5 Best Food Battles of 2013

Heather Hoch
The bone marrow appetizer at Searsucker.

This year Chow Bella writers tossed everything from the breakfast sandwich to the chimichanga into the ring, for a mouthwatering series of "Battle of the Dishes." Here are our five favorites from 2013.

Pig & Pickle vs. Searsucker: Bone Marrow Beatdown in Scottsdale
Bone marrow has begun to pop up on restaurant appetizer menus all over town. If you haven't tried it yet, do yourself a favor and order it next time you see it. If you have, you know the rich, buttery flavor and smooth texture is unlike any other you've had before. As a dish, it's typically paired with crostini and a sweet component, while the bone itself, usually lamb or cow, is halved and roasted. Two of our favorite and very similar takes on the dish in town at Searsucker and Pig & Pickle duke it out to see whose marrow is the most luxe. Read more here.

See also: The 13 Most Overcooked Food Trends of 2013

JK Grence
Muy sabroso chicken at El Pollo Supremo.
Mill Avenue Chicken Fight: El Pollo Supremo vs. Bad Mother Cluckers

Around Mill Avenue, one good thing seems to deserve another. El Pollo Supremo has been serving up charcoal-grilled chicken just west of Mill for years. Not too long ago, a new joint, Bad Mother Cluckers, opened up shop just barely east of Mill, and also features charcoal-grilled chicken. Clearly, a little friendly rivalry is in order here. Whose bird is better, and who's just playing chicken? Read more here.

Heather Hoch
El Sabroso vs. Nogales -- who makes the better bacon-y beauty?
Sonoran Dog Skirmish: Nogales Hot Dog vs. El Sabroso Truck

L.A. Dog? Ha! We don't think so. Those copycats might think they started the bacon-wrapped hot dog trend, but Arizonans knows the truth. Sonoran dogs did it first, and they did it better. With beans, hot sauce, mayo, tomatoes, ketchup, mustard, onions, and a host of other possible toppings, including roasted or pickled peppers either on top or on the side, Sonoran dogs pretty much have it all. We especially can't get enough of the Sonoran dog's take on the bun -- a squishy, soft bollilo.

If you drive on Indian School Road from one side of Phoenix to the other on any given night, you'll see lots of roadside Mexican pop-up joints serving Sonoran dogs. It's hard to know which is best when there are so many choices, but we picked two of our favorites to battle each other. Read more here.

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