Burgers and Beer: The Search for the Best Burger Recap
Recently Jake and I were invited to attend the Burgers and Beer event over in Golden Hills. This is a burger event where people get to vote for their favorite burger while chowing down on samples of burgers and beer. It’s a fun event – but you get full fast at this kind of event! Our “trick” is to share the samples and to only eat a few bites of each one. Otherwise we would NOT make it very far.
Since we were there for the Media Hour, we were inside at 11AM. VIP got in at 12PM while General Admission came in at 1PM. It was quite relaxed during that media hour and allowed more time to chat and check out the food.
We started at the front with a little bit of beer in our baby beer mugs. This is two samples from 101 Cider House. I believe this is the Prickly Pear and the Pineapple samples. They were both sour so I wasn’t into them. But love the color on the Prickly Pear!
Terra Restaurant was the first burger booth, but they weren’t quite ready yet. We came back for their sample later!
Our first sample ended up being from Slater’s 50/50. This is their original 50/50 burger, which is a blend of beef and bacon. They were making full size burger and cutting them into quarters.
I was surprised that the 50/50 patty tasted nice and juicy. I have tried this burger in the past and it was dry and overcooked. The patty ended up being tasty! Too much bread, though. And I made Jake eat the egg.
Next up: Common Theory! They were calling this burger the “Common Classic”. I liked how the cheese was nicely melted over the patty and I dug the fresh cherry tomatoes on top. I avoided the pickled onions as best I could, naturally. But a solid offering.
This is a Guava IPA that I also found to be incredibly bitter. Bitter is not my thing. I forgot to photograph which brewery this is from. I am terrible.
I remember this one well because it’s one that I really liked! It’s from Julian Hard Cider and it’s Pineapple flavored! It was light, crisp, and refreshing. A keeper in my book!
This little slider is the Tavern Burger from Tavern. I appreciated that there was nothing pickled on this burger. Bless you.
This is a very unique burger from Waypoint Public. It is the PBJ Bacon Bacon. It has balsamic peanut butter, strawberry & basil preserves, and crumbled bacon (on the bottom). When I bite into this, I immediately got a peanut butter and jelly flavor which I found odd paired with beef. My tastebuds were in a tizzy trying to figure out what the hell was happening in my mouth. Very unique, but not for me. Jake on the other hand loved this one and this was his vote for “Most Innovative Burger” at the event.
Next up is the Bacon Mac n Cheese Burger from Funky Fries and Burgers. I dug how the mac n cheese is in a contained fried patty. It makes it easier to eat! The mac n cheese is still creamy and add a little crunch from the coating. The bacon was super CRISPY which made me very happy. The patty was really juicy and delicious and I voted for this burger for “People’s Choice”.
Another beer that I ended up really digging was the Cali Creamin beer from Mother Earth Brew Co. Cali Creamin has vanilla bean in it which gives it a slighter sweet flavor. I like it!
The Fresno Fig Slider from Eureka had quite a bit going on. There was fig marmalade, goat cheese, bacon, arugula, tomato, red onion, and a spicy porter mustard. It was a little too much going on for my tastebuds. The arugula kind of killed it for me, as well. Too peppery!
Get Fluffed Up was rocking it at this event with their awesome cotton candy creations. They had some exclusive flavors just for this burger event! Have you ever had HAMBURGER flavored cotton candy before? Or jalapeno, mustard, pickle, or onion??
I decided to brave it and I went for the Hamburger Cotton Candy. It had the same flavors that you’d find in any grill spice mix – I could taste a bit of pepper, paprika, and maybe some garlic in there? It didn’t really taste very sweet, either. It was like no cotton candy I had ever tried before, that’s for sure!
Next stop was at Tavern+Bowl. They had a Bacon Jam burger which has a garlic aioli with arugula, roma tomato, and house made bacon jam. I believe for this event though they just used regular lettuce. Maybe they realized that arugula sucks and didn’t want to subject everyone to it (ha). Decent burger – the bacon jam was quite rich!
One of my favorite things at the Burgers & Beer event was NOT a burger. In fact it was this delicious little sample of Blue Moon Cheesecake from Chef Turok. The base is Chef Turok’s Mascarpone Cheesecake with a Blue Moon gelee on top. The cheesecake was incredibly light and creamy without being overly sweet. I loved this so much that I had three samples. Damn, it was GOOD.
This is a sample of Peach Be With You from Belching Beaver Brewery.
The Thai Burger Company had some interesting looking burgers with rice “buns” from their food truck (they also have a restaurant in the Clairemont area).
I took a bite and I instantly liked this little pork burger. The rice patty “buns” held together really nicely – it was soft and kind of gooey sticky rice. The pork was so juicy – but also really really spicy! The egg didn’t even seem to bother me for some reason. My only thing was it was a little too spicy – but I loved how juicy and tender the pork was. If I could have this a little more mild, I would want it all of the time! Jake and I both voted for this burger – me as the “Most Innovative” and him as the “People’s Choice”.
Union Kitchen & Tap had a burger with chipotle lime aioli, oaxaca cheese, pickled baby corn, cilantro and a Tajin dusted roll. They were going for a Mexican-ish theme with their burger. I really liked the bit of Tajin on top of the bread, but the rest of the flavors didn’t really work for me. The pickled baby corn was bleah to me, but I might be biased against it. Ho ho.
Backyard Kitchen and Tap had a rockin’ Greek burger. Their burger had a feta cheese burger, frisee and mixed greens, a pepperoncini herb aioli and I swear biting into this made me immediately think of greek gyros covered in tzatziki sauce. The bun was also really nicely toasted – a nice extra touch. This burger was a runner up for People’s Choice!
We were almost one hour into the event at this point and I noticed the mad long line of VIP people waiting to get in and I thought “OH CRAP – let’s go back and try the Terra burger!!” so we rushed back to the front and grabbed one of the Smoked Short Rib burgers from Terra American Bistro.
This burger has got short ribs (hiding under the appenzeller cheese) with a blackberry aioli sauce and serrano onion jam. I loved seeing this little burst of pink sauce on this very juicy burger. Terra ended up being the overall winner and People’s Choice for the event! Congrats to Terra!
Quad Ale House had a double decker chile burger with bbq pork, white cheddar, hatch peppers, and a Fresno chile aioli. All I remember is that I thought this was spicy.
Rock Bottom Brewery had a burger with cheddar cheese, pub sauce, and pickles. This burger looks like it was thrown onto the plate! I was just about burgered out at this point and I honestly don’t remember this burger.
Luce Bar & Kitchen. I know I was getting into coma mode at this point because I no longer took photos of the menu. But hey – look at that perfectly melted cheese!
My very last burger was from Pure Burger. Sadly I don’t remember this one either, but god it looks like it would have been lovely and juicy with that glistening patty and melted cheese. I’ve been meaning to try Pure Burger for real, but Carlsbad is so far away…
My last beer was “Unicorn Juice” from Artifex. The name made me giggle.
We didn’t actually try all of the burgers. We skipped Fat Sal’s because they hadn’t even turned their grill on yet during the media hour and we forgot to go back. I also must have missed Banzai Bar – they were another runner up for the event. Maybe… I thought they only had beer? I have no idea. It’s all kind of a burger haze now.
Thanks for the San Diego Reader for hooking me up with tickets to this awesome burger event!