Maplewood vs. South Orange in Sloppy Joe Smackdown

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Glam shot of a Town Hall Deli Sloppy Joe Sandwich

Glam shot of a Town Hall Deli Sloppy Joe Sandwich

The corned beef will be flying as Maplewood and South Orange elected officials engage in a battle of binging at the PlayDay Sloppy Joe Eating Contest on Sunday, September 21, in South Orange.

Maplewood Township Committeeman Jerry Ryan and South Orange Trustee Sheena Collum have made a friendly wager that the loser of the two must write a $100 check to the other’s town rescue squad.

Also participating in the contest: Ben Salmon, owner of Kitchen a la Mode on South Orange Avenue, and South Orange Chief of Police Jim Chelel.

The contest takes place at 5 p.m. Sunday on the main stage at PlayDay South Orange.

Meanwhile, Ryan and Collum have been engaging in some friendly trash talk. The petite Collum has been having some fun at the expense of the taller and more robust Ryan: “I’m in but I would like to negotiate a handicap. 3 Squares,” wrote Collum in an email. (There are four squares in a Sloppy Joe.)

Ryan quickly replied, “Hmm, my dictionary cannot find a word for trash talking and walking it back. It did find this though: re·nege  verb \ri-ˈneg also -ˈnāg, -ˈnig; rē-\: to refuse to do something that you promised or agreed to do.”

Salmon and Chelel have remained above the fray.

Town Hall Delicatessen in South Orange is sponsoring the contest. Town Hall Deli claims to be the birthplace of the Sloppy Joe Sandwich, which, according to its website, consists of “three layers of specially baked Pullman Rye Bread, two meats, a cheese, Cole Slaw, and Town Hall Deli’s Russian Dressing.”

Whatever the ingredients, Ryan, Collum and cohorts are sure to make a mess of it on Sunday. This is one case where calls to “clean up town hall” may be warranted.

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