A taste of chili this chilly winter

A taste of chili this chilly winter

Mari Otto

Photo courtesy of The Express Times

If you couldn’t get enough of the savory goodness of Super Bowl Sunday munchies, Easton’s Pearly Baker’s Alehouse hosted a unique opportunity for game day foodies with its 19th Annual Chili Cook-Off Fundraiser. Sunday, February 2, attendees got an early start to the day in order to get a spot on the event’s admission line, which stretched out the main door and around the block. Some of Lehigh Valley’s most diverse and posh restaurants competed alongside the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks for the tastiest chili from miles around, all while enjoying the fun and comfortable atmosphere of America’s most celebrated Sunday night.

Among the fifteen restaurants vying for the top prize this year were Valenca, River Grille, Blue, Melt, Two Rivers Brewing Co., Copperhead Grille, The Mint, and Porter’s Pub. What truly placed this event in a league of its own was the unique way each chef approached the competition. While some arrived prepared with pots full of traditional chili, others opted to win the people’s choice by garnishing their chili cups with a mozzarella stick, carrot hummus, or oxtail. From chili con carne, turkey chili, beef chili, slow-cooked chili from the West, and strictly vegetarian chili, the event offered a little something for just about everyone.

By the end of the day, there was not a morsel of chili left and the judges, bellies full, had a tough decision to make. It was Grumpy’s Bar-B-Que Roadhouse that took away the first prize, winning two prizes including the People’s Choice Award. Two Rivers Brewing Co., Horns, and the Spinnerstown Hotel followed in the next top places.

An estimated six hundred people showed up to sample their way through an array of chili dishes, raising approximately $2,045 to benefit the Easton Farmer’s Market.