Saturday's Burger Bash

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Clockwise from top left: the Onion Burger, the Butter Burger, the Pimento Cheese Burger. Photographs courtesy Jason Perlow

A big thanks to all you readers who made it out to the GothamistAHT Beach Burger Bash on Saturday. All of us here at A Hamburger Today and Serious Eats had a sin-sear-ly great time meeting you, eating burgers, and working burger-line detail.

With some volunteer help from the sponsoring blogs, Harry Hawk and the Water Taxi Beach crew formed a burger assembly line, with the evening's burgers built upon a base consisting of a four-ouce freshly ground patty cooked expertly on an ultrahot griddle. The patties were added to the griddle with an ice cream scoop, cooking for a minute or two as medium-size meatballs before getting the smash treatment with the back of a spatula. This helped create a crisp exterior crust while still leaving the coarsely ground meat loosely packed. To this base, different items were added to form the regional American burgers enjoyed by the 140-some people in attendance. Those burgers were ...

The Pimento Cheese Burger

The evening started with the Pimento Cheese Burger, with "Hamburger Matty" Jacobs on pimento cheese detail, scooping the Southern-inspired spread onto prepped bottom buns. I was happy to have finally tried this burger, but it was a bit messy. Still, I liked the mild kick the pimentos provided.

The Butter Burger

I gotta be honest with you. When readers picked this burger, I was none too excited. First, we did it last year, and, second, my doctor would be none too happy about its liberal dose of melty animal fat. But it was tasty enough, and people seemed to have a strange trainwreck-type attraction to it. And, thanks to the European-style butter used, it was rich and creamy.

The Onion Burger

This burger, at least from my perspective, seemed to be the burger of the night, with a lot of you telling me it was the burger you were waiting for. This one deviated a bit more from the standard procedure, with Harry and crew throwing onions on the grill first, topping them with the scooped meat, and then smashing the meat into the onions, basically ebedding rings of onion into the patty that would then caramelize a bit in the beef fat. This was my favorite burger of the night, and the only thing I think that could have improved it was a nice square of American cheese draped on top.

I recognized many returning faces from last year's event—thanks for your repeat attendance. And, I got to meet many more new folks as well as people I'd only known previously via the tubes of the Internet. It was good meeting you all. Coverage from bloggers in attendance is starting to appear, including an insane amount of documentation by Jason Perlow on Off the Broiler—with a podcast, video, and tons of great photos. If you have a link you'd like added to the list below, email me with it.

Coverage Elsewhere

Thanks for Coming to the QBQ BBQ [Gothamist]
Podcast #40: Gothamist/A Hamburger Today QBQ 2 BurgerCAST [Off the Broiler]
Probably Awkward Goes to Queens on Spring Break [Probably Awkward]

Big Ups

Thanks to Jen Chung, Jake Dobkin, and Tien Mao from Gothamist, who did a bang-up job splitting burger buns, schlepping beer, and dolloping butter.

Thanks to "Hamburger Matty" Jacobs, one of AHT's founding editors, for administering pimento cheese spread to the first round of burgers and helping out in general.

Thanks to Serious Eats's Alaina Browne for working the ticket redemption station and dispensing information to the ravenous crowd and to Robyn Lee for creating the cute burger meal ticket.

Thanks to Six Apart for sponsoring the first keg of the evening and to Six Apart's Anil Dash for helping with crowd control and logistics.

And, last but not least, mad props to Harry Hawk and the Water Taxi Beach crew for cooking some amazing burgers quickly and efficiently.

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