Park Burger – This burger tasted like Thanksgiving! It was so creamy and tangy, and a little distracting to be honest. I love Thanksgiving, just not at the Burger Battle.
Squeaky Bean – What a strong showing for these guys for a second year in a row. Srsly, great beef flavor, bun that I could sleep on, with a lovely lingering spice. On the second pass around, I thought it was too rich. I have, however, since made a mimic of this burger at home and wish I would have eaten so much of it.
The Nickel – This burger was complex and fun! There were some great smooth, mild, dark flavors from what the Baroness has dubbed “grizzle,” a.k.a. the crust on the burger patty.
TAG Burger Bar – This burger was ok; definitely not memorable. Might taste again, if someone paid me.
Crave – They brought back “Love Stinks” from 2 years ago that won both awards. Lame! Who does this, that feels like cheating. The novelty was gone and no one liked it. 0/10 will try again. Sellouts.
Highland Tap and Burger – This burg had a great smokey, beefy, cheeriness about it. There was however an overpowering lettuce flavor, with little to no cheese flavor. Proportions, people!!
Skirted Heifer – This burg needs salt, bad. Pretty meh.
Bingo – I wanted to like this burger, but it left my mouth very dry, similar to how D Bar made me feel last year. Also, this burg, like some in the past, was so spicy that I could only think about my mouth on fire. Not good when the beef is lost in the spice.
Black Belly – This burger was good, but not great. The tot on top was the most memorable thing, which is not what you want in a cheeseburger…and it was overdone to top it off (pun intended).
Stoic and Genuine – Wow! With the exception of Squeaky Bean, this was the first place that knows how to make a cheeseburger. I literally jumped for joy at the first taste of this puppy. People heard me from across the park and knew that this burg was it. Perfect proportions, great beefy beef, and cheesy cheese. This is what you want in a burg, and it’s simple. They nailed the basics.
Masterpiece Kitchen – I had the advantage of tasting this burg ahead of time at a photo shoot and wow, this one is good. Not your traditional burg, but definitely amazing. 10/10 would eat again.
Dunbar Kitchen and Tap House – This burg was tangy, which overpowered the beef. Not quite balanced enough to move forward.
Steuben’s – Now I have to give these guys props. They crafted a burg with a very strong earthy flavor. At first it was a little off-putting, but I came around. Definitely the most unique burg of the night, even if it was slightly out of proportion. If you’re going to make a statement, go all the way, which these guys did.
Cherry Cricket – Way too sweet! Good char (read “grizzle”) on the patty, but doesn’t make up for the sugar in this sucker (again, pun definitely intended).
Pop’s Place – Great strong beef flavor, more so than others out here tonight. A little salt couldn’t hurt, but doesn’t need it as bad as some others *ahem* Skirted Heifer *ahem*.
But srsly, the masses are duped every year. This year was better than most; however Denver we need to chat about how Crave took 3rd place People’s Choice…I mean c’mon! This is rinse-repeat of 2 years ago, not cool! The big winner of the night and certainly the Baron’s pick of the night was Stoic and Genuine, taking 1st place Judges’ Choice and 2nd place People’s Choice.
The reason that Stoic and Genuine is the big winner of the night is because they nailed the burg basics: beef, cheese, proportions. If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times; if you don’t nail the basics, you don’t nail the burg.
I realize this post is a little harsh, but truth is: as the Barons dial in our burgers at home, the less luster burgers really have outside of the Baron homestead. We can make something more delicious at home than any restaurant can feasibly commercially produce and this will take some getting used to.
For next year at the DBB, I would love to see Park Burger bring something meaningful back to the table. They have slipped and not gotten back up. This would really make my year next year.