Photos, story by Jill Beckel
On a hot and humid Sunday, the 7th Annual Philadelphia Burger Brawl took over the parking lot of Xfinity Live. Over 60 local Philly area restaurants competed for the title of best burger, best taco and (for the first time ever), best chicken wing!
This year, Explore Philly was excited to be a part of the judging panel! When it comes to food, we are always more than eager to help out. We got to judge the first burger round. Each burger sample was judged on its taste, look, bun, meat and originality. All restaurants were kept anonymous so that the burger tasting would be fair. Our favorite was one burger that had pickles, cheese and a special sauce that was similar to Russian dressing. Other judges judged the taco and wing categories too.
Organized by Rob Wasserman, the Burger Brawl is more than just an eating event and strives to give back to the local community. Burger Brawl proudly, “funds literacy programming through technology for Philadelphia’s under-served children in our public elementary schools.”
Pre-sale tickets were $45 for general admission and $100 for VIP tickets. At the door, they were $55 for general and $115 for VIP. VIP’s got to start the event early at 2:00 pm, enjoy an open bar, and mix and mingle with celebrity judges like WMMR’s Steve Morrison, Fox Good Day’s Mike Jerrick and many more! Visitors of Burger Brawl got to enjoy unlimited samples of the best burgers, tacos, and wings in Philadelphia and vote for their favorite. All General Admission tickets included one free alcoholic drink. The event was open to all ages and free for children 10 and under.
After we finished our judging duty for the day, we walked around to check out all the booths. It’s a great way to sample all of Philly’s best burgers – all in one place! The wings and tacos were a welcome addition this year (who doesn’t like wings and tacos??). There truly was an option for everyone with every topping imaginable, vegetarian burgers and tacos, and new creations we’d never seen before. It was a very hot and sunny day, so the water ice vendors were also a refreshing treat. For entertainment, there was a live band to pump up the crowd and a few parking lot games set up like corn hole.
At the end of the event, the title winner of Best Burger went to Village Whiskey! El Vez won the Taco Takedown Award and Amanda’s Bar None was voted “King of the Wing.” One thing is for sure – Philadelphians really love their burgers!
The Full Winners List:
Best Burger: Village Whiskey
Best Burger People’s Choice Award: The Union Tap
Taco Takedown: El Vez
King of the Wing: Amanda’s Bar None
Taco Takedown People’s Choice Award: Revolution Taco
Cut Throat Cocktail: Moonshine Philadelphia
The full list of Burger Brawlers contestants included: Village Whiskey, James, Twisted Tail, Vintage Wine Bar, Taproom On 19th, Davio’s, Amanda’s Bar None, Good Dog Bar, Stove And Tap, Sabrina’s Café, El Vez, Lolita, Loco Pez, Buena Onda, Five Saints Distilling, Steam Pub, Rouge, Misconduct Tavern, R2l, The Blue Duck, Lucky’s Last Chance, La Peg Brasserie, High Tides Restaurant & Bar, St. Benjamin’s Taproom, Wycombe Publick House, Maggie’s Waterfront Café, Tredici, Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, The Blind Pig, Aldine, Rogues Gallery, Hard Rock Café, Lo Spiedo, Shoo Fry, The Union Tap, New Wave Café, Happy Rooster, Chef Tony’s Kitchen, Wahlburgers, Moonshine, Revolution Taco, 1100 Social, Al Pastor, and The Industry Bar.