Fresh beef, stainless grills and dirty recipes. Ten restaurants and thousands of attendees packed Shorefront Park Sunday afternoon for Long Island Pulse’s Great Burger Battle. Guests listened to live tunes and sipped refreshments as they tasted burgers topped with everything from lettuce to mac n’cheese.
After all the votes were tallied, Plainview’s Dirtyburger was crowned champion for their sweet yet spicy combo-burger.
“The burgers get dipped in our dirty dust with a lot of cayenne pepper, and at the end of cooking we add honey,” said chef Ian Russo. “The heat cancels the sweet and the sweet cancels the heat.”
The double chocolate stout candy bacon, pungent white cheddar and crispy fried onions served on top extinguished some of the initial blaze and delivered just the right tangy kick.
Russo’s travels to Roy Yamaguchi in Hawaii and work in Brussels at Comme Chez Soi helped inspire the dirty dust. Over the years, he familiarized himself with the different temperature consistencies that make cooling off a nectarous treat. He especially loves using clover honey because it’s not too delicate for the high cooking conditions.
Reigning champion GM Burger Bar ran a close second with their famous Black Jack Burger, followed by newcomer Off the Block Kitchen and Meats, who dished out a five-cut burger blend.
The temperatures neared triple-digits, but Raphael Vineyards, Purity Organic, Tres Papalote, Monster Energy, Blue Point Brewing Company and Essentia provided cold beverages to attendees.
Guests satisfied more than their tastebuds. Jeff LeBlanc, Quarter Horse and Oogee Wawa provided the entertainment while attendees stopped by displays and booths from Audi of Smithtown, Lexus of Smithtown, Harvest Power Solar, News 12 and New York Life. The Great South Bay served as a scenic summer backdrop to the afternoon.