Feast Portland Day 1: Widmer Bros Sandwich Invitational

Excuse the three day lag in my first Feast Portland post; it’s just I’ve been on a nonstop agenda of wining, dining, sampling, mingling, instagramming, tweeting, and partying with Oregon (and the nation’s) top chefs, artisans and vendors.

On Thursday, I acquired my Blogger Pass (which got me free entry into every event I attended with the exception of The Sandwich Invitational and High Comfort):

My Blogger Pass for Feast Portland
My Blogger Pass for Feast Portland

As much as I wanted to post about my incredible experience at High Comfort last night (and the melange of out of this world unofficial after parties that ensued), I’ve decided to do my posts in chronological order…and also keep them light on the text because we all know the pics are what matter.

Anyhow, the premise of the Sandwich Invitational: 15 unique ‘sandwiches’ presented by America’s top chefs where two winners are selected (one by a  panel of judges including food celebs such as Naomi Pomeroy and Francis Lam) and the other by the votes of attendees. Oh yeah and there was also tonnes of Widmer beer, a selection of wines and Reyka vodka.

While I did not manage to get a pic of all the sandos; check out the gallery below and then I’ll recap at the bottom my favourites.

The two winners which ended up being selected? The Country Cat’s Lamb Burger and Laurelhurst Market’s Smoked Beef Tongue sando- and I can wholeheartedly agree that both were impeccably done.

My Top Five however?

1) Ruby Jewel Ice Cream NW Club: This was by far the best ice cream sandwich I have ever had; the chart indicated that the layers were brown sugar cookies, marionberry caramel, hazelnut ice cream, chocolate and cocoa nib cookie, bacon, caramel ice cream, marionberry caramel, and another brown sugar cookie topped with a candied sage leaf and hardening chocolate. Last week I had the privilege of being invited by Ruby Jewel to taste test all their various ice creams, cookies, and sauces to assist in concocting the perfect submission. And yes, these ladies did an excellent job.

2) The Country Cat Lamb Slider: While a seemingly simple submission, this miniature burger was  done damn well. Sometimes simple takes the cake…or the sandwich trophy.

3) Clyde Common Crab Slider: Another relatively simple sandwich, but the melange of flavours worked well and it was nice to see a seafood submission in contrast to all the pork and red meat-centric submissions.

4) Ox Duck Confit Waffle: I don’t mean to use the term ‘Holy Yum,’ but actually HOLY YUM. Not only was this a unique combination, but boy did it work. At first I was sceptical of the idea of having pickled peaches mixed with duck confit and a savoury waffle…but the Dentons killed it. I mean, come on they own 2012’s Restaurant of the Year after all!

5) Laurelhurst Market Smoked Beef Tongue: Alright, I’m sure you all know by now Laurelhurst Market is my absolute favourite restaurant in Portland and besides foie gras torchons and fantastic steaks, they know how to make a sandwich.

***

While the above were my top five, all the sandwiches I tasted were absolutely impeccable. I loved Tillamook Cheese’s gooey comforting dessert grilled cheeses, the amazing options at Roman Candle and even the ridiculously meaty Hillbilly Fried Bologna sando between two slices of white bread from Charleston, South Carolina’s McCrady’s. What a fantastic event! For more information on the vendors from Sandwich Invitational, check out Feast’s Event Page for it here!

Hope to see ya there next year!

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