A FIERCE BURGER BATTLE: WHO WON?
Delaware Burger Battle: Market Street Showdown
3pm, Aug. 25 • Cauffiel House, Bellevue State Park
After two rounds of judging, 19 burgers, and so much bacon, the final round of the 2018 Delaware Burger Battle ended in a dead heat between Chelsea Tavern and Farmer & The Cow. Ending in a numerical tie for first, the scores forced a vote among the three judges to break the tie. And the winner of the 2018 Critics’ Choice Award for Best Burger, in a split decision: Chelsea Tavern’s “Delaware Destroyer.” (F&C proved a popular favorite too, finishing second in the People’s Choice category as well.)
It was a fierce battle between two of Delaware’s best burger joints, separated by only five blocks on Market. We checked in with both restaurants to hear more about the battle. (We also checked in with event founder JulieAnne Cross, who confirms that the biggest burger battle ever will result in the biggest charitable donation ever, with more than $11,000 going to Delaware nonprofits including the Food Bank of Delaware and Delaware ProStart.)
The Delaware Destroyer • Chelsea Tavern • 821 N. Market St.
RAPA Scrapple • Pepperjack Cheese • Smoked Tomato Aioli • Lettuce and Onions
Owner Joe Van Horn: “My chef wanted to do scrapple. I thought he was crazy. I think it's one of those foods like oysters. People either love it or they hate it. And it went just the way I thought it would with the general public. Half the people loved it, and half the people made faces at us when they read the description and wouldn’t come near us. But we counted 31 people who we converted from scrapple haters into loving it.”
“Because of that, to be honest with you, I thought our only shot to win was Critic’s Choice. And you know how close it was. To be honest, if I had to pick a winner and couldn't choose myself, I would have gone with Farmer & The Cow, from what I tasted. So I was happy for them.”
“It's an event that you get better at as you do it. This is our third win, our second Critics’ Choice and we've won People’s Choice once. We like the bragging rights. And we'll serve it until we run out of scrapple! No, really, it will be on for at least two weeks. And we may put it on the menu.”
The Bushwood Burger • Farmer & The Cow • 413 N. Market St.
Bourbon Apples • Prosciutto • Smoked Gouda
Owner Jasper Singh: “It was a fantastic experience. It gave our crew a good day out. To them, that’s a day off, hanging outside. We’re so young as a restaurant, that I think it's good to be recognized for the work that we're doing.”
“We had so many people coming back to the table. I think for us, we went in with the intention of getting our name out there and let people see what we can do, and we got amazing feedback. It was perfect. We got exactly what we wanted out of it. Don't get me wrong – I really thought we were going to win. But it was really good.
“We're the new kids on the block. I just want hundreds of thousands of people to come down to Market and eat. I want every restaurant to be packed. And I think Market is really stepping up the game right now. I'm from New York City originally, and I always worked in neighborhood bars, and we're a neighborhood place, but we have so many people from everywhere. Any given night at the bar, we'll have people from Philadelphia or D.C., and they really enjoy it.”