Burgerliscious 2013

Burgerliscious returned again this year for another night full of burgers in the heart of Coral Gables.  Thankfully, I was able to nab a VIP pass on LivingSocial for about half the price, which meant unlimited tastings, dessert, and booze.  Of course, this means that I was able to sample every single one of the 19 burgers that were being served by the competitors at Burgerliscious 2013.

Folks, bear in mind that I have many food aversions.  However, as a rule, I always try every single burger from every single competitor, regardless of what toppings it may have that I don’t like.  So, that is something to take into account during my incredibly biased account of each competitor’s submission.

So, let’s get started, shall we?

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305 Burger from Prieto (top left), Crave burger (top right), Prime rib slider (bottom left), and pretzel burger (bottom right)
  • Burger 1: The 305 Burger from Prieto at the Regency Hotel
    • A mexican chorizo and Angus beef patty with caramelized onions, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, “secret sauce”, and shoestring potatoes on a Brioche bun
    • I liked this burger.  The meat was extra juicy, and the chorizo was not too spicy.  It gave it a nice little kick without sending me into a sweat.  I liked that their secret sauce was red, which meant there was no mayo in it.
  • Burger 2: Crave 
    • Angus beef with smoked Gouda and “Crave sauce” on a Hawaiian roll
    • The quality of the meat they used was really good.  Other than that, I wasn’t too impressed with what they brought to the table.
  • Burger 3: Prime rib slider from The Westin Colonnade
    • Prime rib with shoestring potatoes and your choice of Chipotle ranch, creamy horseradish, or BBQ sauce
    • This is the only burger that made me go back for seconds, even though it technically was not a burger.  The prime rib was so tender and juicy that it literally melted in your mouth.  You really didn’t need any other toppings.
  • Burger 4: The Bierhaus Pretzel Burger from Fritz and Franz Bierhaus
    • Black Angus burger with radicchio, spicy Bavarian sauce, Brie cheese, honey roasted walnuts, and red onion
    • I didn’t think I was going to like this burger, but it was better than I expected.  The sweet of the roasted walnuts seemed to tone down the red onion, which was good.  I was happy to see that someone brought a Pretzel bun to the mix.
The Bar (top left), Swine Burger (top right), Sushi Maki (bottom left), Cibo Wine Bar (bottom right)
The Bar (top left), Swine Burger (top right), Sushi Maki (bottom left), Cibo Wine Bar (bottom right)
  •  Burger 5: Sam Adams Gruyère Cheese Slider from The Bar
    • Beef burger with Sam Adams Gruyère cheese sauce, roasted tomato relish, crispy onions, and shredded lettuce
    • This was actually pretty good.  The first thing I noticed was that they were cooking their patties on a griddle and then flatten it.  I wish the taste of the cheese was a little more pronounced, but it didn’t look like they were adding a whole lot of the cheese sauce to the sliders.
  • Burger 6: The Swine Burger from Swine (2013 3rd Place Winner and People’s Choice winner)
    • A short rib, brisket, and pork shoulder blend patty with house smoked pork belly bacon, American cheese, and a “bacon schmear”
    • Now THIS burger, ladies and gentlemen, is what events like Burgerliscious are all about.  I don’t know what manner of sorcery they conjured up to make their burger so fantastic, but they need to keep doing it.  A true smokehouse burger.
  • Burger 7: Sushi Maki
    • Kobe beef slider with a seared scallop, kimchi, and spicy mayo on a Hawaiian sweet roll
    • This burger definitely had the Asian flavors going in full force.  It didn’t quite work for me.  The scallop was cooked perfectly, though.
  • Burger 8: Cibo Wine Bar
    • Short rib with fried onion and a creamy gorgonzola polenta sauce
    • Personally, I thought this one was a little on the bland side.  I expected more flavor from the gorgonzola, but it didn’t make it into the burger.
Anacapri (top left), Greek Burger from Books and Books (top right), Chipotle Burger from John Martin's (bottom left), and Christy's slider (bottom right)
Anacapri (top left), Greek Burger from Books and Books (top right), Chipotle Burger from John Martin’s (bottom left), and Christy’s slider (bottom right)
  • Burger 9: Anacapri
    • A hamburger with a Marsala wine reduction and sautéed mushrooms
    • This burger wasn’t particularly remarkable.
  • Burger 10: Greek Burger from Books and Books
    • Turkey burger with Feta cheese, pico de gallo, and tzatziki sauce on pita bread.
    • I have to give kudos to Books and Books for always thinking outside of the burger box and going with non-beef burgers (they had a vegetarian patty last year).  It really did taste like I was eating a gyro.
