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Big Grill Burger Bash delights

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Delicious Burgers? Check. Craft Beer? Check. Desserts and Tunes? Check!

This past Friday at Royal Oak Farmer’s Market, a few hundred foodies and craft beer lovers gathered to sample an inspired lineup of freshly grilled burgers, sliders and mac-n-cheese from 30 metro Detroit restaurants and caterers. Powers Distributing, a family owned craft beer distributor serving Oakland and Macomb Counties provided the suds from 25 different craft breweries, a majority of those from Michigan.

As selected by the crowd, Lazy Bones Smoke House took honors for “Best All Around”. This was burger heaven with a patty that was slightly charred on the outside, yet pink and juicy inside. Topped with cheese, pulled pork, and a couple of carefully placed potato chips, this was definitely in my Top 2 for the night.

Best Mac-n-Cheese honors went to Onyx Modern Steakhouse & Whiskey Bar, which recently took over the former Woody’s burger joint in Royal Oak. I’ve got to say that their burger was also excellent (my other favorite), topped with pulled pork and fried onion straws and bbq sauce. The mac featured gouda cheese and bacon for a rich and flavorful side.

The award for Most Unique Burger went to Three Blind Mice Irish Pub, which featured a corned beef topped burger. Dooley’s did the same, and they both nailed the presentation and execution.

Grosse Pointe’s Red Crown took home the prize for Most Flavorful Burger. I unfortunately missed this one, topped with kimchee and avocado mousse.

Greenleaf Turkey of Novi took part in the evening, and was selected as Best Turkey Burger. They also had a well-received veggie burger.

Blackfinn Ameripub of Royal Oak took honors for best fries, and A Serendipity Cakery was noted for their dessert sampling of ‘cake drops’ – think mini versions of ‘cake pops’! For my favorite dessert- a shoutout to Detroit Mini Donut, a mobile snack vendor featuring fresh, hot mini donuts made to order while you watch! Bliss!

And what about the beer?

Birmingham’s Griffin Claw brought its Screamin’ Pumpkin – available in glow in the dark cans; North Peak offered Diabolical IPA; and Right Brain was there with some CEO Stout. Breweries from out of state included Colorado’s Tommy Knocker, and two breweries fairly new to Michigan, Coronado Brewing from California, and Alaskan Brewing Co. One of my seasonal favorites was on hand – Cheboygan Brewery Oktoberferst.

If you missed the fun, fear not, there’s another ‘fest’ on the horizon. Mark your calendars for the Great Lakes Bacon Bash Saturday September 6. Visit greatlakesbaconbash.com for more info.

A portion of the proceeds from the evening will benefit the Help Cerebral Palsy Kids Corporation, an IRS 501c3 non-profit corporation created in 2005 to assist in the supportive needs of motor disabled children and families.

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