Holy Balls! The Meatball Challenge Winners + My Favs

If you fill a room with mouth pleasing, juicy, tasty balls and 11 locally based chefs fighting over who has the best balls in the area, you’ve got yourself a competition! In fact, The Meatball Challenge of Fairfield County promised that every chef, every restaurant involved, would attempt to bust the balls of their competitors in an effort to boast that their balls are the biggest and best around.

The restaurants that participated in this MEATBALL challenge and packed into Factory Underground in Norwalk were:
  • Barcelona
  • Bar Sugo
  • Bobby Q’s
  • David’s Soundview Catering
  • Have a Ball (soon to be a food truck based in New Haven)
  • Match
  • Meatball & Co.
  • Saugatuck Craft Butchery
  • Strada 18
  • The Local Meatball
  • The Spread
I’m proud to say that I was worn out. Hey, you should try inserting all those balls into your mouths. And if you think navigating through the crowd in a small space, battling the body heat in the room (seriously sweating balls), and trying to stay hydrated is tough…Try picking a winner!

You see, every attendee was given ONE token so you could toss it in a restaurant’s jar at a vote for best balls. Eleven restaurants, one token, delicious balls. How do you choose?

The Actual Winners (with my very short reviews)
Third Place (tie) 

Not busting each other’s balls. Matt Storch hangs with David Cingari.

David’s Soundview Catering (Bombay Curry Chicken Ball w/ Tikka Masala Sauce, Peanut Coconut Slaw)– Liked it. Didn’t love it. It was creative though. 

 Saugatuck Craft Butchery (Backyard BBQ Ball, Craft Pork & Beans, Pork Cracklins) – One of my favorite balls. It was actually made with pork and hot dog! No idea how they came up with something so different that even tasted like a hot dog with a little spicy kick. This is the cool version of hot dogs & beans.

Craft Butchery’s Backyard BBQ Ball

The Craft Butchery Crew

Backyard BBQ Ball up close.
Second Place

Chef Carlos Baez (The Spread) poses with Chef Michael Lucente (Barcelona Greenwich).

The Spread (Veal & Ricotta Meatball w/Polenta, Tomato Sauce & Fontina Fondue) – It’s the one they serve in the restaurant and it’s always consistently good. Juicy, flavorful, with a simple tomato sauce that doesn’t kill the flavor of the veal. I order them before every full meal at The Spread.
First Place! Best Balls! 


And their ball.

Bar Sugo (Ox Hollow Farms Beef Meatballs w/Melted Gouda, Red Onion Jam, Truffle Oil) – While I did not vote their balls the best, I’m a Bar Sugo regular and I never say “no” to their balls. These balls had savory and sweet from the onion jam and many whispers I heard were of the sort Sugo’s meatballs really woke up their taste buds.

My Picks (obviously unofficial)
Bar Sugo – You know what kind of ball it was. You saw my mini review too.

Mascots rule.

Nach ‘Yo Ball, sucka!

The Local Meatball (Nach ‘Yo Ball with Plantains) – This was legit, a nacho in meatball form. Different? Absolutely. But I had no idea how much they’d nail the taste. It had spice, plenty of queso, and I could easily throw back a tray of these on game day. Not sure how much love they got for their balls but I appreciated them.


More Craft Butchery? More is better.

I even had more of their ball.

Saugatuck Craft Butchery – Again. I explained this one. Maybe not everyone “got it,” and I can’t even fathom the creative process behind a meatball made with pork and hot dogs but they rocked.

That’s the list. Make sure you follow a healthy diet full of dripping wet balls.  

A portion of the proceeds from The Meatball Challenge helped benefit PAWS. Check out their website at http://www.pawsct.org/.
And a shout-out to the host venue, Factory Underground! Stop by their site for all things related to recording, music, art, film, production and media. 

For the full photo album, visit us on Facebook.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Great competition! Great recap! Congratulations to all who participated and the lucky winners.


  2. Super delicious. Although I think I'm done with meatball for a little while.


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