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'Food fight' on tap in Franklin County

May 22, 2012|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com
  • Bob Harrison, who portrays Ben Franklin for the Franklin County (Pa.) Visitors Bureau, discusses a food competition with judges, from left, Lori Perkins, Kelly Spinner and Jeannie Flitner. The judges sampled crab cakes Tuesday at EJ's Grill and Orchards Restaurant, both in Chambersburg, Pa.
By Jennifer Fitch, Staff Writer

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — A “food fight” in Franklin County, Pa., on Tuesday did not get very messy, but it did provide promotional opportunities to a pair of restaurants.

EJ’s Grill and the Orchards Restaurant, both of Chambersburg, participated in the event hosted by the Franklin County Visitors Bureau. The two restaurants competed to determine which serves the best crab cake.

Results will be announced Thursday at www.youtube.com/FranklinCountyVisit.

Visitors Bureau Director Janet Pollard said the five judges’ opinions are not the most important ones.

“It’s all on the premise of ‘You be the judge,’” Pollard said, noting the organization wants residents to “fight” for their favorite restaurants.

Similar “Food Fight” events will be held throughout the year and are tied into the visitors bureau’s “11/30” initiative focusing on the U.S. 11 and U.S. 30 corridors.

“We just want to build this,” Pollard said.

Self-described foodies Scott Hershberger and Geof Lambert squared off, with Hershberger claiming the Orchards Restaurant had the best crab cakes and Lambert saying EJ’s Grill did.

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Judges were Blake Truman from VerStandig Broadcasting, Jeannie Flitner from ABC 27, Kelly Spinner from 103.7 FM, Lori Perkins from Comcast Spotlight, and Kristen Wright from Shippensburg (Pa.) University.

The judges evaluated crab cakes in categories like texture, aroma and appearance.

Representatives of both restaurants said they prepared the crab cakes as they would for any guest.

“My whole thing is you have to serve the crab cake you serve everybody,” said Pat Young, chef and owner of EJ’s Grill.

“We’re going to give them the same crab cake we give everyone else,” said Jeromy Kimple, head chef of the Orchards Restaurant.

Young said he buys the best crab meat he can and, when forming the cake, uses ingredients that do not mask the flavor of the crab.

Kimple said the Orchards Restaurant uses the same recipe used 20 years ago by owner Michael Kalathis.

The restaurant uses 70 to 80 pounds of crab meat a week.

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