Judging the Burgies: 22 Burgers in Two Hours (Photos)

Judging the Burgies: 22 Burgers in Two Hours (Photos)

When Burger Beast Sef Gonzalez asked me to be a judge at the third annual Burgie Awards, I said sure. I've judged a few competitions. They're usually fun, you get a badge, and you meet some new people. When you're asked to oversee a burger competition, you naturally assume you'll be tasting burgers. What I didn't realize was how many.

Twenty-two burgers. Reading the email from Gonzalez was a little surreal. "You will be sampling 22 burgers for 2 different categories. Your votes will help decide the Best Burger 2011 and Best Food Truck Burger 2011. You will receive a burger to sample every 5 minutes so prepare yourselves and if you've got stretchy pants it might be the right time to wear them, just kidding." Awesome!

The Scorecard
The Scorecard
All photos by Laine Doss

At the Burgies, the rules were simple. A team of seven judges, including bloggers 954 Burger Boi,

Steve of Blind Tastes,

and the Chowfather,

would get a burger about every five minutes, as promised. We obviously

wouldn't know which burger came from which restaurant/food truck. Each

meat sandwich would be rated on a scale from 1 to 7.

Out of many...this classic burger stood out.
Out of many...this classic burger stood out.

The first burger arrived. It was a classic bacon cheeseburger. Nicely

charred and large. The strategy to stay in the game: pacing and taking

only a few bites. A few minutes later came the second, and then the

third. Some burgers were good, some OK, and a few were heinous (that's when

the anonymity of the burger was really appreciated).

The burgers kept coming. One had too much barbecue sauce. A pork

creation tasted of Asian influences. Another reminded me of the Lipton onion soup burgers that Mom thought were so creative. One restaurant

shocked us all with a seafood burger. Not that it was bad -- just


Twelve burgers, fifteen burgers -- most of the judges were troopers.

One judge looked like he was about to drop. Another was sweating. I got a meat

headache. At burger 17, I saw little brown spots before my eyes. We kept

on going.

Stakes were high. This was more than a burger-judging

competition; this was a Kilimanjaro climb, a marathon. This was a test

of endurance.

The last burger was received with a round of applause. Providing we got

through a few bites, we had made it. Bite, chew, done.

It was a long

evening. After the ballots were tallied and the awards were announced,

it was good to see the winners so happy. As for me, I'll stick to a normal one-burger-per-sitting rule -- at least until next year.

Here's the full list of winners:

Best Burger - People's Choice: Burger & Beer Joint

Best Burger: Burger & Beer Joint

Best Specialty Burger: The Foreman - Pincho Factory

Best Non-Traditional Burger: Bulgogi Burger - Sakaya Kitchen

Best Hot Dog: Dogma Grill

Best Fries: Charm City Burger Company

Best Mac n' Cheese: Prime 112

Best Frita: El Rey De Las Fritas

Best Croqueta: Islas Canarias

Best Pincho: Daddy's Grill

Best Pizza Joint: Andiamo's

Best Sandwich: Blue & Bacon Grilled Cheese - Ms. Cheezious

Best BBQ Joint: Bulldog BBQ

Best Dessert: Sweetness Bakeshop & Cafe

Best Onion Rings: Burger & Beer Joint

Best Bistec ala Milanesa: Luis Galindo's Latin American

Best Pasteles: Karla Bakery

Best Taco: El Jefe Luchador

Best Food Truck: Ms. Cheezious

Best Food Truck Burger - People's Choice: Latin House Grill

Best Food Truck Burger: gastroPod

Burger and Beer Joint: People's favorite and judge's favorite.
Burger and Beer Joint: People's favorite and judge's favorite.
Burger Beast, Sef Gonzalez, and Sugar Yummy Mama's Giselle Pinto at the Burgies
Burger Beast, Sef Gonzalez, and Sugar Yummy Mama's Giselle Pinto at the Burgies

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