LORAIN — Mutt and Jeff’s Restaurant and Bar owner Patrick Caserta was ecstatic Wednesday when he learned he won not one but two titles from the second-annual countywide Burger Battle contest.
“It feels good to be recognized for something we do on a daily basis; we put our heart into our food here,” he said.
Caserta said his customer base came out in full force to support him and his burger of choice. The “French onion burger” was the ringer to bring home both the overall best burger and the most creative burger. A total of 189 of the burgers were sold during the contest, which ran Oct. 11 to Oct. 28.
The wins came with a trophy for each award, which Caserta plans to display on a shelf yet to be purchased.
The French onion burger is a half-pound seasoned patty topped with Swiss cheese, caramelized onions, onion spread and with a top bun carved into a type of bread-bowl to hold broiled mozzarella, served with a dip.
Visit Lorain County announced Mutt and Jeff’s as the winner of the second-annual Burger Battle at the county commissioners Wednesday morning. Mutt and Jeff’s was among the 13 participating restaurants in the area offering a $9 off-menu specialty burger for the competition. The most creative burger title was based on votes from judges appointed by Visit Lorain County.
Caserta became owner of the 34-year-old Lorain establishment in 2009 after working there earlier.
Caserta said there were probably a few reasons why his place deserved the titles, including the restaurant’s specialty in burgers, drinks and specials like entrees and salads. Caserta said his dedicated staff helped feature and sell the burger to customers, not to mention his regular customers getting the word out, too. The contest sold about 2,100 burgers from all the different participating locations — more than the 1,700 sold during the inaugural event.
Mutt and Jeff’s win comes after a loss to Red Iron Bar and Grille from Wellington in the countywide King of Wings contest earlier in the year. The wing contest was Mutt and Jeff’s first participation in the restaurant contests. Although the burgers were only for the contest, Caserta said the French onion burger may make a return in 2019.