Field trip to the NYC Burger Bash October 28 2011, 2 Comments

We are thieves, it is true.  

I will shamelessly admit to the fact that we totally ripped off the idea of the Burger Battle from an event in Miami called "Burger Bash".  Guilty as charged.  It's a huge event with thousands of people, lots of culinary greats, and about 25 of the best burgers from around the country (tickets run a cool $225/ person).  We'd heard about the event for years, and I loved how focused it was on a single item that's so versatile and familiar to everyone - so, we... adopted it.  

Our first trip to see the Burger Bash was last year.  We flew to Miami, put our things in a hotel, and headed out to see what the fuss was about.  We had a blast - I actually chronicled it in a video here.    We also learned what we liked about the event and what we didn't.  So, it was with excitement and anticipation that we descended upon the opportunity to go to the NYC "Burger Bash", put on by the same group.

Here were some notes:

- We completely understand the need for more entertainment between eating the burgers and waiting for winner announcements.  I inhaled an embarrassing amount of burgers during the first 45 minutes, and then stood around for the next 3 hours holding my stomach and hoping the fullness would subside.  Thankfully the event had a few fun activities to keep us occupied during the wait - something we plan on incorporating next year.

- I know I'm biased, but in my honest opinion - the burgers at the '11 Denver Burger Battle would have beaten the lineup we ate at the NYC Burger Bash.  Lots of good, but only a few flashes of excellent, and Shake Shack is no joke.

- There really is no great solution for the smoke generated from cooking meat over a fire.

- Whoopie Goldberg was the host and literally said a total of zero words while on stage. Thought that was odd, especially for her.

- Guy Fiery travels with an entourage of 25 people.  They all follow him in single file, and it looks a little like a human cape.  

- Having a program with descriptions of the burgers and a map of the locations of the booths was helpful.  While we waited in line, I plotted my strategy for the order of attack based on that info.  For the DBB, we considered doing programs but wondered where people would put them if we handed it out.  We try to be conscious of things like hand-space (hence the plates with the cup holder), but it might be something we do next year.  At the very least, a few boards throughout the event with that info would be a positive step, I think.

- Nothing beats a great location.  This one was held at Brooklyn Bridge Park, which is an abandoned building & park on the other side of the bridge from Manhattan.  Looking out into the night sky and seeing the glow of NYC from the base of the bridge was spectacular.  It is the single most memorable part of the event for me.  Back home, I think Do at the Zoo (Denver Zoo) is similarly great because of the uniqueness of its location.  It's one of the things we place a high priority on for the DBB event.  In 2011, we came within a signature of holding the event inside Coors Field.  Logistical issues stunted it, but it's the kind of thing we're aiming for.

At the end of the night, we felt a light sprinkle of rain and thought it might be nice to walk off the calories from the event by taking a long, misty walk across the Brooklyn Bridge back to the city.  About 30 steps across the bridge, with no overhangs and cut off from getting a cab, we felt the intensity of the rain start to ratchet up... and up.  When we approached the other side, we looked as though we had jumped, clothes on, into the deep end of a swimming pool.  A perfectly memorable ending to a delicious night!