The second annual Hamburger Hop officially kicked off Chicago Gourmet last Friday, bringing with it hoards of burger fans and a haze of charcoal smoke, which covered the Harris Theater Rooftop Terrace at Millennium Park. The competition featured 17 restaurants from all over the city and nearby suburbs. Chefs vying for the title included Dirk Flanigan (Henri), Rick Gresh (David Burke's Primehouse), John McLean (Burger Bar), and Meg Colleran Sahs (Terzo Piano). But it was chef Colleen McHugh from Bandera who walked away with the "Allen Brothers Award" for best burger of the night.
Bandera's burger featured a patty made from prime ground chuck, which was topped with a homemade hickory sauce, Ding's Pickled Relish, lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion, cabbage, mayonnaise and mustard. It was all housed on a homemade poppy seed bun, which we admit held together remarkably well.
Along with the critic-approved burger, there was also a "People's Choice" winner. Palmer Place, which is located in LaGrange, IL won for its burger topped with pepper-cured Neuske's Bacon and aged Wisconsin cheddar.
There was a lot of ground beef to eat and Blue Moon to drink, so it's hard to remember every detail from the event. But do check out our slideshow of what you missed below.