Burgers are everywhere these days, from upscale bistros working comfort food options into their menus to new concepts rekindling the idea of the classic American burger joint.
This Sunday, Aug. 24, a dozen representatives of the burger boom around New Orleans will be in one place, serving samples and competing for bragging rights as well.
This year marks the third edition of Burgers, Bourbon & Beer (not to be confused with Boudin, Bourbon & Beer, the Emeril Lagasse Foundation fundraiser coming in November). This weekend’s burger event is organized by Second Harvest Food Bank, and it supports local hunger relief efforts.
It’s become a popular draw, and that’s no wonder. The pay-one-price admission opens the doors to unlimited sampling of slider-sized burger contenders, plus drinks provided by the beverage distributors Crescent Crown and Glazer’s and Abita Brewing. A panel of judges will name a best burger, and attendees can vote for a people’s choice award winner.
Both of those honors went to chef Adam Biderman’s crew at the Company Burger last year, and they’ll be back to defend the titles this year. Joining the fray on Sunday are Barcadia, Bayou Burger, Bourbon House, Charcoal’s Gourmet Burger Bar, Cowbell, Legacy Kitchen, Lüke, New Orleans Hamburger & Seafood Co., Phil’s Grill, truburger and Vitascope Hall, the restaurant inside the Hyatt Regency. Local gelato maker La Divina Gelateria provides a burger-themed dessert.
Burgers, Bourbon & Beer is from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 24 at Generations Hall (310 Andrew Higgins Drive; generationshall.com). Tickets are $45 in advance, and the $75 VIP ticket allows early entry at 4 p.m. The event has sold out in the last two years, but if tickets are available at the door this year, they will be $50 general admission and $90 for VIP. Get tickets and details online at no-hunger.org.
Opening more oysters
A new seafood restaurant from a familiar name in local dining circles opened this month in the French Quarter.
Mr. Ed’s Oyster Bar & Fish House (512 Bienville St., (504) 309-4848; mredsoysterbar.com) is the latest from Ed McIntyre, who operates five restaurants in Metairie and Kenner. He opened the first Mr. Ed’s Oyster Bar & Fish House (3117 21st St., Metairie, (504) 833-6310) last fall, taking over the former Bozo’s Restaurant from old family friend Chris “Bozo” Vodanovich.
The new French Quarter expansion has a similar menu of traditional and more contemporary New Orleans seafood dishes. In addition to fried seafood and grilled fish, some signatures include crabmeat and shrimp rémoulade salad in a martini glass and a range of charbroiled oysters, including the “crawfish Rockefeller” with bacon, spinach and crawfish cooked over oysters on the half shell.
The restaurant was developed inside an old industrial building along what has been a fairly quiet block of the Quarter. It looks like a small space from the street but extends over two floors with a bar for each. Mr. Ed’s Oyster Bar & Fish House serves lunch and dinner daily.
Follow Ian McNulty on Twitter, @IanMcNultyNOLA.