Photos: Bull Burger Battle 2014

Heirloom tomatoes, crab, asparagus, and plenty of melted cheese and thick-cut bacon topped some of the best burgers put forth at last week’s Bull Burger Battle at Family Leisure. Fifteen competitors, including amateur home cooks and local celebrity chefs, were vying for a Bull Angus Grill as well as a ticket to Las Vegas to compete in the World Burger Championships, with the possibility of a $100,000 prize in the World Food Championships this November.
In the end, Detour American Grille and Bar of Geist took top honors for its entry, “The Boss Hog” burger, with a tangy-sweet glaze and coleslaw nestled into a brioche bun. Second place went to Punch Burger for a mammoth burger topped with its signature burnt cheese, a sunny-side-up egg, and a spicy Asian relish.
Other competitors included last year’s co-winner Craig Baker of The Local Eatery & Pub (14655 N. Gray Rd., Westfield, 317-218-3786), as well as members of local police and fire departments and newcomer High Velocity (10 S. West St., 317-860-5800). This was the second year that Family Leisure sponsored the contest, one of five Bull Burger Battles around the country, a qualifying event for the World Burger Championships.

A graduate of IU’s Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing, Terry Kirts hails from a town in Illinois so small it didn’t have a restaurant until he was in the 8th grade. Since 2000, he’s more than made up for the dearth of eateries in his childhood, logging hundreds of meals as the dining critic for WHERE Indianapolis, Indianapolis Woman, and NUVO before joining Indianapolis Monthly as a contributing editor in 2007. A senior lecturer in creative writing at IUPUI, Terry has published his poetry and creative nonfiction in a number of literary journals and anthologies, including Gastronomica, Alimentum, and Home Again: Essays and Memoirs from Indiana, and he’s the author of the poetry collection To the Refrigerator Gods, published by Seven Kitchens Press in 2011.