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Meatball Street Brawl III ready to roll Sept. 9

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Thu, Aug 23rd 2018 01:10 pm
Local restaurants geared up for Buffalo's tastiest food competition; proceeds benefit local charities, new scholarship fund
Fans are ready and the date has been circled on calendars across the region. After months of preparation, the competition gets real on Sunday, Sept. 9.
That's the day area restaurants will take to the streets for Meatball Street Brawl III, the third annual rendition of Buffalo's tastiest food competition.
Hosted and organized by Osteria 166, the Italian restaurant that has become one of downtown's most popular dining destinations since opening in 2013, Meatball Street Brawl III will take place on West Mohawk Street between Delaware and Franklin, starting at 11:30 a.m.
"Meatball Street Brawl is a Buffalo event through and through," said Nick Pitillo, Osteria 166 owner. "It's part street party, part food competition and all about coming together, having fun and supporting some great causes. I think that's why the event has taken off like it has. But, don't get me wrong - the restaurants definitely want to win and show up our friends a little bit."
A total of 19 area restaurants will participate in the event, competing in two categories: Best Traditional Meatball and Best Freestyle Meatball. The contest will be judged by a panel of celebrity judges, who will help crown Buffalo's Meatball Street Brawl champion. Hungry attendees will also have the opportunity to let their tastes be known in the Fans' Choice vote for Best Overall Meatball.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the Make A Wish Foundation, Meals on Wheels Foundation of Western New York, and the Michael Donald Perry Fund at the Response to Love Center. In addition, the organizers are creating a hospitality scholarship fund for the New York State Restaurant Association Educational Foundation to assist area students who aspire to have a career in the restaurant business.
The 2018 Meatball Street Brawl challengers are: Amici Ristorante, Bada Bing, Belsito, Bobby J's, Cabaret, Canal Club 62, Chocolate Bar, D-Tour Martini Bar, Deep South Taco, Finnerty's Tap Room, Frankie Primo +39, Marco's, Molinaro's, Osteria 166, Patria, Ristorante Lombardo, Siena, Tempo and This Little Pig.
Last year, more than 1,700 people came out to soak up Buffalo's sauciest new food-centric event. This Little Pig took home the championship belt for Best Overall Meatball, as chosen by the fans, as well as Best Freestyle Meatball.
Meatball Street Brawl has raised more than $30,000 for local charities in its first two years, and has quickly become a local favorite in a town that knows how to celebrate food.
"It's still amazing to think about," Pitillo said. "The whole idea started with some friendly trash talk between me and some other local restaurants. The first year, we didn't know what to expect, and we had more than 1,000 people out on West Mohawk Street on a drizzly Sunday. Now, it's like a family tradition for the restaurants and our customers - everybody looks forward to this day every year."
In addition to the area's best meatballs, patrons will be able to enjoy a wide selection of local beer and wine, as well as sweets by Cupcaked! There will also be activities for the entire family, as well as the Buffalo Bills-Baltimore Ravens season opener shown on a large outdoor screen.
Tickets for Meatball Street Brawl III are available for $15 pre-sale or $20 on the day of the event. Pre-sale tickets can be purchased at any of the participating restaurants or online at www.meatballstreetbrawl.com.
Meatball Street Brawl III is being supported by a host of local sponsors, including presenting sponsor Dansa D'Arata Soucia LLP. For sponsorship and event information, visit www.meatballstreetbrawl.com, or call 716-858-3118.
Located at 166 Franklin St., across from the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, Osteria 166 specializes in relaxed Italian dining, with a robust menu featuring pastas, sandwiches, seafood, daily specials and an extensive wine list. The restaurant is open Mondays through Thursdays, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Fridays, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Saturdays, from 5-11 p.m. For more information, visit www.osteriabuffalo.com.

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