HE knows a good bacon butty when he sees one.
Martin Pontin has been serving up sizzling rashers to visitors of the Fish Quay, North Shields, for years.
Readers have been voting in their droves in a bid to find the best bacon butty in the North East
And historic traders’ W M Wight has attracted the most so far.
The family-run store, which celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2006, provides fishing fleets with stores and provisions with scores of fishermen queuing up for their morning snack.
Martin, 57, who grew up in Tynemouth, manages the shop which was set up in 1926.
He said: “I come down early in the morning to set up and found that’s what people wanted first thing in the morning.
“People vary, one guy tells us to incinerate the bacon.
“There is one customer who says ‘don’t tell the wife’ when he comes down because he’s not allowed them.
“I think we served one bacon sandwich that must have weighed about 2lbs, it was packed with about seven or eight items.”
Mr Pontin, who uses local suppliers, has attracted a loyal following of customers who told us what they thought online.
Amanda McManus from Gateshead said: “Martin makes the best proper bacon sarnies and you always have a good laugh when you visit the shop anyway.”
John Rutherford, Ashington, said: “Served by delightful people within their product, this butty hits the spot with crisp bacon and little grease, plus exactly enough tomato sauce – perfect!”
And Jeet Sidhu, of Newcastle, commented: “The sarnies taste better than anyone else’s, topped off with some brown sauce, only the best.”
Oli Wood, of Chester-le-Street added: “Great location and a very interesting shop.” There’s still time to vote for your favourite. All you have to do is tell us in 25 words or less what makes you passionate about your favourite bacon butty.
It could be a classic cafe collation, truck stop tucker or even your own homemade homage to what has become an iconic British delicacy that tastes good whatever time of day it’s eaten.
A shortlist will be drawn up ahead of judging by a panel of eminent food lovers at the end of this month.
And the champion butty- maker faces a glittering future as they will be invited to take part in events during the Eat! food and drink festival running across Newcastle and Gateshead between May 2-17.