Burgers are Back

It’s back. The second annual Wilmington Burger Battle will take place Aug. 24 at Twin Lakes Brewing Co. in Greenville. Area restaurants—including last year’s critic’s choice Kildare’s Irish Pub and people’s choice Union City Grille—are expected to throw down again for an outdoor, rain-or-shine charity event. Proceeds support the Ministry of Caring’s Emmanuel Dining Room. Admission prices will include food, beer tastings, soft drinks, and music; tickets to this limited-capacity tasting event will be available in early summer through wilmingtonburgerbattle.com. Event co-founder Matthew Curtis, chef-owner of Union City Grille, says, “I consider the burger to be the perfect food, and a restaurant’s burger can really tell you a lot about its quality. We were thrilled that 16 of Delaware’s best restaurants came together last year to compete, and are hoping for more this year. I bet some of last year’s chefs want a rematch with me!” More than 400 people attended the 2012 event to place their votes for People’s Choice Burger, and the event raised more than $4,000 to fight hunger. Three Delaware sports legends served as Delebrity judges, tasting 18 burgers like champs, ultimately declaring Kildare’s burger their favorite. “We are hoping for a rich field of entries in the Alternative Burger category this year,” says Battle co-founder JulieAnne Cross. “Many of our vegetarian friends supported the event last year, and we want them to enjoy the food as much as they enjoy the Delaware-brewed Twin Lakes beer.” The Twin Lakes farm in Greenville has again agreed to be the host, and event proceeds will again support the Emmanuel Dining Room, which helps alleviate the immediate needs of Delaware’s hungry by serving more than 180,000 nutritious meals at no cost and with no questions asked. Restaurants are encouraged to contact ucgcharities@gmail.com for more information. Look for more as the event draws near.

And Speaking of UCG…

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It has a new menu. Union City Grille’s famous crab cakes, with roasted pepper relish and avocado sauce, are offered as small plates, along with mussels in a beer-mustard-herb sauce with a pretzel baguette, shrimp sautéed in sherry butter with garlic and chili flakes, and calamari with fried pickles. With all the big steaks and chops you love, you’ll also find entrées such as grilled salmon with a capanota of grilled vegetables, braised short rib with cheddar grits and wilted kale, and blackened mahi mahi with basil-pine nut couscous and tomato confit. Of course, chef-owner Matthew Curtis’ delicious handmade pastas remain. Visit soon. 654-9780

Sharing is Good

Don’t forget to save the date for Share Our Strength’s 25th annual Taste of the Nation Dinner April 18 at Harry’s Savoy Ballroom in North Wilmington. This amazing multi-course dinner raises money to combat childhood hunger via the Food Bank of Delaware, the Ministry of Caring and the Claymont Community Center. Guest sommeliers will pour some delicious wines while guest chefs from across the country prepare some amazing meals. They include:

Elise Wiggins, executive chef at Panzano, preparing rabbit confit with potato gnocchi, slow-roasted pickled tomato, caramelized leeks and shallots, gorgonzola and fine herbs

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Andy Husbands, chef-owner of Tremont 647 and Sister Sorel in Boston, preparing yellow fin tuna two ways—ginger rare sear and tartar—with crunchy sushi rice and green krack sauce

Kirk Avondoglio, executive chef of Perona Farms in New Jersy, serving pastrami squab with Jewish rye crouton

Jeff Buben, chef-owner of Vidalia in Washington, D.C., preparing Shenandoah lamb loin with curry lamb sausage, fava beans, strawberry jam, pickled rhubarb and voudavon jus

Nathan Rich, executive chef at Lake Placid Lodge, a 2012 Relais and Chateaux Rising Chef Award Winner, will prepare a surprise for the Champagne Reception hors d’oeuvre

Jessi Allen, chef and owner of A Sweet Destination in Claymont, will serve a vanilla-pineapple torte with strawberry glaze, white chocolate coconut crunch and buttermilk-mint gelato

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We can’t wait. For your reservation, call Harry’s at 475-3000. harrys-savoy.com

Since We’re Looking Ahead…

Meals from the Masters looms. April 19-21. It starts with the 11th annual Evening with the Masters at the Doubletree Wilmington Downtown and, also on Friday, the ninth Cellar Masters’ Wine Auction. (Sorry, folks—that one is sold out). A highlight: the Celebrity Chefs’ Brunch on April 21 at Hercules Plaza in Wilmington. You know the drill: top-flight chefs, outstanding food, great wine, auctions, entertainment and more—all to benefit Meals on Wheels Delaware. Meals On Wheels Delaware works with five meal-providing agencies and thousands of volunteers from corporations, civic, religious and community groups to provides and deliver meals every day to almost 4,000 homebound seniors. Last year nearly 600,000 meals were delivered throughout the state. You can help just by having fun. Get your tickets soon. mealsonwheelsde.org

Our Best of Delaware Elimination Ballot is open through February 22!

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