Food fight! Meatballs! Yes, they do go together. Or, they will when the annual "Downtown Albany Food Fight," this year subtitled "Meatball Edition," goes off from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, September 28, at various downtown venues.
The sponsoring Downtown Albany Business Improvement District (BID) on Friday put out its first call for applications with a September 16 deadline. Details for participation are available online. Discounts are available for early registration. The event is scheduled in conjunction with Albany County’s "Live Life Local” food-and-crafts event slated for the Times Union Center and the City of Albany’s historical festivities planned at the Hudson Riverfront in conjunction with the arrival of the Half Moon, the replica of 18th Century explorer Henry Hudson's sailing ship.
"Meatball Edition" vendors/competitors will sell a tasting portion (one-ounce minimum) of their prepared meatballs to the public for $1 each. Attendees will be encouraged to move from venue to venue to vote for a "People’s Choice" winner at ballot boxes placed throughout the District and at the BID office at 40 North Pearl Street. Competitors will be allowed to enter up to two different meatball selections.
“Meatballs have been a popular dish in the United States since the early 1900s, and this competition will not only showcase the amazing restaurants located in Albany but the many sandwich and coffee shops and bakeries as well,” said BID Executive Director Georgette Steffens. “Participants are not limited to just the traditional meatball. Creativity is key and ingredients such as fish, tofu, vegetables, grains or desserts for instance, will also be allowed.”
The competition is open to any Albany County restaurant, caterer, food-related retailer and food truck vendor to submit an application to compete. There are eight awards categories in which to compete.
The niches and their prize money: Best in Show, $500; People’s Choice, $250; Best Traditional Meatball, $250; Best Use of Fish, $250; Best Vegetarian or Vegan, $250; Best Use of Vegetable, $250; Best Dessert Ball, $250; Most Unique or Creative, $250.