WACO (April 5, 2013)—The Cooking Channel’s Best College Eats Tournament came down to Marquette University and the Real Chili Restaurant in Milwaukee, Wis. and Baylor University and Vitek’s BBQ in Waco, and when the polls closed at 4 p.m. CDT Friday, Vitek’s was the winner.
According to online results, Vitek’s iconic Gut Pak received 15,025 votes to Real Chili’s chili-topped spaghetti’s 14,035 14,035 votes to win 51.7 percent-48.3 percent.
The Gut Pak, which is a belt-busting combination of corn chips, cheese sausage, brisket, beans and barbecue sauce topped with two slices of white bread, chopped white onion, pickles and jalapenos, “combined all the necessary ingredients for a successful college eat, which along with a passionate fan base in Waco helped propel it over the competition,” the Cooking Channel said.
“The tournament got a bit messy...but in the end a true college classic came out on top.”
In all, 32 college dishes from around the country were chosen to go head-to-head in the online popularity contest, which was structured in a fashion similar to the NCAA college basketball tournament, proceeding through the Sweet 16, Elite 8, Final Four, and finally the championship round.
The "Gut Pak" originated in the 1980's and has been a staple at Vitek's BBQ ever since.
The dish was created by Bill Vitek.
Julie Vitek, Vitek's owner and Bill Vitek's daughter, says she's honored to have her father's dish in such a positive spotlight.
"This has just been very exciting for me and the restaurant," Vitek said.
"It's great anytime you have a contest like this; it helps our community, our restaurant, and Baylor as well."
The winner of the tournament doesn't get much more than bragging rights, but Vitek said that's perfectly fine with her.