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Originally published Friday, June 15, 2012 at 5:32 AM

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Dining Deal

Calozzi's: A bit of Philly in Pioneer Square

Calozzi's features Philly cheesesteak sandwiches. Owner Al Calozzi started the business as a food cart in Belltown before moving to Belltown Billiards and eventually to its present home in Pioneer Square.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Calozzi's

Cheesesteak sandwiches

115 Occidental Ave. S., Seattle

206-467-9449

www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Calozzis/154862804532023

Hours: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, 11 a.m.-4 a.m. Thursday-Friday, noon-4 a.m. Saturday, closed Sunday.

Etc: Major credit cards accepted; parking on street; no obstacles to access.

Prices: $

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Nestled in the heart of Pioneer Square, Calozzi's is a long way from the East Coast, but their cheesesteak sandwiches are truly a piece of "Philly" heaven.

Owner Al Calozzi serves up a melt-in-your-mouth sandwich, and the tender beef and grilled onions dripping onto the wax paper beckons one to come back for more.

Calozzi moved to Seattle six years ago, and soon after started his business from a food cart in Belltown.

In April of 2009, Calozzi opened inside Belltown Billiards, and eventually set up his permanent location at Pioneer Square about 1 ½ years ago.

His love of food and cheesesteaks began at age 10 when he worked in a New Jersey family restaurant.

Gina Batali of Salumi supplies the meat for Calozzi's pepperoni steak sandwiches that are known as "grinders" back East. Every two weeks, Calozzi also has a special roast pork sandwich on the menu.

The menu: Philly steak ($8) "wit" or "witout" onions, plus a choice of American, Whiz, provolone or mozzarella cheeses; "The Donnie" mushroom steak ($9); pizza steak ($9); Salumi pepperoni steak ($10); pepper steak ($9); French fries ($4, or with "Whiz" $5); and bottled pop or water ($2).

What to write home about: The classic Philly steak "wit" onions is the way to go, and while we preferred ours with provolone, many claim it's best "wit" Whiz. My wife is a mushroom fan and enjoyed "The Donnie," named after Calozzi's friend whose bucket list was to have a sandwich named after him.

The brown lunch bag stuffed with French fries (with Whiz is an option) was enough to feed our family of four. A free side condiment is a huge jar of red and green pickled peppers placed next to a bottle of Sriracha hot sauce (a must-have to spice up the cheesesteak).

The setting: Brick walls adorned with posters of local events. Seating for 30 and six tables. Bench seats near the front window, and outdoor tables and chairs.

Summing up: Two Donnie steak sandwiches with provolone ($18), one Philly steak sandwich with provolone ($8), one Philly steak sandwich with mozzarella ($8), French fries ($4) and three bottled sodas ($6), came to $44 plus tip and tax.

Mark Yuasa: 206-464-8780 or myuasa@seattletimes.com

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