According to a recent report on NPR, two New York-area pizza places are duking it out for the title "oldest pizza place." Papa's Tomato Pies of Trenton, NJ is arguing that, because Lombardi's (long considered to be the oldest) was closed for a decade, that voids their claim. The article made me wonder about other such heated restau-rivalries. After doing some research, I've uncovered three that I think are worth sharing:
In the lively bar district of Rock Island, Illinois, two bratwurst carts each claim to be the original. Tom Shepard, owner/operator of Dawgs2Go, tried to end the argument by pointing out that his competitor - Chris Melvins, proprietor of Best Wursts - closes his stand nightly. Since his stand remained open at all times, Shepard argued, there was no question that he should be officially be crowned the "longest continuously open mobile bratwurst establishment" in the Quad Cities. Melvins countered by pointing out that, while Dawgs2Go did technically remain "open" 24 hours per day, Shepard set aside certain times of day as "no dawg zones" and often operated his cart in remote locations, such as inside his locked garage.
In Reading, Pennslyvania, a rivalry between the two oldest frozen yogurt shops in town took an odd turn when a health inspector uncovered what he called "an unidentified, partially-built machine" in the basement of Daisy's Dairy. Daisy Galls claimed it to be "just a silly project" but an unnamed source leaked to the media that the device was, in fact, a failed time machine, with which Galls had planned to erase all traces of its crosstown enemy, Micky Moo's, from history.
In Alma, Michigan, the dispute between the town's two longest-standing vegan donut shops continues to escalate, each constantly claiming an earlier open date than the other. As it currently stands, Rounders has released a statement in which the proprietor, Richie Albins, says he has reason to believe that "the single-celled organisms" that evolved into his ancestors made "the single-celled organism equivalent of vegan donuts." Yolinda Hynes, of GlazeHaze, responded with hard evidence - namely what appears to be a simple pinkish rock that she believes a series of scientific tests will reveal to be a petrified GlazeHaze raspberry frosted donut made in prehistoric times.
Photo by Flickr user tribbles1971. Used under a Creative Commons License.