While you may think it's taken me this long to get over my meat-induced coma, you're actually incorrect. It did take a few days to regain normal vision from my beefy euphoria, but unfortunately, I just haven't had the time to sit down and tell you about my experience at Denver's best food event, the Denver Burger Battle. Until now.

This time around, the DBB hosted their annual bun-encased event at a new location. For this night, the founders, Jeremy and Kelly Kossler, selected the park underneath the dancing aliens. While I was slightly disappointed based on the previous year’s location (which was at Sports Authority Field), I knew it was simply because I bleed orange and blue and I shouldn't put too much thought into it. When I arrived at the park and started to experience this event at the location it was being held at, I immediately changed my mind about its vibe. Gone are the empty seats leering over me, along with the strange plastic grating that protected the field. This wasn't a downgrade from the previous location; it was an upgrade.

The closed-in location underneath the dancing aliens provided a close-knit group of burger-loving patrons, all smiling ear-to-ear, embracing the wonderful evening that laid ahead of them. This year I asked my parents to come with me and couldn't help but smirk seeing them beaming with excitement as we walked in.

I'll spare you the painful details of each meticulous bite and offer up a few awards of my own. While the judges and the attendees were the official judges for the night, I'd like to provide you with these completely made-up accolades.

The Burger I Would Drive 45 Minutes to Eat

I have to admit something. It's a bit of a shameful secret, but I'm going to let you in on it. Aside from previous Burger Battles, I have never eaten at Crave. I loved each of their selections the past three years, but the thought of driving down to Castle Rock, Highlands Ranch, or Colorado Springs to grab a burger has never crossed my mind. However, this year's selection of Crave's "Sin City" burger had me wishing I had made the trip.

Spicy candied bacon flirted with the bourbon glazed onions in a way that made you miss your family's classic BBQ's where Grandpa had too much Jim Beam. However, as nostalgic as that was, the tempura fried cheese was definitely the kicker on this creation. Soft, melty white cheddar oozed all over our quarter selections of burger, enticing us to eat each and every last bite. And we did.
 

 

The Burger From the Restaurant That I Knew Nothing About, But Am Kicking Myself For Not Knowing About Earlier

Ok, that's a ridiculously long title for an award, but as you know, I'm not your cookie-cutter food reviewer. Let me just tell you this: Juicy Burgers and Dogs is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to the patty-shaped ground beef game. They featured a little taste of Colorado with roasted green chiles, pepperjack cheese, sauteed mushrooms, crispy onion strings, and chipotle aioli. The end result was a perfect blend of soft, crispy, melty, and spicy. It's a burger that any Coloradan would be proud to order on any given day.
 

 

The Burger I Wish Had Been Cooked a Little Bit More Because It Tasted So Good

Park Burger had its praises sung by winning the judges' choice. I was right along with them in the choir, chiming in about the Harris Ranch beef, provolone, crispy pancetta, and truffled garlic aioli. Call me an old-school Dago at heart, but this burger had a firm grasp on my taste buds. The only thing that turned me off was the undercooked beef.

I know these restaurants are hustling out ridiculous amounts of food, and I completely understand the fact that they have to rush in order to feed hungry mouths. I just wish I could have had a section that was slightly more cooked, so I could experience the entire package of greatness that was "The Scarpone."
 

 

The Burger That Was Simple, Yet Wonderful.

I had never heard of Grind from Glenwood, but after eating some of their Crystal River beef, I was more than sold. This mountain eatery gets all of their grass-fed and finished beef from a ranch nearby in Glenwood Springs. They take the time to grind all of the beef themselves, ensuring the freshness from start to finish. Accompanying what I thought was the best-tasting patty in the competition was pure simplicity. The "All American," as they called it, had what most of us are used to: American cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle, red onion, ketchup, mustard and mayo. It was a taste of Americana that truly stood out.

 

At the end of the night, bloated and blissfully content with what had just gone down, we couldn't help but talk about this event. The experience as a whole is very well orchestrated. We're not sure if the founders have any event planning experience in their past, but if they don't, they certainly have gotten themselves up to speed. Every detail was well thought out, providing each attendee with a flawless, grin-inducing, joyful experience.

Aside from what we experienced, it's hard to ignore what this is all for—not only did we have an unforgettable evening, but we also were supporting the Kosslers' foundation, which this year is focusing on Rocky Mountain youth clinics that help give kids medical care when they don't have insurance.

If you didn't make it out to the Burger Battle or you feel like this isn't really your event (which could only mean you're a vegetarian or vegan), you can still help out the foundation by donating your time or money. I highly encourage you do. Please contact them at  contact@denverburgerbattle.com

  • Kris Browning-Blas

    I like your honesty. There are so many places to get to!

  • Indie Eats

    Thanks Kris!