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Friday, November 4, 2016

Burgers with Chuck: DIG Magazine's Burgers & Beer Week

by Chuck P

Everyone knows of my undying love of hamburgers. To me, it’s the perfect marriage of meat and bread followed by an accompaniment of any toppings and condiments your heart desires. With so many restaurants in town serving up different types of hamburgers it can definitely put a strain on the ol’ pocketbook to try them all. Thankfully, the great folks at DIG Magazine rolled out their Burgers & Beers Week!

I swear it’s almost like DIG is monitoring my dreams and decided to make them all come true. Over 40 different restaurants participated in the event serving up specialty burgers for only $5 each! And they were featuring specials from Tin Roof, Sweetwater and St. Arnold breweries so you could pair a cold brew with your burger. I seriously had to pinch myself.

Due to a busy week here at Bite & Booze HQ, I wasn’t able to hit every spot on my list so here are the 4 burgers I was able to try and my thoughts on them:


Fat Cow: Praline Bacon Burger


Fat Cow's Praline Bacon Burger
Fat Cow's Praline Bacon Burger

I kicked off the week with the Praline Bacon Burger. I was hoping for a bit more flavor from this one. The house ground patty was a bit overcooked and I barely tasted the garlic aioli. The brie was nice and melted perfectly but I could have used way less arugula. Overall, it was okay, but it had me hoping my next stop would be better.



Stadium Sports Bar & Grill: The Stuffed Burger


The Pimento Cheese Stuffed Slider at L'Auberge's Stadium Sports Bar & Grill
The Pimento Cheese Stuffed Slider at L'Auberge's Stadium Sports Bar & Grill

Unknown to me and apparently a few others who came here, this one was actually a slider and not a full burger. While the patty itself was tasty, the pimento cheese stuffed inside of mine was a bit cold, as if they’d stuffed it after cooking the patty. The bacon bourbon jam was spot on and fries were included at no extra charge. Once again it was okay, but I still found myself hoping the next one was going to be “the one”.


The Overpass Merchant: The El Guapo Burger


The El Guapo Burger at The Overpass Merchant
The El Guapo Burger at The Overpass Merchant

Chorizo spiced pork patty, green chili queso, Fritos, Tapatio mayo, pickled red onions and cilantro. That’s pretty much all that needs to be said right? I mean...wow. This was hands down my favorite and most creative burger of the week. Every component of this burger just popped. Hell, you had me at queso and Fritos! I’m hoping this ends up on the menu there because it certainly needs to. With my burger hopes renewed, it was on to my final stop of the week.

Bin 77: The Bin Burger

The Bin Burger at Bin 77
The Bin Burger at Bin 77

So this burger is pretty much their regular burger that’s featured on their menu, which is fine because my thinking was that maybe they didn’t need to impress with all the bells and whistles. They were confident enough in their house burger to win everyone over.

Not so much.

My burger was well done after ordering it medium, no caramelized onions, 2 very small pieces of fire roasted garlic and barely enough ketchup and roasted bell pepper aioli to make the bread wet. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. I had heard good things on this burger and maybe they were just super busy in the kitchen, but it was not the way I was hoping to end burger week.


The Ones That Got Away...


There were places I had on my list that I didn’t have time to try. If anyone had a chance to try any of these comment below or on the Bite and Booze Facebook Page with your thoughts:

Burgersmith, Churchill’s, City Pork, Gouter, Mason’s, Olive or Twist, Thai Kitchen, The Grind, The Londoner and Willie’s

I asked my good friends Brenton Day (thealerunner.com), Franz Borghardt (Baton Rouge Burgers) and the man himself, Jay Ducote to pick their favorite burgers from last week in hopes of living vicariously through them. This is what they had to say:


Brenton Day:


Burgersmith's Breakfast DIG Burger. Photo courtesy of Brenton Day.
Burgersmith's Breakfast DIG Burger. Photo courtesy of Brenton Day.

Burgersmith’s Breakfast Dig Burger was coffee crusted, topped with hash browns and a fried egg served on toasted Vienna bread. This one really did it for me. I added sauteed onions and Smith sauce, because I could (and mostly because my server recommended it). I'm a sucker for an egg on a burger, and this one didn't disappoint. The toast was thick enough to stand up to the burger and all the toppings and the patty was cooked to a perfect medium.

Your Mom's BBQ Burger. Photo courtesy of Brenton Day.
Your Mom's BBQ Burger. Photo courtesy of Brenton Day.

Your Mom's BBQ Burger was by far the biggest burger I had all week. The patty was advertised to be 8 oz. and it was huge! Cooked to the requested medium, it was topped with cheddar, a heaping mound of fried onion strings and drizzled with BBQ sauce. The sourdough bun was soft and sweet. This burger was definitely the best bang for my buck.


Franz Borghardt:

Canefield Tavern's Cajun Burger. Photo courtesy of Franz Borghardt

The Canefield Tavern Cajun Burger was spicy but not overwhelming. The portion size was impressive and the jalapeños and Sriracha mayo gave it a giddyup! 




Canefield also offered five different $5 specialty burgers to choose from!



Goûter's Venison Burger. Photo courtesy of Goûter.
Goûter's Venison Burger. Photo courtesy of Goûter.


Goûter’s Venison Burger patty was a mixture of venison and beef topped with smoked cheddar is a combo that can’t be beat. Nestled between an awesome onion Kaiser roll and at only $5 this burger was a steal. Call me the Hamburglar!

Jay Ducote: 

The Two Run Farms Burger at Table Kitchen & Bar.

Table’s Two Run Farm Burger was a solid, classic burger. The salty, beefy patty certainly lived up to the hype and the addition of a fried egg is always a solid choice.

City Pork Deli & Charcuterie's Bayou Bengal Burger.
City Pork Deli & Charcuterie's Bayou Bengal Burger.

City Pork Deli & Charcuterie’s Bayou Bengal Burger was another solid burger. The bun was top notch, the patty was juicy and they added this fiery mustard that really added an unexpected zing-- definitely a great burger for $5.


All in all it looks like the people of Baton Rouge were blessed by the burger gods that week. I look forward to the next time this event comes back to Baton Rouge, but I think it has a little room for improvement.
Some restaurants were only doing the special for lunch, some for only dinner and some doing both. It was kind of hard to follow who was doing what and when. I know a few people who missed out on trying these burgers based on their availability to only go for lunch or make plans for dinner by getting sitters and such. Maybe some clarification for next time will give everyone a chance to enjoy these delicious deals!