Vi's special wins 1997 Favorite Sandwich Contest

October 15, 1997

Every now and then I try to have some fun with this column, and so for several years, I've held a contest in which I've asked readers to describe their favorite sandwich. The winner won't be able to retire on the prize - $20 this year - but that sum will buy lunch and a little bit more.

The rules are fairly simple: Readers had to describe, in 100 words or less, their favorite sandwich. The culinary delight had to be available on the regular menu for eat-in or carry-out, at a restaurant inside the Hagerstown city limits.

Now some people have questioned the Hagerstown-only requirement, and I must admit that I have an ulterior motive for that. Hagerstown is where I work, and if some of the entries sound good, I don't want to have to go to Harpers Ferry on my lunch hour to try them out, Call me selfish, but since the prize comes out of my pocket, that's how it's going to be.


Here are some of the best entries:

- Gil Crumrine, a Hagerstown accountant, likes the chicken salad deli sandwich from Sheetz.

"I start with rye because it holds all the `stuff' better than white or wheat. They put mayo and Italian dressing on the bread, then a huge scoop of chicken salad. Then they pile of the provolone cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, green peppers, pickles and pepper rings. It has to be cut diagonally, because that's how I like it! It's a messy sandwich - parts and pieces are constantly falling out - but it's a good lunch."

- Nancy A. Derr, a worker at the Washington County hospital, has tried many of the hospital snack bar's creations, but likes this one best.

"I have eaten many sandwiches at the snack bar. The best sandwich here is a bacon and egg salad sandwich on whole wheat bread with lettuce and mayonnaise. Add a little salt and pepper and it is delicious. Not very good for your cholesterol, but delicious!!!"

- Robert N. Windisch, who lives in the Smithsburg area, likes this sandwich from Hartle's on South Potomac Street.

"They start with a roll slathered with mayo. Then they add sliced cheese, fresh tomato, shredded lettuce and onion. Here's what makes the sandwich a cut above the rest: On top of the onion, add a layer of alfalfa sprouts and sliced cucumber. Sounds weird, but it's delicious. And if you don't like the mayo, try oil, vinegar and a sprinkle of oregano!"

Kathy and Richard Greenough, of Williamsport, like this sandwich from Freddie's Corner (there are several locations) that they made up a poem to describe it:

"When we want the tastiest sandwich, we

Take a little drive

Down to Freddie's Corner and stroll

Right on inside

We hurry to the counter, making sure

To say, "Please,

We would like our favorite sandwich-

Your superb grilled ham and cheese!"

Into the free roll goes eight ounces of

Ham all nice and steamy;

Cheese, lettuce, onion, tomato and mayo

So incredibly dreamy.

They slather on the hot stuff. Our

Sandwich is now complete.

With our taste buds in a frenzy -

Oh! What a tempting treat."

A nice poem, to be sure. But my favorite, and the winner of this year's contest comes from Anne Reisler, for her description of "Vi's Special" at Mamas Restaurant of Frederick Street.

"It starts with rye bread, toasted or plain. I prefer rye toast, gently caressed with mayo, then lettuce, tomato, onion and real, honest-to-goodness sliced turkey breast are piled on. Swiss cheese and bacon top it off. It is served with a pickle and crunchy potato chips. The price is $3.40. What a delicious combination! What a value!"

She closes by saying that "If I win your contest, I can treat several friends, too."

So you shall, Anne. For your mouth-watering description and your generous nature, Anne Reisler is the winner of this year's Favorite Sandwich Contest.

Because the prizes for these contests are out-of-pocket expenses for me, large sums of money are out of the question as prizes. However, if you've got an idea for a contest we could run at a modest cost, please write me a letter about it.

If you don't want your name associated with your suggestion, please let me know that when you write. Send suggestions to: Bob Maginnis, Editorial Page Editor, The Herald-Mail, P.O. 439, Hagerstown, Md., 21741.

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