I love a good pun, so the final (for Birmingham, at least) UK Burger Battle being called JudgeMEAT Day was pretty clever. I’ve written about a few of the Burger Battles before (three times in fact – January, May and June) so you probably know the drill by now – a ticket gets you two burgers, one from each stall, and a voting slip to pick the winner.
This time round the competitors were Hereford’s The Beefy Boys and What’s Your Beef from Manchester. The Beefy Boys have been at the UK Burger Battle before so I knew to expect something good. This time round they brought us the The Chipotle Boy; a third of a pound dry-aged Hereford beef patty with maple-cured bacon, homemade chipotle mayo, Swiss & American cheese, lettuce, onion and gherkins all served in a semi-brioche bun. I’m not entirely sure how a semi-brioche bun works, but maybe that’s what the sesame seeds were about. It was a good burger; the bacon had a good bite to it, a nice flavour from the cheese, oh and I asked them to leave off the onions so they gave me extra pickles – bonus points, surely.
Can we stop a minute to appreciate the wrapping the What’s Your Beef burger came encased in…it looks like a shell! It confused a few people on how to open it for maximum effect, but I thought it was relatively easy – plus it meant it saved me from having burger sauce drip down my arm. It also meant that I got to eat all those little bits of burger that usually escape. Good work, What’s Your Beef.
Their burger was the The Stateside Deluxe; a freshly made dry-aged patty from grass fed cattle, home dry-cured streaky bacon, mature cheddar, fried onions, Dutch pickles, lettuce, beef tomato, ketchup and mustard served in a toasted brioche bun. Personally I found the ketchup a little much, it sort of distracted from the other flavours and made the burger feel a bit ordinary. I don’t think I’d realised that most of the street food burgers have forgone ketchup, but this was a reminder of why – it overpowers the rest of the ingredients.
To me the clear winner was The Beefy Boys and their The Chipotle Boy burger. The ketchup of the What’s Your Beef burger just overpowered it too much to be able to really tell what the rest of the burger. I don’t know what the semi-brioche bun was about, but I liked that it had more structure that the alternative burger. The judges on the evening and the public vote also went to The Beefy Boys, so it wasn’t just me!
Sadly, there are no more UK Burger Battles planned, and this was the last one in Birmingham. However that’s not to say that there won’t be others elsewhere, there has already been one in Leicester so it’s always worth keeping an eye on https://twitter.com/ukburgerbattle
Disclosure: I paid for my own ticket to the burger battle. But I wouldn’t be overly positive about a burger that didn’t warrant it, because burgers are important.