Here is my Feast Sandwich Invitational 2014 Recap. Just like when I attended (and recapped) last year, it was the first big event for Feast Portland. This year it was held on Thursday September 18th from 6-9:00 PM at Directors Park.
Overall, the Widmer Brothers Brewing Sandwich Invitational presented by Dave’s Killer Bread offered 14 sandwiches competing for a People’s Choice award and also a Judge’s Choice award, as well as free-flowing Widmer beer, wines from Columbia Crest, Columbia Winery, Erath, Hawks View Cellars, Northstar and Union Wine Co as well as vodka cocktails from Reyka Vodka and some bonus grilled cheese sandwiches courtesy of Tillamook Cheese.
Like all of the Feast events, the net proceeds of the Sandwich Invitational go towards ending childhood hunger in Oregon through Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon and Share Our Strength. In it’s first two years, Feast has been able to raise $99,000 so far so the price of admission is not only all inclusive of all this food and drink, it’s also for a worthy and important cause.
But let’s get to the food porn photos right? The 14 sandwiches!
- Hugh Acheson of Empire State South (Atlanta, GA). Nothing but love for his sweet goofyness and for bringing Pimento Cheese sandwiches, though I would have wanted much bigger smears of pimento cheese and more pimento or hot sauce. Yes, maybe I thought photographing Hugh was of critical importance versus the sandwich.
- Dustin Clark of upcoming restaurant The Oddfellow Social (Portland, OR) and known for having been the chef behind what was Wildwood created one of my favorite sandwiches of the night, a Pressed Water Buffalo Short Rib and Sichuan Pickled Cucumber Sandwich.
- Chris Cosentino of the upcoming restaurant Cockscomb (San Francisco, CA) and I could not pry any information/detail of what it will have decided to have a little fun by calling his sandwich the “Cicciolina” in honor of the Italian porn star/former politician famous for exposing her breasts in parliament and founder of Democracy, Nature and Love Party (DNA) which besides promoting same sex marriage and minimum wage for youths, also wanted to make it legal to open brothels. I guess I have to thank Chris for making me google and learn about her, even though I wonder if he was partially motivated by being able to have a sandwich sign that had nipples. Ahem. Anyway, it so happens that another of his sandwiches is currently at Lardo as one of the Chefwich series sandwiches. You can get this month at Lardo right now the chefwich called The Yardbird with chicken liver, crispy chicken skin, butter lettuce, heirloom tomato, pickled red onion,toasted birdseed pullman, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Michael J Fox Foundation
- Scott Dolich of The Bent Brick (Portland, OR) had my vote for the best sandwich of the night with his BBQ Goat Frybread. If you are drooling like I am just looking at the pics, I believe on their happy hour menu at the Bent Brick they offer a BBQ Lamb Frybread version, which is even better only in that you will get to enjoy 1 or more of bar manager Michelle’s cocktails along with it then!
- Rick Gencarelli of Lardo (Portland, OR) presented a smokey pork burger with dirty mustard, peach, American cheese, and arugula that ended up being one of the two longest lines for sandwiches of the festival. It does make for a beautiful little slider, though since I’ve had the Lardo burger along with their Dirty Fries on more than one occasion, this slider though filling just is not as awesome as what you can get normally at Lardo. So if you feel like you missed out, get yourself to one of the two locations of Lardo right now and get their burger, because I think it’s even better than this was!
- Tommy Habetz and Nick Wood of Bunk Sandwiches (Portland, OR) not only was killing it with their slow roasted duck and foie banh mi with duck liver and fois gras pate, jalapeno, cilantro, basil, daikon and carrot pickles, but they even upped the ante from the mariachi band of last year to a a one man hot dog band. I am only sorry I was too short to take a good photo when in the gathered audience of the hot dog band. Thankfully you can get this tasty sandwich at Bunk Sandwiches now on their menu at their Water Avenue location.
- Derek Hanson of Broder Nord (Portland, OR) was not afraid of the chicken skin with his offering of Gravlax, Skyr, Pickled Cucumber, Crispy Chicken Skin on Rye Bread. I was happy to see the Skyr, which is a that yogurty spread you see on the bread with the gravlax as they are such an iconic Norwegian/Swedish/Icelandic ingredients. My rye was pretty dry, unfortunately, which could have been forgiven with more chicken skin or gravlax.
- Eric Joppie of Bar Avignon (Portland, OR) really pushed what is a sandwich with his 2 croutons with his offering of a deconstructed Cubano. Still, the pork that I saw being cut right from the whole pig I saw behind the booth was moist, tender, full of flavor so it was enjoyable.
- Paul Kahan representing The Publican (Chicago, IL) got me excited when I saw his selected hashtag of #Boom and the ingredients of his Return of The Gyro included pork, eggplant, yogurt, fun, fenugreek, and flavor. Also he had claws with marker scrawl of “Bear Down” and proclaiming this the official sandwich of the Chicago Blackhawks, bring out all my Chicago sports team pride. The result was also a sandwich that was very well balanced and tasted lighter than so many of the fattier meat sandwiches that were being offered. So it’s ok I ate two right? This was one of my favorite sandwiches of the night.
- Stephanie Pearl Kimmel of Marché (Eugene, OR) presented a sandwich that I had towards the end of the night, a Moroccan lamb pocket bread of harissa aioli, cilantro pesto and side of root vegetable slaw and apparently forgot to photograph. Oops! I do remember eating it, and really enjoying the slaw! The Oregonian did get a photo of it in their article.
- Tyler Malek of Salt & Straw (Portland, OR) was the People’s Choice winner with the only sweet and dessert offering of the evening, a PB&J ice cream sandwich an open face stack with grilled bread, marionberry jam and peanut butter ice cream and whipped cream topped with peanut butter Captain Crunch. Everyone had this sandwich I think- it had the longest line of the night!
- Matt McCallister of FT33 (Dallas, TX) also brought pimento cheese, but upped it by making it a Bologna and Pimento Cheese Sandwich.
- Bonnie Morales of Kachka (Portland, OR) earned the Judge’s Choice award with her Smoked Sprats, Egg, Smetana on Butter Fried Toasts. If you want to give it a try, she has a similar option under appetizers at her Kachka restaurant under cold zakuski, Baltic Sprat Buterbrodi.
- Cathy Whims of Nostrana (Portland, OR) was still giving out a relaxed vibe from her return from Hawaii as she presented her sandwich of Peach Whim Smoked Lamb Ham, Cresenze Cheese, Watercress, Tomato, and Spicy Onion Relish which was paired with the Widmer Portlandic Porter, my favorite sandwich and Widmer beer pairing of the night.
For more gorgeous photos from this year’s Feast Sandwich Invitational 2014, check out fellow bloggers armed with real cameras instead of my smartphone and also with an incredible photographic eye, Michelle of Hummingbird High and her photo essay or Irvin of Eat The Love, back for his second round of Feast with his Photo Essay: Feast Portland 2014, Day 1.
There are also some photos available at the Oregonian’s The Three Best Bites from the Sandwich Invitational article .
Disclaimer: I was granted a Blogger Pass for Feast Portland 2014 for blog post and social media coverage but I am not otherwise being compensated.