Winner: Buttermilk Fried Chicken & Waffle
Restaurant: Bruxie, Orange, CA (with several other locations)
Sandwich creator: Chef/partners Dean Simon & Kelly Mullarney
Inspiration: “Transforming an American classic—chicken and waffles—into a unique sandwich.”
Key ingredients: Light, airy waffle, crispy fried chicken, crunchy cider slaw and chili-honey sauce.
Why it’s special: The waffle has been turned into a sandwich wrap.
Food cost: 35 percent
What others are saying: “Best new sandwich recipes in the U.S.,” Food & Wine; “Best Fried Chicken in Orange County,” CBS Los Angeles.
What the judges said: How many times have you seen a new invention and asked yourself, “Why didn’t I think of that?” We can’t say for sure that Simon and Mullarney invented the waffle sandwich, but they’ve surely perfected it. Their fast-casual concept creates a wide array of sweet and savory waffle sandwiches. But with their fried chicken sandwich they took a classic, made it portable and, in our opinion, made it better. They say necessity is the mother of invention, but sometimes frequent flyer miles and a vacation in Belgium can also give birth to an idea that can change the course of history . . . or at least make you break your date with a Kentucky Colonel.
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