Delaware Burger Battle Promises Plenty of Heavenly Bites

Delaware Burger Battle

According to ancient text, “seventh heaven” is defined as the highest of all the heavens, where inhabitants experience a state of intense happiness and eternal bliss. Attendees at the 7th Annual Delaware Burger Battle will experience their own form of burger bliss on Saturday, August 25, when more than 16 local restaurants compete for three coveted Angus awards.

Some of the confirmed restaurants vying for the Critic’s Choice, Alternative Burger and People’s Choice awards INclude heavyweights like 2FatGuys, Chelsea Tavern, Home Grown Café, Maiale Deli & Salumeria, Redfire Grill and Steakhouse, and Ulysses Gastropub; newcomers like Bonefish Grill, Farmer & The Cow, Market Kitchen & Bar, Sherm’s Catering, Ted’s Montana Grill, and the University & Whist Club; and dark horses like Drip Café, Metro Grill & Pub, and Tonic Bar and Grill and the Food Bank of Delaware.

That last entry is one of the more interesting wrinkles in this year’s challenge, as it represents the first time a benefitting charity will also compete. Organizer and Founder JulieAnne Cross says she’s a little taken aback that it’s already been seven years, but is pretty darned proud of the fact the DBB has been able to raise some serious funds for the Food Bank since 2012.

“We’re 100% volunteer-run by myself and a lot of people who donate beverages, supplies, and most importantly, their time and service,” says Cross. “Over the past six years, we’ve raised more than $47,000 for charity, and are happy once again to help out the number one charity that addresses hunger, as well as a culinary education program that benefits young people.”

IN addition to the Food Bank of Delaware, the Burger Battle will also benefit ProStart, a nationwide culinary curriculum program for high school students, coordinated through the Delaware Restaurant Association. ProStart helps students earn valuable industry certifications and hours’ worth of a paid internship, while honing their hospitality skills on the job.

But back to the beef: each restaurant will set up shop in a circular driveway area that leads up to the Cauffiel House at Bellevue State Park. Guests will be able to park nearby (about a quarter-mile walk), then head up the path to get their grub. The surrounding area will be set up for everyone to enjoy the outdoors while they chow down.

“When you have 18 burgers to try as part of your admission, you have to figure out a buddy system and split burgers along the way,” says Cross. “But still, even if you only eat a quarter of all 18, that’s still four-and-a-half burgers. There will be meat sweats, let’s just say that.”

DJ Zip will be spinning all sorts of audial goodies during the event, while a face painter will be on hand to keep the kids entertained. Guests are also encouraged to bring lawn and backyard games, as well as chairs and blankets for a makeshift picnic. According to the layout, there are plenty of shaded areas on the grounds where attendees can cool down if it’s a typical hot August day.

Thankfully, there will be beer: Miller Lite, Leinenkugel Summer Shandy, Blue Moon, Terrapin Luau IPA and Crispin Original Cider will be provided by Standard Distributing and specialty mead will be provided by Liquid Alchemy (other alcoholic options are TBD, but will likely include wine and vodka).

Tickets can be purchased for $50 in advance via Facebook.com (by searching DeBurgerBattle) or online at DEBurgerBattle.com. Stubs for the event, which starts at 12 p.m. and ends at 3:30 p.m., will be available for $60 at the door, but only while supplies last.