Get Dining Out delivered to your inbox every Wednesday Morning.

Our Sandwich Smackdown victors celebrate their win with fans. By Anna Spiegel
Our Great Sandwich Smackdown champs have a deal for you. Photograph courtesy of Taylor Gourmet.

Taylor Gourmet fans, this one is for you. The local hoagie chain took the crowning title in our Great Sandwich Smackdown, and soon after we announced the winners, the owners created a deal to thank everyone for their support.

Head to any of the nine locations in the District, Maryland, and Virginia on Tuesday and get 15 percent off anything on the menu—from Italian hoagies to all-day breakfast sandwiches to risotto balls. The offer is valid all day, in-store only. There’s no proof of Smackdown voting needed, meaning all you vocal Bub and Pop’s or G fans can also reap the benefits. Happy eating, and congrats again to our Smackdown champ!

Posted at 10:06 AM/ET, 04/08/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Time to announce the victorious team and bracket. By Anna Spiegel
Taylor Gourmet defeated fellow Philly-inspired sandwich shop Bub and Pop’s for the Sandwich Smackdown crown. Photograph by Taylor Gourmet.

Welcome once more to Smackdown land, sandwich fans! It’s been a wild ride over these past two weeks, but sadly this bread bowl has come to an end. On the positive side, it’s time to announce the final results.

First, bragging rights go to the reader known as Patrick M., whose sandwich savvy led him to pick a near-perfect bracket. Congrats, Patrick—you can now call yourself the mayor of Smackdown town. As for our competitors, the crowning victory goes to Taylor Gourmet! The much-loved local chain beat out a bevy of tough contenders, including Red Apron Butchery, G by Mike Isabella, and Shawafel. Friday’s face-off between the Taylor crew and hot newcomer Bub and Pop’s was a nail-biter, but TG managed to pull ahead of its fellow Philly competitor for the big win. Congrats to owners Casey Patten and David Mazza for garnering both the Sandwich Smackdown title and hometown bragging rights.

As they say at many a sandwich shop, that’s a wrap. Thank you to all of our readers and 16 delicious contenders for making this such a fun—and passionate—competition.

Posted at 10:36 AM/ET, 04/07/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Only one can be the king of Smackdown Town. By Anna Spiegel
This is it. For all the marbles. Your vote decides the winner between Bub and Pop’s (left, photograph by Andrew Propp) and Taylor Gourmet (photograph courtesy of Taylor Gourmet).

Welcome to the Great Sandwich Smackdown finals! We’ve come a long way to get here, folks, particularly these two strong teams. Taylor Gourmet began the competition by trouncing Red Apron Butchery, only to go on and leave the mighty G and Shawafel in its wake. Newcomer Bub and Pop’s, meanwhile, started strong with a win against cheesesteak king Ray’s to the Third and continued on the path of glory overcoming powerhouses such as the Italian Store and Bayou Bakery.

So who’s it going to be, Smackdown-ers—the beloved local chain or the prized mom-and-pop (and, in this case, chef-son) sandwich shop? There’s a lot of Philly pride at stake here, with the owners of both eateries hailing from the City of Brotherly Love. Only one hoagie can claim the Smackdown title, and it’s up to you to decide. As always, you have until 5 to vote—after which we’ll crown the winning sandwich spot. May the best sandwich win!

Posted at 09:43 AM/ET, 04/04/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Who’s headed to the finals? By Anna Spiegel
Our last semifinal pits Bub and Pop’s hearty sandwiches such as the meaty Italian (left, photograph by Andrew Propp) against Bayou Bakery’s fare such as the “muff-a-lotta” (photograph by Scott Suchman).

Welcome to the last round of the semifinals, Smackdown fans! Yesterday’s fight between Shawafel and Taylor Gourmet left our Lebanese contender in the dust, with Taylor garnering nearly 65 percent of the votes for the win.

Today’s round determines who faces Philly in the finals tomorrow. Will it be Southern charmer Bayou Bakery and its meaty muffalettas? Or a bun battle between Italians if Bub and Pop’s takes the prize? Two great teams, many worthy sandwiches, but only one can proceed to the championship. It’s time to make tough choices.

Posted at 09:31 AM/ET, 04/03/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Time for the semifinals. By Anna Spiegel
Our first final four battle has Taylor Gourmet (photograph courtesy of Taylor Gourmet) taking on Shawafel (photograph by Scott Suchman).

Welcome to the Great Sandwich Smackdown semifinals! We’ve come a long way in this condiment-filled competition, but today marks the beginning of the end. Only four contenders remain—and today, shawarma king Shawafel takes on Taylor Gourmet’s red-hot hoagies.

While Lebanese- and Philly-style sandwiches are worlds apart, both of these shops’ offerings are hugely popular—not to mention delicious—and have garnered many, many fan votes to make it this far. Only one can go on to the finals, and it’s up to your stomach to decide.

Posted at 09:33 AM/ET, 04/02/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Arm drip or butcher-shop dip for the semifinals? By Anna Spiegel
Today’s quarterfinal matchup pits overstuffed Stachowski’s sandwiches such as the turkey club (left, photograph by Erik Uecke) against Bayou Bakery’s fare such as the “muff-a-lotta” (photograph by Scott Suchman).

