Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Battle of the Burgers at Palmetto Bay Village Center

There are many holidays we look forward to: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Mother's Day to name a few. And how about those designated months of the year we always have luncheons at work for: Hispanic Heritage Month in October, Black History Month in February and National Women's History Month In March.  But I bet you don't know what we celebrate in May (besides Memorial Day).  Are you ready? May is National Hamburger Month. That's right. We now have an entire month dedicated to these juicy patties of love.

I was invited to serve as a judge for a Battle of Burgers prepared by participating Miami Food Trucks and hosted by Burger Beast. It took place on May 4th in Palmetto Bay Village Center, located at 18001 Old Cutler Rd. The place has a great family-oriented ambiance and is quite beautiful. It's no surprise then that there is a food truck event usually held there on the first Friday of every month. Being the dedicated foodaholic I am, I kept my food consumption to a minimum for most of the day, only drank Diet Coke and made sure I added an extra 30 minutes to my afternoon workout regime (don't burst my bubble and just let me keep thinking that is going to work.). I was very excited by the time I arrived and took my place at the table with my prestigious fellow judges. We would be sampling a total of 8 scrumptious hamburgers. (Originally there were twelve, but at the end, four were no longer competing.) Since each burger was just assigned a number, we didn't know which food trucks were competing or who prepared what. Basically, they came in random order and we judged them by giving them points according to a predetermined rubric.

When the first ones arrived, we sighed and got down to serious business. I can honestly say I found all of the burgers delicious. But of course, some stood out because they were outrageously good. For example, the first burger we sampled made you want to lick your fingers. It was juicy, had an addicting combination of fried onion rings, honey smoked bacon and jalapeno peppers, and combined all the flavors perfectly. We knew at that point, there'd be a little more meat on our bones by the time we were done with this experience.

The food trucks truly outdid themselves with their burger creations. There were gourmet burgers with brie cheese and avocado, burgers with fried mac and cheese and burgers with fried eggs. The originality was unbelievable and I enjoyed every bite of it. Of course, at the end of the night, three winners were announced. So, after tallying our numbers, the winners were... (drum roll please)

First Place: Cheeseburger Baby
Second Place: Palate Party
Third Place: Chamo's on Wheels

By the way, even though I was quite full from sampling eight burgers, I couldn't help but meander over to the Dolce Gourmet Cupcakes food truck on my way out. It must've been fate I tell you, because I paused in front of the truck for a couple of minutes and admired their Godiva Chocolate Brownie; fighting my every desire to sink my teeth into one. All of a sudden, I heard a wise voice say, "Have you tried their brownies? They are amazing! Go it!"  I thought it was an angel, but when my eyes focused on the voice, I realized it was Burger Beast! Well, we all know he knows food so I got me a brownie. Slap me silly it was the best chocolate brownie I have ever had; moist, rich and shamefully decadent . As a matter of fact, I can still taste it. Dolce Gourmet Cupcakes...get the batter ready 'cause I'm coming back for more.

Make sure you visit a food truck event near you this month and try one of the mouth-watering burgers they are offering. Once you do, don't forget to stop by here and tell me which one was your favorite.

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