Every time I say I want to move to Chicago, Grand Rapids surprises me with a fun event that reminds me it is a fun, growing, vibrant city! First there was Artprize, then Restaurant Week, then 5x5 Night, and now, there is Grandwich.
Grandwich is a new food contest in GR centering around finding a signature sandwich for Grand Rapids. The contest only runs for 2 weeks and there are 48 restaurants that have entered sandwiches. I want to try them all but I can't eat sandwiches for every meal plus some snacks for two weeks. Well I could, but I'd need to have all my clothes let out. If I'm getting my clothes tailored, I want them going the other way!
I decided to have a few friends over on Tuesday. We each had to bring one of the sandwich entries, then we split them up and shared. It was great! We each got to try 5 of the sandwiches, and we tried to pick the ones with the top votes. Of course, I forgot to take any pics, so I'm borrowing them from downtowngr.org/grandwich. I love when Grand Rapids does this kind of "big city" event.
Anyway, let's get to the point...the food! The GR chefs did not disappoint! I loved all the sandwiches, although one was a little spicy for my taste. ***Side note: Clearly, we gave up our vegan diet for a day...we do not eat a strictly vegan diet. We do not have milk or cheese or eggs in the house and we try to get the majority of our protein from plants, but occasionally we eat animals.
Oven roasted turkey breast, havarti cheese, homemade apple and cherry slaw, fat free cherry vinaigrette served on honey wheat swirl bread.
This one was very sweet! Some of our group thought it was too sweet, it was almost to sweet to be a sandwich, but still delicious!
Sliced roasted chicken, muenster and pepperjack cheese, jalapeno, chipotle and banana peppers, red onions and homemade chipotle mayo piled on a Nantucket Bakery french roll.
This was soooo spicy. I couldn't even really eat it, although I'm kinda wimpy about heat, but have you ever cooked with chipotles in adobo sauce? I add 1 little chipotle pepper and maybe a tsp of the sauce to an entire pot of chili or black beans, and this sandwich had 3 chipotle peppers plus the sauce actually on the sandwich. The picture looks nothing like what our sandwich looked like, it was covered in spicy red adobo sauce.
Slow braised crispy Creswick Farms pork belly, Grassfields gouda,Apple & Ingraberg Farms cabbage-radish slaw, Bakery’s Hopcat spent grain & Michigan Maple hoagie bun, Doodles maple-Detroit ale mustard and Rawkowski Farms fried egg.
This was AWESOME! The bread was perfect, the pork belly was perfect, I loved the fried egg...like I said, AWESOME!
Homemade Sloppy Joe, jalapenos, a full order of crack fries, soft beer cheese on a brioche bun.
My friend Katie told me this sub looked disgusting. I love Hopcat's crack fries, they are definitely crave-worthy! I also love sloppy joes. Embarassing as it is, I love manwich, but this is a real homemade sloppy joe. So a sandwich of made-from-scratch sloppy joe meat covered in crack fries and soaked in cheese sauce? What's not to love?
Crispy seared Big B Farms pulled pork, spiced barbeque sauce, local andouille sausage, spicy pickle "slaw" on BBQ spiced Naan bread
This was really good, too. I didn't like it as well as Hopcat's and the Green Well's, but it was very good. The barbecue was perfectly sweet, just the way I like it. My only complaint was not enough andouille and a little too much vinegar-y slaw.
I really hope GR continues to become a "foodie" sort of town! The top 10 Grandwich entries will be announced next week and then a judging/tasting party next weekend! I'll keep you posted.