Last night, some of the country's best burgers—from heavyweights like Shake Shack, Minetta Tavern, The Spotted Pig, Dumont, and more—went head to head in one of the premiere events of the New York Food and Wine Festival, The Burger Bash. Attendees gorged on burgers and their accompaniments, the cover band did their best to imitate Journey and the Cure, and, no surprise, the crowds mobbed Guy Fieri and Rachael Ray. On to the winners, the losers, the highlights.
1) Spike Mendelsohn who served up a slim burger on a potato bun with bacon and blue cheese—really one of the strongest contenders of the night—won the vote from the judges. This is his second win this year, since he swept the awards in SoBe in February.
2) The highlight of the closing remarks came during the People's Choice award, which was taken by the ever...boisterous Lure chef Josh Capon. After grabbing the mic, he thanked organizer Lee Schrager, Rachael Ray, and Allen Brothers for sponsoring the event, and then said all the real thanks belong to "the boys at Pat Frieda" for their meat. It was a coup for La Frieda, who supplies much of the meat for the event without being an official sponsor, and a somewhat awkward moment given the Allen Bros. rep was standing right on tage.
3) Capon then relayed the Yankees score and led the crowd in a "Let's go Yankees" chant.
4) Overheard near celeb chef Tyler Florence: "He looks tired." Fact. But perhaps not as tired as Rocco.
5) Standout sides: Dumont's fried pickles, Minetta's chips with onion dip, Bobby's Burger Palace's milkshake.
6) Spike's Good Stuff Eatery and Old Homestead Steak House won points for marketing. Both had hot young things holding up signs asking for votes, and Spike littered the tables with Good Stuff pins.
For more around the clock coverage of all things New York Food and Wine Festival, stayed tuned to Eater NY. There's a lot in store.
· All NYCWFF 2009 Coverage [~ENY~]