What began at a birthday party in 2005 just celebrated its second year as a charity cook-off for Manhattan-based Meatloaf Kitchen. Judges weighed the merits of 18 entries, many with flavors that sought inspiration abroad — Mediterranean, Mexican, Silician, French onion, curry.
Winner (and Meatloaf-a-Thon co-founder) Jesse Caldwell looked closer to home, to Hackensack's White Manna, which makes his favorite burger in New Jersey. Perhaps not the best in the state, Caldwell acknowledges, but definitely his favorite. Beginning with the ingredients of a White Manna burger — beef, onion, potato bread, salt, pepper, and ketchup — Caldwell bound them with egg and topped it all with cheese sauce to create what he called "Loaf Manna." Hold the pickles.
Barcade Jersey City, 163 Newark Ave. (at Barrow St.), Jersey City
January/February (the 2013 event was held on February 10)