Chefs of the Northside face off for Sandwich Week 2012


To celebrate the sandwich’s 250th birthday and showcase Northside restaurants, the Northside Leadership Conference will host the first ever Northside Sandwich Week starting Monday.

From June 25 -30, 10 participating restaurants and pubs in the Northside will be offering a signature sandwich at a promotional price, with a Northside Sandwich Sampler event on Thursday.

“This will be an opportunity to showcase some of the really good sandwiches and really cool ‘mom and pop’ restaurants and pubs that we have in the Northside,” said Emily Leone, business development director and event coordinator at the Northside Leadership Conference.

Sandwiches from Atrias, Bistro to Go, El Burro, Billy’s Troy Hill Bistro, James Street Gastropub and Speakeasy, the Little Deli/Modern Café, Penn Brewery, Peppi’s, Steve’s New York Hot Dog Shop and Young Brothers Bar will be featured.

The highlight of the week, the Northside Sandwich Sampler, will take place on Thursday, June 28 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Penn Brewery’s Eisenhalle.

Tickets are $20 and guests can sample sandwiches from the participating establishments, enjoy two free drinks and vote on the best Northside sandwich.

The overall Northside Sandwich King or Queen and runner up will be determined by 50 percent participant vote and 50 percent judge vote.

The judges alone will vote on the most unique sandwich. The guest panel of celebrity judges includes local jazz artist Tony Mowod, WPXI anchor Rich Walsh and Chris Fennimore and Rick Sebak of WQED.

Participants can expect to try some sandwiches found only in the Northside. Some restaurants are featuring sandwiches that already appear on their menu, while others are creating something totally new specifically for the competition.

Billy’s Troy Hill Bistro will be offering their Polish reuben while Modern Café will be sampling their Spartan sandwich, an amped up version of the traditional gyro.

Kevin Saftner, manager of James Street Gastropub and Speakeasy, said they will be entering one of their crowd favorites in the competition.

“We’re offering our most popular sandwich, the twisted chicken,” said Saftner. “It’s hands down our best selling item, so we decided not to stray from something everybody likes.”

El Burro, a new Mexican restaurant on the Northside, has yet to officially open, but still wants to be part of the excitement of Sandwich Week. They’ll be entering their own take on a sandwich inspired by Mexican cuisine.

Leone is hoping that sandwich week will inspire people of the Northside to get out and try something new and adventurous while supporting local establishments.

“We feel like the Northside needs an event that will really showcase some of the great local restaurants and pubs,” said Leone. “We want people to know we have such awesome chef talent in the Northside and these restaurants are some of the best kept secrets in the area.”

The public can follow the happenings of Sandwich Week by “liking” Northside Sandwich Week on Facebook or buy tickets here.

(Photo courtesy Bistro to Go)

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