It’s back — that time of year when a man’s, or woman’s, fancy is centered around bracketology.
How will the top seeds do? Will there be an upset in the first round?
Of course we’re talking about the Badurik’s Butcher Block Cheeseburger Challenge Meat 16. This is where we pit 16 of the best burgers from Trumbull and Mahoning counties against each other to see who will come out victorious.
Last year went so well, we thought we’d do it again.
This year’s group of restaurants are some of the best in the area.
Last year’s Meat 16 culminated with an epic battle between The Magic Tree and Just Fred’s. Chef “Tank” John Jurcisin (Magic Tree) showed just how creative you have to be to win the Meat 16. His creations won by unanimous decision to take home the title.
This year’s field starts with the restaurants that won their first match last year. They are joined by some of the top-rated burgers from the Mahoning Valley. Then a fan vote was taken to fill out the rest of the bracket.
There are a few rules:
• You must have a burger.
• You must have cheese on that burger.
Outside of that, be as creative as you want, and most of all, let’s have fun.
The event starts Feb. 8.
Here are the matches for the first round:
• Magic Tree vs. Village Pump.
• Krakatoa vs. Pour House
• Barry Dyngle’s vs. Davidson’s
• Bogey’s vs. Steamer’s Stonewall Tavern
• Fred’s vs. Crossroads B&G.
• Sunrise vs. Niki’z Pub
• StoneYard Grill & Tavern vs. Big D’s Newton Grill
• Amen Corner vs. Master’s Bar & Grill
Follow our Facebook page, BurgerGuyz, to find out where each match is, and you will also find the results there.
We will have different judges at various locations to help us make the Meat 16 a fun event. Each match will have three judges. Keep up with the tournament at Vindy.com/weblogs/burgers or follow the links on the BURGERGUYZ Facebook page or at BurgerGuyz.com
This year’s tournament starts off with the two chefs who made the 2016 finals:
Reigning champion Chef Tank has been representing The Magic Tree for a little more than three years and looks to top what he did last year — which was create and cook to perfection, four rounds of amazing burgers. As each round moved on, Tank and the Magic Tree gave the judges burgers they are still talking about today.
Last year Chef Rick Lohr brought Just Fred’s to the finals with his masterful creations. This year he takes his talents to The Village Pump in hopes of avenging his championship defeat.
Chef Tank said, “I’ve been doing my research. I’m figuring the other chefs are going to up their game based on some of the burgers that came your way last year. I’m definitely going to bring my “A” game! It looks like some tough competition this year, and I want to keep the title!”
Chef Lohr said, “I will be working with head chef and owner Travis Romine of The Village Pump. I expect the winner of our match (with the Magic Tree) to be the favorite to win it all. And I would assume that puts a lot of pressure on both of us. They are going to have to bring everything they have because I know I was so close last year. It will be different because last year I kind of ramped it up from round to round, but this year it’s all out from the gate.”
If this is what the first matchup brings, we are in for a fanTASTEic Butcher’s Block Meat 16!
Go to BurgerGuyz.com/burgerguyz/youngstown-ohio-2/ and copy and print out a bracket.
Then fill it out with your choices; take a photo and email it to email@example.com. The winner will receive a $25 gift card from the Cheeseburger Champion. If there is a tie, we will pick a winner from a drawing.
Keep reading the Valley food section each Wednesday for the best food the Valley has to offer. We still have a number of burgers to try, but if you know of a place we should check out, drop us a line at Burgerguyz@hotmail.com or on our Facebook page BurgerGuyz.