Burgers, burgers, and more burgers…but no brunch

It’s finally here!  Let us CHEER!  Lexington Burger Week kicks off today and runs through Sunday July 14.  When the first LBW launched in 2015, no one could have imagined the chaos and cult-following that resulted. Check out the year-by-year comparison:

  • 2015: More than 36 restaurants participated and over 21,000 burgers were sold.
  • 2016: Once again, over 36 restaurants participated but almost triple the number of burgers (over 60,000!) were consumed.
  • 2017: Over 40 restaurants participated – contributing 46 unique burgers – and over 110,000 burgers were sold, almost doubling 2016 sales.
  • 2018: 42 restaurants participated – contributing 46 one-of-a-kind burgers – and consumption leveled off around 110,000 burgers.
  • 2019:  Get ready for 40 unique burgers coming from 36 restaurants!

In year five contributions may be down, but creativity has made a comeback!  Elevated flavors and unexpected ingredients are competing on a whole new level.  These are a few of the most intriguing offerings (full list HERE):

  • La Mancha (Zim’s Cafe):  They had me at Manchego cheese.  ‘Nuff said.
  • Peaches & CBD Cream (Parlay Social):  The name that makes you go ‘Hmm…’  *Cue full head tilt*  I’m an adventurous eater one week per year, and this is it, so bring on the “cream cheese whipped with Daddy Burt’s CBD oil (8mg, THC free) & smoked peaches, pickled blueberries, and sorghum BBQ. On a brioche Bun with kohlrabi slaw.”  The slaw – which would normally send me Googling right away – seems like the most tame ingredient in the list.  Anyway, I don’t know who Daddy Burt is, but apparently Parlay also serves CBD drinks.  Scary!  Exciting!  We’ll see what happens.
  • Midnight Munchies (Crank & Boom):  Never in previous years have I taken the opportunity to try an ice cream burger.  I won’t fail again, especially knowing they’ve added potato chips to the mix.  Sweet AND salty for the win!
  • Breaded Paddy Smash (Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery):  I won’t be trying this one for myself, so if someone could please report back to me on the “deep-fried burger with Swiss cheese, beer-braised onion relish and fry sauce,” that’d be great.  In the event of a life-altering patty, I could be swayed.

While not new to LBW, here are a few returning favorites that deserve mention because they are THAT GOOD, and yes – since you asked – I’ll definitely be partaking:

  • WTF! (WHAT THE FLAVORS) Burger (Columbia’s Steakhouse – downtown):  When this debuted a few years ago I was apprehensive about the heat factor, but let me tell you right now, it makes the whole combo work.  “Rich, organic peanut butter, grape jelly, crispy bacon bits and sriracha.”  Your taste buds will thank you.  Not one person I’ve introduced to a PB burger has regretted it.  Do the right thing, take the leap.
  • PB&J Bacon-Brie Burger (Harry’s – Palomar):  You may be sensing a trend here with my favorite burger toppings, but once again, worth it!  “Peanut butter, strawberry-bacon jam and creamy brie cheese.”  This one debuted at Drake’s (Lansdowne) previously and they were kind enough to make it for me a few weeks later when they still had the ingredients.  For those of you who think Hamburg is ‘another country’ (*cue massive eye roll*), book your flight and don’t miss this burger.
  • The Spartan (Athenian Grill):  “Ground lamb, olive oil, oregano, rosemary, thyme , grilled onions, tzatziki, tomato and lettuce.”  Maybe this burger deserves a spot here, and maybe it doesn’t, because TBH I can’t remember if this is the *exact* same as their previous offerings or not.  It doesn’t matter, for two very good reasons, the first being that I haven’t gotten to try it yet, so regardless it’s new to me; the second is that their brand new downtown location OPENS TODAY!  Right next door to Panera facing Phoenix Park, those of us who live and/or work downtown are now within walking distance to the finest authentic Greek cuisine the city has to offer.  Happy Mondays DO exist!

That’s it for LBW until I can hit the mean streets and start slaying this list!  Stay tuned for my list of best brunch burgers in Lex coming later this week! 🍔

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