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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

BurgerFest 2012

After Jenelle's 1 year photo session, we headed out to one of Chicago's many neighborhood summer festivals - BurgerFest 2012! The vendors at this festival are getting better and better each year, so I have to write down what we had this year, so we know what to get next year! But first, here's a year over year over year comparison of how Mia's grown at this Fest!

What we ate:
Cortland's Garage - Their slider with the crispy bacon, fried onion strings and avocado was one of my favorites! It was also the critics' choice and with the longest line, everyone else must've agreed.
Goose Island - They tied for critics' second choice (with Butcher & the Burger). They offer a few good ones every year, but as you can see below, there's a bit too much bun for the meat on the little sliders. I like my meat and carb ratio to be 50/50. I didn't like the dark bun on their first burger (not pictured). I always love the pork slider with sriracha slaw (right). And I forget what the other one had (left), but I liked it!

Butcher & The Burger - Why didn't they melt the cheddar cheese on their House Prime Blend Burger (with griddled onions and truffle mayo)?!? They lost major points for that alone. However, Doug wanted seconds of the Bison Burger with bacon, blue cheese and BBQ sauce. I thought it was a bit salty with the bacon, but the burger was SO juicy!
Hamburger Mary's - In past years, I don't think I cared for their Mary sliders with "Mary sauce." But this year, their burger stuffed with chorizo, topped with pepper jack cheese, chipotle ranch and fresh pico de gallo was SO tasty!
Rockit - Truffle Mushroom slider, yum!
Reggie's - The chorizo burger was ok, but with just a bun and patty, it was too plain. They had standard condiments to add on your own whereas every other vendor had very customized burgers and toppings. Definitely not a contender if you make me put ketchup and mustard on my burger.
Select Cut - Pretty standard, nothing outstanding.
John's Place - From past years, I don't recall their burgers being anything noteworthy.  So this year, I just opted for their sweet potato fries, which were decent.

Next year, I'll have to take pictures of each vendors' sign for better descriptions! And I'm too busy with a drink in hand and toddler at my side to take a picture of the actual burgers before I stuff my face!

How much it cost:
Sliders were $4-5 and full size burgers were $8-9. It's best to buddy up and split a few burgers with friends so you can sample as many burgers as possible without busting your belly. Mia ate corn, of course. Which will set you back $4 on the cob, or $5 in a cup. Considering I can buy 12 ears at the grocery store for that much, it hurts my heart a little. But, it is a festival after all. And they did have an array of toppings so you can make your own "elote." 

Also noteworthy:
It's most crowded on Saturday for dinner, so definitely avoid that time if you hate being surrounded by herds of sweaty people on hot summer nights. Throughout the weekend, bands fill two stages to give you plenty to sing and dance to. They had a lot more tables and chairs than in the past, so you don't always have to sit on the curb. I definitely favor BurgerFest over other Chicago festivals simply for the focus on good food. You're not stuck with standard festival fried foods that make you question what you just ate.

In addition to the four deliciously meaty meals over two days, it was a fun weekend with friends and family!
Look how big Erin is! And those adorable itty bitty pig tails!
The girls had fun being runners, just like Maya's track Coach Daddy! Even Jenelle was trying to keep up! We may have ended the day with tired cranky babies who needed naps, but it was still a good time with satisfied bellies J


Doug said...

OMMMM! Yummy! I love the YoYoY pictures and all the girls playing together :)

Samantha said... that looks delicious!!! Now I want one!!!!

Vivian said...

How fun! I'm not a burger person but I could certainly have one of those :)

Kara @ June & Bear said...

i've just recently begun to appreciate a good burger and these look fabulous. i think i'd agree with the critics choice based on the description. how fun!