Welcome to Smackdown town! We’ve come a long way since the beginning of our competition, and today’s challenge between Stachowski’s and Bayou Bakery will determine who goes bread-to-bread with Bub and Pop’s in the semifinals.

It’s a tough pick today, folks, with plenty of personality involved. On one side we have Louisiana native David Guas and his Southern comforts, such as Bayou’s roast beef “arm drip” and a meaty-yet-meatless veggie sandwich loaded with veggies and local chèvre. On the other is Jamie Stachowski, a Buffalo native known to make some of the best butcher-shop sandwiches in town, including a “four-meat grinder” that takes two to eat, and sky-high pastrami on rye. Unfortunately, only one can continue to the semifinals.

Posted at 09:36 AM/ET, 04/01/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Old-guard Italian takes on a popular newcomer. By Anna Spiegel
Quarterfinal 3 pits Bub and Pop’s hearty sandwiches, such as the meaty Italian (left, photograph by Andrew Propp) and the Italian Store’s cold cut subs, such as the Milano (photograph via Flickr user williammarlow).

Welcome back to the Great Sandwich Smackdown! Last week we saw epic battles unfold among four great purveyors of fillings and breads. After a tremendous showdown on Friday between G and Taylor Gourmet—not to mention plenty of, um, vocal commenters—the Taylor guys pulled ahead for the win and will compete against Shawafel in the semifinals.

Today we have one of the old guard pitted against a popular newcomer: Arlington’s 30-plus-year-old Italian Store goes up against Dupont newbie Bub and Pop’s. Both family-owned operations make a mean cold cut Italian sub, not to mention chicken Parm, meatballs, and more. Still, only one member of the famiglia can move on, and it’s time to decide.

Posted at 09:38 AM/ET, 03/31/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Jersey takes on Philly for the ultimate bragging rights. By Anna Spiegel
Today’s heavyweight battle pits G’s offerings (like the chicken Parm, left, photograph by Greg Powers) against the Philly-inspired sandwiches from Taylor Gourmet (photograph courtesy of Taylor Gourmet).

Welcome to day two of the Great Sandwich Smackdown quarterfinals! Yesterday’s exciting race between DGS Delicatessen and Shawafel was a photo finish, with the H Street shawarma spot pulling ahead with just 50.46 percent of the votes. Thus we bid adieu to Dupont’s corned-beef kings.

Today’s competition promises to be just as exciting, if not more. In one corner, we have G’s Jersey-fied Italian sandwiches. In the other, Taylor Gourmet’s Philly versions of the same. This isn’t just a matter of who makes the better buns—this is about hometown pride. So it’s up to you to choose: G’s suckling pig or Taylor’s roast pork? Chicken Parm or chicken cutlets? Heroes or hoagies? Only one of these passionate teams can continue to the semifinals, and it’s up to you to decide.

Posted at 09:48 AM/ET, 03/28/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Let the quarterfinals begin. By Anna Spiegel
In our first quarterfinal matchup, DGS Delicatessen (left) goes up against Shawafel. Photographs by Scott Suchman.

Welcome to the second round of the Great Sandwich Smackdown! We’ve already seen condiments fly in this carb-loaded competition, with Bayou Bakery beating Hank’s Oyster Bar yesterday, and now it’s time to see which ’wiches will go on to the semifinals.

Up first: H Street shawarma king Shawafel takes on pastrami powerhouse DGS Delicatessen. Two great spots for a meat-and-bread fix—not to mention very tasty falafel—but only one can continue to the next round.

At this point in the competition we’d also like to give a shoutout to the loyal Smackdown fans, 12 of whom have guessed every outcome but one correctly thus far—and a special hat tip to David M., whoever you are, who’s the only player to have gotten them all right. Good luck to all going forward!

Now back to the question at hand.

Posted at 09:36 AM/ET, 03/27/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The South takes on New England. By Anna Spiegel
It’s North versus South with Hank’s New England-style lobster rolls (left, photograph via Hank’s Oyster Bar Facebook page) versus Bayou Bakery’s “muff-a-lotta” (photograph by Scott Suchman).

Welcome to the final first-round battle of the Great Sandwich Smackdown! Tomorrow we head into the quarterfinals, which promises some close competitions: The current standings pit DGS Delicatessen against Shawafel, G by Mike Isabella against Taylor Gourmet, and Bub and Pop’s against the Italian Store. Georgetown favorite Stachowski’s emerged the victor yesterday, so it’s up to today’s round between Bayou Bakery and Hank’s Oyster Bar to see who takes on the Big Bad Butcher.

Our Wednesday round sees Jamie Leeds’s New England-style seafood spot (which also happens to make a mean fried shrimp po’ boy) up against the Louisiana-inspired bakery from David Guas. The Bakery’s “muff-a-lotta” is among the best of its kind in Washington (and vegetarians claim allegiance to the dragged-through-the-garden “veg-head”)—and you can argue the same about Hank’s lobster roll. It’s up to you to choose who proceeds to the next round of this carb-tastic competition.

Posted at 09:58 AM/ET, 03/26/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()