As we close in on the final hours of 2012, I can’t help but revel in what an amazing year this has been. Not only did we continue the quest to find the Best Memphis Burger, but together we began a new Memphis tradition which will hopefully live on for years to come. Yes, Memphis is full of awesome food festivals. The big one is the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest. There’s also a Southern Hotwing Festival, a Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival, and Italian Festival, a Big Scoop Ice Cream Festival, a Greek Festival and numerous other food and beer festivals. And now, as of 2012, there’s a Best Memphis Burger Fest. With less than four months to plan and execute it, a very small group friends and burger lovers came together and really knocked this festival out of the park. The real props however go to our BMBF sponsors and teams who took a big risk financially to make the festival a reality. I’m so indebted to the generosity that Cordell and Tawanda Pirtle from Jack Pirtle’s Chicken and Shawn Danko from Kooky Canuck showed the festival. There were 22 other sponsors and 21 teams that can proudly say they were a part of the first ever, Best Memphis Burger Fest which featured cooking competitions, eating competitions, live music, vendors and a ton of samples for the public.
Completely unrelated to Best Memphis Burger Fest, Kooky Canuck added some new burgers to their menu. One of them is called the Holy Smoke Burger. It’s a 1/2 pound burger patty severed on a soft brioche bun. The patty sits in a small pool of the same Holy Smoke Sauce used for Kooky’s famous hot wings, and is topped with smoked cheddar cheese and fried jalapeños. It’s spicy but so good. For me this burger belongs on the highlight reel. Seriously one of my top 3 favorites!
The other highlight of the year for me has been hotwings. If I could never eat another burger, just give me s mound of hotwings and I would okay. In 2012 I joined a hotwings teams for the Southern Hotwing Festival and although we didn’t place real high, I learned so much about making hotwings. I also learned what I really like. There are two restaurants in Memphis that make the best wings you could ever put in your mouth. Of course one is the smoked wings at Central BBQ and the Extra Hot Buffalo wings at Crumpy’s. My only wish is that Central BBQ would offer a hotter/spicier selection of their wings. Until they do, Crumpy’s fills that void very nicely with a non-smoked wing.
Those are my big three of 2012 and I ask you to hang with me for more good stuff to come. Recently, I’ve taken a small fork in the road of eating better. Yes, I have come to the realization that I can’t go on at the pace I was for ever. I’ll still be doing burgers and wings, but also adding some other, healthier items to the reviews. Bear with me while I try some stuff out and we’ll see where the blog goes.
Also, expect another awesome Best Memphis Burger Fest in 2013. We’re already on the lookout for a bigger location to have the event. Additionally, BMBF will raising money for a different animal friendly charity. We can’t wait to share our plans with you soon. For now, have a very happy and healthy new year.