Some 1,200 people gathered last night at Sculpture Park in Downtown Denver for the fifth edition of the Denver Burger Battle. The event, which sold out almost a month ago, brought together twelve of the city's best burger slingers in a heated battle for the judges' choice and the popular vote. Both of those voting bodies unanimously chose Crave as the best burger in the land. This kind of consensus is a first for the annual event. The runner-up, again as voted by the judges and also the people, was Acorn.
The winning burger was named Love Stinks, and it featured roasted garlic cream cheese, more garlic, onions, roasted red pepper, and red pepper aioli. The item is not on the regular menu at the three locations of Crave (Castle Rock, Highlands Ranch, and Colorado Springs), but some 20 other burgers, including some really creative versions, can be enjoyed daily starting at 11 a.m.
The runner up burger, the Oak Grilled Double Cheese Burger from Acorn, came with harissa aioli, fried pickles, applewood smoked bacon, gruyere cheese, served on a City Bakery brioche bun.
The most attractive table and set-up, complete with a barn, a man with a horse head and a cow girl, was certainly the one from Parkburger. The locally-grown mini-chain served the John Wayne, a combo of Harris Ranch beef patty, barbecue pulled pork, Pimento cheese, and Haystack onions.
Here's what else was served:
Larkburger: All American. 1/2lb all natural beef, Larkburger dijon sauce, griddled brioche bun, and all American toppings: Western Slope vine ripened tomato, Georgia onion, Vail Valley rocket, and Oregon cheddar.
Old Major: Pork Burger. McDonald family farms whole hog Burger with fontina cheese, mushroom duxelles, mustard aoli, pickled red onion on a house bun.
Humboldt: Humboldt Burger. Crystal River beef-bacon blend, crispy onion, Tillamook cheddar, and onion jam.
Populist: "Colorado 7x Beef Burger". 7x Wagyu Beef, dill pickles, house made remoulade, cheese, lettuce, red onion, brioche bun
Highland Tap and Burger: Shroom Luva's. Sauteed mushroom blend, Ementhaler cheese, white trufﬂe aioli, and shaved foie gras.
TAG Burger Bar: Colorado Proud. Roasted Pueblo green chile, lettuce, tomato, local Haystack Mountain goat cheese whipped with honey, fried chicken skin.
Williams & Graham: Steak Burger. Western Daughters ground beef, port salut, caramelized onions, on a soft bun.
Ste. Ellie: Ste Ellie Burger. Dry Aged Beef, Ste Ellie secret sauce, fennel jam, cheese, Real Deal pickles.
Drifter's: Double Cheeseburger. Callicrate Beef, american cheese, grilled onions, house dressing, lettuce, and tomato.
Pencil this into your calendar: The tentative date for the Denver Burger Battle 2015 is August 6.