Riverwalk Burger Battle VI – The Quest for Burger Nirvana!

Even since man first decided to place charred meat between two slices of bread, humanity has been on a quest for Burger Nirvana. This heightened state of carnivorous awareness is the fuel behind the Riverwalk Burger Battle, which took place on Friday, May 8, 2015.

On the lush field that is Huizenga Park in downtown Fort Lauderdale, hundreds of hungry foodies gathered to sample the wares of sixteen of South Florida’s finest eateries.

The BBVI CONTENDERS included 2014 Champion American Social, B. Bar & Grille, Beauty & the Feast, Big Bear Brewing Company, Big City Tavern,    Bokampers Sports Bar & Grill Frankey’s Sports Bar,  Georgie’s Alibi, Grill Republic, Gulfstream Park, MEAT Eatery and Taproom Boca, Mind Your Manors, Rivals Waterfront Sports Grille, Shooters Waterfront, Timpano Italian Chophouse, and Tucker Duke’s Lunchbox.

The smoke filled air even attracted a small contingent of forces from the USS Wasp, in town for Fleet Week at Port Everglades.

The burger competitors were fighting to tempt the taste buds of two judging panels; one panel of professional chefs and another of local food bloggers. The professional judges included Chef Asher Roebuck, Chef Tara Abrams, Chef Allen, Chef Tony, and Chef Bret. The “media foodie” judges included Mixologista – Renee Korbel Quinn, coordinator, Big Mouth Girlz – Katrina & Aaron, Examiner– Adam Sinclair, South Florida Food & Wine – Christine Najac and CleanPlateCharlie – Nicole Danna.

Burger cooks were also trying to impress the other hungry battle fans, each of which who possessed a small chip to place in the box of their favorite booth. For nearly three hours, the crowd devoured the miniature burgers, and imbibed on some of the finest spirits in Broward County.

The assembled crowd had to survive a Florida downpour, and their ingenuity in hiding under every tent, table, and tree proved to be almost as entertaining as some of the antics of the chefs on hand. Luckily, the shower passed, and the eating continued.

Finally, at a little before 9:30 p.m. local time, the winners were announced:

  • Fan Favorite winner – Tucker Dukes Lunchbox
  • Media Foodie choice winner – American Social
  • 2nd-Tucker Dukes Lunchbox

Honorable mentions:

  • Grill Republic, Big City & MEAT Eatery & Taproom

Judges /BEST BURGER WINNER:

  • Tucker Duke Lunchbox – best burger joint burger
  • American Social won Best Bar & Grill Burger (2nd place)
  • Big City Tavern (Third Place)
  • Shooters won best Knife & Fork Burger

 

With two wins on the night, Tucker Duke’s was the big winner of the night. However, last year’s overall winner, American Social, pulled off the foodie award and Best Bar & Grill Burger, so they can safely claim that they are repeat champions! 

Each burger master put their own spin on the classic beef sandwich, but in this “media foodie’s” opinion, none reached the Burger Nirvana threshold. Still, each one provided at least a little of the meaty goodness than you come to expect in a decent burger. For my money, the overall winner is Georgie’s Alibi, whose sweet slaw covered burger with a Thai Tea chaser offered up a unique, memorable tasting experience. 

Be sure to follow the Riverwalk Burger Battle on Facebook for updates throughout the year. With less than 365 days until the next burger battle, you’ll have plenty of time to work up an appetite!

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Riverwalk Burger Battle VI and The Pilgram Group are ready to welcome carnivores to Fort Lauderdale

Presented by The Pilgram Group, the Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale Burger Battle™ is returning for its 6th year on Friday, May 8, 2015 to Huizenga Plaza in the heart of downtown Fort Lauderdale. The event will pit 16 of South Florida’s best restaurants against each other as they compete for the title of “Best Burger” for 2015.

A panel of 6 noteworthy and accomplished local judges will rate the burgers on texture, flavor, use of condiments, bread selection, unique approaches, etc. Restaurants will compete for the titles of Fan Favorite, Burger Nirvana, Best Bar and Grill, Best Knife and Fork Burger, Best Burger Joint, and Best Burger.

The event is sure to sell out, so act quickly and purchase tickets by going to  http://goo.gl/tXgiw6. The event draws over 1000 patrons to downtown Fort Lauderdale in connection with Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale’s mission to activate the Riverwalk. Tickets are $40 for general admission and $125 for the VIP Experience.

Restaurant chefs will be cooking up burgers for tasting while The Downtowner serves crispy golden French fries. Attendees will vote for a participant to win the title of Fan Favorite. They also receive three drink tickets to redeem at bars serving Jack Daniels cocktails, Barefoot Wine, and beer. Cash bars will also be present as well as live entertainment by That Band. VIP guests enter the event 30 minutes early, enjoy a seating area, a specialty burger provided by the Tilted Kilt, an open bar serving cocktails provided by Premier Beverage and Craft Beers provided by Stephens Distributing, and more.

The 2015 contenders are: Returning Champ – American Social, B. Bar and Grille, Beauty and the Feast, Big Bear Brewing Company, Big City Tavern, Bokampers, Frankey’s Sports Bar, Georgie’s Alibi, Grill Republic, Gulfstream Park, M.E.A.T. Eatery and Tap Room, Mind Your Manors, Rivals Waterfront Sports Grille, Shooters Waterfront, Timpano Italian Chophouse, and Tucker Duke’s Lunchbox.

Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale thanks presenting sponsor, Pilgram Group, and the following integral partners and sponsors: Anticipation Luxury Yacht Charters, Barefoot Wine, BB&T, Big 105.9, Best Rental Service, Blue Point Brewing Company, Budweiser, BurgerFi, City of Fort Lauderdale, Downtown Development Authority, The Downtowner, Eye On South Florida, Greenwave Oil Recovery, Goose Island, Go Riverwalk Magazine, Image 360, Jack Daniels, JM Lexus, The Media Lab, Pop Lab, Premier Beverage, Shock Top, Stella Artois, Stephens Distributing, Stevens & Goodwyn, P.A., Stiles, the Tilted Kilt, and Whole Foods ® Fort Lauderdale.

For event information and sponsorship opportunities, contact Cristina Hudson at 954.468.1541954.468.1541, ext. 205 or cristina@goriverwalk.com.