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Grandwich 2013 gets sampled: Sandwiches 11-20

I evaluate 10 more Grandwiches in my quest to try every single one in the first week to help voters.
The Bahn Mi Sandwich from Z's Bar and Restaurant

The Bahn Mi Sandwich from Z's Bar and Restaurant /Chris Freeman

For the third year in a row, Downtown Grand Rapids and The Neighborhood  Business Alliance has challenged restaurateurs to give us their best sandwich that highlights local ingredients with the Grandwich competition. Diners are then encouraged to vote for their favorites on the website to determine the top ten sandwiches out of the 30 in the competition.

For the third year in a row, I've also taken on my own challenge: going to all of the restaurants participating in the Grandwich competition in the first handful of days to help those wishing to try the long list of options have more information on where they'd like to go.

This is essentially a guerrilla assault where I hit seven to 12 restaurants per day in order to try the culinary offerings of each of the participants, evaluating their flavor, creativity and sometimes price. I then pass the results on to my food page, EatGR on Facebook, and readers here on The Rapidian.

This year, Holly Bechiri and Renato De Los Reyes of The Rapidian, along with my wife Melissa Freeman, assisted me in my efforts. We each try a quarter of each sandwich and discuss our thoughts on its success. It has been a much more pleasant experience being able to share food that I tended to over-eat in years past. 

I hope these reports help you determine where you'll be making your own evaluations while supporting local restaurants in the upcoming weeks during the competition.

Grandwich sandwiches can be tried and voted on through August 11. The top ten competition will be held on August 16 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Rosa Parks Circle. The top restaurants will be providing samples for a suggested $5 donation that will benefit Kids Food Basket. Peoples Choice and Judges Choice awards will be announced at the event.

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