Twenty Philly restaurant kitchens duked it out Sunday in the second annual Burger Brawl, a fundraiser for Meredith Elementary School organized by Rouge/500 Degrees' Rob Wasserman, and when the smoke cleared...
Two chain restaurants won the judges vote and the popular vote among the several hundred attendees.
For all the stuff that chefs felt obliged to lard on their entries, it was Capital Grille's off-the-shelf cheeseburger - a blend of chopped sirloin, smoked bacon and sweet onions - that captured the judges' (clogged) hearts.
The attendees selected a Santa Fe burger from Bobby's Burger Palace: cheese, pickled jalapenos, blue corn tortilla chips and a "crunchifier" of potato chips. Owner Bobby Flay, who did not attend, told me today how proud he is at his team at the West Philly outpost. "It's amazing to feel the brotherly love of Philadelphia in the very competitive burger business," he said.
Winner of our online poll here at philly.com/Food was Good Dog (a half-pound of ground 80% lean sirloin stuffed with 1 oz of Roquefort cheese, topped with caramelized onions served on a toasted brioche bun), followed by The Corner (La Frieda ground beef patties and grind slab bacon into so they will be 70% ground beef and 30% ground bacon. with aged cheddar cheese and shallots cooked in Yards brawler beer. slider buns from Metropolitan), and Capital Grille.
I'd say they were all winners, but I really could not wrap my arms around Misconduct Tavern's entry, which (while attractive) was a hot mess - a burger topped preciously with foie gras, house-cured/smoked bacon with caramelized onion and a quail egg.