BRISTOL, TN (WJHL) – From the gridiron to the grill, restaurants on both sides of the state line are battling for fans taste buds.
The Tennessee and Virginia Tech football teams may be fighting for the trophy, but off the field another contest is cooking.
News Channel 11’s Micah Smith went around the Tri-Cities and found out some fans are choosing sides with game inspired cuisine.
In honor of the big game, Food City Executive Chef “JJ” Jones and his department cooked up some burgers, each with state specific ingredients.
“The Virginia Tech burgers has…smoked sausage from Smithfield cut up and it’s stuffed with Velveeta cheese and Virginia ham…Tennessee burger’s loaded wth little fried onions on top along with the Grainger County tomatoes, some orange peppers,” said Jones.
In Johnson City a beer battle is brewing too.
“We made a specific beer that is an American wheat ale base… and we decided to make one specially for the Vols and one especially for the Hokies,” said Hokie Fan and Johnson City Brewing Company Co-Owner Eric Latham.
Latham and Volunteer fan (who is also a brewer at Johnson City Brewing) Casey Hendrix agreed on the base for the beer but, friend and unofficial referee Ben Smith told News Channel 11, that’s where the camaraderie ends.
“They cant agree on anything so the house is divided so we even split the grain bill so its half barley half wheat,” said Smith.
“For the Vols, Tennessee, a southern sweet tea for our southern heritage and a little bit of orange just because its UT and its orange,” said Hendrix.
“The Hokie colors are burnt orange and Chicago maroon but certainly we can’t do orange too! So we had do the Chicago maroon and so we decided to use cranberry,” said Latham.
At the Southern Churn in Bristol, employees are cranking out game day fudge.
Southern Churn Owner Karen Hester told News Channel 11, the store is making a orange cream fudge for the Volunteers and a raspberry orange cream fudge for the Hokies.
Whether you’re a Volunteer fan or Hokie fan, in Bristol there will be something for everyone’s game day menu.
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