While the meat sweats have yet to subside from last night’s Burger Bash—the Rachael Ray-hosted New York City Wine & Food Festival showdown at Pier 36—we couldn’t way any longer to bring you these photos from inside the gluttonous bacchanal. Even though palate fatigue and a general feeling of unhealthiness set in after about the fourth burger, we must say that the competition was strong.
Bobby Flay’s “Napa Valley Burger Crunchified” was legitimately excellent, with a phenomenal crust on the slider-size patty, and great balance from fresh goat’s cheese and a Meyer lemon-honey mustard. Burger & Barrel’s Josh Capon showed out with a WWF-style championship belt and a past trophy to rep his now-famous Bash Burger (caramelized onion and bacon jam, shaved pickles, secret sauce, American cheese), and he ended up taking the People’s Choice award. We didn’t get to taste it, but Michael White’s “White Label Burger” with Nueske’s bacon, white American cheese, McClure’s pickles, and mustard got the judges’ nod.
One strategy—employed most notably by Spike Mendelsohn’s Good Stuff Eatery and Old Homestead Steakhouse—was to to surround the booth with hot girls. But ultimately taste prevailed. Honestly, amid all the baroque flourishes going on (fuck outta here, fancy ketchups), it was the straightforward classics like Burger Joint and Shake Shake that stood out from the pack.
If it were up to us, though, Tertulia’s Seamus Mullen would have taken the crown. His cold-smokedhamburguesa with lightly smoked American cheese, caramelized onions, ñora pepper ketchup, and housemade pickles was one of the best things we’ve ever eaten in a festival setting.
Click through the gallery above to see all the madness.