Reigning champ Home Plate Bar-B-Que narrowly defeated a strong showing by Great Leap Brewing to enter the Championship of the Beijinger’s 2014 Burger Cup, where it will face off against Slow Boat Brewery, which moved past The Big Smoke on its way to the final match.
It’s been a grueling battle for both of the final match’s contestants. On their way through the field of 64 venues, Home Plate defeated Domain, Burgers & Beer, Temple Bar, Union Bar and Grille and finally Great Leap to make it to the penultimate match. Meanwhile, the previously unranked Slow Boat sailed past Lakers, The Irish Volunteer, Lily’s American Diner, Plan B, and The Big Smoke to reach the final.
Home Plate’s signature burger is the Double Cheese Burger. It’s chock full of Australian beef goodness and comes at the bargain price of RMB 55 (sides are extra). Served on a buttered, toasted sesame seed bun, Home Plate’s beast is topped with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and red onion and slathered with one of their home-made sauces: house-made mustard or one of the BBQ sauces that made them famous: Kansas, Memphis or Texas style.
Meanwhile, Slow Boat’s claim-to-fame is their Fryburger, which takes the perfect burger side dish – French Fries – and shoves them right in there between the two halves of the toasted bun. Served with a pickle for RMB 50, Slow Boat’s Australian ground beef patty is topped with American cheese and their signature aioli sauce, adding up to a mouth-watering combination.
The third-place match is another mouth-waterer, given the quality and appeal of the two contestants, Great Leap and The Big Smoke.
Great Leap defeated Main Street, Windy City, 4corners and The Local before being bumped off by Home Plate to earn their place in the consolation round. The Big Smoke defeated Eudora Station, The Kro’s Nest, Lush and blue frog before stalling in front of Slow Boat to enter the battle for #3.
Great Leap’s top selling burger, the Cheeseburger, is simple yet sophisticated, featuring fresh (never frozen) single-source Inner Mongolian beef which is butchered, prepared and ground in-house. It’s then topped with American cheese and house-made pickles and served with Mayo and GLB Fancy Sauce on a toasted Sesame Seed Bun.
On the other side stands The Big Smoke with their signature burger, the Portabella Blue Cheese Burger. This 100% beef burger is served on a sesame seed bun and is toppped with a deep fried portabella mushroom stuffed with blue cheese, lettuce and red onion and dressed with their spicy chipotle lime mayo. At RMB 68, it is served withthe Big Smoke’s signature truffle-oiled,hand-cut French Fries.
So there you have it: We’re down to the finals and you have until Saturday night to vote … that’s plenty of time for even you burger virgins to try each one of the top four before making up your mind.
Here’s our lineup card:
Championship: Home Plate vs Slow Boat
3rd Place Match: Great Leap vs The Big Smoke
Meanwhile, In the last round of voting we also asked you your favorite of several contenders for a dream burger combination. The overwhelming favorite was the Joybringer No. 1 created by voter Tijs Bulk of the Netherlands (who in fact hails from not too far from the birthplace of Gouda cheese). The Joybringer features a beef patty on a lightly toasted bun topped with Gouda cheese, lettuce, tomato, caramalized onions, bacon, mustard, mayonnaise and BBQ sauce. Voters reported they’d be willing to pay RMB 47 for such a combo … it remains to be seen if any of Beijing’s burgermeisters would like to put this combo on their menu.
Finally, we asked you to rank the four establishments that were knocked out in the previous round. Adding to our previously-ranked #9 and #10, the 2014 list of Top 10 Beijing Burgers is beginning to take shape.
5. The Local
6. Blue Frog
7. Plan B
8. Union Bar and Grille
9. Frost Coffee, Cocktails and Dining
10. Let’s Burger
This post first appeared thebeijinger.com on September 23, 2014
Photos: courtesy of Home Plate, Big Smoke, The Great Leap, Slow Boat & graphics by Susu Luo