By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL- The first edition of Rio Burger Fest began on May 23rd and will continue through next Sunday, May 31st. The culinary festival and restaurant tour features more than fifteen establishments in the city offering specially prepared hamburgers.
The Burger Fest originated in São Paulo four years ago as a way to showcase the potential for the hamburger to go beyond traditional and fast food offerings. It was also developed to help connoisseurs discover and explore new restaurants in the city.
“The Rio Burger Fest will hold its first edition in Rio de Janeiro because we believe the quality gourmet burger meshes with the public in Rio, a city that welcomes thousands of foreign tourists,” Claudio Baran, creator of the Rio Burger Fest told The Rio Times. “We want to democratize and draw attention to the burger as a main dish, not only as a snack or a fast food option.”
Baran explained that participating establishments were chosen by “the quality and overall perception of the restaurant […]” and that they had to be “restaurants that did not traditionally serve burgers, where Chefs would have the opportunity to create a unique recipe for festival.”
During the festival Bar Astor in Ipanema will offer the Vesper Astor Burger. Made with sliced ribeye topped with bacon, cheese and onions,the burger is served with accompanying fries. Also in Ipanema, Complex Esquina 111 is offering their Hamburger Esquina, a hamburger topped with two mustard sauces, lettuce, bacon and honey.
Chez L’Ami Martin in São Conrado has added to their menu a skirt steak burger topped with melted Gruyere and Brie cheeses, tomatoes and lettuce. The burger is served with onions, bacon, mustard, ketchup, and accompanying fries.
Irajá Gastrô in Botafogo is offering the Irajá Burger, a 100% Black Angus patty topped with queijo minas (minas cheese), onion confit, and compota de bacon (a type of bacon jam or spread).
The Burger Quadrucci will be offered at Q in Leblon. Made with steak and artisanal bacon then topped with Raclette Mineiro cheese, Bernaise sauce and slices of heart of palm, the burger is placed on slices of brioche.
Also in Leblon, Bar do Lado will offer three new burgers for the festival; the Do Lado Burger with hamburger filé, Swiss cheese, fried onions, and grilled mushrooms; the Hamburger Clássico with hamburger filé, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and fries; and the BLT with hamburger filé, Emmental cheese, bacon, tomatoes and American lettuce.
When asked his idea of the perfect burger, Baran said; “A perfect hamburger is the combination of several factors; fresh, quality meat from good sources; a soft, fresh bread and accompaniments like bacon and cheese. Additionally, good friends and good company always help to make a more tasty burger!”
Baran also added that they planned to make the festival a biannual event with the next Rio Burger Fest to be held in November.
For a complete list of participants, their offerings and for other information about Rio Burger Fest see their Facebook page.
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