"Slide Into Spring" Boys & Girls Club of the Harbor Area Burger Bash Recap!

Categories: Buns In the Sun
Anne Marie Panoringan
Working hard to pick a winner

We had the pleasure of judging a very special tasting event over the weekend. Somewhere between the hosted bar, auctions and food tasting, we helped support the Boys & Girls Club of the Harbor Area in Costa Mesa. Along with Moxxe PR busybody Mona Shah-Anderson and our new friend Rudy Chaney of Foodbeast, we tackled the seven competitors with gusto.

There were three categories that restaurants were vying for: Presentation, Death Row Meal and TASTE (Totally Awesome Slider To Eat). For establishments not known for their burger prowess, we were impressed. After our Instagram/Facebook updates, this is what we concluded.

Anne Marie Panoringan
Taco Mesa's slider al pastor

Presentation winner: Taco Mesa

One trait our winners shared was the decision to prepare each meal to order--none of this pre-made nonsense. While it may have caused slightly longer waits, it guaranteed the freshest product. The entry from Taco Mesa was not only good-looking, but it was so hefty it merited a larger serving plate! Their quarter-pounder was dressed with chipotle sauce, char-grilled pineapple, prosciutto, blue cheese, grilled onions and cilantro. Nestled in a grilled egg bun, it was artsy food porn.

Rudy Chaney/Foodbeast
Blackmarket Bakery's apricot Betty

TASTE winner: Blackmarket Bakery!

Gotta hand it to Chef Rachel's team--it doesn't get more sassy than this dessert entry. These "buns" were crafted from molasses apricot cookies. Layers of ginger-apricot jam and fresh almond butter coated one side, while bourbon orange marshmallow was bruleed a la minute on the other. There was more than enough chewy goodness going on. We don't even recall the almond brittle garnish. Blackmarket Bakery's goods are the stuff "Best of" lists are made for.

Mona Shah-Anderson
The Golden Truffle's pork belly slider

Death Row Meal winner: The Golden Truffle!

Alan, Alan, Alan. We already know how brilliant you are. You had to go confirm it, yet again. The first competitor we tried, he ruined us for everybody else. This insanely good mouthful featured red chile and lemongrass BBQ-braised pork belly. With a pliable butter brioche bun, cilantro and ginger lemon balm sancocho, The Golden Truffle was in a league of its own. We could eat this every day and never grow weary of those flavors.

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