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Frankie Primo's, D-Tour, Bada Bing among winners at Meatball Street Brawl III

Three Chippewa Street restaurants claimed meatball supremacy at the third annual Meatball Street Brawl, held Sunday outside Osteria 166 on West Mohawk Street.

Frankie Primo's +39, newcomer D-Tour and Bada Bing were among the winners in four categories determined by judges and participants. Deep South Taco, in its first year competing at the festival, and Amici Ristorante also claimed two runner-up placements.

The concept was simple: Attendees could sample meatballs - both "traditional menu" and "freestyle" - from any of the 19 participating vendors (Molinaro's no-showed) and then place one vote for their favorite. A group of roughly 20 judges, primarily from the media and the restaurant industry, were also tasked with ranking a select group of meatball vendors.

BEST MENU (TRADITIONAL) MEATBALL

First place: Frankie Primo's +39, 51 W. Chippewa St.

Second place: Amici Ristorante, 2516 Elmwood Ave., Kenmore.

Third place: Ristorante Lombardo, 1198 Hertel Ave.

[Related: Smiles at the 2018 Meatball Street Brawl]

BEST FREESTYLE MEATBALL

First place: Bada Bing, 42 W. Chippewa St.

Second place: Frankie Primo's +39, 51 W. Chippewa St.

Third place: Deep South Taco, three locations: Hertel Avenue, Transit Road and Ellicott Street.

Amici Ristorante's booth is filled with smiles at the Meatball Street Brawl. (Chuck Alaimo/Special to The News)

The scene at D-Tour Martini Bar's booth at the Meatball Street Brawl. (Chuck Alaimo/Special to The News)

FAN FAVORITE MEATBALL

First place: D-Tour Martini Bar, 49 W. Chippewa St.

Second place: Amici Ristorante, 2516 Elmwood Ave., Kenmore.

Third place: Deep South Taco, three locations: Hertel Avenue, Transit Road and Ellicott Street.

YELP AWARD

Finnerty's, 5 E. Washington St., Ellicottville

The event benefited several charities, including Meals on Wheels, the Response to Love Center, Make-A-Wish Foundation and the New York State Restaurant Association's Educational Foundation.

Last year's winner of the belt awarded to the fan-favorite meatball, This Little Pig trotted out the same menu meatball that triumphed - an all-pork ball covered in Carolina barbecue sauce - as well as a Whale Ball, made from fried bologna, onion and Community Beer Works' The Whale, for its freestyle.

Their menu meatball was my favorite of the 10 or 12 different meatballs I tried.

Email: btsujimoto@buffnews.com

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