48 restaurants in Grand Rapids are competing to be the home of the first-ever “Grandwich”. The idea for the sandwich competition came out of a competition for the best ideas.
Nicole Infante wanted Grand Rapids to have a signature sandwich – like the Philly cheese steak sandwich. The idea got a lot of traction but the judges at the idea competition didn’t award her any money. The next day promoters of the downtown area offered to help make her idea reality.
“Of course the $5,000 would have been nice but I mean you can, I thought after that I was done I thought okay well you know I tried, but here I am.”
An unemployed, self-described foodie, Infante isn’t making money off the contest.
“I would love it if something came of this. But that wasn’t my motivation behind it. Honestly I just wanted to eat a bunch of sandwiches.”
It’s going to be hard to try all 48 “Grandwich” contenders in the next two weeks. But I had to start somewhere. Nicole and I met at O’Tool’s Public House to chat and give their “Grandwich” a taste test.
"Under a Founders Pale Ale (local brewery) battered onion ring sits a delicious, locally raised chuck patty, topped with aged white cheddar, housemade jalapenos, thick cut Sobie bacon and smothered in our "secret smoky tomato" sauce. All packed on top of a Nantucket Bakery bun."
It was amazing. Now I have to try more.
People can vote for their favorite “Grandwich” through the end of the month. Judges will decide which of the top ten vote-getters will become the next “Grandwich” in early August.