I have been so excited for Long Island’s Second Annual Battle of the Burger. First, I love burgers and second, I love getting to try burgers from ten different restaurants all in one place. What’s better than that? The event is hosted by Long Island Pulse Magazine and originally began with 80 restaurants being nominated. Online voting opened on May 1st and ended June 15th with the top ten finalists being featured at the Shorefront Park in Patchogue on August 3rd for live voting and a chance to be the Burger Champion.
I made a conscious decision to limit my food intake during the day and arrive at the event ready to try as many burgers as possible. First up on my list was GM Burger Bar. My parents and I used to frequent The Original George Martin restaurant in Rockville Centre when we lived in Oceanside. As a child, I enjoyed special occasions and get-togethers at George Martin’s. To this day, that restaurant is still associated with many happy memories for me, and of course, good food. I occasionally make the trek into Nassau County to spend my birthday at George Martin’s, and it is always a real treat. I flipped over George Martin’s latest restaurant, GM Burger Bar. Although I have never been to its brick and mortar location, its representation at this year’s Battle of the Burger left me with a strong desire to try out their full menu. The burger itself was delicious, although it had a spicy kick to it.
Here are the seven restaurants I tried at this year’s Battle of the Burger:
1. GM Burger Bar: Excellent burger with a kick.
2. Park Lounge: This was a good burger. It had chopped bacon in the meat.
3. Gator Blue: Served on thick bread instead of a bun.
4. Perabell Food Bar: A bit too rare for my taste.
5. Faradays of Smithtown: Burger had pulled pork and tortillas on it.
6. Brownstone Brewing Company: Had pulled pork on the burger.
7. Duffy’s Ale House: Good burger and fresh buns. Served with French fries.
I wish I could have sampled burgers from the last three restaurants, but I was too full (sorry Rudi’s Bar and Grill, Shennanigans Cafe and O’Reilly’s Restaurant and Pub). Aside from the ample samples, Keurig Brewing Company was there with coffee, tea and raspberry flavored K-cups to try. After a few burgers, the raspberry K-cups were very refreshing.
Overall, GM Burger Bar got my vote – and apparently many others – because they earned the title of Long Island’s Best Burger for 2014. Congratulations on a job well done!
If you are thinking of attending the Battle of the Burger next year, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Wear comfortable shoes: It’s an outside venue and you are standing a lot.
- Be prepared to wait in line: This isn’t as bad as it sounds. Although some of the restaurants have long lines (the average wait was about ten minutes), it served as a good way to break up the eating and whet your palette for more.
- Dress casually: I found it somewhat challenging to hold a drink and burger and avoid people bumping into me all while standing and trying to eat.
- Portions: Each restaurant gives you about a quarter of a burger.
Thanks to Long Island Pulse Magazine for hosting the event, and all the restaurants who participated. Everyone worked very hard to ensure the event was a success, especially the chefs and servers preparing the food and keeping the patrons enjoying good burgers!