Georgia Lodewyk – Staff Writer
Lettuce, tomato, gouda, bacon, turkey, and the sacred Defender Sauce: the tangy simplicity of the Defender sandwich is one that students have come to love, perhaps too much.
Defender Grille manager Roman Galles said he makes about 300 Defenders a day. Even though there are seven other sandwiches on The Grille’s meal exchange menu, the Defender is by far the most popular with students and faculty. Galles said some even have a Defender for lunch every single day of the week, always opting for that familiar favorite with crispy bacon and iconic Dutch gouda cheese.
But as much as Galles and the staff at The Grille enjoy making Defender subs, a little variety wouldn’t hurt anybody.
Galles’ idea to add more diversity to the palates of Dordt students took after The Commons’ Burger Contest last semester, and just like that, The Grille Sub Sandwich Competition was born. Galles hopes to build off the success of the burger competition and create something students and staff can look forward to.
“I saw the opportunity for some change,” Galles said. “And I wanted to make it fun for all students and full-time employees who work in creative dining.”
Students and faculty submitted their favorite sandwich recipes, and seven were chosen for The Grille menu, each for three days. Galles based each sandwich’s success on its sales. Students are now encouraged to write reviews to Dordt Dining Services’ Instagram page. The winning sub will find its place permanently on the hot sandwich menu.
So far, one of the most popular sandwiches according to Galles has been the Golden Pita: served on pita bread, it’s a trifecta of meats including ham, turkey, and bacon, complete with layered mayonnaise, provolone cheese, pickles, tomato, shredded lettuce, and a vinegar and oil mix to top it off. Dordt Dining Services shared a few positive reviews of their sandwich on their Instagram page: “If this sandwich DOESN’T get to stay, I’m gonna be sad because that pita will be gone, and you cannot do that to me. The cheese and meat go really nicely with that lettuce and pickle, and DANG! That was a good one.”
Another sub sandwich came from Dordt sophomore and Commons employee Boris Le, who got the idea for his “Banh Mi Thit Sub” from a banh mi restaurant near his hometown of Melbourne, Australia. Made-up of roasted pork loin with barbecue sauce, and a slaw with shredded carrots, sliced radishes, cucumbers, red onion, lettuce, and tomato all served on toasted French bread, Galles bought 16 pounds of pork loin for the sandwich’s three-day trial run and went through it all in two days.
“It would probably be cool if I won,” Le said. “This is a cool competition to give variety at The Grille.”
Galles said he has enjoyed the competition, and his favorite sub is still yet to come on the menu for its three-day rotation.
“I love doing special things,” Galles said. “I just want to hear more from students so I can do more of those kinds of things.”
The sandwich competition will continue at The Grille until spring break. Students can use Defender Dollars or meal exchange to try the sandwiches and support the one they would like added to permanently to the menu.