The eighth annual Northside Sandwich Sampler: Buns of Steel took place at the Priory Grand Hall last Thursday. Fig & Ash earned the title of Northside Sandwich King for the second year in a row and Brugge on North came in second place.

Story and photos by Ashlee Green

Ten Northside contenders came together on Thursday, May 9 to compete for the title of Northside Sandwich King. Participants included California Coffee Bar, Fig & Ash, Brugge on North, Penn Brewery, Kaffeehaus, Bier’s Pub, Max’s Allegheny Tavern, Marshall’s, Wheelhouse Restaurant at Rivers Casino, and Mayfly Market & Deli. Fig & Ash won with their Pork Shank Cuban made with Parma capicola, pickles, Gruyere cheese, and spicy mustard on farm bread, and Brugge on North was the runner-up with their Pork Belly Banh Mi made with pickled watermelon radish, cilantro, mint, jalapeno slaw, and sriracha soy aioli on a baguette.

Beer for the event was provided by Penn Brewery and live music by The Red Beans & Rice Combo. Celebrity judges this year included musician Elias Khouri, comedian Suzanne Lawrence, and chef, culinary instructor, and former food writer Olga Watkins. A 50/50 raffle at the event benefited a nonprofit organization called Work, which “accompanies families in Haiti out of poverty through good, dignified jobs.”

Northside Sandwich Week continues through Sunday, May 19. Find a list of participating restaurants and bars as well as their featured signature sandwiches on the Northside Sandwich Week website. Northside Sandwich Week was produced by the Northside Leadership Conference and presented by Highmark.