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Chowdown Showdown Countdown: Who Won the Steak, Pulled Pork and Breakfast Skillet Battles?

Tinley, Orland and Oak Forest are in a three-way battle for food supremacy in the weekly Chowdown Showdown. Here's where they stood in September.

Each week, Chowdown Showdown takes three local restaurants—one in Tinley Park, one in Orland Park and one in Oak Forest—and pits their dishes against each other to find the best around.

This week we're giving our waistlines a rest, recapping the battles thus far and asking you where we should go next.

The Contest: There comes a time where even the most civilized of diners must toss the fork and knife, roll up the sleeves and battle the smoky drip of barbecue sauce. Patch editors sent culinary explorer Joe Fletcher off to put the pig in pig out, and find the best pulled pork sandwich in the area.

The Contenders: Jake's (at Oak Forest Bowl), Nick's Barbecue in Tinley Park, and The Patio in Orland Park.  

The Pork Prize Goes To…

A past barbecue winner in our , Orland Park’s The Patio showed its smoke savvy once again with their delectable take on pulled pork.

The Contest: In our never-ending quest, it dawned on us one dawn that breakfast remains the most essential meal. No breakfast dish pulls the standby components together into a heap of glory quite like the skillet. Not into skillets? Then stick with your non-runny-yolk omelettes and live your life unfulfilled.

The Contenders: Blackberry in Tinley Park, Cafe Miele in Orland Park, and Kingsberry in Oak Forest. 

The Golden Frying Pan Goes To...

Orland Park was apparently on a culinary roll, with Café Miele pulling out a victory, thanks to their inventive take on a skillet by adding country gravy on top of the crispy potatoes, onions, peppers and sausage.

The Contest: Steak is celebration food. It is an indulgence of the most deserved kind, specially saved for great achievements or the need to pamper one’s palette. Given the many different steak variations, we went with Filet Mignon (surprisingly similar in price to lesser cuts) cooked the appropriate medium rare. There has not been a more worthy subject for our chowdown battle (nor has there been a more willing participant). 

The Contenders: in Orland Park, in Tinley Park and in Oak Forest.

The Filet Crown of Awesome Goes To…

This one was quite difficult. 94 West and Gibbons really make a quality seared hunk of beef. My main steak criterion has always been “do I love this without any add ons?” Period. No topping. No crust. And for the love of all things sacred NO STEAKSAUCE. Here’s where we came to an almost impasse. Both 94 West and Gibbons served delicious, tender, buttery treats.

Gibbons throws a so-good-it’s-wrong lemon butter sauce on their steaks while still piping hot from the fire and serve the meat in a pool of it. You will want to bathe in this stuff.

But 94 West knocked me out flat with an equally solid taste, texture and crust, but without the basting. You most definitely will be pleased at Gibbons. 94 West takes the crown by a hair.

"Feed" back

Orland Park swept the wins this month, though the real winner is whoever can sample each dish from each place. Want to get your town back into the top spot? Tell us which food you want to see next. Should we be looking for the choicest chicken? The most salivatory salad?

Got a feud with a friend over who has the best fries, chow mein or whatnot? Tell us what to eat, and where. It's up to you, folks. What's next on our plates?

Looking for local eats? Start with your local Patch Places food and dining directory. Please post a review on your favorite restaurant's profile page.

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