It started during a casual conversation with chef
Victor Albisu, right after he opened Del Campo, his South American steakhouse in Penn Quarter.
We were talking about the house
chivito—the chef’s take on a classic Uruguayan street sandwich. The traditional ’wich layers
steak, mozzarella cheese, bacon, mayo, olives, and a fried egg. At Del Campo, however,
there are stacks of seared rib eye, ham, mortadella, fried egg, olives, hearts of
palm, lettuce, and onion, all inside a brioche bun. And it is one tall drink of water—also
pretty fat, and definitely not easy to eat. Watching it wobble as we passed the plate
around the table, I joked to Albisu that it would be funny to make a video of customers
trying to get their mouths around that massive sandwich. He laughed a little. Then
we forgot about it.
Fast-forward a few months, when the
Washingtonian food team embarked on a mission to pick Washington’s top 25 sandwiches. The resulting
feature in our September issue, now on stands, celebrates one of our favorite ways
of eating and calls out some of the best bread-bracketed inventions you’ll find anywhere.
To accompany it, we figured why not really see what happened when you asked sandwich
enthusiasts to take on the towering
chivito? Readers submitted photos of themselves eating sandwiches via Facebook, and the winners
were invited for an afternoon of sport eating at the Del Campo asado bar. Check out
the video to see how they fared. We hope it makes you laugh—and we’re pretty certain
it will make you hungry.