Three Austin area restaurants are participating in the James Beard Foundation Blended Burger Project, a nationwide contest and challenge to make a “blended burger,” by blending ground meat with finely chopped mushrooms to create a delicious, healthier — and more sustainable — burger. Through July 31, guests are encouraged to try the burgers and then vote for their favorite.
Mushrooms make the burgers juicier without taking away from the meaty flavor, in fact, they enhance it. At Boiler Nine Bar + Grill, chef Jason Stude is featuring a lamb chorizo burger that's blended with 30 percent cremini mushrooms, nestled in a slightly sweet egg bun and dressed with chimichurri, jalapeño, pickled mustard seeds, lemon aioli, bibb lettuce, pickled onion, and raclette. The house-made lamb chorizo adds an extra layer of flavor and a spicy kick that is matched by the fresh jalapeños but balanced by the creamy raclette. It comes with a side of homemade salt-and-vinegar potato chips
Chef Amir Hajimaleki’s awesome umami burger will be featured on the menu at both Oasthouse Kitchen + Bar and District Kitchen + Cocktails. His creation blends oyster mushrooms with high-quality Texas Wagyu beef for the juicy patty, which comes on a Hawaiian bistro bun and is topped with the chef’s special Japanese island sauce, pickled bok choy, fresh cucumber slices, and Delice de Bourgogne cheese from Antonelli’s Cheese Shop. The lightly salty and creamy nature of the cheese contrasts with the fresh crunch of the cucumbers for a unique taste sensation, and the crispy shoestring fries on the side are the perfect counterpart.
Diners can vote for these Austin favorites in the Blended Burger Project online. Burger lovers are also encouraged to post photos of the burger to social media with the hashtag #blendedburgerproject to spread the word.
The five chefs with the most online votes will win a trip to the historic James Beard House in New York, where they will showcase their blended burgers at an exclusive event in 2018. Customers who vote for their favorite blended burger online will also be entered to win a trip for two to the 2018 Blended Burger event at the James Beard House.