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Burger Blowout


I seem to be on a burger kick lately. You need to know that this is not normal. It must have been Bunsenburger that started the ball rolling, and the last stop was Timbo's near the Pearl. Theirs is a good example of a traditional burger, and fans of relatively flat patties abundantly garnished with chopped lettuce, onion, tomatoes and crinkle pickle should not shrink from swearing allegiance; these burgers may not be exciting or groundbreaking, but they seem real. Even better, though, may be the tater tots; three of us devoured an obscene mound of them variously dipped into ketchup and BBQ sauce. I don't recommend this on a regular basis, but it sure felt good at the time.

But all of this is a nearly superfluous warmup to the announcement of the All-American Burger Fest being organized by the folks at Fatty's Burgers & More: you know, the bright yellow building on East Commerce. (Their own, over-the-top burgers are in another universe from Timbo's.) The event is scheduled to take place July 10th from 11-6 at Fatty's, 1624 E. Commerce, and organizers say there will be two outdoor stages for “in excess of ten bands”, both local and national, supervised activities for children, food booths (for the burger challenged), ice sculptures (for the heat impaired)â?¦

But wait; that's not all. There will also be a burger-eating contest, the best part of which might be the manner of choosing participants. Fatty's owner, Mark Outing, who admits “I've been wanting to do this for three years,” says they are going to put the equivalent of suggestion boxes all over the city (at burger restaurants, convenience stores and beauty parlors, no less) for willing eaters to put in their names. He will then conduct a drawing to select the lucky contestants.

Wait, there's still more: the culmination of this pean to the patty is a competition involving burger purveyors and backyard burger flippers alikeâ??though in separate categories. Outing has issued a call to restaurants all over the city to participate, and though I forgot to ask how amateurs may get their patty to the party, it's probably safe to say that you can call him at 299-8110. Winners will be selected by a panel of food professionals, journalists and politicos (can't have a July event without politicos), and trophies will be awarded in both categories. “We're expecting a thousand people or more,” says Outing optimistically. At least I think he sounded optimistic.

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