A Hickory, North Carolina restaurant is mounting a significant challenge to Bavarian Grill's status as "Best German Restaurant in America," a title bestowed in an online competition.
Plano's Bavarian Grill last year beat out more than 400 German restaurants nationwide to claim its crown in a contest sponsored by an online German foods purveyor; the restaurant received one-third of all online votes and high marks from undercover judges.
"We like their sense of fun," GermanDeli.com president Inga Bowyer said in a release announcing the winner.
But with two weeks remaining in this year's month-long voting period, Bavarian Grill's trailing the Olde German Schnitzel Haus by nearly 200 votes. As a North Carolina newspaper recently pointed out proudly, "Hickory's population is less than a quarter of the population of Plano."
Hickory, a furniture production center in the North Carolina foothills, briefly attained national recognition when a hometown comedian rode his "I'm from Hickory!" punch line to a first-place finish in NBC's Last Comic Standing competition.
While more than 7000 German food fans have participated in the poll, the restaurants apparently aren't sweating the results: The owners of both Bavarian Grill and the Schnitzel Haus are on vacation this week.