There were so many events happening in Atlanta this past weekend. I had plans to attend several different events, but, the original plan had nothing about a Battle of the Burgersin Virginia Highlands. But Friday night when my friend Jesse Altman, CEO and founder of Whynatte, the Atlanta-based coffee energy drink, asked me to help make Whynatte milkshakes, I couldn’t say no.
And as it turned out, the first Battle of the Burger with its ultimate burger cook off was a huge success. With the help of numerous volunteers and great sponsors like Sweetwater, Dewberry Capital and of course, eighteen of the city’s best restaurants, burger stations were set up around the John Howell Park in Virginia Highlands. Armed with generously donated Kamato grills, the chefs were already cooking up a storm when I arrived 30 minutes early to help set up. Guests happily sampled burgers, listened to live music and voted on their favorite burger during the festival. There was also a hand-selected panel of judges, including top noted Georgia chef Hugh Acheson, Jonathan Baker of Citysearch and finalist of season 6 of The Next Food Network Star Huge Mesa.
Since Whynatte milkshakes were a huge hit among the burger-hungry crowd ( we actually ran out of Whynatte lattes and ice cream twice), I did not have much free time to explore (not to mention that I was covered head to toe in sticky chocolate ice cream). But thanks to our neighbors at the Nook on Piedmont Park, I got to try some great burgers. In fact, their shrimp and grits stuffed burger was a big hit, earning them the award for the “People’s Choice Burger”. Other winners for the day included the burgers from Grindhouse Killer Burgers and Atkins Park.
I am still not sure how I ended up spending a beautiful Saturday making milkshakes for a thirsty crowd, but I have to admit the Battle of the Burgers was a lot of fun. And the best part: all proceeds from the festival, which attracted over 1000 people, go to Embraced– a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization that collects and shares gently-used medical equipment with individuals in need- both locally and globally.
Can’t wait until next year.