Today marks the end of our Munch Madness: Road to the Final Fork contest and the start of our Best of the Weekly readers’ choice competition.
Readers will have until May 31 to vote for their favorite companies in dozens of categories, including Best Bar, Best Burger Joint and Best Women’s Boutique. Flip to page 4B for the Best of the Weekly mail-in ballot or visit us online to vote.
We’ll announce the winners in the June 28 edition. New this year is a reception in late June in which we’ll celebrate winners.
I enjoy the readers’ choice competition because it gives us a glimpse into the pulse of the community. But everything can’t be all sunshine, rainbows and magical journeys to Candy Land.
Every year it seems someone wants to rain on our parade and be sour about the contest not being fair because they did not know about it. If you don’t read our newspaper or engage in the community, should it bother you that our readers like a company that does? Focus that frustration on building a stronger reputation or loyalty among customers.
I also get emails from companies trying to explain to me how they have a superior product or service compared to the winner (very impressive) or asking me to tell them how many votes they needed to win (no time for that).
Again, this is a readers’ choice competition. Let’s have fun with it.
Munch Madness crowns winner
Congrats to Dunwellz Custom Kitchen and Pour House in Mint Hill for winning Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly’s Munch Madness: Road to the Final Fork.
Dunwellz began its journey to the Final Fork as a fourth seed in the Mint Hill bracket, defeating the likes of Kabab King, El Valle, Mint Hill Rock Store Bar-B-Q and Hawthorne’s Pizza. It took out New Zealand Cafe in Charlotte to advance to the finals against downtown Matthews favorite Stacks Kitchen.
A lot of people wanted to know how restaurants were seeded. Since one of the primary ways to vote was Facebook, we seeded restaurants based on Facebook followers. Special consideration was given to restaurants with Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly racks inside.
The initial bracket disappointed a few people, including Jim Thurman and Smokie Brawley.
Thurman wanted to see Shane’s Rib Shack in Sycamore Commons in Matthews, citing their top-notch food and service.
Smokie Brawley vouched for Chen-Fu Chinese.
“A simple restaurant that has been there over 20 years, Tony’s cooking is consistently delicious and Sonya welcomes every guest with a smile!,” Thurman said of Chen-Fu.
Brawley described the white pizza at Mama’s Pizza & Pasta as a “work of art,” adding the Italian restaurant served the best Eggplant Rollatini he’s found in the area. Turns out, Mama’s qualified for our Union County Weekly bracket.
Casey (last name withheld) recommended Kabab Je for its hummus shawarma, jasmine rice with veggies and any of the kababs.
As the competition began rolling, we’d occasionally get comments from people about the restaurants they were voting for. Brian (last name withheld) said Stacks has “the best service in town and treats you like family, not just a patron.”
Ryan Stauffer couldn’t bear choosing between the final two restaurants.
“Dunwellz at night. Stacks in the morning,” Stauffer commented on Facebook.
Brad Simmons, a candidate for Mint Hill mayor, diplomatically pointed out about his favorite bracket: “Winner is Mint Hill! We have access to all and should appreciate the quality and diverse selection.”