Earlier this week, we announced we would give away two tickets to tonight's Burger Bash, one of the premiere and sold out events at this weekend's New York Wine and Food Festival. The challenge: describe your best burger moment. And after poring over the entries, nine have stuck out as the best. Ahead, they're all listed in descending order, with the winner bringing up the rear. Congrats to the winner and thanks to everyone for playing.
9) The best burger moment was my first In and Out burger 2 years ago. Double Double Animal Style eaten on the hood of my rental car on Sunset. Worst setting for the best burger. So damn good.
8) My best burger moment happened in the old East Village a dozen years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. My boyfriend at the time and I were having a burger in the Cooper Square Diner on the corner of 2nd Avenue & 5th Street after too many cocktails at Kastro aka "The Fish Bar"). Cooper Diner was later closed by the DOH and went through various transformations. I believe it's an Italian restaurant these days.
The burgers were standard diner fare and the waiters were your typical grouchy old Green men, but the main attraction most nights was Quentin Crisp, the eccentric local artist and dandy. He would sit at the table by the window, drinking water (or coffee if he had the money), until some passersby would see him sitting alone, in his purple crushed-velvet suit, ascot, and fedora, and ask to sit with him and buy him dinner.
This was the first of many times we experienced this and it became our favorite part of late-night burgers at "The Coop".
7) Taking my Dad to DB Bistro Moderne for Father's Day, the year he got divorced (yes, I'm pulling at your heart strings) and treating him to the DB Burger, with foie gras, truffles and short-ribs. Not quite as good as the burgers he cooked on the grill when I was growing up but the moment was great...for all the right reasons.
6) My best burger moment came after spending a year living in London. After months of mealy, dry, hamburgers, I moved back to the US because I lost my job working for a major investment bank. I was depressed, clueless about my future, and moving back in with my parents in Connecticut.
I went to Shake Shack one last time before heading home to Connecticut and ordered my favorite: double ShackBurger, lettuce, tomato and pickles. Ironically, this was the exact same meal I ordered one year earlier, right before I got in a cab bound for JFK to move abroad to London. So much had changed in the year I spent away from the US: the subprime mortgage crisis exploded, restuarants I adored shuttered, my friends and I suddenly found ourselves unemployed. The one thing that stayed constant was how delicious that ShackBurger was and in that moment, it gave me comfort that somehow everything would work out.
5) I would like to tell you about my favorite burger memory at Lunchbox Laboratory in Seattle, but I blacked out from all the bacon. The only evidence that I ate “The Smoker” (1/2 lb beef, Havarti, Onions, Smoked Pepper Mayo, 10 slices of Bacon) is this picture.
4) My best burger moment is every time I go home to Bellingham Washington to visit my folks. A very old drive through type burger place is there called Morries that I've been going to since I was 3 years old (I'm now 34) I make it home only once a year - but the owners still remember me and remember what I like to eat. So I don't have to order. I look forward to that burger all year long. When I finally have it in front of me - I am the happiest man on the planet. Nothing in the world can bring me that amount of joy - NOTHING
3) I love red meat. I’ve been a true believer in eating animals my whole life. However, as the fates would have it, my best friend has been a vegetarian from the age of 11. I blame her father – he started singing “Mary Had a Little Lamb” when she first tried mutton. When we decided to live in New York together after college, I understood that we had different eating habits. I thought eating meat was all a part of the circle of life, while she didn’t understand why eating bacon was better than tofu. I was determined to change her attitude about it so I took her to my favorite burger place in the city – 5 Napkin Burger – for a life changing experience.
Naturally, I ordered the classic while she ordered the vegetarian. When our order was placed in front of us, I convinced her to take a small bite of mine promising that if she still didn’t like it I’d forever lay the debate to rest. She took a bite and the rest is history.
A year later, I can proudly say that she is a meat lover. We’ve been to several of New York’s best burger places and I’d love to take her to the Burger Bash this Friday so we can make up for lost time.
2) While taking a week off work just to hit up all the best burgers in the outer-boroughs, I ended up eating a cheeseburger (medium-rare, of course) at the bar at Peter Luger for lunch with Robert Deniro. Best 35 minutes of my life.
WINNER: We just like the visual on this one, and the low brow White Castle choice:
One of my best burger moments actually saved me from receiving a moving violations ticket from a Nassau County (Long Island) police officer. I was working as a promotions assistant for a Long Island radio station (WLIR/WDRE-92.7 FM) and was returning back to the radio station to return the van after a promotion at a club in the Hamptons.
During the ride I stopped at White Castle and purchased a "sack" of burgers. I continued on my way. The van had very high bucket seats and I placed my sack of burgers on the middle console which was a bit low (*in comparrison to my seat) and I had to reach down a bit to grab a burger.
Unbeknownst to me a police car was following me and every time I went to grab a burger I had to really bend and I was swerving a bit to be able to grab it. So the officer sees me swerving 2 or 3 times (when I went to grab a burger) and he pulled me over thinking I was DWI or something.
I gave my explanation to the officer and he had his flashlight out and actually asked me to see the burgers. I showed him the burgers and he let me go. Without these burgers, I would have been sunk.
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