'Hagerstown's Best Sandwich' is a Plum creation

October 17, 2007|By BOB MAGINNIS

In a newspaper with thousands of readers, what are the odds that three of them would nominate a creation from the same restaurant in the "Hagerstown's Best Sandwich" contest?

I'd have bet against it, but it happened. If you missed my column of Oct. 3, that's when I revived a contest that I've run periodically over the past 10 years.

It's called "Hagerstown's Best Sandwich" and those who enter were asked to describe, in 100 words or less, their favorite sandwich.

There were only a few rules. The nominated sandwich has to be a regular menu item at an eatery inside the Hagerstown city limits. Employees of The Herald-Mail and the restaurants themselves were ineligible, although restaurateurs could certainly encourage their customers to enter.


The entrants and their nominees included:

· Phil and Jan Goldman, whose favorite is the "Steak Special" at Dino's, at the corner of Nottingham Road and West Washington Street.

"It has generous portions of steak, green peppers, mushrooms and cheese and your choice of lettuce, tomato, fried onions and mayo" with the finished sub toasted in Dino's pizza oven.

· Oliver Hornick, who nominated the "Reuben" at Always Ron's on Burhans Boulevard.

"Made fresh, this large sandwich, with its side of chips, is a meal all by itself. It is positively the best Reuben I've ever eaten," Hornick wrote.

· Donna Johnson wrote that "you might enjoy my favorite sandwich at The Plum: 'Ham and cucumber on rye with horseradish.' It is satisfying and nutritionally sound. And, for those allergic to milk, dairy-free."

The Plum is located in downtown on Rochester Place.

· Jane M. Carbaugh has two favorites. No. 1 is "Chick Fil-A with honey mustard." Chick Fil-A is on Wesel Boulevard

"Try it, you'll like it. No more words are necessary," she wrote.

Her other favorite is a McDonald's Double Cheeseburer.

· Jonathan Burrs likes a sandwich from Rocky's Pizza on Public Square. His description is as follows:

"My favorite sandwich is a grilled chicken cheese steak submarine sandwich served by my good friend Vinnie at Rocky's on the Square.

"Vinnie provides a generous portion size of thinly sliced chicken steaks, grilled and seasoned to perfection, with grilled seasoned mushrooms and onions, topped with melted provolone cheese.

"Served hot inside Vinnie's oven- toasted Italian submarine bread. I like mine with mayo."

· Walter's Bell's favorite is another creation from The Plum, the "Turkey Reuben," which he describes as follows:

"It consists of turkey, red cabbage, swiss cheese, 1,000 island dressing and is served on rye bread. It is, in my opinion, a culinary delight," he wrote.

Bell added that The Plum's service is outstanding, performed by a wait staff that is "efficient, polite and professional."

· The winning nomination comes from William Wantz, whose favorite - the "Red Reuben" - also comes from The Plum. Unlike the Turkey Reuben, this one is made with corned beef.

Wantz' description, which sounds somewhat like a Consumer Reports review, is as follows:

"An accomplished sandwich excels in three attributes: Structure, taste and nutrition.

"Structure: Thoughtful sandwich engineering. Contents don't spill out. No festive toothpicks required. No soggy bread. The temperature is pleasing. No greasy, toasted disappointment. Ingredients are of the finest quality. The first bite explores the rich texture of the creation.

"Taste: The taste is created subtly, replacing traditional sauerkraut with red cabbage, from which this moveable feast derives its name. Delightfully gooey.

"Nutrition: It's a sandwich ..

"Conclusion: Unique, delicious, consistently satisfying, reasonably priced. Perfected adaptation of a midday classic. Lunch may never be the same again."

The unique description, accomplished in 96 words, wins the $25 prize. Thanks to all who participated in the contest.

Suggestions for possible future contests maybe sent to me at The Herald-Mail, P.O. Box 439, Hagerstown, MD 21740.

Bob Maginnis is editorial page editor of The Herald-Mail newspapers.

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