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Burger Brawl champs

Five hundred people showed up in a schoolyard to watch the battle. When the smoke had cleared...

Seventeen Philly restaurants went at it -- mano a mano, spatula a spatula -- in the schoolyard of Queen Village's Meredith Elementary on Saturday, June 4.

When the charcoal smoke of the first Burger Brawl had cleared, there were winners in three categories:

  1. London Grill and chef Michael McNally won the people's choice award, based on voting among the nearly 500 attendees. McNally's burger is sold at the restaurant as "The Aristocrat." It's made with local beef and is topped with homemade Boursin cheese, caramelized onions, and homemade ketchup and beer mustard. He got a big, ol' loving cup.

  2. 10 Arts Bistro and chef Jennifer Carroll won the judge's voting. Her burger, also sold by the hundreds at the restaurant, is based on Pinelands beef and features Green Bay cheddar, pickles, lettuce, thin-sliced tomato, red onion, ketchup and Dijon mustard, and is served on a challah bun from Wildflower. Carroll, joined by her parents and sisters, got a plaque.

  3., a sponsor, held an online poll. Winners, announced by CEO Greg Osberg, were: MidAtlantic (1st), Good Dog (2d), and 10 Arts (3d). They each received plates.

Burger Brawl was conceived by Rob and Maggie Wasserman, who own Rouge and 500 Degrees, as a fundraiser for the public school, which their son attends. Rob Wasserman thinks they'll do it annually. (My hope is that Jose Garces fits it into his schedule next time, as his Village Whiskey burger would be a worthy contender.)

See video below.