| March 6, 2012
Downtown Madness, the Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin's award-winning, social media driven restaurant promotion tips off this Wednesday, March 7. This year's encore edition pits eight downtown Elgin eateries and their signature dishes against eight of their “crosstown” rivals' in an epicurean battle for Elgin bragging rights, where the public's votes determine the winners round-by-round until a champion is crowned.
The brackets for this year's field of 16 sweet Elgin dishes are set. Here are the opening round match-ups including participating eatery, address and competing “signature dish”:
- Elgin Public House (219 E. Chicago St.) Turkey Avocado BLT vs. Toom Toom Thai Restaurant (23 S. Grove Ave.) Nam Tok
- Villa Verone (13 Douglas Ave.) Gamberi e Cappesante Scampi vs. Buckingham's Steakhouse (250 S. Grove Ave. inside Grand Victoria Casino) Grand Tomahawk
- Prairie Rock Grill (127 S. Grove Ave.) Prairie Rock Cuban vs. Ravenheart Coffee (176 E. Chicago Street) Macadamia Nut White Mocha
- Prime BurgerHouse (250 S. Grove Ave. inside Grand Victoria Casino) Drunken Bull Burger vs. Al's Cafe (43 DuPage Court) Roasted Salmon Mediterranean
- In the Neighborhood Deli (185 Edison St.) Garlic Dijon Chicken Sandwich vs. Herb's Bakery (1020 Larkin Ave.) German Pretzel Roll
- The Walnut Speakeasy (214 Walnut Ave.) Ribs vs. Danny's Pizza (302 S. McLean Blvd.) Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza
- Paul's Family Restaurant (1300 Lawrence Ave.) Apple Bacon Cheddar Sandwich vs. Colonial Cafe (600 S. McLean Blvd.) Ultimate Grilled Mac and Cheese Melt
- Nick's Pizza (990 S. Randall Road) Nick's Special vs. Big Apple Bagels (561 N. McLean Blvd.) Big Apple Club
Downtown Madness voters choose their favorites in each of the eight opening round match-ups via the Downtown Madness online voting form, which can be found at http://www.DowntownElgin.com beginning at 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 7. All voters must provide a first and last name and a valid email address. Limit one ballot per person, per round.
Opening-round voting closes at 5 p.m. Monday, March 12. Voters can follow the results with daily updates via Downtown Madness Score Central updates on the DNA Blog at http://downtownelgin.blogspot.com.
The establishments receiving the higher vote totals in each matchup advance to Round 2, which runs from noon Friday, March 16, though 5 p.m. Monday, March 19. Third-round voting runs from noon Friday, March 22, through 5 p.m. Monday, March 25. The winners of both the Downtown bracket and Crosstown bracket face off in the Championship Round, which takes place between noon Friday, March 29, and 11:59 p.m. Monday, April 2.
Elgin “Eat 16” punch-card promotion
While Downtown Madness voters can pick the winners, they also can punch their “big dance” ticket and to eat, play and win big with a new Downtown Madness punch card promotion known as the Elgin “Eat 16.” Thru April 4, individuals can pick up their Elgin “Eat 16” punch card ticket at the DNA office, 2 Douglas Ave., downtown Elgin, or at any participating venue and receive punches for trying each of the Downtown Madness signature dishes. After collecting all 16 required punches, participants can return their completed punch card ticket to the DNA to score a Downtown Madness T-shirt. They also will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win other great prizes.
Downtown Madness Pick 'Em Challenge
In addition to being awarded the Downtown Madness traveling trophy for 2012, the winning establishment also will receive a free “Blue” Level Sponsorship in the city of Elgin's 2012 Fourth of July Parade, which steps off at 9 a.m. Wednesday, July 4, in the streets of downtown Elgin.
Links to the Downtown Madness online voting form are also available via the DNA's Facebook page at http://www.Facebook.com/DowntownElgin or by signing up for their Downtown Neighborhood News Top 10 e-blast. Participating establishments will also have links to the voting form through their individual web sites and social media pages.
During last year's promotion, Elgin Public House's Pulled Pork Sandwich captured the Downtown Madness hardware after holding off Bangkok House and Shanghai Restaurant's Pa-Naeng in a hotly contested Championship Round of voting.
In October, Downtown Madness was honored with a Lt. Governor's Award for Main Street Revitalization Promotion at the Illinois Main Street Conference and Awards Dinner in Galesburg, Illinois.