Bolyard's Burger Throwdown

The skies were more than ominous on August 22nd—there was no denying a storm was coming. I left my house at 5:15 PM, and by 5:17, the skies erupted. Manchester Road became more river than road in spots. My confidence that the Bolyard's Burger Throwdown would be starting at 6 PM was low, even if their Facebook page stated it was happening rain or shine. As I rolled up to Bolyard's, the skies cleared and the rain stopped. The burger gods were watching down upon us.

The battle that was about to take place was sure to be epic. Nick Blue, chef of Brasserie, prepared to battle Andrew Jennrich, butcher extraordinaire at Annie Gunn's.

Blue went with a Bibimbap Burger: a Bolyard's patty topped with pickled vegetables, a fried quail egg, and a piquant gochujang mayo. Jennrich gave his patty a spicy rub, then covered it with heirloom tomatoes, shaved lettuce, bread & butter pickles, remoulade dressing, and a hefty piece of andouille to create his Po Boy Burger.

The winner of the battle would be decided by the people. Each diner would get a ballot when they checked in (along with drink coupons to get Perennial Artisan Ale!). After the burgers were served, the people would decide who should win the Golden Pig Skull and who would have their hand lopped off by the master butcher himself (okay, that part isn't true). The pressure both Blue and Jennrich felt could only be described as immense.

I couldn't wait to get their meat into my mouth.

Let's check out the play-by-play.

 Signboard Bolyard's Burger Battle

Signboard Bolyard's Burger Battle

 Seating Bolyard's Burger Battle

Seating Bolyard's Burger Battle

 Bolyard's Burger Battle Chris Bolyard

Bolyard's Burger Battle Chris Bolyard

 Bolyard's Burger Battle

Bolyard's Burger Battle

 Bolyard's Burger Battle Chef Nick blue

Bolyard's Burger Battle Chef Nick blue

 Bolyard's Burger Battle Cajun Patties

Bolyard's Burger Battle Cajun Patties

 Bolyard's Burger Battle Nick Blue Salt

Bolyard's Burger Battle Nick Blue Salt

 Bolyard's Burger Battle Chef Andrew Jennrich

Bolyard's Burger Battle Chef Andrew Jennrich

 Bolyard's Burger Battle Grill

Bolyard's Burger Battle Grill

 Bolyard's Burger Battle Nick Blue and Chris Bolyard

Bolyard's Burger Battle Nick Blue and Chris Bolyard

 Bolyard's Burger Battle Korean Burger

Bolyard's Burger Battle Korean Burger

 Bolyard's Burger Battle Assembly Line

Bolyard's Burger Battle Assembly Line

 Andrew Jennrich burger at Bolyard's Burger Battle

Andrew Jennrich burger at Bolyard's Burger Battle

 Bolyard's Burger Battle Andrew Jennrich's burger

Bolyard's Burger Battle Andrew Jennrich's burger

 Burgers and Fries at Bolyard's Burger Battle

Burgers and Fries at Bolyard's Burger Battle

The final plating. Two hefty sliders, plus Bolyard's mind-blowing beef tallow fries. Before even discussing the burger, I must explain how good these fries were. Think of the tastiest fries you've ever had. Now make them taste even better. It was sort of like the movie Inglourious Basterds: I went in excited to see Brad Pitt and Melanie Laurent and left talking about Christoph Waltz. So what I'm saying is these french fries were as good as Christoph Waltz, and he won the Oscar that year.

I won't say which way I voted, but both burgers pleased my palate. Even though they were inspired by completely different parts of the world, both had similar elements. They each had some heat (creole seasoning/gochujang mayo), a creamy element (remoulade/quail egg), and a vegetable crunch (pickles & lettuce/pickled vegetables). I would happily eat both burgers again.

In the end, Nick Blue took home the Golden Pig Skull.  Will we see a Jennrich v. Blue rematch one day? I think, perhaps, this is the start to a great trilogy.

Be on the look out for more Bolyard's Burger Throwdowns in the near future. Who do you want to see battle it out next?

 Chris Bolyard after Bolyard's Burger Battle

Chris Bolyard after Bolyard's Burger Battle

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