Scottsdale Culinary Festival Burger Battle: 2014 Winners Announced
Alissa Irei Thirteen Valley restaurants competed in the Scottsdale Culinary Festival's 2014 Burger Battle.
You know those cows from the Chick-fil-a commercials, the ones that want you to eat more chicken? This was so not their scene. Picture 13 of the best burgers in Phoenix, all gathered at Scottsdale Stadium for a gladiator-style showdown, and you've got Scottsdale Culinary Festival's annual Burger Battle.
Alissa Irei Hopdoddy's Goodnight Burger, with hickory BBQ sauce, sliced jalapeños, applewood smoked bacon, caramelized onion, Tillamook cheddar cheese, tomato, lettuce, and Sassy Sauce, served on an egg bun.
This year's contestants: Ben and Jack's Steakhouse, Bootleggers Modern American Smokehouse, Casino Arizona, Cold Beers and Cheeseburgers, Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row, El Hefe, Hopdoddy Burger Bar, Kazimierz World Wine Bar, Kelly's at Southbridge, Ingo's Tasty Food, RnR Gastropub, Tavern Americana and Zinburger. Also in attendance were Nothing Bundt Cakes, Petersen's Old Fashioned Ice Cream & Coffee, Jennie O and Simplot.
A new contender claimed the Judges' Choice Award this year - Austin-based Hopdoddy Burger Bar, which opened its Scottsdale location in 2013. Hopdoddy's winning entry was the Goodnight Burger with Bacon, and it is definitely worthy of the distinction. A juicy, flavorful beef patty is served on a dense egg bun, with hickory BBQ sauce, applewood smoked bacon, caramelized onions, Tillamook cheddar cheese, tomato, lettuce and the restaurant's signature Sassy Sauce. Sliced jalapeños provide just the right amount of kick. Hopdoddy always delivers, its hard-to-say name notwithstanding, but the Goodnight Burger is particularly great.
Meanwhile, longtime local favorite Zinburger took home the People's Choice award for the second year in a row. (This is Zinburger's third year winning a prize; in 2012, it won the Judges' Choice award.) This year Zinburger entered the "Chuck Norris" burger, created especially for the event. Like the Goodnight, the Chuck Norris had cheddar and applewood smoked bacon, but it was the perfectly fried onion ring (crispy but not greasy) and "Country Zin sauce" that set it apart.
Alissa Irei Ingo's Paris, Texas, Burger, with Strauss Family grass fed beef, apple BBQ sauce, La Quercia pancetta, sharp cheddar, lettuce, and dill pickle.
We had another new contestant this year in Ingo's, a Central Phoenix burger joint from LGO Hospitality. Although it didn't claim either of the big prizes, I'm giving Ingo's Paris, Texas, Burger, an unofficial award for cutest buns. No bigger than a silver dollar, they encompassed a perfect bite of ground beef, apple BBQ sauce, pancetta, sharp cheddar, lettuce, and crunchy dill pickle.
11055 North Scottsdale Road,, Scottsdale, AZ
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20831 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ
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4425 N. Saddlebag Trail, Scottsdale, AZ
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