Winner: The Hog
Restaurant: Soda & Swine, San Diego
Sandwich Creator: Corporate Chef Jason McLeod
Inspiration: McLeod’s menu features a classic American staple—meatballs—which one can order round or “smashed.” The meat is ground in an old-fashioned butcher shop setting and the sandwich is designed “with the simplicity of Main Street America” in mind.
Key Ingredients: Chorizo, brisket and pork butt with chipotle barbecue sauce and shredded mozzarella.
Food Cost: $2.19
What the Judges Said: “Meatball sandwiches have been all the rage the last few years, perhaps because their pure simplicity does not confuse those who wear wife-beaters and gold chains. And Soda & Swine does not veer far from ‘keep it simple, stupid!’ But what makes its meatballs excel is the care and quality that goes into the grind of multiple, excellent-quality meats. And then it veers away from a traditional tomato sauce in favor of a barbecue sauce. It’s the kind of sandwich that just may make you smarter after you’ve eaten one . . . or maybe not. Yo, Adrian!”
Famous Breaded Steak by owner Sam Ricobene of Ricobene’s in Chicago
Philly Cheesesteak by José Andrés of The Bazaar, Los Angeles