National Hamburger Festival – Akron

39.) National Hamburger Festival – Akron – August 19, 2012

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In 1884, Ohio’s own Menches Brothers were selling sausage patty sandwiches at the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, NY when they suddenly ran out of pork. They asked their supplier to butcher more hogs, but he was reluctant and suggested the use of beef.

After tasting the beef patty, the Menches Brothers were unconvinced, claiming that the taste was bland in comparison.

So they added a blend of ingredients, including coffee and brown sugar, and saved the day with their new sandwich…

…which they named the Hamburger after the city of its birth.

Of course, there are many other claims to the hamburger’s creation in various parts of the world…

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…but, fortunately, it’s only in Akron where you can find the festival that honors it.

Celebrating its 7th year, the National Hamburger Festival took place right in downtown Akron…

…and stretched over a two-block long section of Main Street…

…where vendors were happy to help you with your waterproofing and paintball needs…

…as well as get you set up with a new grill, thanks to the Big Green Egg and Char-Broil

…the latter of which had tons of free samples to taste.

But even after spending a $5 admission, there was no excuse to fill up on free samples…

…when you could have fries and beer…

…or cheese and wine.

And yes…

…you might even want a (Mexican) burgers.

With most burger vendors either being created and/or based in Ohio…
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…it was incredible to have so much selection!

But not only was there a great selection of businesses available…

…there were a better selection of (Greek) burgers.

You see, I actually came to this festival in 2009 before I started the blogging gig. At the time, the only burger joint that met my tastes…
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…was Lisbon’s Steel Trolley Diner with their Elvis Burger (bacon, peanut butter and house-made banana jam).

But, this time, I was finding that there were many burgers that looked good…


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…especially with the addition of certain businesses like the Nosh Box, Krav, and Motor Mouth

…and I was having a hard time trying to decide what to choose…

…until a photographer from the Akron Beacon Journal pointed out that I could get half burgers…

…HALF BURGERS!!!

Absolute genius!

So with 10 of my fancy food tickets…

…I got a 1/2 Korean Burger from Krav (sriracha mayo, pepper jack, asian slaw, Korean BBQ sauce)…

…a 1/2 Reuben Burger from Motor Mouth (ground corned beef patty, kraut, Swiss cheese, 1000 Island Dressing, freshly baked Kaiser rye bun)…

…and a jalapeno cheese burger from White Castle (with free coffee bag)…

…to keep it real, you know?

With all the delicious food now running through my veins…

…it was hard not to dance with Max and Erma

…or ask strangers to pose with those free White Castle masks.

Who knows? Maybe it was just the happiness of all those people together who all enjoy a good burger.

Add a big stage for music…

…some nostalgia..

…friendly competition

…and a Magical Train

…and all that burger fun can get to your head.

 

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