Now, another of the 4-year-old restaurant’s gargantuan sandwiches, the CSS Virginia, is a competitor on Adam Richman’s Best Sandwich in America.
Black Sheep chef and co-owner Kevin Roberts, who concocted the sandwich after spending time in New Orleans, calls it “a Virginian take on an oyster po’ boy.” The 2-foot-long battleship is filled with fried chicken livers topped with a slaw of cabbage, green onions, apples and rémoulade sauce. Roberts says that the chicken livers are similar in texture to oysters and that they give the sandwich a “farm appeal” that makes it more local.
The CSS Virginia is one of 29 sandwiches selected from around the country. “It’s a lot of people doing neat things. I’m honored to be included in it,” Roberts says.
The chef says that his creation’s originality and unique combination of flavors make the sandwich stand out. “The richness of the chicken liver, the acidity and tartness of the apple, the rémoulade … all these things combined work really well,” he says.
On Wednesday night (June 27), the CSS Virginia will battle against the Chicken Club from Washington’s W Hotel and the Crab Cake Sandwich from Faidley’s Seafood in Baltimore. (Videos from all three places can be seen on the Travel Channel’s website.)
Richman will grade the competitors on his own B.I.T.E. scale, comparing the bread, interior, taste and eating experience of each sandwich. This week’s winner will move on to compete as one of 10 regional winners and two wild-card selections to be crowned the nation’s best sandwich.
“I think our odds are pretty good,” Roberts says. “We’ve got a pretty unique product. … I think we can beat a club sandwich.”
After the USS Brooklyn was featured on the Travel Channel program, sales took off, according to the Black Sheep chef. “What we were selling in a week we were selling almost daily after the show,” Roberts says. “I don’t know if we will see the same thing with the CSS Virginia because not everyone’s a chicken liver lover.”
Roberts thinks that more people will order the sandwich out of curiosity. “Even if they’re not a chicken liver fan, they’ll want to find out for themselves and form their own opinions,” he says.
Tune in to the Travel Channel at 9 p.m. Wednesday to see if Richman thinks the CSS Virginia is the best thing since sliced bread.