I like to think of myself as somewhat of an aficionado when it comes to burgers since my dad was a franchisee of Wendy’s. As a young pup, one of my goals was to try all 256 permutations of the Wendy’s hamburger. You see, at the time, Wendy’s was the only chain you could get your burger made to order. You could do just catsup, onion, mustard, pickle (called a COMP), or add lettuce and tomato or go really exotic and throw on a piece of cheese (for an extra 10 cents, of course). There was no bacon in the picture yet, much to my chagrin. But a boy could dream.
I am still a fan of the burger to this day and consider my eternal joy to be linked to my upbringing and Trowbridge DNA. Maybe that is where the original idea for Burgerlicious came from some 4+years ago when we first dreamed it up one afternoon over drinks with Wayne Eldred, owner/operator of Tarpon Bend. We needed to help our restaurants, show them some love and create an event that would highlight their importance in the Gables. But, we were in the midst of a recession and thus, we needed to be creative without breaking the bank or adding more pressure to the restaurants we wanted to participate.
Everyone loves a great burger (even vegetarians) and many of the local restaurants had added one to their menu options as a way to stay accessible to the everyday customer, while trying to survive (and thrive) in a downturned economy. People were eating out less, for sure…but a burger was always a good idea.
And no matter what you do at home to make it special, a hamburger just tastes better when someone else is making it. Maybe it is the extra care on the toasted bun, or the marinade in the meat or that thickly sliced beefsteak tomato. Gulp. An amazingly delicious burger is sort of like a hotdog at the ballpark. There is no comparison! And so Burgerliscious was born (we added the extra “S” for satisfying). Our first year, we had a strong performance with nearly 800 guests and 20 local chefs participating. Last year, we topped 1,400 guests and had 25 amazing local restaurants competing for The Best in Bun Award (Shake Shake) and The People’s Choice (Swine Southern Table & Bar). The competition is fierce, the burgers are true works of edible art and the chefs have a great time making the night very special.
This year, we return on Thursday, Nov. 6, from 6 to 10 p.m., to Ponce Circle/Hartnett Park in the heart of the Gables to once again showcase our burgers, our chefs, our restaurants and our partners. We could not have done this with such success from the beginning without our friends at Sam Adams, Brown-Forman, the GMCVB, the City of Coral Gables and of course, our loyal restaurants. They are the stars on this special night of food and fun and fabulousness. And while the smell of burgers fills the air, we also raise money for our Coral Gables Community Foundation and our small business enhancement fund.
Burgerliscious Coral Gables 2014
So, MEAT us in the park on Nov. 6 at 6 p.m. You — along with your taste buds and tummy — will be glad you did!
Tickets are available at www.burgerliscious.com right now!
CELEBRATING ALL THAT SPARKLES ABOUT BUSINESS!
Throughout the course of a year, our Chamber hosts a variety of awards programs honoring individuals, businesses, young professionals, buildings and corporations for their contributions to the City Beautiful and throughout Miami-Dade County.
The longest-running awards program of our Chamber is the Diamond Awards. With 11 categories, the Diamond Awards recognizes large, small and micro businesses, large and small non-profits, start-up company, minority owned business, technology company, restaurant, retailer and a hospitality entity. These businesses and organizations are evaluated based upon their excellence in business, outstanding corporate citizenship, top-notch customer service and stellar workplace environment.
If you or your company is interested in applying or would like to nominate someone in one of these luminous categories, please contact the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce at 305-446-1657 or visit www.coralgableschamber.org . Applications are being accepted through Friday, Oct. 17, and honorees will be recognized at the Diamond Awards Luncheon on Thursday, Dec. 11, 11:30 a.m., at the Coral Gables Country Club. Join us for a dazzling good time!