Skip to content

Hospitality Vet Handicaps Taste of America Tourney

Journeyman toque Colin Abernethy was simply beside himself when he learned about what is going on in the regional grudge match that is Roll Call’s annual Taste of America showdown .  

“I’m sorry, but no love for WV and its pepperoni rolls or Tudor’s biscuits? This vote is a sham!” the seasoned chef scolded the TOAverse after discovering that the much beloved West Virginia pepperoni roll was alive, but apparently not doing as well as the dominating lobster roll, in this year’s gustatory gauntlet.  

(CQ Roll Call Photo Illustration)
(CQ Roll Call Photo Illustration)

The bracket-style challenge began on May 12 and features four rounds of public voting, through June 20. The winner will be crowned on June 25 at a reception during the 53rd Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game .  

Instead of bellyaching about the current state of affairs, Abernethy vowed to get politically active.  

“There’s still hope for the pepperoni roll as I just notified a bunch of Facebook friends about it lagging behind,” the naturally competitive chef assured us of his campaigning efforts.  

More importantly, he agreed to put on his thinking cap and plot out the culinary carnage looming just ahead: Northeast “I foresee the lobster roll [Maine] taking on crab cakes [Maryland] in an epic seafood battle for supremacy of the northeastern portion of the country.”  

Southeast “It’ll be a barnyard battle between NC BBQ and [Kentucky’s] Fried Chicken.”  

Midwest “Deep Dish [Illinois] will take on the winner of the no-holds-barred bloodbath that will result from the head-to-head competition of Bacon [Iowa] vs Mac & Cheese [Wisconsin].”  

West “I predict steak [Montana] to pound the competition like an over-sized meat tenderizer going to town on a veal cutlet.”  

His prognostications fly directly in the face of recent history; although crab cakes did make it into the elite eight in the 2013 showdown, the crustacean-based creation just barely crept into the final round. Bacon had a solid showing last year — but it shared the stage with Italian beef sandwiches rather than dairy-covered semolina or two-fingers-thick pies.  

Meanwhile, Abernethy made his case for widening the scope a bit.  

“WV should have totally been allowed to submit Tudor’s as a contender,” he suggested.  

The hometown breakfast haven cobbles together nearly two-dozen specialty sandwiches — including one cleverly branded biscuit that’s absolutely “full of it”: