The 15th Annual Taste of Hamburg-er Festival filled the streets of Hamburg on Saturday, September 1.
It was our fourth year attending the event (Jakob’s first time), and Julie and I have a strategy that works for us: get there early, scope out the burgers while browsing the crafters, then enjoy some of the unique burgers only available at the event.
Then we each pick a burger of own and split a third so we can get some variety.
Our plan worked out well as we avoided (most of) the lines and enjoyed some truly unique burgers.
Scott’s Gyro Box – The Greek Burger
Scott’s Gyro Box evolved from Scott’s Hot Spot, the longtime gyro stand at the Fairgrounds Farmers Market. Now a mobile food cart, you’ll find Scott’s Gyro Box at events around Berks County serving up gyros, spanakopita and other Greek favorites.
In a mashup of cultures, the stand was offering the Greek Burger at this year’s Taste of Hamburg-er Festival.
The Greek burger was essentially a gyro on a bun – a hamburger patty topped with feta cheese, roasted red peppers, grilled onions and tzatziki sauce.
I love gyros and I really wanted to love this burger but it came up short for me. It was still good, but there was just a little too much tzatziki sauce – or at least it wasn’t spread evenly enough. And the burger patty was too processed and had little flavor on its own.
Still, the ingredients were there and it wasn’t a bad burger by any means. I guess I just had my expectations too high.
WOW Wagon – Poutine Burger
The WOW Wagon’s poutine burger was the one that both Julie and I had circled when we saw the list.
Featuring French fries, cheese curds and brisket gravy, the burger was a solid take on the French Canadian specialty.
The gravy was the best part for me, but I have to say, biting into a burger with a cheese curd on top is a truly unique experience of taste and texture. The burger and gravy were hot (I never got both a fry and curd at the same time) but the cheese curd was cold and packed with flavor.
It was a little overwhelming for my tastes, but definitely a burger I was glad to try.
Video Burger – The Dandridge
The final stop on our tour wasn’t Julie’s first choice. She had wanted to visit Spuds, but the line was just too long by the time we completed our loop and arrived back at the corner of Fourth and Windsor Streets.
Instead, we trekked back down the hill to Video Burger, a mobile food truck specializing in the outrageous.
The Dandridge took a typical barbecue-style burger and gave it a twist. Applewood smoked bacon and apple barbecue sauce gave it a familiar flavor, but the sliced apples added enough sweet to the sweet-and-savory combination to make this a real standout burger.
It was also the best bun and burger patty out of the three that we tasted and those were definitely part of the appeal.
2018 Taste of Hamburg-er Festival Contest Winners
Best Burger – Restaurant
Grand Prize Winner: Spuds
Best Burger – Organization
Grand Prize Winner: Salem Church
Appearance: Boy Scout Troop #184
Taste: Leesport Lodge #141 I.O.O.F
Originality: Salem Church
Best Burger – Mobile Unit
Grand Prize Winner: Blazing Swine BBQ
Appearance: Blazing Swine BBQ
Taste: Blazing Swine BBQ
Originality: Wow Foods, LLC
Best “Newbie” Burger
The Smith Homestead’s Kitchen
People’s Choice Award