With the falling snow creating an epic backdrop, food wars were waged once again at Broken Compass on Monday night.
For the first time ever, Monday Night Potluck goers witnessed a tie, as Dave Johnston's Frozen Mocha Cheesecake used a late surge to catch Autumn Moses's Saffron-Spiced-Scalloped-Potatoes With Pancetta, Prosciutto And Parmesan-Reggiano (ummm, so that was a mouthful...let's just call them Super Potatoes), both finishing with 21 points apiece. Tom Hollinshead's Baked Beans With Smoked Brisket rounded out the podium, finishing a near third with 19 points. Despite laying claim to perhaps the most pure talent on the night, Hollinshead's Cherry Wood Smoked Chicken Thighs received 17 points and just missed a top three finish. With only six thighs and an abundance of empty stomachs, Chicken Thighs simply ran out of gas in the fourth quarter.
But MNP's true drama came in the battle for the top spot. Cindarella-story Super Potatoes jumped out to an early lead, surprising eaters with it's delicious, rag-to-riches presentation of one of the more basic foods on the human menu (seriously, I'm not sure I could tell you what half of those garnishes are. But I do know the word "garnishes." So shut it).
But as the night wore on, Frozen Mocha Cheesecake slowly gained traction (it should be said, "Frozen Mocha Cheesecake is one of the undersells of the century. Ladies, gentlemen, this is a cheesecake with a crust made of CRUMBLED AND CONDENSED OREO'S. It's a force of nature. It's a marvel. It's also sitting in my fridge as we speak. And.......now....... it's being shoveled into my mouth by the forkful). As dessert plates were pushed away and burps sounded, Cheesecake's final melting push closed the remaining gap for the photo finish.
"I'm genuinely speechless," bartender D Buckets said. "And that's mostly because I ate so much that if I'm worried what will happen if I open my mouth. But oh yeah, also because I've never seen two foods dueling it out in such epic fashion."
When offered a chance at a tiebreaker (whoever can eat the most food from among the leftovers), both Johnston and Moses declined, citing "full stomachs" and "food babies" and "little desire to become Potluck champion of the world" (fine, I made that last one up).
The tie left MNP with two champions, but everyone in attendance was a winner, with the best spread to date.
Broken Compass would like to thank everyone who braved the snow and roads to make it out for the potluck. Congratulations to Dave, Autumn and Tom. We all appreciate your phenomenal work in the kitchen. See you all next Monday for Week Five!
(Editor's note: Broken Compass Brewing's Monday Night Potlucks are popping off every Monday night, with eating starting between 6:30 and 7. We encourage everyone to contribute a dish every now and then, but everyone in the brewery is welcome to sample the food and vote for their favorite dishes. First place wins a 64 oz growler and fill, second place a 32 oz. growler and fill and third place a free pint. See you there!)