Grills were sizzling and chefs went all out at the first annual Battle of the Burger festival held at Cheney Stadium on Saturday, October 26, 2019. Burger lovers from across the state came together to enjoy a variety of different burgers made hot and fresh from chefs, restaurants, and mobile food trucks from around the region, each competing to take home the award for best burger.
Competitors included Bremerton’s Axe and Arrow Gastropub, Ricardo’s Kitchen and Bar from Lacey, The Cattleman from Yelm, Nici’s Pacific Northwest Cuisine from Yakima, as well as the South Sound’s very own Street Eats Mobile Eatery, and VeGo Eatz from Puyallup. While competitors fired up theirs grills with hopes of winning the crowd’s votes for the tastiest burger, each contender brought their A-game with their own unique flavor and style. From traditional beef burgers topped with the works to vegetarian and vegan-friendly options that impressed even meat lovers, visitors’ taste buds were delighted as they sampled multiple burger sliders from each of the Battle of the Burger participants.
Admission into Battle of the Burger was free to all ages and flights of sliders were available to purchase so attendees had the chance to try each variety of burger before placing their votes for the very best. With a little something for everyone, guests could choose from new takes on old classics like an all-American beef burger or other creations including chicken and plant-based burgers. Other food trucks provided festivalgoers with hot coffee and sweet treats ranging from warm donuts to cookies.
While the sights, smells, and sounds of sizzling filled the air at Cheney Stadium, guests also enjoyed live musical entertainment from a number of exciting performances. The 133rd Army National Guard Band, Full Metal Racket, kicked off Battle of the Burger with lively rock cover songs, followed by performances from local country singer Aaron Crawford, as well as Slainte – an Irish and Scottish rock band.
Battle of the Burger also featured a number of unique vendors selling apparel, jewelry, books, and more. With Halloween just days away, families and children were encouraged to get in the spirit by dressing up in costume and trick-or-treating around the festival at each of the vendor booths.
While a technical difficulty occurred during the event which prevented visitors from casting votes through a mobile app, voting has been extended through the week, giving everyone a chance to place their vote online and take part in Battle of the Burger’s online polls.
While the festival had official volunteer judges from around the community who placed votes for their favorites, the true winner of the competition will be chosen from the crowd’s votes. Volunteer judges included Tacoma’s Kris Hay with Tacoma Aroma Flavor, Kristin Ang who is running for Port of Tacoma Commissioner #5, as well as Mindy Dunn and Chenin Perman Marshall with She Shed Talks, and Nelly’s Victoria.
So far, votes from judges have concluded that their favorite burger at the festival was Axe and Arrow’s Waygu Burger, followed by Ricardo’s Kitchen and Grill’s Wild Mushroom Burger, and VeGo Eatz plant-based Beyond Burger. Ricardo’s Kitchen and Grill also was the winner of most tokens collected from visitors at Battle of the Burger.
Voting for the overall winner is open online until Saturday, November 2, and the winner will be announced on Battle of the Burger’s Facebook page.
This year’s first annual Battle of the Burger festival was inspired as a way to bring a community together through a love of food and togetherness. The festival donated 20 percent of online ticket sales to USO Northwest and also supported local military families, members of the community, and veterans.
Stay tuned for more information about other upcoming events and next year’s second annual Battle of the Burger festival by checking their Facebook page for updates.
South Sound Productions was proud to make this event possible with the help of their sponsors 96.5 JACK FM, Genuine Auto Glass, SouthSoundTalk, T-Mobile, Axe & Arrow Gastropub, Costco, Hello Fresh, Clear Creek RV Center, and DuPont Realty Group.