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The Pittsburgher, 2015 Burger Bash

The Pittsburgher, Burger Bash returned for its 4th annual competition, on Rivers Casino lawn. On July 25th carnivores from all over the city gathered to devour 10 of the Burg’s Best Burgers. The competition started at 2:00 PM, but I was there by 1:30 PM to ensure that I would be one of the first to get a taste. First up was Bigham Tavern that served up a Hangover Helper. It was my own little quarter of heaven. Amongst everything else, it had a fried egg on it! I am a sucker for a burger with fried egg (if you haven’t tried it, do it NOW!!!). I was so impressed by them, I wasn’t sure if the others could measure up.

The second burger I tried was Duke’s. I didn’t realize it had bleu cheese on it until I took my first bite….needless to say, I didn’t like it. I don’t’ think there’s anything I like less than blue cheese. The Casino Royale burger from BND’Z was third. It was just ok; nothing special, and definitely didn’t compare to Bigham’s. Next up was The Big Kahuna from Cain’s Saloon. A few of my friends tasted this one before me and said it was their favorite so far. It consisted of Angus beef, ham, pineapple and a few other ingredients. The flavor had a little kick, it ended up being my second favorite.

Next, I moved on to Bill’s Bar. They served a slider, made with a pretzel bun. The bun was the best part, if it was a bun competition they would have won! My sixth burger was The Phenom (2nd Place) from Jamison’s. They switched it up a little by serving a kielbasa burger. I liked the fact that they thought out-of-the-box. Right as I was finishing that one, I spotted Mr. Rick Sebak of WQED, whom was serving as the celebrity judge for the event. I approached him and asked for a selfie and he obliged. We exchanged business cards and discussed collaborating.

After schmoozing with Mr. Sebak, my sights were onto the next burger. Latitude 360 was next, with “The Godfather”, an Angus beef patty topped with spicy capicola ham, salami, provolone, banana peppers and a few other toppings. They were the only restaurant to serve a ½ of burger. I liked it, the banana peppers gave it a zing that paired well with the other components. At this point, I was hot and stuffed. I had 3 more burgers to try and I was determined to get them even if I only took a bite out of each.

The eighth burger I tried was TMB (Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil) from Max & Erma’s. This was the first time I had ever tasted basil on a burger. It was quite tasty, but I couldn’t finish it. Next was Union Hotel’s Blind Pig Burger. I was excited to try it because I was asking random people what their favorite was and a few had mentioned it. I didn’t really care for it, and didn’t have room for it either, so I took a bite and tossed the rest. The final burger was last year’s winner. It was The Doce Burger from Twelve on Carson Street. In my opinion, it didn’t live up to the hype. Not sure how it won last year, or how it came in 3rd place this year.

After tasting all the burgers, Bigham Tavern’s Hangover Helper was my favorite. I slowly walked to the judging table and casted my vote. Later in the evening I found out that they took 1stPlace ($2,000) and People’s Choice ($1,500 Advertising Package). This event was great. The burgers were good, the weather was perfect and the crowd seemed please. If you love burgers, be on the lookout for this event next year, or visit one of the restaurants in the near future.

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