Chisme y Chicle 

I seem to be on a burger kick lately, which is unusual for me. It must have been Bunsen Burgers that started the ball rolling `read our review, “Ecstatic rotations,” April 7, at sacurrent.com`, and the last stop was Timbo’s near the Pearl. Theirs is a good example of a traditional burger, and fans of relatively flat patties abundantly garnished with chopped lettuce, onion, tomatoes, and crinkle pickles should be pleased; these burgers may not be exciting or groundbreaking, but they seem real. Even better, though, may be the tater tots; three of us devoured an obscene mound of them dipped in ketchup and/or barbecue sauce. I don’t recommend this on a regular basis, but it sure felt good at the time.

But all of this is a nearly superfluous warm-up to the announcement of the All-American Burger Fest being organized by the folks at Fatty’s Burgers & More: you know, the bright-yellow building on East Commerce. (Their own, over-the-top burgers are in another universe from Timbo’s.) The event is scheduled to take place 11 a.m.-6 p.m. July 10, at 1624 E. Commerce, and organizers say there will be two outdoor stages for “in excess of 10 bands,” both local and national, supervised activities for children, food booths (for the burger-challenged), ice sculptures (for the heat-impaired) …

But wait; that’s not all. There will also be a burger-eating contest, the best part of which might be the manner of choosing participants. Fatty’s owner, Mark Outing, who admits “I’ve been wanting to do this for three years,” says they are going to put boxes all over the city (at burger restaurants, convenience stores, and the Current offices, no less) beginning June 14 so that willing eaters can submit their names. The lucky contestants will be selected by drawing.

Wait, there’s still more: The culmination of this paean to the patty is a competition involving burger purveyors and backyard burger-flippers alike — though in separate categories. Outing has issued a call to restaurants all over the city to participate; ask how amateurs may get their patty to the party by calling him at (210) 299-8110. Winners will be selected by a panel of food professionals, journalists, and politicos (can’t have a July event without politicos), and trophies will be awarded in both categories.

“We’re expecting a thousand people or more,” says Outing optimistically. At least I think he sounded optimistic.


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