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20 Sep 2019

Battle Of The Burger

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September 20, 2019 Category: Food And Beverage Posted by:

During the 9th Annual Philadelphia Burger Brawl, attendees were able to eat, drink, be merry, and raise money to help Philadelphia’s schools.

By Denise Clay

The Philadelphia Burger Brawl is the kind of event tailor made for someone like Yvette Redd of Wayne.

Standing in the middle of the Marine Parade Grounds of the Philadelphia Navy Yard with a sample of The Ultimate Breakfast Burger from the Steam Pub restaurant in Southampton, Redd, who was there with her friends Trinette Ricks of Willingboro, New Jersey and Austin Lindsay of Norristown, was enjoying this version of one of her favorite foods at an event that she’s usually unable to get to.

Chefs Eric Paraskevas and Elena Fetfatzes celebrate Bainbridge Street Barrel House’s People’s Choice Award win at the Philadelphia Burger Brawl on Sunday

“I love burgers,” Redd said. “I eat them all the time. I can eat them five days a week.”

On Sunday, about 3,900 people came to the Navy Yard to sample the wares of 50 of the area’s best hamburger joints and restaurants as part of the Philadelphia Burger Brawl, presented by Jim Beam. 

The event, which is in its ninth year, is an example of what happens when a motivated parent uses his or her talents in service of children. 

When Rob Wasserman went to see his son’s elementary school, he and his wife, Maggie had concerns.

“We walked around and we went into the computer lab,” he said. “It wasn’t what the kids needed.”

Rob Wasserman (left) is the owner of Rouge Restaurant on Rittenhouse Square and the organizer of the Burger Brawl. He’s pictured here with Donna Frisby Greenwood, president and CEO of the Fund For Philadelphia Schools, Dr. William Hite, superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia, and Jill Bonovitz and her husband Sheldon, board chair for the Fund for Philadelphia Schools. The money raised from the Burger Brawl will go to the fund to help the district’s elementary schools.

So he decided to help the best way he knew how, which as the owner of the Rouge restaurant on Rittenhouse Square involved the culinary arts. So the Burger Brawl was created.

And $283,000 and nine years later, more than 50 restauranteurs gathered at the Navy Yard battling for the right to be able to say that they have the best burger in the city.

“In all honesty, I’m grateful for the donation of time and effort that these chefs are giving to support the community,” Wasserman said. 

The team from Lucky’s Last Chance took home the Judge’s Award for the third time in a row at Sunday’s Burger Brawl.

So is the Fund for the School District of Philadelphia, the charity that’s the recipient of the Burger Brawl’s largesse. Dr. William Hite, the superintendent for the School District of Philadelphia, Donna Frisby Greenwood, president and CEO of the Fund and Sheldon Bonovitz, board chair for the Fund. 

“This money will allow us to do more for the schools,” Frisby Greenwood said.

In addition to the burger competition, there was also a Cutthroat Cocktail competition in which many of the restaurants sent bartenders to compete for cash and prizes by creating cocktails using Jim Beam.

Trinette Ricks of Willingboro, NJ, Austin Lindsay of Norristown and Yvette Redd of Wayne enjoy Steam Pub’s French Toast breakfast burger at the Philadelphia Burger Brawl.

Here are this year’s winners:


More than 60 judges from the region selected the winners in this category: 

1st Place  

Judge’s Choice 

Lucky’s Last Chance’s entry The Pickle Monster. This burger, which featured 2 1/4 lb beef patties, American Cheese, Pickles, Fried Pickles, Dill Potato Chips, Pickle Relish, Pickle Aioli, all stacked on a butter toaster Liscios pub roll, is the third burger in as many years to win here at the Burger Brawl. 

2nd Place 

Judge’s Choice

The Bercy’s Waygu Burger Boa – pickled cucumber, spicy aioli, pickled vegetables, beef waygu patty, sesame seeds & bao bun.

3rd Place

Judge’s Choice 

Moonshine Philly’s ode to it’s location, The Pennsport – Crispy Prosciutto, Fresh Mozzarella, Caramelized Onions, Basil Aioli, Arugula, Tomato Jam, Garlic Toasted Bun 


Each attendee was given a black and white poker chip when they arrived at the Burger Brawl to vote for their favorite burger. Here are this year’s winners: 

1st Place

People’s Choice 

Bainbridge Street Barrell House scored with the Home Grown: An 8 oz brisket burger blend, Green Meadow Farm horseradish cheddar, fig aioli, shredded lettuce, a plum shishito bacon jam and fried shallots. -the figs, plums and shishito peppers all home grown @FatGuyGardens garden. 

Chef Eric Paraskevas was floored by the win.

“I’ve been trying to get into this event for years,” he said. “I knew that they gave us a chance, we’d win!”

2nd Place 

People’s Choice

Hard Rock Café’s Guinness Burger (Sliders): Signature Steak-Burger Blend, Whiskey Bacon Jam with Guinness Cheese Sauce, Leaf Lettuce and Vine Ripe Tomato

3rd Place

People’s Choice 

Lucky’s Last Chance’s The Pickle Monster


“Instagrammers Choice” is a new feature in the competition this year. These awards go to the burgers that when put on Instagram will make folks want to say, “I’ve gotta have one of those!”. 

The Most Photogenic – Moonshine Philly: Crispy Prosciutto, Fresh Mozzarella, Caramelized Onions, Basil Aioli, Arugula, Tomato Jam, Garlic Toasted Bun 

The Sauce Boss – Steam Pub: The Ultimate Breakfast Burger: 8oz. chuck burger, slow cooked candied chili bacon and american cheese in between french toast topped with a fried egg and maple syrup 

The Best Stack – Bainbridge Street Barrell House’s Home Grown.


1st Place 

Twisted Tail 

2nd Place 



3rd Place 

Harper’s Garden 

 In addition to Jim Beam, sponsors for the 2019 Philadelphia Burger Brawl include The Navy Yard, Sysco Foods, the Beasley Radio Group (93.3 WMMR, 95.7 Ben FM, 102 WMGK, 97.5 Fanatic, WXTU), WSFS Bank, the Philadelphia International Airport, Visit Philly, Flyers Charity, Origlio Beverage, Southern Glazer Wine and Spirits, MultiFlow, Arway Linens, Pierce Phelps Elevate CBD, and Lending One.

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