Winner: Beef Tsukune Slider

Restaurant: Sumi Robata Bar, Chicago

Sandwich Creator: Chef Gene Kato

Inspiration: The beef tsukune is a playful interpretation of two culinary staples—the Japanese dumpling dish and an all-American hot dog.

Key Ingredients: Ground wagyu beef, Japanese seven spice, grated onion and house-made bao bun.

Price: $4

Food Cost: 20 percent

What Others Said: “The three-bite dish features a beef sausage shaped like a miniature hot dog, wrapped in a soft bao and finished with a stripe of Japanese mustard. It’s far and away the best slider being served in Chicago right now, in no small part because it doesn’t look or taste like a slider at all.” —Time Out Chicago

What the Judges Said: “It doesn’t look or taste like a slider because, in our opinion, it ain’t no stinking slider. But it is one hell of a wrap that’s both creative and reminiscent of a Wisconsin bratwurst. It’s a perfect little package that made us consider putting on some lederhosen and heading to a Kung Fu movie festival. It was an urge we resisted. But the wrap? It’s pretty damn irresistible.”

Honorable Mentions

Falafel Wrap by owner Gus Karalekas of Sanford’s Restaurant, Queens, NY
 

 

Pie Wood-Fired Pi-zini by Linda Becher of Pi Wood-Fired Pizza, Rochester, MN