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The Foodie Column

"Subversive food."

Granted, it’s not a phrase you expect to see. That is, until the search is on for the ultimate urban sandwich — The McGangbang.

I heard of the sandwich from a young food service worker, catalogued it to the back of my brain and moved on. Surely not. With all of the controls and secrecy surrounding proprietary Golden Arches operations, how could it be so?

The McGangbang is simple in concept: A full chicken filet sandwich sandwiched between the beef patties of a double cheeseburger. McDonald’s Meal Builder nutrition tool identifies both sandwiches together as carrying a hefty 800 calories and packing 80 percent of my daily federally-approved intake of fat.

The server at my neighborhood McDonald’s was edgy about pushing my order through, but immediately recognized what I was ordering. It rings in as two items from the dollar menu — which means this fat- and carb-rich sandwich costs a mere $2 plus tax.

A few minutes later, I scurried away with my taboo bounty — feeling a little naughty but giddy with accomplishment. Hey, it’s a quiet week.

In true Slow–vannah style, the McGangbang came up short in terms of its descriptions all over the ‘net. A true representation is an ENTIRE chicken sandwich, bun and all, tucked inside the double cheeseburger. I was shorted the  chicken sandwich bun, which saved about 100 calories.

I couldn’t bring myself to take a bite, but gave my prize to a young friend, whose sky–high metabolism and frequent trips to the gym will burn through those calories in no time.

Raise a glass

If you’re reading this on Dec. 5, stop and raise a glass at your favorite watering hole — it’s Repeal Day!

Repeal Day celebrates the end of the 13–year prohibition of alcohol sales in the U.S. In trying to legislate morality, the feds instead gave rise to a spike in organized crime, drove up the influx of Jamaican rum and brought a crashing halt to the time-honored traditions of production, preparation and consumption of alcohol.

Prohibition killed small local and regional breweries, which gave way to the beer barons of the later 20th century. That trend has just begun to reverse itself and we’re once again at pre–Prohibition strength in terms of small, privately owned breweries.

It was a good run

Popular downtown Asian fusion eatery Saigon is closing and speculation is that another restaurant is already looking to secure the highly visible location. Also, this week marks the closing of CafÉ 37. The tiny eatery was the brainchild of Georgia–born and French–trained Blake Elsinghorst. I had some grand meals there and always enjoyed talking culinary topics with Blake.

Taste and learn

I’ll be conducting three tasting seminars as part of the VIP ticket this coming weekend during the Savannah Harbor Festival of Lights on Hutchinson Island. Participants will learn the basics of American whiskey, Scotch and American beers.  Get info at

Send bartender to NYC

Garron Gore, F&B director at Andaz Hotel, was the local winner in Woodford Reserve’s Manhattan Experience competition, barely edging out accomplished mixologist Wendy Williby of Vic’s on the River. Garron’s next step in the competition relies on our votes. You can score his “East of Hudson” Manhattan recipe and vote a Savannah guy into the finals at cs manhattanexperience.