Tuesday, November 6, 2012

NYC Wine and Food Festival Sandwich Showdown Recap at Last

I'm thanks to book related work and the hurricane, I'm a bit behind on my regularly scheduled posting, but trying to catch up! Our thoughts remain with the victims of the hurricane from the small businesses and workers who had their livelihoods put on hold to those who have lost their homes and much, much more. If you're looking for ways to help, follow Allison Robicelli on Twitter @robicellis. She's been doing amazing work coordinating feet on the ground delivering sandwiches, food, clothes, toiletries and clean up supplies as well as other items and getting them in real people's hands in areas in Staten Island and South Brooklyn.

Lil Bobo once again was a special correspondent for us at this year's NYC Wine & Food Festival Sandwich Showdown. His invite and ticket came courtesy of the Cranberry Marketing Board who were one of the events sponsors and he was there to catch all of the sandwich action. Take it away Lil Bobo

The sandwich is truly a wonderful thing. To me, it represents variety; a sandwich offers endless opportunity and combinations. Bread + Filling + Bread = Happiness. It is a form of food embracing food. Is there anything more beautiful?

Have you ever witnessed a sad person consuming a sandwich? No, you haven't. Because a sad person eating a sandwich is an oxymoron. They might appear sad, but no one can be truly sad if they are eating a sandwich.

And on October 14th, I didn't meet a single sad person, nor sandwich, at the Sandwich Showdown.

I hadn't been at the event for more than one minute, before a beautiful woman with a tray of sandwiches confronted me. It was sight of meta-beauty; and my eyes were transfixed on the patty-melt before me. I heard a voice say, "can I interest you in a Kobe Beef Patty Melt?" I responded, "uhh… YES!?!"

Madam, you had me at patty melt, and this was only the beginning of sandwich insanity. (Now, it's a bit hazy from all that sandwich consumption, but I think I revisited Marble Lane's table at least two more times. Someone had to eat that Kobe Beef Patty.) The eating continued and here were some of my favorites:

Xe May's "Lam'bretta." Lamb? Delicious. Lamb curry? Even more delicious. A lamb curry sandwich? Keep it up and you'll cause an aneurism from too much deliciousness. Xe May kept it up… but I'm not complaining, it was easily a favorite of mine.

The proclaimed Sandwich King, Jeff Mauro, made a sandwich that dwarfed every other sandwich at this showdown. Showing off? Maybe, but I suppose a King can't be shown up. Large and in charge it was for "The King's Brisket." I only ate half of it, as I was starting to hit the wall and needed to reserve room for more food.

Home By The Range provided a sandwich that had an interesting combination of flavors. The brisket was bold, but it was complimented by flavors both savory and lightly sweet with roasted vegetables and pickled cabbage.

Another sandwich that really that stood out was Bobwhite Lunch and Supper Counter's Crispy Pork and Cranberry Biscuit, with Tomato Pudding. Sweet, salty, porky, biscuity goodness. I'm a sucker for a good biscuit, and I was much obliged to eat two of them.

In the end, there can only be one. The voters chose Marble Lane's Kobe Beef Patty Melt for the win. Manuel Trevino & co. of Marble Lane won the title, $5,000 towards a charity of their choosing, and the right to create a sandwich to be exclusively featured at Whole Foods Markets in New York City.

Special thanks to the Cranberry Marketing board for the ticket to the showdown, they were not serving any of the food though they did provide cranberries to some of the restaurants for use in their sandwiches. Coming from New England where cranberries made regular appearances in our homemade lunches from mom in the form of Ocean Spray juice boxes sometimes accompanied by Cranberry Newton cookies, we say the more cranberries the merrier.

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