August 15, 2013 Battle of the Burger 2013
Battle of the Burger took place on Tuesday, August 13th at the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal. The weather was a bit muggy and things were steamy from the grills but there was a cool breeze sweeping through.
I attended the event as media, and have to say that the event went very smoothly. I arrived a bit early-sometimes getting to this part of town takes 40 minutes from Back Bay, sometimes it takes 10. Plus, you should always get there a few minutes early to get to the head of the line.
All American BBQ Bacon Cheddar Burger by David Forbes: Fresh ground chuck, bbq basted, crispy pork belly, two year aged Vermont cheddar and maple Cajun bacon jam served on a griddled poppy bun served with house cured pickles.
So we started the night off with Joe’s Bar and Grill. David Forbes, the executive chef, was out there shaking hands and chatting up event goers. At these events, you want to try all the burgers, so it’s good to bring a guest (I did) and we shared the slider (less waste!). The burger was cooked medium, just the way I like it. I love the flavor of the meat and the presentation of the burger. The Cajun bacon jam had a nice kick to it and loved the bun (which for me is half the battle with the burger). Great way to kick off the night!
5 Napkin Burger by Andy D’Amico: Ground beef topped with gruyere cheese, caramelized onions and rosemary aioli.
The burger was a little on the sweeter side, and I love me some caramelized onions. When I go to 5 Napkin I tend not to get the 5N sauce on my burgers, I’m just not a real fan of mayo. That being said, it takes them 12 hours to make this aioli in house. Really enjoyed the pickles.
The Fireplace Burger by Jim Solomon: Shelburne Farms (VT) Cheddar stuffed grass-fed burger with thick cut bacon, caramelized onion, lettuce, tomato and house brined dill pickle on a homemade English muffin
There are so many things that I love about this burger just from the description. I love Shelburne cheddar, we go up to VT all the time and I always bring some home. Bacon, caramelized onions, um yeah! And my all time favorite way to have burgers is on an English muffin. I loved the texture that the roll brought and the taste of the meat – it really stood out. I wasn’t a fan of the lettuce spine, I would have preferred something a bit more leafy. Good burger – and nice touch with the American Flag!
Cajun Gorgonzola Burger by Matt King: Prime beef, Cajun seasoning, melted gorgonzola, arugula and red onion marmalade.
Steak knife pick? Love it. So cute. There was a really nice kick to the burger from the Cajun seasoning. They grilled the roll, which I really liked. There was good meat to bun ratio, which is really important. And the red onion marmalade was certainly tasty. I’m not a big gorgonzola fan, so that part was a miss for me.
Trade is top on my go to list. I’m slowly working my way down what seems to be an endless list. I love their booth, it’s well presented, and the gentleman working the booth is professional and friendly – nice work there!
TRADE Burger by Andrew Hebert: All natural ground beef with pancetta, Vermont cheddar, grilled onions, homemade pickles, lettuce, and tomato on Iggy’s brioche bun.
This was my second favorite of the night. I love the presentation, clean and simple and classic. I have to admit I ate a whole one myself, didn’t share this one, it was too good.
The Lamb Burger by Antonio Perez: Ground lamb, tzatziki, kalamata olives, tomatoes, lettuce, onions and feta.
The people working the booth certainly convey the vibe that the restaurant has going on. I like that they took a risk and strayed from the classic beef burger. That being said, lamb isn’t my go to meat, and olives aren’t my speed. The tzatziki made it a little runny to eat.
OFD (Originally from Dorchester) Burger by Paul Wahlberg: 8 oz. patty with bacon, Swiss cheese, sautéed mushrooms and homemade tomato jam on a potato roll.
I like Wahlburgers – they have a good thing going on and it speaks to your Boston pride. Loved the bun, and I’m a sucker for anything mushroom. Again, a simple burger (in a different way than Trade), but good flavors.
The Whole-Y Cow by Mark Sapienza and Nick Gurski: Northeast Family Farms beef blend of locally raised ground brisket, short rib and chuck, grilled and served on a housemade salted pretzel roll, served with Amstel Wheat braised Vidalia onion, Thistle Hill Tarentaise cheese and housemade mustard.
I dig the presentation of this slider. Like that they added some chips! The bun was really dense and the onions were having a hard time staying on the burger – I wasn’t very lady like while sampling this baby.
Sin Burger by Matt O’Neil: USDA prime beef burger, applewood smoked bacon, truffle aioli, tomato, lettuce, brioche bun.
The winner of the competition! Congrats! This is one of the stands that we had to wait at for a burger. I was watching them assemble the burgers, they look serious about their craft. The roll was super buttery and the meat in the burger was loosly packed. The truffle aioli didn’t turn me off..so that’s saying something right there. This burger was certainly sinful!
Slap Yo Mamma! by Brian Reyelt: Our signature patty topped with cheese, fried pickles, jalapenos and BBQ sauce.
