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July 18, 2013

A lot at ‘steak:’ Cattlemen’s Association ribeye sandwich booth brings its own crowd

CHARLESTOWN —

They don’t use 11 herbs and spices and depending on who’s asked, any number of factors contribute to the sold-out success of the Clark County Cattlemen’s Association’s annual ribeye sandwich sale at the 4-H Fair. 

But whatever makes the sandwiches as good as they are, Allen Darrah, 84 of Charlestown, has made sure he’s one of the first 10 people in line “forever,” because once they’re gone, they’re gone for another year.

“We just like their steaks,” Darrah said. “I always make sure to get five of them every year for me and my family.”

He said every now and then, he goes for seconds when he can. He doesn’t know what it is about the Cattlemen’s ribeyes, but they’ve got just enough fat on them to keep them perfectly juicy.

Scott Abbott, president of the association, said he thinks the secret of the sandwiches lies in their charcoal grill. He said they’ve been selling the sandwiches at the fair for 21 years. 

While crowds come in for livestock and other exhibits, he said the Cattlemen’s tent has its own following.

“It’s become an annual thing where people come in just on Thursday nights for this,” Abbott said. “They pull into the fairgrounds, come in on their way home from work, pick up six or seven sandwiches and have dinner at home.”

He said usually the association cooks up 1,100 steaks. With a line going all the way from the Cattlemen’s tent to the exhibition buildings, they sell out in two or three hours. He said at $7 a pop, people expect a quality product. He said to ensure that, members of the association hand-pick the steaks at Olde Towne Grocery every year. Proceeds from steak sales pay the entry fee for every 4-H’er who exhibits cattle at the Clark County 4-H Fair and helps fund the annual John Bottorff Scholarship.

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