BLT Challenge

8.16.17_Features_Rachel Funk_BLT Challenge_Rachel Funk3

Courtesy of Rachel Funk

Rachel Funk
Staff Writer

On Aug. 12, seven groups of gifted sandwich makers from restaurants in the Greensboro community were heating up the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market on the corner of Lindsay and Yanceyville Street. From 9 a.m. to noon, each table brought their A-game to showcase their restaurant’s slicing, dicing and sizzling prowess for the BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich) Challenge. Family, friends and locals of all ages gathered together to support the market, eat BLTs and sample the fresh, homegrown tomatoes provided by local farmers at the market.

Since 2014, the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market has hosted the BLT Challenge, and the following restaurants competed in this year’s challenge: Blue Denim, Four Flocks and Larder, Green Bean, Melt Kitchen and Bar, Natty Greene’s, The Traveled Farmer and Undercurrent.

Before the hustle and bustle began, folk singer and songwriter Carrie Pazdiziora, who went by the stage name Carrie Paz, warmed the slowly incoming early morning crowd until about 10 a.m. Her smooth voice and acoustic guitar gave new life to folk covers of songs such as “Kiss the Girl” from The Little Mermaid and “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen.

When the clock struck 9 a.m., people began to line up and down the Farmer’s Market lawn for the chance to sample every sandwich and vote for their favorite. For only $8, patrons received a quarter of each team’s sandwich to enjoy and a ballot to put down their vote. As seven sandwiches on one plate had the potential to confuse people when trying to decide their favorite, the Farmer’s Market gave each sandwich a different colored toothpick in order for every taste tester to remember what sandwich came from where, and to help in the voting process.

While some restaurants took the traditional route of the bacon, lettuce and tomato on their styling of a BLT sandwich, others created unique twists and tastes on the classic sandwich. The chef of Green Bean, Lucas Hooey, used a honey-basil vinaigrette and balsamic glaze on honey wheat bread from the Piedmont International Bakery. The Blue Denim team put a Cajun twist on their BLT by adding shrimp to their sandwich.

Along with taste testing each BLT, customers could sample eleven different varieties and flavors of tomatoes from eleven different farmers. Varieties included Big Beef, Pink Girl, Goliath, and Cherokee Pink and many more. Many of the children enjoyed the Solid Gold and Sweet Treat cherry tomatoes as they were perfectly sized to pop in their mouths.

Representatives of the Cheerwine company also attended the event to showcase their newest drink flavor: Cheerwine Kreme. The drink is a combination of the cherry-flavor of Cheerwine with the sweet taste of the glaze of Krispy Kreme doughnuts. As their advertisement claimed, Cheerwine Kreme is a combination of “Two southern classics,” in “one legendary taste.”

As the rush of people began to die down, everyone took their plate of food, sat down at picnic tables or blankets and enjoyed the music and conversation. When the kids finished their sampling, they could play with hula-hoops and other toys to get out their energy.

Following Carrie Paz’s performance, a band called The Reloads took the stage to play old-school country and rock songs. Three of the performers played acoustic guitars while the fourth played a bass. The band played tunes ranging from “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison to songs like, “I’m Pretty Good At Drinkin’ Beer” by Billy Currington.

Both performances were on a volunteer basis, but many people left them tips to thank them for their time and talent.  

At the end of the day, the three winners were chosen: Green Bean took third place, The Traveled Farmer took second, and Melt took first place, receiving a trophy and a sign they could put up in their store window to show off their victory.

Categories: Community and Life


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