Fig & Ash crowned Northside Sandwich King as Northside Sandwich Week continues through May 27.
By: Lauren Stauffer
The Grand Hall at the Priory was filled with hungry locals, many who are long-time attendees, and plenty of new patrons who were more than amused at discovering the annual cup-holding tailgate-style plates are also highly sought after collectibles among the crowd.
Every year, the Sandwich Sampler Event kicks off the multi-day promotional event of Northside’s sandwich venues by rounding up local restaurants, cafes, delis, and more to compete for the famed Sandwich Trophy, Title & Crown of Northside Sandwich Week.
On Thursday, May 17, 2018 the lineup of contestants included 2017’s Sandwich King & Queen at Chateau Cafe and Cakery, Legends of the North Shore, Penn Brewery, Rivers Casino, Huszar, Kaffeehaus, North Shore Deli, the recently opened Brugge on North, Threadbare Cider House & Meadery, and the soon to open Flavors Famous Street Food and Fig & Ash.
Competition was tough, as is typical with the skill and talent found throughout Northside’s commercial kitchens. In the long lines forming around the hand-prepared sandwich tables, guests were given a chance to nibble other samples, enjoy the drink hanging off their plate, and chat with the business owners and neighbors. Dining tables filled with food-enthusiasts who know how to zip between the lines sat down to enjoy their sandwiches, taking in each savory bite, and considering hard which restaurant would win their wooden nickel vote.
In the tradition of Northside Sandwich Week, all of the specialty sandwiches entered for this year’s contest can be purchased at their creator’s location through Sunday, May 27th.
“There’s still time to vote for your Favorite Northside Sandwich Joint if you missed the kick-off event,” said Northside Leadership Conference’s Main Street Director, Cody Walters.
An online poll has been released for residents to cast votes for their Favorite Northside Sandwich Joint throughout the week; voters can voice their choice here. Each participating restaurant featured a specialty sandwich just for this week:
Chateau Cafe & Cakery– The Hunky: Tom Friday’s homemade kielbasa, potato cheddar cheese pierogi, with sauteed sauerkraut, muenster cheese, cracked pepper, Dijon mustard, served on a Breadworks roll.
Flavors Famous Street Food– Italian Beef Sandwich: Roasted beef drenched in its own jus is piled high upon French bread before the whole sandwich is dipped in the meaty jus, and topped with a giardiniera.
Brugge on North – Pepper Jelly Roast Turkey: Roasted turkey, spinach, pesto, gouda, and pepper jelly on grilled sourdough.
Huszar – The Huszar Sandwich: Hungarian style meatloaf topped with a pickled cabbage slaw, topped off with a puree of sauteed peppers, onions, and tomatoes over a homemade bun.
Fig & Ash– Lamb Sausage Stuffed Banana Pepper: Jamison Farm lamb, tomato gastrique, basil, yogurt, slider bun.
Kaffeehaus– Muffuletta: medley of salami, mortadella, capicola, provolone, mozzarella, and traditional olive salad served on ciabatta roll.
Penn Brewery– Nashville Gold: Parma rosemary and garlic roasted pork loin, fried green tomatoes, pickled red onions, smoked cheddar, arugula, white remoulade, Breadworks hoagie.
Legends of the North Shore– The Meatball Cone: a meatball topped with our house made Mama’s Gravy (marinara sauce), alfredo sauce, and parmesan cheese in a parmesan, herb and garlic crusted ice cream cone.
Rivers Casino– Bar-B-Que Pulled Pork Sandwich with a Cajun slaw, ghost pepper cheese, and a pretzel bun.
Threadbare Cider House & Meadery– Ice cream sandwich made with double chocolate espresso cookies and vanilla ice cream.
North Shore Deli – A.G.H Special – classic cold-cut Italian hoagie
Guests and celebrity judges, Melissa McCart of The Pittsburgh-Post Gazette, Max Somerville & Nathan Zoob of the local band Wreckloose and Day Bracey, comedian and co-producer of Drinking Partners Podcast, took their time eating through the contestants’ sandwiches during the evening. Votes were counted between both patrons and judges to name the Sandwich King or Queen.
This year the crown and trophy went to Fig & Ash, a new wood-fire concept restaurant coming to Deutschtown this fall. Runner up was the recently opened Brugge on North, located within City of Asylum’s Book Store @ Alphabet City.
All photos by Lauren Stauffer.