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Hungry Hobos and its ‘‘good old-fashioned comfort food’’ won this year’s Great New Zealand Toastie Takeover - reigning over 80 other entries.
It was a combination of the Bat out of Hell toastie - made with meatloaf - and simple ingredients served with confidence that impressed them, the judges of the competition run by McClure’s Pickles said.
The sandwich, labelled a ‘‘joyous’’ eat, features homemade meatloaf, creamy mashed potato, gravy, aged cheddar and McClure’s sweet and spicy pickles, between herb-buttered ciabatta.
‘‘It is nice now that we get the bragging rights... and probably bring in a bit of business which is a big thing.’’
At first, he thought the call notifying him of the win was a prank call.
‘‘It sounded like a friend of mine, but it became apparent pretty quickly with the information they gave me that it was not a prank.’’
Mr Dowling-Mitchell spent some time ‘‘buzzing’’ by himself while waiting to break the good news to his girlfriend, who was driving at the time.
The idea for Bat out of Hell was to create something different, while sticking within the realms of something that someone would throw together ‘‘ambitiously’’ with the leftovers, he said.
It seems he achieved just that.
“The assessment team felt this ate like a toastie that has not tried to be anything other than wholly unapologetically itself.
‘‘Simple, unctuous, familiar, comforting and delicious every bite of the way.’’
Hungry Hobos, which opened about two-and-a-half years ago in George St, will receive a custom made Toastie Takeover trophy resembling a toasted sandwich to display, as well as a year’s supply of McClure’s pickles.
Mr Dowling-Mitchell had not yet decided where to put the trophy, but had a few ideas, including in the shop’s front window.
The year’s supply of pickles would save him thousands of dollars.
The competition criteria required a sandwich to be toasted between two slices of bread and be able to be eaten by hand.
It also needed to contain cheese and McClure’s pickles.
The South Island has taken the title two years in a row, with Joseph Walker and the Hokitika Sandwich Company taking top honours in 2019.