sarcone's Deli of South Philadelphia. Curiously, all three used sesame-seeded rolls, a departure from tradition.

Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or