Doing the Burger Brawl


Rob and Maggie Wasserman, who own Rouge and 500 Degrees, were kicking around ideas for a fund-raiser to help son Jonah's school, Meredith Elementary in Queen Village, get a computer lab.

Since the Wassermans are in the burger biz, they figured, why not a burger competition. "Everybody thinks their burger is the best," says Rob Wasserman.

They worked the phones and came up with corporate sponsors and 18 restaurants, including some of the biggest burger braggarts in town.

The afternoon of June 4, they'll go at it in the schoolyard. Attendees (it's a $100 ticket) will get to judge, as will Food Network host Marc Summers, former Gov. Ed Rendell, and Fox29's Mike Jerrick. Tickets will be sold through

The Wassermans are importing Spike Mendelsohn of D.C.'s Good Stuff Eatery and Bravo's Top Chef fame to throw down, as well. (Despite some recent blog chatter that Mendelsohn is planning to open a joint here, his sister/publicist Micheline told me the other day that is not the case -- at least this year. He's opening two more outlets in D.C.)

Mendelsohn will face flippers from 10 Arts, 500 Degrees, Adsum, Alfa, Barbuzzo, Butcher & Singer, Good Dog, Ladder 15, London Grill, Midatlantic, N3rd, Paesano's, Pub & Kitchen, PYT, Rouge, Royal Tavern, and Table 31.

Sponsors include Philadelphia Media Network, Sysco, Fiji Water, Kaiserman Co., Philadelphia's Children's First Fund, Comcast-Spectacor, Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg, Liberty Spirits, Electronic Ink, and the Bancorp Bank.

House-cured salumi
(affettati); Pecorino del
Parco; spreadable
sausage (La ’Nduja); crepe
soup (scrippelle m’busse);
fried stuffed olives
(all’ascolana); beet salad;
house sausage with
polenta; cotechino
sausage with lentils; tripe
“in umido”; fazzoletti pasta
with duck; fettuccine with
“butcher's ragu”; porchetta
agnolotti with black truffle;
smoked gnocchi with lamb
ragu; porchetta; rabbit
“porchetta”; brodetto
(seafood stew);
juniper-smoked lamb;
crispy chicken livers with
Gregoriano risotto; panna
cotta; bonet.