Sandwich Report Card: Big-Ass Roast Beef Sandwich

Filed Under: Portland, Sandwich
In the Northwest, 3 sandwiches go head-to-head for a chance to be the regional champ. The second of these is the roast beef sandwich from Big-Ass Sandwiches. Get the facts on this contender and the recipe so you can make it at home.

Big-Ass Roast Beef Sandwich

Where to Find It:
Big-Ass Sandwiches
309 3rd Ave South
300 Southwest Ash Street
Portland, OR 97204

Lisa and Brian Woods both grew up in the Northwest and had always dreamed of starting their own business. Brian had worked in kitchens since he was a teen. He became head chef and manager of some of Seattle's best restaurants. Lisa worked in the broadcast and music industries for many years, but after her second layoff in 2 years, she and Brian decided it was time. They knew they could make great sandwiches and decided to start a food cart. What makes Big-Ass sandwiches unique is that the fries go on the sandwich.

BITE Score Rating:

B - There really are not enough compliments in the English language to give this bread.
I - It's like a modern art masterpiece in there.
T- When you use local bread, local ingredients and make the Béchamel yourself, you are dealing with a unique taste.
E- The eating experience is extraordinary.

Results: Northwest Regional Winner


* 1 Loaf of Bread
* Roast Beef
* 3 pieces of Bacon
* Cup of caramelized onions
* French Fries
* Hot Sauce
* Béchamel Cheese

Directions for French Fries:
* Cut 90 count potatoes, cut to 1/4".
* Soak in water with a touch of vinegar.
* Cook them to blanched (a tad less than 3/4 done), cool, flash to crispy when sandwich is ready to roll.

Ingredients for Béchamel Cheese

* 1/2 lb Butter
* 5 lbs of finely shredded Medium Cheddar Cheese
* 1 gallon of 2% Milk
* 2 1/2 cups of Flour
* 2 T. Salt

Directions for Béchamel Cheese
* In a stockpot, melt Butter & add Flour to make your roux.
* Once roux is browned (about the color of a grocery bag), pour in 1/2 gallon of milk.
* Whisk briskly/stir until mixed & there are no roux lumps left, then add cheese.
* Pour in the other 1/2 gallon of milk and stir on 2/3 heat with a spatula for 30-40 minutes.
* Keep constant contact with the spatula and the bottom of the pot to avoid any burning/scorching.
* Continue to stir until the proteins break down, the grainy texture goes away (it goes in stages) and you have a velvety, smooth consistency.
* If the cheese seems thick, a little milk whisked in at the end usually loosens it up very well.
* Add 3 pinches of salt & stir.

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