Do you love sandwiches? We know the answer is yes, but we feel like we have to ask anyway.
Since you likely fall into this category, we're just going to cut to the chase and tell you that you need to make it over to the North Side to check out their annual sandwich week that takes place each May.
This annual event challenges all North Side restaurants to create a special sandwich for the week, and throw down against each other for a judged event at The Priory Hotel to kick off the festivities.
We were invited to check out the “sandwich sampler” opening night party in 2018 and were able to get a sneak peak at some of the creations.
This is one party you don't want to miss!
The Sandwich Sampler Kickoff Party for Sandwich Week
In 2018 the event had the theme “The French Bread Connection,” which as far as we could tell was not used in any of the sandwiches (but is still a great name).
The eleven “sandwich combatants” for the event included Kaffeehaus, Threadbare Cider, North Shore Deli, Legends of the North Shore, Penn Brewery, Huszar, Rivers Casino, Fig and Ash (opening late 2018), Brugge on North, Chateau Cafe & Cakery, and Flavor's Famous Street Food (opening June 2018). Isaly's also made an appearance for samples of the local staple, chipped ham.
Admission allows for unlimited samples of sandwiches from each of the vendors, as well as two tickets to the craft beer bar which featured beer from Penn Brewery and cider from Threadbare, and live music.
At the end of the night the audience as well as a panel of celebrity judges a cast their votes for who will be crowned king or queen of sandwich week.
If you have a love of fine sandwiches and want to sample all of the unique creations in one go, this event to kick off sandwich week is sure to please (and considering how much food you get to try, is truly a great deal for the ticket price).
In fact, we'd go as far as saying it is one of the best food events we've been to in recent memory. It is just that good.
Sandwiches to Look Out For in 2018
But what if you can't make it to the event? Well, you're in luck!
Many of the restaurants that create specialty sandwiches for the event feature them on their menu during the following seven days of sandwich week. While an equivalent spend of the ticket price may get you sandwiches at about four of the featured restaurants, it is a good option for those who cannot make the event all the same.
Looking for the best? Well, here were our three favorites from 2018:
- Fig & Ash – Lamb Sausage stuffed Banana Peppers with Basil Yogurt and Tomato Gastrique (sadly, this one won't be open until the fall). Fig & Ash won best sandwich in 2018.
- Huszar – A Hungarian style meat loaf topped with pickled cabbage slaw, puree of sauteed peppers, onions, and tomatoes
- Brugge on North – Roasted turkey with spinach, pesto, gouda, and a pepper jelly on sour dough. Brugge on North won runner up in 2018.
Other creations of note were a delicious ice cream sandwich made by Threadbare Cider with double chocolate espresso cookies and vanilla ice cream, a spicy barbecue sandwich made by Rivers Casino, and “The Hunky” made by Chateau Cafe & Cakery (2017's winning restaurant) with local kielbasa, pierogi, sauerkraut, and more- a true Pittsburgh sandwich if there ever was one!
So what are you waiting for? Get out and enjoy sandwich week while you still can!
North Side's Sandwich Week occurs for one week in May with the sandwich sampler taking place the first night! Dates vary year to year. We'd like to thank the folks at Sandwich Week for inviting us to the sandwich sampler. As always, all opinions are our own.