Inqlings | Sandwich is tops on 'Today'

Posted: September 27, 2007

Jerry D'Addesi was on the third hole at Ramblewood, just burning up the course, when his cell phone rang.

Something about the Today show . . . the BLT cheesesteak at his Vesuvio restaurant . . . voted top sandwich in the United States.

"After that, I couldn't hit a golf ball," D'Addesi said yesterday.

About 9:45 a.m. today, D'Addesi, his brother Michael and their chef, Mike Cheek, will be live on Today, preparing the signature sandwich from the Bella Vista restaurant. An NBC rep says the BLT cheesesteak, one of five featured on the show recently, got more than 11,000 votes out of more than 40,000 cast.

D'Addesi says they sell about 100 a day, at $11 a pop. It has sliced filet mignon topped with provolone, sauteed onions, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and a squirt of spicy sriracha mayo. (Sriracha? That red hot sauce on the tables at many Asian restaurants. Gotcha.)

Michael gets credit for it, Jerry says. "We're huge fans of cheesesteaks, but we didn't want to make it the usual way since we're three blocks from Pat's and Geno's."

Gospel contest

Dancing With the Stars, Don't Forget the Lyrics, and American Idol all made it on TV. Why not, in these troubled times, a gospel competition?

So asks broadcast pioneer Trudy Haynes, who is behind "Chariots of Soul," a contest that she would like to package as a television show.

"It's happy music. We kind of feel, if they start singing, they'll stop slaying," says Haynes, now 80, who retired from Channel 3 in 1998 after 33 years. She's still working; see her on Philly What's Up at 9:30 a.m. Saturdays on WYBE (Channel 35).

Taping of the first show, by media students at the Berean Institute in North Philadelphia, is planned for the afternoon of Oct. 14 at the Independence Visitor Center at Sixth and Market Streets.

"We have a lot of talent here," says Haynes.

She and cocreator Toby Koch - "she's Jewish, but she loves gospel," says Haynes - are looking for soloists and groups of six and fewer. "We don't have room for choirs."

Interested singers can go to www.nextgospelsensation.com or call 215-241-8773.

Briefly noted

CBS3's Susan Barnett may be out of her morning anchor's job, but I hear that her stock at the station is still high enough for her to do some fill-in anchoring in coming weeks. Station says only that Barnett "makes a valuable contribution . . . and we look forward to having her as part of the CBS3 family for a long time." Earlier this month, newcomer Liz Keptner replaced Barnett, a Levittown native. Barnett, now reporting, gave birth to a son nine months ago.

TV-beat writer Laura Nachman has been canceled herself. She says she learned yesterday that the Bucks County Courier Times, pleading budget cuts, was eliminating "Channel Surfing," her Tuesday column, after seven years. She says she'll continue her Friday sports-media column, "On the Air." She's hoping to get picked up elsewhere or continue it online.

Two motivational speakers whose stories made it to the big screen are motivating each other now: Vince Papale, the former Eagle who inspired Invincible, and Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, who inspired Rudy. Papale, visiting Las Vegas this week on business for his day job at Sallie Mae, had dinner with Ruettiger. "Like a mutual love fest" is how Papale describes it, adding that they plan to work together. They have someone in common: NFL Films veteran Phil Tuckett, who worked on Rudy (1993) and Homefield Advantage, Papale's new TV show.

Traffic alert: The 1400 block of Walnut Street, outside the Bellevue, will be shut down much of Saturday as it's turned into an outdoor cafe from noon to 3 p.m. The nearby eateries Nineteen, Morton's, Capital Grille, Ted's Montana Grill, and Capogiro will dispense wares.


Contact columnist Michael Klein

at 215-854-5514 or mklein@phillynews.com. Read his recent work at http://go.philly.com/michaelklein and http://go.philly.com/foodanddrinq.

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