Rob Wasserman, owner of Rogue, 500 Degrees and The Saint James, is bringing Burger Brawl back June 8 for it's fourth — and meatiest — installment. The event pits local eateries against each other in the battle to create the city's best burger.
Proceeds go to local schools. Last year's tally was $80,000, which Wasserman hopes to double this year.
We spoke with a few eager competitors about what makes a winning burger.
Kevin Gross, VP of operations at Fat Jack's (10090 Roosevelt Blvd.):
“I don’t like flattop burgers. I like a charred burger with grill marks. I like a juicy burger made out of higher end meat, like a short rib blend. Rolls are a selling point too. They have to hold up to what you’re putting on them.”
Advantage: Fat Jack's won first place in last year's Burger Brawl.
Josh Kim, owner of Spot Burger (33rd and Market):
“I believe the judges are looking for quality meat, execution of the burger, and flavor combination. I recently did a burger competition for the sports radio station WIP. I learned a lot there. I didn’t come out on top, but now I’m back in the lab experimenting with the blend of meat I want to use. I’m not going to lose, I plan to win.”
Advantage: Spot Burger is the only food cart among 50 participants.
Ben Puchowitz, co-owner of Cheu Noodle Bar (255 S 10th St.):
"[A winning burger] has to be simple. Not too many toppings. That starts to get messy and they start to slide off your burger. It has to be a well-constructed sandwich. Just like any sandwich, all components have to mesh together well.”
Advantage: Everyone wants to see what kind of burger will come from a noodle shop.