RedEye Battle of the Burger pack boozy toppings on prime patties.
Booze and burgers go hand in hand, especially when Amstel is footing the bill. Last weekend brought some of Chicago’s finest patties together for the RedEye Battle of the Burger. The Sandwich King himself, Jeff Mauro was the master of ceremonies, and while he dubbed Leadbelly the official champion, there were a few highlights worth mentioning due to their glorious use of booze in their burgers.
First, the winner. Leadbelly has long been a favorite, having made my list of “Chicago’s Most Ridiculous Burgers.” They brought it strong, albeit a little more reasonable, for the RedEye Battle of the Burger.
Leadbelly’s “Old Time Religion” burger was topped with roasted tomato, goat cheese, arugula and truffle aioli. It seemed fairly simple compared to many of the offerings, but the goat cheese catapulted them to the top. At least I assume it was the goat cheese because it was GDMF’ing delicious. Throwing in a mini housemade butter cookie was a lovely touch as always.
The award for Best Burger Name goes to the folks at Beef & Barley for “The Smang It.” The award doesn’t actually exist, but it should have out of respect for a joint who named their burger after the internet’s favorite hip hop label, Turquoise Jeep.
In addition to the best name in the game, Beef & Barley’s burger was tremendous. I’m a sucker for Spanish chorizo, and they topped their burger with it, along with avocado, jalapeño, lettuce, tomato, pickle, and chipotle mayo. While I named the Jameson Burger below as my winner, the First Lady bestowed her vote upon the Smang It… then proceeded to dance and sing the song.
While Leadbelly won the RedEye Battle of the Burger trophy, two other restaurants won my heart. Why? They put booze in their burgers!
“The Red Roses Burger” from The Bad Apple, who also happens to be on the aforementioned ridiculous burger list, invited the new darling of bourbon to the party. That would be Four Roses. How I love thee. Bad Apple used the bourbon to cook their onions, and the result was a little slice of heaven. Of course adding house-cured bacon, Red Barn Wisconsin white cheddar, and steak sauce didn’t hurt either.
Claddagh Irish Pub was the true winner in my book. They got my vote, and it wasn’t even a question. I could have given it to them before even tasting the other 16 options, but in the interest of fairness, I continued to stuff my face. Claddagh created “The Jameson Burger,” and it’s everything you’d want from a burger of that name. It was topped with a Jameson sauce, Guinness cheese sauce, and fried onion strings. I was tempted to change the name of the site to O’Boozist on the spot.
And finally, honorable mention goes to Amstel for making it all happen. At least I’m pretty sure it was them who invited me (thanks for nothing, RedEye). I always feel classy drinking an Amstel Light, and I’m not exactly sure why. In any case, it made for a perfect pairing with the burgers and heat.