  • Burger 11: Chipotle Burger from John Martin’s
    • A beef burger with Jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and Chipotle sauce
    • They weren’t kidding when they called this a Chipotle burger.  It was too spicy for me, and way too heavy on the pickles.
  • Burger 12: Christy’s Slider from Christy’s Restaurant
    • This burger featured gorgonzola cheese, applewood smoked bacon, and caramelized onions
    • Interestingly enough, this burger had the opposite issue that a previous burger had with the Gorgonzola cheese.  In this case, the cheese completely overwhelmed the burger.  I really loved the bacon that they used on it, though.
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ShackBurger (top left), Pincho Factory (top right), Morton’s (bottom left), Bread + Butter (bottom right)
  • Burger 13: The ShackBurger from Shake Shack (2013 Winner Best in Bun)
    • Angus beef patty with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and “Shack Sauce”
    • I wasn’t impressed with Shake Shack last year, but it was much improved this year.  I probably wouldn’t have picked them as the winner, but maybe sometimes simple is better.  The meat was definitely juicy and flavorful.
  • Burger 14: Pincho Factory
    • A brisket and chuck blend burger with Monterey Jack cheese, caramelized onions, sriracha sauce, Munchos chips, and homemade cilantro sauce on a Brioche bun
    • The Latina in me really appreciated the taste of the cilantro in this burger.  I didn’t really taste the chips, but Munchos are notorious for practically dissolving when eaten, anyway..
  • Burger 15: Morton’s
    • USDA Prime beef bacon and bleu cheese fondue on a brioche bun
    • Honestly, I was surprised at the direction that Morton’s took with their burger this year.  Their simple “beef and cheese” burger from last year was my favorite.  This year, the bleu cheese fondue was just too overpowering.  The quality of the beef was still top-notch, though.
  • Burger 16: Double Bacon and Chorizo burger from Bread + Butter (2013 2nd Place Winner)
    • Chorizo burger with bacon, homemade pickles, ketchup, and mustard
    • Overall, this was a solid burger, but it didn’t stand out to me.  It did to the judges, though, apparently.
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Shula’s 347 (left) and Tarpon Bend (right)
  • Burger 17: Chimichurri Burger from Shula 347
    • This burger had Spanish chorizo, Jack cheese, Sam Adams Summer Ale Marinade,  lettuce, and chimichurri aioli.
    • Honestly, I don’t remember much about this one.  It wasn’t too bad, though.
  • Burger 18 (not pictured): Gator Burger from Rebel Without a Kitchen
    • A gator and belly fat patty topped with homemade sauce, lemon butter, pickles, and homemade chips
    • First off, I am still kicking myself for forgetting to take a picture of this burger.  I was just so wrapped up in the fear of trying gator for the first time, and of eating a reptile in general.  But, I stayed true to my “try everything, no matter what” rule and took a bite.  Just one.  They say that gator tastes like chicken, but it actually tasted kind of fishy to me.  It was a little tough, too.  I don’t think I’ll be trying gator again anytime soon.  It didn’t necessarily taste bad.  I just couldn’t wrap my head around it.
  • Burger 19: The Farmyard Burger from Tarpon Bend
    • A bacon, pork, chicken, and beef patty (!!!) topped with bacon, a fried egg, Monterey Jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, and Spicy Sam Adams reduction mayo
    • They were definitely ambitious with their burger patty!  I couldn’t get past the fried egg on the burger, especially once the runny yolk spread out over everything.  I don’t get along with eggs very much, except when they are used to bake with.

Yes, I sampled all 19 contestants.  That is, unless I missed some.  However, I circled the park 2 or 3 times and did not see any more burgers.  So, once my belly was full of burger, I made sure to find room to try the dessert bar.

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The dessert bar was catered this year again by Seasons 52, and featured 4 kinds of dessert shooters.  You had your berry cheesecake, red velvet cake, chocolate peanut butter mousse, and rocky road.  My personal favorite was the rocky road.  They must use some good quality chocolate.

Despite falling on a weeknight, and the fact that I was fighting off a cold, I had a fantastic time.  I can’t wait until next year!

4 comments

  1. Great breakdown, as usual. I’m intrigued by that Swine Burger.

  2. Great breakdown, as usual. I’m intrigued by that Swine Burger.

    1. Thank you! I, too, will be paying Swine a visit in the near future.

  3. […] burger got my vote at Burgerliscious last year.  It was still as good as I remembered, and was easily one of my favorites of the […]

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