The tastiest time of year has returned to Pittsburgh’s Northside – Sandwich Week!
The 6th Annual Northside Sandwich Week kicks off tonight with the “Northside Sandwich Sampler” party at the Priory Grand Hall Kitchen.
This year’s party, themed “Lord of the Onion Rings,” will feature sandwiches from 12 different Northside restaurants as they compete for the crown of Northside Sandwich King or Queen 2017.
Tickets for the event are $35 per person, and allow guests to try all 12 sandwiches, and vote on their favorites. Celebrity judges Rick Sebak, Briana “Bree” White, Munch Von Munchausen, and Rod Rutherford will help decide who is crowned the champion.
Northside Sandwich Week began to showcase the restaurants on the Northside, as they offer some of the tastiest, and most diverse lunch options in the entire city.
As per this year’s theme, “Lord of the Onion Rings,” the Sandwich Sampler party will feature complimentary onion rings provided by the Priory Grand Hall Kitchen, and a Beer Garden with beer from local breweries.
“The party is very fun,” says Equiana Brown, who works for the Northside Leadership Conference and helped organize the event. “There really is a golden trophy with a sandwich on top, and someone brings it into the room wearing white gloves. Everyone goes crazy when they see it. The restaurants take it very seriously – I even had some that wouldn’t share their recipe until the event.”
Last year’s sandwich king was Jamie and Keith Younger from Young Brothers Bar, and the runner up was Don Mahaney from Scratch Food and Beverage.
For the 10 days following the kickoff event, each restaurant will feature their Northside Sandwich Week sandwich on their menu. The sandwiches from each restaurant include:
- Atrias: Turkey, Brie, Apple Pita Sandwich – House roasted turkey breast on grilled pita bread with brie, apple butter, bacon and arugula
- Bistro-to-Go: Must come to find out
- Casellula: Name My Sandwich has a First Name-Mortadella, Fonina, Pistachio & Cherry on Allegro Hearth Sourdough
- Chateau Café and Cakery: Mother Clucker- Glazed doughnut, fried chicken with Sriracha mayo and pickle
- Hogs Head: The Flaming Pig- Pulled Pork Sandwich with Flaming Secret Ingredients
- James Street Gastropub & Speakeasy: Carolina Pulled Pork- Carolina Pulled Pork with Slaw and Frizzled onion rings
- Legends: The Grilled Chicken Parm Panini- grilled chicken parmigiana Panini with Mama’s Gravy
- Max’s: Max’s Kielbasa Reuben – House made Reuben Kraut topped with a béchamel cheese sauce on Pumpernickel Bread
- Penn Brewing: Bruschetta Grilled Cheese – Bruschetta grilled cheese on Breadworks sourdough
- Rivers Casino: Smokehouse Stromboli- Ground beef, Cheddar Jack Cheese, Bacon, BBQ sauce, onion straws, Pickles, Pizza Dough, onion oil, BBQ powder
- Scratch: Sabich- Lamb Sausages with preserved lemon, garlic aioli, cucumber relish and feta cheese on a Hoagie Roll from Mediterra Bakehouse
- Young Brothers: Triple decker- Beef Brisket, Pulled Pork, Sausage with Cole Slaw and a Savory Sauce
At the end of the week, patrons who participated in Sandwich Week, and tried some of the dishes, are able to vote for their favorite spot to eat.
When asked what exemplifies Sandwich Week, Northside Leadership Conference director Mark Fatla says, “Creativity. It always amazes me how creative these restaurateurs get every year.”
Brown agrees with this sentiment. “Each year, the creativity does step up because the competition is real, and everyone wants to win the crown. This year one restaurant wanted to have an actual flaming onion ring on their sandwich, but decided to take a different route with the theme instead,” she says.
Another event for the week is the Le Tour de Sandwich bike ride, which is returning this year after the success of last year’s event. This guided bike tour brings riders around the Northside, stopping at five participating locations for delicious sandwich samples. Le Tour de Sandwich will be on Saturday, May 20 starting at 2:00 p.m.
Tickets for both events can be purchased online. Tickets for the Sampler party can be purchased at the door – Thursday, May 18, starting at 6:00 p.m.