The fried-chicken sandwich may be enjoying a renaissance in 2015 — the Fuku phenomenon is the latest example — but Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken (28 East 1st Street; 212-228-0404) in the East Village has decided to go medieval with its recently released Smorgasbird. The jaw-unhinging, double-decked creation is stuffed with every side dish you can think of — and a few more you can’t. Although simply fitting the sandwich in your mouthhole is impressive enough, if you can manage to defy physics and finish the thing in under five minutes, you’ll be entered to win a heaping platter of even more food. Either way, just by ordering the Smorgasbird, you’re helping to raise money and awareness to fight multiple sclerosis — 20 percent of all sales goes to the National MS Society (the sandwich is available until the end of July).
The demented brainchild of Blue Ribbon owners Bruce and Eric Bromberg, the Smorgasbird is built upon two fried-chicken cutlets. Then, in between heavy-duty brioche buns, goes smoked bacon, melted cheddar, sour cream, pickled peppers, french fries, BBQ chicken, and Blue Ribbon Special Sauce. Lastly, there’s grilled pineapple, lettuce, and tomato, for your health.
Speaking of health, Bruce Bromberg told the Voice why taking on multiple sclerosis is such a personal and vital mission for him and his restaurant. “Blue Ribbon has been riding as a team for Bike MS for the last six years and counting,” he said. “We started riding to support a dear friend diagnosed with the disease and have continued riding together to raise funds for this important cause. Adding a charitable component to the Smorgasbird sandwich seemed like a natural extension of our dedication to the MS Society.”
If you’re going to be a glutton, you might as well be a glutton for charity. And given its exhaustive list of ingredients, the Smorgasbird is something of a value at $15; it’s certainly enough food to satisfy two grown adult appetites at lunchtime. But if you insist on channeling your inner Joey Chestnut, tackling the five-minute challenge could net you your own Hail Mary Platter — 25 whole wings, 25 chicken tenders, and your choice of side, valued at over $200. That’s a lot of chicken, and a lot of change. Altruism, however, is priceless.
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