The Syracuse Pub was named the best hamburger in NY for the sixth time

Syracuse, NY – Since the fast food chain has already taken the name Burger King, perhaps Syracuse’s Ale ‘n Angus should be known as the Burger Emperor.

Ale ‘n Angus, a restaurant across the street from the War Monument in downtown Syracuse, won the state’s Beef Council competition in New York on Monday afternoon. This is the sixth time that the father and son team of Randy and Matt Beach has won this award. They were the current champions heading into the final four on Monday, winning three of the last four years.

They narrowly beat Ben’s Fresh burger restaurant in Port Jervis, Illusive Restaurant and Bar in Rensselaer and the new Brewer Union Cafe in Brewerton.

Ale ‘n Angus offers a different “Burger of the Week” in his restaurant. When it came time to make burgers for this year’s competition, Matt Beach approached his staff and asked who would eat and who got the best customer response. His winning record – The Holy Smokers Burger – proved to be one of his bestsellers over the past year.

“This is a victory for the whole staff. We take this very seriously, ”said Matt Beach. “Being even among the four is the best honor, and after seeing the competition, it means even more.”

The Holy Smokers Burger will be on the menu from Tuesday and will eventually be on the entire menu for the next few months.

The annual Beef Council competition opened on April 1, and the public voted for their favorite burger. Five restaurants in central New York were among the top 10 that moved on. The last four were the biggest winners in the second round of public voting. The finalists prepared their application for the jury on Monday afternoon in the examination kitchen of Onondaga Community College. Grading was a blind taste test.

The jury consisted of New York dairy farmer Kim Skellie, Ken Krutz of Empire Livestock Marketing, Eat Local New York video host Anthony Tringale, CNY Central journalist Brandon Roth and food writer Charlie Miller. Each judge judged the burgers based on overall taste, texture, appearance and temperature. Organizers said the final results were close.

Each restaurant was responsible for bringing its own ingredients, including ground beef for the burgers. Each restaurant served the judges a burger with a side dish of some kind of potato, but we only judged the hamburger itself.

Here’s a look at the last four burgers in the order they were served:

Ale ‘n Angus (winner)

Best Burger of 2022 in NY

The Holy Smokers Burger of Ale ‘n Angus won this year’s New York Beef Council’s Best Burger. (Charlie Miller | [email protected])

Address: 238 Harrison St., Syracuse

Where’s Beef? Holy Smokers Burger is a juicy half-pound angus topped with smoked beef breast, pepper jack cheese, homemade spicy onion straws and a unique brown sugar barbecue sauce. It is served with a tart side dish.

Comment of this judge: A lot is going on in this hamburger. While some might marvel at the chest or the combination of deep-fried onions with sweet sauce, the star was a pretzel roll. Since this type of bread is a little thicker than other pastries, it lasted nicely by holding it all together. The juices from the meat and sauce settled nicely into the lower half, but the bun didn’t fall apart on the short way from the plate to the esophagus. My napkin stayed dry and my plate was pretty clean of grease. Greetings to the real Burger King, I mean the Emperor.

Illusory restaurant and bar

Best Burger of 2022 in NY

The Empire Smash Burger by Illusive Restaurant and Bar in Rensselaer was among the final four in the New York Beef Council Best Burger pageant. (Charlie Miller | [email protected])

Address: 3 Ferry St., Rensselaer

Where’s Beef? Empire Smash starts with a rich mix of short ribs, sebaceous and porterhouse. Serve it with bacon, New York white cheddar cheese, whipped honey barbecue sauce, green onions and place between toasted brioche rolls.

Comment of this judge: The chefs obviously know how to make a good burger because they put lettuce on the bottom so that the soft roll doesn’t get too wet and fall apart. All five judges were delighted with the taste of this meat combination, probably because it was the only contestant who did NOT use only minced meat for a hamburger. Unevenly squeezed burgers betrayed it, and we appreciated it. I’m already planning a trip to Rensselaer. (Are they selling Miller Lite or Utica Club out there?)

Brewer Union Cafe

Best Burger of 2022 in NY

The Bam Bam Burger from Brewer Union Cafe in Brewerton was among the four finals in the selection for the best burger of the New York Beef Council. (Charlie Miller | [email protected])

Address: 5771 Miller Road, Brewerton

Where’s Beef? Bam Bam Burger is an 8 ounce angus on a hard roll in New York. Among the pastries are colby jack cheese, fried egg, crispy chili, slices of onion tempura, homemade smoked onion and garlic aioli.

Comment of this judge: This is the type of burger I would order in the morning after a night of evaluating all the beers that Central New York has to offer. Seriously, you get breakfast, lunch and dinner in this sandwich. We also got dessert because it came with a side dish of sweet and smoked french fries coated with smoked salt, pepper, brown sugar, Killshot coffee and maple syrup. This must be the first time I’ve eaten a side dish of french fries that made the great burger flavor even better. This is very impressive, especially considering the Brewer Union opened 18 months ago.

Ben’s Fresh

Best Burger of 2022 in NY

Benny Burger of Ben’s Fresh in Port Jervis was among the finalists for the New York Beef Council’s Best Burger. (Charlie Miller | [email protected])

Address: 33 E Main St, Port of Jervis

Where’s Beef? Benny Burger has a classic American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and some “signature benny sauce”

Comment of this judge: This is a very basic hamburger. It’s a sandwich you would order for lunch or Happy Hour and go home satisfied. The only thing the judges realized after eating it is that there aren’t enough restaurants today that put pickles on burgers. It changes the whole taste of the dish.

Charlie Miller finds the best in food, drink and entertainment throughout central New York. Contact him at (315) 382-1984or by e-mail at [email protected]. You can also find it under @HoosierCuse on Twitter and so on Instagram. Sign up for his free weekly Where is the Syracuse Eats newsletter here.


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