NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

December 4, 2013

A meaty competition

Burger Battle winner featured on Port restaurant's menu

(Continued)

The restaurant received around 25-30 entries for the competition, which ran from Oct. 17 through Nov. 11 and was open to Massachusetts and New Hampshire residents ages 21 and older. Six semifinalists chosen by Michael’s Harborside staff were narrowed down to three during a judging session with employees from The Daily News, which co-sponsored the contest.

Everyone who submitted a burger recipe was invited to attend the Burger Battle finale on Nov. 21. The three finalists and their guests were not allowed to vote, so the winner was selected through secret ballots filled out by other entrants and Daily News staff members.

Unlike Giedraitis, the other two finalists, Fil MacArthur of Georgetown and Howie Smith of Amesbury, both created their burgers specifically for the contest.

“I just thought about something I’d like to have,” said MacArthur, who enjoys cooking and has a knack for replicating dishes that she eats at restaurants.

She remembered enjoying steak with an egg on top in Portugal and thought that concept would translate well to a burger. Thin-sliced Linguica sausage and cheddar completed her vision.

“It would be good for brunch,” she said. “I’m kind of a foodie kind of person. I like good-quality stuff that tastes well.”

When Smith found out about the contest, “I thought it would be kind of a neat thing to do,” he said.

He started dabbling in his kitchen and spent a few hours shaping his unique idea.

“I came up with this recipe just to be a little bit different,” said Smith, whose burrito burger is flavored with chilis, steak sauce and horseradish mayonnaise and wrapped in a tortilla.

“It came out pretty good,” he said.

MacArthur and Smith both won $50 gift certificates for making the final three.

Kirk said the restaurant plans to hold another Burger Battle in a few months, with plans to eventually expand it into a bigger, outdoor festival.

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