Tuesday, December 10, 2013
The zesty lemon lobster roll from The Galley, a restaurant and pub in Naples, will be vying for the title “Best Sandwich in America” Wednesday night on the Travel Channel.
Chef Matt Sullivan’s creation won the regional competition last week on the show “Adam Richman’s Best Sandwich in America” and will now be a part of the hour-long “national championship” at 9 p.m.
All summer long, Adam Richman has been choosing a region of the country and sampling his top three favorite sandwiches. On last week’s episode, Sullivan went up against a crab-filled grilled cheese from Jumpin’ Jay’s in Portsmouth, N.H. and an oven-roasted turkey hoagie from the Book Trader Cafe on the Yale University campus in New Haven, CT.
Sullivan held a viewing party at the restaurant with about 200 customers and friends. Sullivan had been sworn to secrecy about the outcome, but confesses that he did tell his parents and both his grandmothers that he won. The majority of the crowd watching the show, however, had no idea.
“It was like going to a surprise birthday party that I already knew the surprise,” he said. “(This) week, nobody knows what’s going to happen, so that will be a surprise for everyone.”
Sullivan will not appear on this week's show. Instead, the producers asked the finalists to send the ingredients and a recipe for their sandwiches so the show could reproduce them for the finale and post the recipes on the Travel Channel website.
Sullivan took the opportunity to re-create his competitors’ sandwiches from last week. And he’s still talking a little smack.
“I recreated the crab meat grilled cheese sandwich that we went up against, and it wasn’t really anything too spectacular,” he said. “They used Jonah crab meat, which is one of the blander crab meats and one of the cheaper ones, too. The cheddar cheeese they put on there kind of masked the flavor of the crab meat.”
He had only raves for the turkey sandwich, which he said was “delicious.”
On tonight’s show, the 10 regional winners and two “wild cards” will fight for the top spot. If Sullivan wins again, perhaps he’ll get the same response as last week when he won the regional contest.
“I got hugs from random people I didn’t even know,” he said.
Meredith Goad has harvested oysters on the Chesapeake Bay, eaten reindeer in Finland and sipped hot chai in the Himalayas. She writes the weekly Soup to Nuts column and enjoys a good cocktail.
Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business before turning to journalism more than a decade ago. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs. A newcomer to Portland, she is an online content producer for the Press Herald.
Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or saxelrod [at] pressherald.com.
On Twitter: @susansaxelrod