We thought that last week's round of 64 saw some fierce battles in CL's Tournament of Ribs, but they were nothing compared to some of the furious fights taking place in this week's voting. And first up is the War for North Pinellas — Brady's Backyard BBQ versus Smokin' Rib Shack.
Brady's managed an impressive victory over Ozona Pig last week, but Smokin' Rib Shack is a more dedicated opponent. With almost 3,000 votes cast — the best turnout so far — a mere ten votes separate the two mighty foes. It could go either way and will likely come down to the final hours of voting for this round, which ends Monday morning at 10 a.m. (That's Cory from Smokin' Rib Shack and Brady from Brady's Backyard enjoying a friendly plate of food in the photo, earlier this week. Photo courtesy of Glen Caristinos.)
Other close matches (as of 3 p.m. today) include Soo Good Southern BBQ versus Mike's Smokehouse BBQ & Grill (210-213) and Ribit's versus Jimbo's Pit (121-99).
There are a few dominations — Angry Pepper baking Baker's Hogley Wogley (150-22); Tony Mac's smoking Frenchy's (106-21); Lupton's Fat Man BBQ sitting on Tolson Barbecue (970-168) — but most of the matchups have one restaurant ahead, but still well within catching distance with 3 and 1/2 days of voting left.
Here are some situations where a final push could make the difference: Quick Q BBQ has a speedy lead over Lee Roy Selmon's (299-162); Jaymer Que has jammed Alex's BBQ (255-160); Z Grille is deep-frying Crab-BQ (230-145); Uncle Rodney's making Big John's Alabama cry uncle (167-67); and Smokin A's putting the shin on Kojak's (829-508).
There are more matchups than those we've covered here, but CL has a trick for you if you'd like to vote in all the battles in one easy step: Follow this link and just scroll through the races, voting in each in turn. Of course, you can always head to cltampa.com/ribs for the latest Rib-Off news, to find contact info for the competitors, see the latest brackets, and find links to vote in each matchup.
Voting in this round ends Monday at 10 a.m., with voting to commence on the Savory Sixteen at Noon the same day. Vote now. Vote often. Tell your friends.