I've seen a lot of local food challenges in my life, but nothing as bold as this one.

Charlie's Hot Dogs in New Bedford has been around since the 1930s and was recently brought back to life by new owners Natasha Ponte Dasilva and brother-in-law Jeff Dasilva. Together, they upgraded Charlie's original menu (while keeping the classics) and added more Portuguese fare, such as cacoila and bifanas.

Natasha recently took a trip to New York with her husband and discovered a sandwich you wouldn't find anywhere around here called the "chopped cheese" sandwich. She vowed to bring it back to Acushnet Avenue in New Bedford and has done so in a larger-than-life way.

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A chopped cheese sandwich is made with ground beef from chopped-up beef patties and then placed on a grill and cooked with onions, adobo or other seasonings, and cheese. Often, mozzarella sticks are added to the sandwich (referred to as the "Ocky Way"; see below) for added flavor and cheese and that's just the way Natasha prepares hers.

The first person who eats the whole sandwich will get their chopped cheese sandwich free, their picture on Charlie's "Wall of Fame" and a $50 Visa gift card.

"I’m looking for 10 contestants," she said. "You will need to pay upfront, but the winner will receive their money. We are so excited to do this challenge, I know I have some heavy hitters that will be jumping on this bad boy."

The challenge is going down on October 28th at 3 PM at 1648 Acushnet Avenue and is first come, first serve for the 10 competing. As a bonus, Charlie's will also be selling hot dogs half off that day, so bring your friends and family to cheer on the competition. Entertainment and a raffle will be offered to anyone who makes a purchase or donation to Charlie’s.

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