Unleash your inner Jeffrey Steingarden and decide whose hamburger, er... Glamburger will reign supreme (but you don't have to be a dick about it) in the Cheesecake Factory's "Great Glamburger Challenge."
For six weeks in April and May, the national chain known for its endless crowds and monstrous portions solicited creative "Glamburger" recipes as part of its rollout of a half-dozen designer patties of its own. Almost 30,000 submissions have been narrowed down to five, with the winner decided by a vote of thousands of Jeffrey Steingarden wannabes just like you. (To vote for your favorite burger before the Wednesday, June 30, deadline, go here.)
And what glamorous prize does the winning guy or gal receive? Well, for one, they'll get to see their very own Glamburger on the menu of all Factories throughout the country (including local outlets in Sunrise, Boca Raton, and West Palm Beach) for a year, plus their choice of a swell vacation in Sonoma or Monterey, California; Memphis, Tennessee; Austin, Texas; Rogue River Valley, Oregon; or Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The contenders are:
• Cajun Delight, from Pedro G. of
Valrico, Florida. Andouille, tasso, and crawfish; Muenster cheese;
roasted peppers; and Cajun dark roux.
• The Godfather, from
April K. of Maryville, Illinois. Ground beef, garlic
vinaigrette-marinated tomatoes, mozzarella and provolone cheeses,
pepperoni, grilled onions, marinara, Parmesan, and romaine.
Feta Burger, from Kristi G. of Zebulon, Georgia. Ground beef, feta
cheese, tomatoes, arugula salad, Kalamata olives, red onion, cucumber,
green peppers, garlic aioli.
• Waikiki Beach Burger, from
Aaron H. of Temecula, California. Canadian bacon, mozzarella, fresh
pineapple, arugula, teriyaki sauce.
• Wild Mushroom Burger,
from Thomas S. of Champaign, Illinois. Portobello, shiitake, and crimini
mushrooms; caramelized onion; red pepper; Gruyère and Swiss cheeses;
I would have liked to see the "Border Burger" make
the cut; its combo of ancho chili sauce, habaneros, jalapeño jack
cheese, onion rings, avocado, and crunchy tortilla strips sounds like a
real kick in the taste buds. On the other hand, whoever came up with the
"Glam It Up" burger -- tomato, dill pickle, roasted green chilies, iceberg
lettuce, black beans, corn, guacamole, grapes, Brie, fontina, cheddar,
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and buttermilk ranch dressing -- should probably donate their taste buds to
science. Or have them surgically removed.
In any event, vote
early, vote often. The winner will be announced Thursday, July 1.