I think that I was so mezmerized by the wrapper I forgot to take a photo of the actual burger. Tasty burger was grilling up full size burgers made with fried pickles. The burger had a really nice smokey flavor and they wrapped it this packaging that was a cross between a surgical mask and a diaper. Ha! And “Slap Yo Mamma”?!? You should win based on name alone!
the best eye candy a fun booth – Paul Bruno and Travis Talbot were grilling corn on the cob, topped with cilantro lime butter, smoked paprika and finished off with a little pecorino. Love the outfits guys!
Gave us a nice break from the burgers. Amstel Light put on the event, it was all you can drink. I wish that the water bottles would have been better spaced between booths – sometimes a girl wants to wash down her burger but doesn’t want to wait in the long beer line.
Ceia Signature Kobe Burger by Patrick Soucy: Manchego, serrano, heirloom tomato, paprika aioli and fresh made Farmer’s Reserve ketchup.
This was my #1 pick of the night. I loved every bite of this half a burger – it was tender, flavorful and juicy. Kobe beef, yum; machego cheese, yes please, serrano ham, now you’re just being silly (good). I am still dreaming about the bread! Really nice flavors, well thought out on the perfect combination. Ceia came in third for the night.
Kobe Beef Sliders by Jason Santos: Smoked onion aioli, pepper jack cheese and shredded lettuce.
It’s a shame to put two kobe burgers next to one another at an event like this. You immediately make a comparison of the burgers. I thought the bun on this one was a bit too buttery. I did like the pickled onions on this burger.
There was live entertainment at the event, as well as a DJ spinning all my favorite songs from the 80’s and early 90’s. It just added to the already amazing evening. The burger lady here really got into the spirit of things!
Foundry Chef’s Burger by Derek Clough: 100% Maine grass fed beef, spicy house bbq, sweet bacon jam, great hill blue cheese, shaved dill pickles and pickled red onions on Iggy’s brioche bun.
I have to admit I took off the blue cheese on this burger (I’m generally not a fan). I liked this burger a lot, the burger was smothered in house made bbq and bacon jam – get out of here. This burger was really hard to eat – you needed both hands. At these events, ladies should bring a bag that goes over there shoulder that they can forget about – leave your cute clutch at home. You need one hand for your beer, with the plate balanced on top all while trying to eat with one hand. The girls working the booth portrayed the feel of Foundry on Elm.
The Corky Pig Burger by Andrew McLendon: Named after Porky Pig and County Cork, Ireland, 8 oz. Angus beef topped with an Irish bacon rasher, American bacon, jalapenos, fried onion petals, bleu cheese crumbles, bleu cheese dressing and bacon jam (traditional southern jam made with bacon instead of fruit).
The texture wasn’t right for me on this one. In the UK and Ireland a “rasher” is a slice of bacon. The burger was a little on the heavy side. Bonus points for the bacon jam though.
La Poblana by Allan Rodriguez: Imported Mexican ground beef on the grill topped with a fire-roasted Poblano pepper stuffed with a Oaxaca cheese, then topped with grilled onions, bacon, lettuce, tomato, fresh avocado and Chile Poblano mayonnaise with pickled carrots, onions and jalapenos, served on Mexican felera bread.
There was a lot of stuff going on with this burger. Poblano peppers are generally mild, but there was a little kick in this burger – maybe from the jalapenos or the chile poblano mayo. Oaxaca cheese is from Mexico and has a texture like string cheese.
ShackBurger by Mark Rosati: Freshly ground 100% all-natural Angus beef cheeseburger—no hormones and no antibiotics ever—topped with lettuce, tomato and ShackSauce.
For “fast food” I am always surprised at how bright the veggies are here – both in tonight’s burger and when I go to the restaurant. I like the flavors here, it tastes fresh – the meat has a good flavor and the roll is tasty as well. Shack sauce I can do without, but overall a good burger.
The Wicked Stuffed by Chuck Barbato: Black Angus stuffed with fresh mozzarella and raisin, topped with charred sweet onion, grilled smoked pancetta and sriracha mayo.
I liked this in a weird way. It was complex and every bite brought something new to your tastebuds. All about the onion and grilled pancetta. The burger had a good kick to it!
The Vermonster by Paul Malvone: Maple mayo, sharp cheddar cheese, caramelized granny smith apples, red onions, maple syrup and bacon.
I’ve been to Boston Burger a few times before, I think people should certainly go check them out at their restaurant – they really think outside the box flavor wise – not sure this showcased their talents. That being said the burger was tasty. Really nice flavors, the richness and warm flavoring of the maple went well with the burger.
A great night all in all. Shout out to my buddies at Boston Pedicab hanging out to give people rides. We just had our company outing wit them, and used most of their fleet, they are super cool people. As we were winding down and getting ready to leave, I felt like I needed to be rolled out of this place I was so full (in a good way). I lapsed into a food coma the minute I got home, euphoric from all the meat I had consumed. The should have places to take naps – testing out 20 burgers really takes a lot out of a gal! Special thanks to Boston Magazine Events for putting on a great show and having me as their guest! Hoping to be fortunate enough to get invited again next year!