It wouldn't be July in Akron, Ohio without the National Hamburger Festival. And this July was business as usual. Nick and had been looking forward to this day for months and no damn 90+ degree heat was going to keep us from going! Oh yes, it was a scorcher of a day. Neither of us are any good in this kind of heat. But we went. And as you can see, so did many many others.
We go with a plan, walk the festival a few times and see who has what and what sounds good. This does not sound good to me...
Nick tells me quite often that I would eat anything as long as it were fried. That's just not true. I won't eat a deep fried Twinkies. No way, no how. The other stuff, I'm kind of on the fence about but given the opportunity, I think I'd say no to them all. I also have no desire to try deep fried pickles and I certainly don't want to try deep fried butter. That's just crazy talk.
So back to the festival. We scouting out what we thought we might want and then, since it was still kind of early and weren't ready to eat just yet, we found a spot in the shade and hunkered down for awhile. We got to spend about an hour and a half listening to the Carlos Santana cover band. Now no offense to Santana fans, but that is so not my gig. It was welcome relief when they ended and the Burger eating contest began!
From where we were sitting, we couldn't really see the mayhem of the burger eating contest but we did hear that "The Lion" won the contest. I think just about everyone who completed had a nickname, but I would expect someone named "The Lion" to win a meat eating contest.
The heat was a running theme and a big factor all day. I just didn't think I could handle eating and walking and sweating so we decided, since we live very close to downtown Akron, to buy our burgers and make our way home to our central air and eat in cool comfort. Oh yes, that's the plan. So off we went to make our burger purchases. My first one that I knew I had to have was from Cleveland food truck phenom, Dim and Den Sum. Reading over their menu, they had me. They hooked me in and I was not going to be deterred from trying the Hawaiian Burger.
Seriously... homemade sesame brioche bun, grass fed beef, cheddar fondue, pineapple relish and bacon. I dare you not to try that one!
That's the half size, which is what I was going for with all my choices. This burger was insane and by far my favorite of the day. The beef was incredibly juicy and full of flavor. The cheese, the pineapple, the bacon! OMG, I have died and gone to burger heaven!
But even though this was my favorite of the day, the others I had did not disappoint. Nick's first half was from Metro Burger, an Akron area favorite.
It was, as the sign says, an American Classic.
A cheeseburger with the works, tomato, lettuce and onion. Nick loved it!
From there we decided, in the interest of time and getting our burgers home still relatively warm, to buy two whole burgers and split them. Our first choice was from the Steel Trolley Diner in Lisbon, Ohio.
Last year, Nick got a burger from Metro and from Steel Trolley. What can we say, when we find something good, we stick with it! The description this year had me right from the get go. The Tuscan Holiday burger.
Since I dream of an actual Tuscan holiday, it sounded like a burger we should try. On top the burger was homemade bruschetta topping (tomatoes, herbs and other yummies), shredded provolone and pesto mayo. Nick is not a mayo guy, but the pesto made it appealing to him. Like I said, none of the burgers disappointed!
Last up was the Barley House, located practically within the festival itself.
This was the Stuffed Deep Fried Greek burger. Olives, feta, salami... burger, oh yeah, sign me up!
How can you go wrong here? Please! It's fan-freakin-tastic!