Lobster Roll Perfection from Luke’s Lobster
This past weekend, I was invited by the Cranberry Marketing Committee to attend the Sandwich Showdown at the NYC Wine & Food Festival. Featuring over 15 different types of sandwiches prepared by New York City’s top chefs, the Showdown was full of yummilicious bites catchy live music, and flowing libations. Best of all, the winning chef got $5,000 to donate towards his or her favorite charity. Eating for a cause, what’s not to like about that??
After picking up our voting tokens:
My eating buddy and I were ready to get down to sandwich sampling! Our first stop was at Marble Lane’s table – each table had a jar to collect tokens if that sandwich happened to be your favorite. You only got one token though, so choosing wisely was a must!
Marble Lane‘s Kobe Patty Melt with caramelized onions, wild mushrooms and gooey cheese was a fantastic way to kick-off my eat-stravaganza:
Tender, flavorful Kobe beef with a light touch of ooeygooey cheese was sandwiched between two slices of perfectly toasted bread. The mushrooms complemented the rest of the sandwich decadently, yum! This sandwich was soon history.
We then stopped by the Bobwhite Lunch & Supper Counter table, which was featuring cranberries galore –
They entered the showdown with a Crispy Pork and Cranberry Biscuit, featuring braised pork with cranberry slaw on a buttermilk biscuit. This luscious sandwich was accompanied by a tangy tomato pudding, made of tomatoes stewed with cloves, pepper, brown sugar and onions. Yum!
We then moved onto Salumeria Rosi‘s table, where they were hard at work preparing sandwich samples for all:
And the wait was worth it – their Porchetta Calabrese featured toasted Tuscan bread with a homemade porchetta, crisp pickles, sharp provolone and a spicy calabrese bomba sauce. The porchetta was divine!
Lexington Brass went traditional NYC with its Midtown Deli Stack – salami, ham, mozarella, pickled cauliflower and olive on sourdough, served with veggie chips. This was one of the favorites of my eating buddy:
We then sampled one of two lobster rolls offered at the Showdown – this one was from Capital Grille and was fresh and summery:
I just had to pause from stuffing my face to capture this sign – I think this would look fabulous in my kitchen! Yes/no? 😉
The BYO Hospitality Group table, manned by Franklin Becker, went with a simple but perfectly executed strategy of “Ham and Cheese” – but this wasn’t just any ham and cheese sandwich. Look at people grab the samples! Fast like ninja!
This oh-so-simple yet oh-so-delicious sandwich featured prosciutto cotto, fontina, tomato jam and pesto on ciabatta, and was accompanied with fennel slaw. Yum!
Bark Hot Dogs‘ sandwich entry had a name that I just couldn’t resist – the Disco Chicken Sandwich! I’d be lying if I didn’t get down and do a mini-boogie right then and there. The Disco Chicken Sandwich consisted of griddled chicken breast, leek-grafton cheddar fondue, bark disco gravy mayo, and lettuce, with bread-and-butter pickles on the side.
The peeps at the Little Muenster (LOVE that name!) were hard at work, preparing a Taleggio with Mushroom Duxelle and tomato soup:
This was one of the faves of both me AND my eating buddy! There was a sweet jam on top that I couldn’t quite place but really rounded out the flavor perfectly. Deelish!
Sandwich Showdown host Jeff Mauro presented The King’s Brisket’s braised brisket sandwich – this sandwich was humungo! I didn’t even see the little plate this creation was sitting on at first and almost took a bite of it!
Num Pang presented and absolutely droolworthy Five Spice Glazed Pork Belly Num Pang with pickled onion pear, chili mayo, cilantro, cucumber and pickled onions. Just look at that fatty pork belly – SO good.
By this time, my eating buddy and I were starting to slow down a bit (sad!), but we saw this Philly Cheesesteak from Phil’s Tavern and it was calling my name. And it would have been rude to ignore something calling your name, right? So I didn’t.
Despite the event being a sandwich showdown, more than just sandwiches were featured. There were a few tables of sandwich accoutrements, such as McClure’s Pickles! McClure’s had their Spicy and Garlic Dill pickles to sample, as well as pickle potato chips (YUM) and Bloody Mary Mix!
By this point, my stomach had completely reached a state of uncomfortable fullness, so that meant only one thing – time for dessert! Thankfully there was a dessert entry in the Sandwich Showdown, and it was AMAZING. Udi’s had set up a whole dessert spread:
But my eyes went straight for the ice cream sandwiches. The snickerdoodle with lemon and raspberry sorbets was dangerously addictive. I may or may not have had three of these bad boys.
In the end, while my eating buddy and I simply didn’t have the capacity to sample all 15 entrants (food blogger fail!), we tackled a large portion of the selection and were thoroughly pleased. A huge thank you to the the Cranberry Marketing Committee for inviting me to cover this event!
The vote I cast remains a secret (for now!) but I ask you – which of the above sandwiches would you vote for?