Friday night burger and beer lovers gathered at the Royal Oak Farmers Market for the Big Grill Burger Bash to sample and vote on their favorite meaty patties.
Lazybones Smokehouse of Roseville took home the top prize of “overall best burger,” beating out more than a dozen other local casual restaurants and pubs.
Burger Bash attendee Randall Smith of Detroit agreed with the outcome.
“It was topped with potato chips, cheese, pulled pork,” said Smith. “It was ridiculous, the Lazybones burger took it.”
The popular restaurant and catering business did have the longest line throughout the evening, and Lazybone’s owner Deni Smiljanovski was at the center of the action, flipping patties on the (literally) flaming grill.
The event — set up with ticketed beer sampling inside the venue, and all-you-can-eat food samples in an outdoor tent — also gave honors to new Royal Oak restaurant Oynx for their gooey mac and cheese, not bad considering the steakhouse has only been open for about two weeks.
Other awards, which were all determined by votes from attendees, were given to Royal Oak’s Black Finn for their French fries and Three Blind Mice of Mount Clemens for “most unique burger.” “Best turkey burger” went to Green Leaf of Novi and “best dessert” was awarded to Serendipity Cakery of Wyandotte.
Grosse Pointe’s Red Crown nabbed the prize for “most flavorful burger.” Theirs was a real treat, topped with kimchee and avocado mousse.
Second to burgers, beer was the star of the show. Craft breweries from across the nation dished out teeny-tiny shot-glassed sized samples of fall and all-season brew.
Alice Liao from Ann Arbor and Tiffany Shu of Bloomfield Hills said their favorite was the tripel beer from Akron, Ohio’s Thirsty Dog Brewery.
“It’s chill, it’s a nice night,” said Liao of the Burger Bash, which is not to be confused with the Detroit Burger Brawl. That Eastern Market event was sadly canceled this year due to lack of sponsorship, but is expected to return in some form in the future.
Local breweries representing included Warren’s Dragonmead, Birmingham’s Griffin Claw, Traverse City’s North Peak, and others.
Other attractions of the Burger Bash, which drew several hundred people, included party games like giant Jenga puzzles, a photo booth and a cash bar with cocktails mixed with Tito’s vodka and Cabresto tequila.
By 11 p.m. most of the food was eaten (the desserts were devoured even earlier), and the remaining crowd burned some calories on the dance floor with a little “Cupid Shuffle.”