Heaven.

We’ve had many, many burger adventures over the years, but this past Friday was, hands down, our best, most amazing time spent with the sandwich of all sandwiches in our greasy lifetimes.

Imagine someone slapping down a giant beef magnet in the middle of South Beach, and not only does that magnet suck in a plethora of ridiculously good burgers, but it also manages to attract an endless supply of beer.

That was the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Fest’s 2012 Amstel Light Burger Bash.

We can die now.

Whisk from Miami won the Judges Award.

And good luck convincing us, or our bellies, that we weren’t, in fact, the big winners on the night, though technically, Michael Symon’s B Spot’s Porky burger, practically a whole pig on a bun (pork and bacon burger topped with pulled pork and slaw), won the People’s Choice prize, giving him his third consecutive Bash title.

The other winners included Judges Award pick Whisk Gourmet with a crispy shallot, bacon and Swiss burger and Mr. Triple D himself, Guy Fieri taking home the Best Dressed burger title with his Straight-Up Pig Patty burger.

BGR’s Mark Bucher shows off his Wellington burg.

And while our local boys failed to take home any hardware, they still repped D.C. to the fullest and did the D.M.V. proud.

BGR The Burger Joint had one of the best locations of the Bash– Mark Bucher’s booth was the first thing we saw as we walked through those beefy gates. Working through the night on Thursday, Bucher and his team made 3,000 of his popular Wellington burger for the big show and we heard loads of praise coming from Bash revelers at his booth.

Bucher, who made his South Beach this year, told us he’ll be back in 2013 and will also be competing in the NYC Burger Bash this October.

Spike’s steak-frites burger. Foux du Fafa.

A mustachioed Spike.

Breaking out a new burger for the first time at this year’s Bash, Good Stuff‘s Spike Mendelsohn went all French this go round –mustache and all– when slinging his steak-frites burg. Despite a few booth technical difficulties, once the grill was firing, Spike did it up right; we’re big fans of fries in the burger-mix and it definitely worked here.

And while it’s not a D.C. original, we were happy to see Shake Shack hooking it up as well, especially since it gave us a chance to finally get our hands on a burger we’ve long coveted. We’re not sure the SmokeShack — a surprisingly spicy new creation with Applewood-smoked bacon and cherry pepper relish– will replace our go-to Shack order, but we’re ecstatic that it brings the pig into the Shake Shack equation. Now we just have to wait for it to make the jump to D.C…

Also holding it down at the Bash was none other than the man himself, Bobby Flay. The guy is so popular, the line to get a picture with him was longer than the line to get one of his burgers. And, even though we’re still not-so-patiently waiting on our D.C. burger from Flay, we give him all the props in the world; not only did he take time out to pose for us with his crunchified Buffalo Style burger, but after the photo, dude straight up inhaled it in two bites. We’re seriously considering giving him an honorary roster spot in the Burger Days Crew.

Shake Shack’s SmokeShack. Come to D.C., please.

This man can eat.

Other thing we learned at the Bash:

1) The popular NYC-based burger joint, Five Napkin Burger, will be coming to D.C. Eventually. They’re done with new joints this year, but Five Napkin Senior VP Bill Brayer told us that D.C. is one of the next five markets they’ll be expanding to and they hope to be in the area in 2013 or 2014.

2) Top Chef Richard Blais is still planning on bringing Flip Burger Boutique to D.C. He said they don’t have a spot or neighborhood lined up yet, but they’re working on it.

3) The Little Owl‘s cheeseburger could quite possibly be worthy of this degree of praise. It was one of our favorite burgers of the Bash and our next trip to NYC is definitely including a stop at this joint.

No, it’s not a D.C. burg, but we loved the BBP Buffalo Style burger anyway.

4) Spike’s steak-frites burger was a one-shot deal. Don’t expect to see it on the menu at Good Stuff in the future.

5) BGR’s sweet potato tater tots on the other hand… When we asked Bucher about the possibility of them popping up on the BGR menu, he gave us the sly response, “Might happen. Hmmmmm..”

6) Our Burger Bash preparation was woefully inadequate. Despite spending the week leading up to the Bash doing everything in our power to expand our bellies, we failed to reach our goal of tasting all 32 burgers– we were lucky to do half that. Next year, we start training in January.

 

The Little Owl burgers ain’t no joke.

Our Valhalla.

Spike hookin’ up the sauce.

Two-time NYC Burger Bash winner Burger & Barrel and their sweet-ass belt.

The Dutch burger from NYC.

Up close with the SmokeShack.

Burger revelry.

Of course there was a life-sized fully sequined cow at the Burger Bash.

Duffy’s Kobe Beef Slider with Heinz 57 emulsion. Very fancy.

Burger and a tiny, tiny cupcake.

Even Burger Bash’s have VIP sections. No bottle popping however.

Guy takes home the prize for Best Dressed Burger.

Coolest. Trophy. Ever.

Where to start?

Endless Godiva chocolate on tap too. Amazing.

You’re damn right you will.

 

 

 





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