To celebrate National Burger Month, beef purveyor Schweid & Sons has put together another series of burger-chomping events during their Annual Burger Week in NYC. The Culinary Foolinary team decided to take our appetites to their kickoff event: The Boozy Burger Brunch. DeRM & I had the pleasure of tasting a series of burgers, beers, and whiskeys to start off our Sunday in a haze of hooch.
For the measly price of $30, we were able to secure a seat for this event that included a sampling of 3 different flavored burgers that featured Schweid & Sons Certified Angus Beef Butcher’s Blend, 2 craft beers from Culinary Foolinary favorite: Gun Hill Brewery, and 2 bourbons from Heaven Hill Distilleries. This consumption collection was a helluva of a deal especially considering that there are bars in NYC where $30 will only cover 2 drinks (w/ tips). It also included a “Larceny” bottle opener, whiskey collection booklet, & “Stress Bull” pictured below.
When ordering the tickets, each person was asked to choose 3 out of 6 burger builds for the tasting. The burgers that received the highest votes would win. These were the burgers that won:
- Saturday Morning Cartoon Burger – Fried Egg, Bacon, American Cheese on French Toast
- Poutine Burger – Tater Tots, Brown Gravy, Melted Cheese Curds
- BBQ Burger – BC BBQ Sauce, Bacon, Cheddar, Fried Onion
Before we were allowed to chow down, we were served our first beer from Gun Hill Brewery called the Purgatory Rye. Now that I’ve been experimenting with different types of beers and finding the flavors I enjoy, I feel confident in saying that this Pale Ale is great for those people who enjoy their beer a little bitter but not too much. The initial taste doesn’t pack too big of a punch but the after taste does linger a bit. I enjoyed the beer but Gun Hill Brewery has some other quality brews that I prefer much more than this. Shout out to that Cherry Red Tree Ale… mmmmm mmmmmmmm
Now that the beer was flowing, it was time for the burger tasting. The first burger that was served was the “Saturday Morning Cartoon” burger. As mentioned above, this burger featured Fried Egg, Bacon, & American Cheese on French Toast. It was just as good as it sounds. It was quickly apparent that there was a higher quality in this Certified Angus Beef that Schweid & Sons is slinging. The beef was cooked to perfection and flavorful.
This burger was the fan favorite primarily because of the french toast ‘bun’. I overheard multiple attendees say that the french toast was the perfect size: not too thick & not too thin. It was just enough to provide a tasty accent to the quality beef, eggs, and bacon.
Once we were done making the Saturday Morning Cartoon Burger disappear, we were then presented with “Larceny” which is a 92 proof wheated Bourbon from Kentucky. I really wish I didn’t gulp my beer so quickly because this Bourbon was strong enough to need a beer chaser. I really enjoyed the spicy flavor it had to offer. Considering its kick, I’d prefer to have this mixed with Coke like a coward.
Next up on the burger tasting list was the “Poutine Burger”. If you don’t know what poutine is, it’s a Canadian dish consisting of french fries doused in cheese curds and gravy. It’s the perfect “greasy spoon” diner concoction on those late nights when you’ve drank too much and need to soak it all up with unhealthy morale-boosting nonsense. In the “Poutine Burger” though, the french fries are substituted for tater tots. It’s a suitable follow up to the Saturday Morning Cartoon Burger since tater tots are a childhood throwback.
The burger tasted good primarily because of the beef. What I learned the most from this event is that quality beef can save a meal on its own. This burger was missing a deeper flavor that I think could’ve been saved simply with more gravy. When I think of poutine, I think of a sloppy dish slathered in sauce and this burger was far too ‘clean’ to be a callback.
It was around this time that things started to get “boozy”. The second Gun Hill Brewery “Rise Up Rye” beer & Heaven Hill “Elijah Craig” bourbon were both my favorites for the same reason: smoothness.
Rise Up Rye was an extremely smooth pale ale with barely any kick or bitterness to it. It went down so easy that I plowed through the whole glass very quickly. It makes sense because it’s ABV is 4.6% while the Purgatory Rye was 6.2%. Even though I’m a serious beer-dunce, these numbers are beginning to make sense. Now when I show up in a spot with with convoluted beer charts with percentages and styles, I am growing the ability to read the stats and pick a beer that I won’t want to spit out immediately. Progression!
Heaven Hill’s “Elijah Craig” was eerily similar in that sense. While “Larceny” had a harsher taste, “Elijah” was smooth enough to sip generously while neat. I’ve been trying to stay away from cocktails to get a true sense of the liquor that I’m confusing and to understand the differences. Having two different styles of bourbon whiskey back to back was an education in boozery.
The third and final burger of our tasting was the very safe BBQ Burger. This consisted of BC BBQ Sauce, Bacon, Cheddar, & Fried Onions. This concoction has been many times by many different burger spots but I have to say that in my opinion it was easily the best tasting burger. Between the tasty beef and sweet/tangy BBQ sauce, it’s very difficult to make a case against this build for a burger.
When it was time to vote for the best burger, the Saturday Morning Cartoon Burger was the clear victor. I would attribute that to the unique usage of the french toast as a bun. But for me, the best tasting burger that I would get on a regular basis would be the BBQ burger. The Saturday Morning Cartoon is a scrumptious novelty.
This was a great Sunday brunch event. DeRM & I got boozed up, met a couple of fun people, and learned a lot about the process of obtaining quality Angus beef, beer flavors, and bourbon creation. We strongly suggest you take advantage of NYC Burger Week and check out one of Schweid & Sons other events at the link below: