National Hamburger Festival founder Drew Cezra announced this week that former competitive eater Dave "Coondog" O'Karma will serve as the honorary chairman for this year's festival, taking place in downtown Akron on August 8th and 9th. The announcement was made at a news conference held at the Akron Rubber Ducks stadium, and also celebrated the 10th year of the annual festival. Akron Mayor Jeff Fusco attended the conference, as did several restaurants who participate in the festival.
One of the best-known local hamburger restaurants, Menches Brothers, brought a 10 pound burger in honor of the event. I had a chance to try a piece of the burger, and you'd think that being as big as it was, it would just taste like plain old ground beef. I have to hand it to them- even that big chunk of burger had the same great taste that I expect from Menches Brothers.
In addition to all of the regular live events, a new craft beer tasting and indie rock showcase is being held on Sunday the 9th. Thirsty Dog Brewing, Buckeye Brewing, and several other local and national brewers will have their beers on draft. Try their beers while you listen to the bands and the kids play on the free inflatables.
The festival is being held at Lock 3 Park (200 South Main Street, Akron, Ohio) on Saturday August 8, 2015 (12-11pm) and Sunday August 9, 2015 (12-7pm).
Admission is $5, and children under 8 are free.
For more information and full schedule, visit www.hamburgerfestival.com
Downtown Akron, Lock 3
August 9-10, 2014
The National Hamburger Festival is being held this year on August 9th and 10th of 2014 in downtown Akron. Some of the best burger joints around will be setting up shop on Main Street so that you can decide for yourself who makes the best burger. Entertainment and special events will take place in Lock 3 Park throughout the weekend including the Ohio Burger Eating Championship, a burger cook-off, bobbing for burgers, and the Miss Hamburger Pageant. Visit the Hamburger Festival site for a schedule of events.
Downtown Akron, Lock 3
August 17-18, 2013
The National Hamburger Festival is being held at Lock 3 in downtown Akron on August 18th and 18th of 2013.
The Hamburger Festival is back for another year in Akron! Come down and try a few burgers- ranging from the traditional to the unique. In the past there have been deep-fried burgers, greek burgers, breakfast burger, and other variations you might not have ever dreamed of. For the past several years, I've been a judge in the best burger competition, and I've been asked back again this year. It's a chore tasting so many burgers, but I'll power through it and let you know how it goes. Check back after the festival for the competition results, and in the meantime, hope to see you there!
Late in the fall of 2012, I had the opportunity to stop at Popped!. Located within the newly developed Acorn Alley area of Kent, lies the small popcorn shop owned by Gwen Rosenburg who is helped out by her husband, Aaron. As you walk into the unassuming shop, the wonderful aroma of freshly popped Ohio grown corn tantalizes the nose and taste buds.
Gwen pops corn with common flavors such as caramel, caramel with peanuts and kettle corn along with unique flavors such as "Firehouse", "Baja" and white cheddar. I ordered a small cone-full with the white cheddar. It tasted as fresh as fresh popped corn could be with a satisfying white cheddar cheese taste. If you pass through the Kent area and are looking for a light snack, you must stop at Popped! Eat up!
Many Harley Davidson dealers and their affiliated HOG Chapters hold annual Chile challenges. Cleveland Harley Davidson Sales Company broke from tradition last year and started an annual Mac N Cheese challenge. This years challenge, to determine whose mac was daddy, was held on Saturday, September 22. Over several hours I, along with Cleveland radio personality Dave Ramos of WTAM 1100, Katrina Marshall who blogs on BiteBuff.com and Nicole Gillota of Gypsy Beans and Bakery, judged traditional (cheese only) and non-traditional "free style" mac n cheese dishes. Attendees would vote for a "People's Choice" winner.
With each bowl of mac came a very short time to judge ten entries with such creative names as "Cheez Dream", "Gettin' Zingy with it Mac & Cheese" and "Spin Doctors Magic Mac N Cheese". When it was all eaten and done, the judges and people spoke. Winning the traditional, cheese only was Darla Sixta with her "Slap Yo' Mamma Fatboy Baked Wheels of Cheese". The free style winner was Chris Candella with his "Macadella & Cheese". The Peoples Choice winner was Kim Holzinger.
Proceeds from this event and a raffle for a Harley Davidson Motorcycle, that was drawn immediately after, goes to benefit Toys for Tots. Kudos to the Cleveland Harley Davidson Sales Company, the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, the Mac N Cheese challengers, the raffle ticket purchasers, the attendees who purchased tickets to taste the challengers food and any others who had a part to fund raise for this terrific cause.