After a night of gluttony and conflict, the world is in balance again. Last night’s bacon vs. tofu throwdown at the Grizzlies proved that both hardcore meat lovers and hippie tofu lovers can peacefully co-exist. Bacon won the popular vote from the crowd — 107 to 84. But in a surprise upset, the panel of five judges chose tofu as their winner.
Food truck Benaddiction entered its “heartbreaker” sandwich, a whopping grilled cheese sandwich with bacon, pulled pork, ham, fried egg, four kinds of cheese, hollaindaise sauce and barbecue sauce that Beehiver Joshua Tehee described as “pure gluttonous glory.” But it was the invention of Joe Davis from Eat Street Bistro that wowed the judges. The “chicken” drumstick served on a tofu waffle was made with tofu, garlic mashed potatoes and paneer cheese formed around a baby corn “bone,” rolled in corn flakes, deep fried and topped with a sweet chili sauce. The judges — including some loyal meat lovers — were thoroughly impressed with how delicious the dish was and the originality and presentation.
The heartbreaker is a regular on Benaddiction’s menu and Eat Street plans to keep the tofu dish on the menu for a little while. Blame the heat for our choice if you want, but you can hear an explanation of why tofu won on the video below (and please excuse our sweaty selves). The judges’ panel consisted of me, Josh, Liz Sanchez from Casa de Tamales, “Wild Bill” Shipley, who is co-owner of Clovis’ Scoops, Soups & More and the Old Hotel Bistro, and the bistro’s general manager John Grady.
Now on to the pancake-eating contest. Ten people competed, challenged to eat five, 5-ounce pancakes from Batter Up Pancakes. Five ate pancakes made with bacon in them, five ate tofu pancakes. That’s our our Josh in the photo above — looking like an appetizer, as someone on Facebook said – next to winner Richard Franco. Franco was also the winner of the Ultimate Fair Food Feast-off last year. Since he was eating the tofu pancakes, he wins a free yoga class and an indie-rock CD.
All in all, it was awesome night of entertainment and participation from bacon and tofu lovers. The bacon fans brought out the vote, but a surprising number of vegans and vegetarians showed up wearing their tofu T-shirts. And the Grizzlies should win a prize for creativity for coming up with this whole evening. Keep scrolling to see videos of the contests and the chefs talking about their creations.
The final seconds of the pancake-eating contest:
Why the judges chose tofu over bacon:
Eat Street Bistro’s Joe Davis explains how he made the winning tofu dish:
Benaddiction owner James Caples explains his bacon dish: