The Secret Burger Showdown finds its champion

One of my favorite things to eat is a cheeseburger; it’s the All-American icon. Soft buns, juicy meat and an assortment of toppings to compliment both patty and bun - what’s not to love? Last Saturday was the Off The Menu x Postmates Secret Burger Showdown. It was one of the many events featured on the LA Food Bowl’s calendar. The Secret Burger Showdown paired restaurants with chefs, tastemakers and celebrities to create a secret burger for the event.

The event was held at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. The Showdown housed eight vendors that passed around their signature collaborative burgers, while trays of crispy french fries made their way through the crowd to accompany those delicious sliders. A cocktail bar by Maker’s Mark offered some playfully-named libations like the “Ketchup Collins” and the “Root Beer Float”.

Ketchup Collins by Makers Mark

The eight collaborative burgers consisted of:

- Badmaash and Phil Rosenthal’s “The God Sauce” burger

- Burgerlords and Alexa Losey’s “Slaw & Order”

- Button Mash and Timothy Delaghett’s “Double Dr. Pepper Teriyaki Cheeseburger”

- Cassells’s and Jenn Harris’ “Sweaty, Happy ‘N Hot” burger

- Grill ‘Em All and Tommy Lee’s “The Leethal” burger

- Plan Check and Marshmello’s “Marshmello” burger

- Malibu Burger Co. and Charlotte McKinney’s “Bison Buffalo Bleu Cheese” burger

- Top Round and Josh Elkin’s “Wizz with Pastrami” burger

- Wolf and Shay Mitchell’s “Bougie Burg”

Plan Check’s Marshmello burger and a rocky road shake. While the shake had marshmallows, the burger did not. The Marshmello burger was made with a prime ribeye 28-day aged blend, Swiss cheese, kombu pickles, Schmaltz onions, and their distinct “black leather”. It’s their iconic ketchup leather combined with activated charcoal for that noir effect.

In typical Nguyen Tran fashion, the banana suit-clad chef is pictured here holding his ginormous DP burger. Normally at events you’ll find him shouting “put my balls in your mouth” referring to his cereal-encrusted tofu balls, but this time he was shouting about “DP” as in his Dr. Pepper Teriyaki cheeseburger, a tonkatsu-inspired creation.

While strolling through the Showdown on the way to your next burger destination, you could take a peak an the coveted championship trophy adorned with one of the biggest burgers I’ve ever seen. It was situated on the table were attendees would vote for the best burger and get more information about Off The Menu.

Cassell’s and Los Angeles Times deputy editor Jenn Harris’ burger paid tribute to Jitlada and Chef Tui Sungkamee. Their spicy larb burger sat on a bed of crisp lettuce and did not hold back on peanuts, both crushed and in sauce form. A delicious Thai-inspired homage.

The rocky road shake from Plan Check. It was the perfect amount of sweetness needed to balance out all the savory. Plus, it was just damn good.

After a much deserved break from carbs, I paid a visit to “Rob the Balloon Guy”. He was posted next to Burgerlords creating some amazing balloon art. Keeping in mind that this is a burger event, I asked for a burger headband. Rob quickly worked his magic twisting colorful tubular balloons into familiar shapes. I recorded all the balloon-making action on my YouTube channel.

Plan Check’s Marshmello’s burger got the popular vote as best burger and was crowned the championship winner!

Terry Heller and staff accepting the Secret Burger Showdown championship trophy. Kudos to entire Plan Check team on a well-deserved victory!

The Secret Burger Showdown was definitely one for the books. Burgers will always have a special place on the LA food scene and burger aficionados like myself will always fill those seats with an insatiable hunger.

For a quick video recap, check out my clip here.