To judge the burgers in the 4th match of the Badurik's Butcher Block Meat 16, we delivered them to the Youngstown Air Reserve Station where Major Scott Allen, Airman 1st Class Tancer, and Master Sargent Bob Barko agreed to lend their unbiased opinions. (Thanks again for helping us out, men!)
Niki'z went with what had to be one of the best presented classic burgers we've seen in a long time. The All American Cheeseburger Classic is 1/2 lb fresh ground sirloin, hickory smoked bacon, American cheese, dill pickle chips, sliced red onion, crisp lettuce leaves, a light schmear of ketchup and mayo on fresh Italian bread, sliced bun style. Truly a classic in every sense of the word.
P.A.I. brought the Whiskey Belly Burger. A signature blend of heritage farm rib-eye, short rib and sirloin, stuffed with Middlefield Original's Goat Milk Mild Cheddar Cheese and apple cider-cured bacon, basted with beef marrow butter, topped with Walnut Hill Farm silvopastured pork belly, a pickled cornmeal-dusted fried green tomato, mixed baby greens from Red Basket Farm, house made half sour pickles and Jameson Whiskey sauce, served on a house made peach bun.
This was a true back and forth match between burger heavyweights.. Niki'z made the Final Four last year, and PAI's Chef Tank won the first Meat 16 (with Magic Tree). Our panel of judges tasted each burger diligently and enjoyed different aspects from both burgers. They all agreed that both burgers were great, but their decision was unanimous; the unique flavors of the Whiskey Belly Burger from PAI is what sends them on to round 2.
Check out video of the judging HERE.