Press Box Diaries: Sinking the Battleship

The mega-sandwich sells for $30, but you can get it on the house if you finish it in under nine minutes.

The mega-sandwich sells for $30, but you can get it on the house if you finish it in under nine minutes. Below, executive chef Chris Voorhees shows off the Battleship.

From the depths of the Blue Wahoos kitchen comes the Battleship, a monstrous meal with a smorgasbord of flavor and something for everyone to enjoy. Entering its second homestand as part of the standard menu, the instant classic has turned heads while conquering appetites.

What comes on this super sandwich, you ask? On a foot-long roll of French bread (open-faced), fans are treated to two soft shell blue crabs, jumbo Gulf shrimp, oysters and fried potato salad. Coated with tartar sauce and garnished with lettuce and tomato, the Battleship sells for $30 but also includes intricate extras.

Plated on a blue Frisbee emblazoned with the P-hook logo, the staff also created The Wahoo Gazette, a facsimile of a newspaper highlighting the Wahoos’ accolades. The level of detail is pretty incredible, from the handcrafted stories to the swords through a pair of grape tomatoes.

Though the centerpiece has a distinct crab-like shape, you’re not actually eating the shell. By definition, the soft shell is formed when blue crabs have recently molted their old exoskeleton, which makes for easy eating. The rest of the platter is accented by familiar tastes; shrimp, a Pensacola favorite, comes en masse while oysters accentuate the rest of the seafood. Don’t be fooled by the hushpuppy look-alikes: it’s actually the potato salad concoction, and it’s tasty enough to save for last.

Debuting on Father’s Day, the press box was treated to a exclusive taste test days before the release. Passing down the forks, the crew of six — myself, scoreboard operator Bob Brewis, Bill Vilona of PNJ.com, scorekeeper Annah, team videographer Byron, and a guest — found their favorites and chowed down. We repeated the process the next night, but the result was the same: despite eating aplenty, six regular people couldn’t finish the whole thing in an hour.

If you consider yourself superhuman, find a Wahoos representative and ask to eat on the clock. If you beat the standing record of roughly thirteen-and-a-half minutes, you can tell friends and family that you “sunk the Battleship” with a free shirt. But if you finish the whole thing (sans swords) in nine minutes, it comes on the house.

Director of Food and Beverage Mark Micallef has big plans for the bigger sandwich. He has set his sights on Man v. Food, a food reality series hosted by Adam Richman. The host has visited ballparks before, Micallef argues, and the Battleship has all the makings of a television classic. As it turns out, entries only really need three benchmarks:

  1. Someone who has eaten it
  2. Someone who hasn’t eaten it
  3. The time that it took the person who ate it, to eat it

In the objective view of this blog, it’s definitely worth the gamble. Though I couldn’t eat everything (and few have), it’s definitely worth the thirty clams. Cruise by the Portside Grille and give it your best shot!

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