How do you embody Grand Rapids, Michigan, in sandwich form? That was the inspiration behind the Grandwich competition, which was held at Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids this past Saturday. Organizer Nicole Infante wanted to celebrate the city with flavors as unique as the people who live there—and translate them into a sandwich.
She asked local restaurants to enter recipes and leading up to the event, the Grandwich website kept a running tally of votes. The ten most popular sandwiches competed over the weekend for the Grandwich title.
The Competing Restaurants
- Grand Central Market
- The BOB-Bobarinos
- Skywalk Deli
- 25 Kitchen + Bar
- St. Mary's Health Care
- Greenwell Gastro Pub
- Omelette Shoppe
- Rico's Deli
The Grandwich Winner
"The G-Wrap" from BOB-Bobarinos restaurant in downtown Grand Rapids, which featured crisp seared Big B Farms pulled pork, spiced barbecue sauce, locally-made Andouille sausage, and spicy pickle slaw on spiced naan. "It wraps Grand Rapids up!" said executive chef Jared Miller.
Another top contender was "The Grand Peppino" from Peppinos: six ounces of roasted turkey breast with housemade Michigan Cherry Mayonnaise, smoked gouda and apple slaw made with apples from River Ridge, a locally owned farm in nearby Sparta, Michigan. It was heaped on toasted ciabatta, along with cranberry chutney and three strips of Michigan hickory smoked bacon. Quite the combination of sweet and tart, showcasing local fruits and livestock.
"It's the sandwich you have after Thanksgiving," said Nick Marino of Peppinos. The restaurant has sold 450 of these in just the last three weeks during the competition.
About the author: Carrie Brown is a copywriter and poet who graduated from the University of Michigan.