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Posted at 2:30 PM ET, 07/27/2009

At Burger Competition, BGR Is a WNR

By Julia Beizer

Mark Bucher with one of his 15-pound burgers. (James M. Thresher - The Washington Post)

Bethesda's BGR: The Burger Joint took home the top honors in the First Feedbag Burger Summit, a burger competition held at the Summit Food and Wine Festival in Summit, N.J., yesterday.

UPDATE:(10:20 a.m. July 28) The official word is in from Ivan Ruiz, an organizer of the Summit Food and Wine Festival. In a three-way tie, BGR, Wildwood Barbeque and Stand4 all shared first place in the competition.

The shop's patties even defeated those from heavyweight New York restaurants like Perry Street and Le Bernardin.

Less than 24 hours after returning from New York, owner Mark Bucher's still on a high about the win. "Here in D.C., we hold up with the big contenders," he said, referring to fellow patty purveyor Spike Mendelsohn's win at the South Beach Burger Bash earlier this year.

Chefs from each restaurant were required to make burgers in four categories: haute/gourmet, slider, classic and specialty. Bucher entered his bacon cheeseburger with mojo sauce for the classic category and his Wellington burger for specialty. For haute/gourmet, he entered a burger topped with guacamole, fire-roasted tomatoes and tortilla strips. A big factor in the win was his slider submission; the miniature version of the shop's Greek burger earned 128 of 130 possible points and pushed the BGR team's total point count ahead of all other contenders.

The restaurant has competed in burger bashes before but never one of this stature, said Bucher. "Oh my gosh, we were nervous. It's intimidating. These guys are set up with teams of people," he said. "We're just winging it in D.C., in a sense."

Each entrant was allowed to bring his or her own beef blend to the competition, and Bucher thinks the ground meat his shop uses might have been what put his burgers over the top. Expect to see more competitions from BGR; the shop has been invited to participate in three others.

-- Julia

UPDATE (7:59 p.m. July 27): Conflicting accounts of the Grand Champion award have arisen. When Bucher and I spoke this morning (and up until I called him regarding the comment below 5 minutes ago), he was under the impression BGR had taken home the top honors alone. Stay tuned for more from the organizers.

By Julia Beizer  | July 27, 2009; 2:30 PM ET
Categories:  Restaurants  
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Your article is wrong, There was a three-way tie for Grand Champion and my restaurant STAND4 was one of them. WE also won the best classic burger. I hope you correct this at once. We worked very hard to win and reading this only means your didn’t see the results, maybe it was the hail.

Posted by: ryouthsave | July 27, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Wow, that comment posted by ryouthsave is quite obnoxious. I'll be sure never to eat at Stand4.

Posted by: AK33077 | July 28, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

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