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Burger Bracket Update: A report from the trenches

June 6, 2013

burgerbracket1The match-ups are tough in the second round of the City Paper Burger Bracket (you have until 9 a.m. to vote on who gets into the Final Four). We sent our intrepid interns to visit the final eight contenders and see how they feel about their chances and who they think is their beefiest competition.

Abbey Burger Bistro

The Abbey Burger Bistro has it all. For one thing, they’re the only contender that actually has “burger” in its name. They also offer wild boar, kangaroo, and different exotic meats each month (last month’s was camel). It’s small and cozy restaurant, with a solid customer base; at 1 p.m. on a Thursday it’s nearly full.

Even without a strong social media presence, the Abbey is a strong competitor for the Final Four.

“We are a burger place,” says James Holland, the manager, “we live off of our reputation more than anything else.” Their strategy? Simply make the best food. Satisfied customers are spreading the word – the best kind of advertisement that Abbey Burger could ask for. Even though it’s hidden away in a tiny alley, this place is going to be hard to beat: it’s already gathering votes at an insane rate. This round, The Abbey Burger Bistro is up against the Dizz, but they’re not worried. Watch out, Kooper’s Tavern and Alonso’s (their biggest competition, so they say), the Abbey is coming for you, next. -Emily Glickman

Mothers Grille

With over 10,000 followers on Facebook and Twitter, it’s no surprise that Mothers Federal Hill Grille is racking up the votes.

“The competition is stiff,” says Colleen Broersma, Mother’s Special Events Coordinator. Though full of smiles, Colleen is taking this fight extremely seriously – the title at stake here is no laughing matter. Mother’s hopes their burgers will speak for themselves, but they’re definitely not too shy to use their huge social media presence to their advantage. Multiple posts encouraging voting are uploaded to their Facebook page per day; at least 3 tweets have been posted in the last 48 hours, asking followers to help them beat Alonso’s.

Mother’s feels their biggest competition is The Abbey Burger Bistro, but that won’t derail Mother’s earnestness for the win – emails are currently being sent out encouraging customers to vote. “We’re proud of our food here,” Colleen adds. “We hope to be victorious.” -Emily Glickman


Its exterior adorned with historic carvings, Alewife stands out from the rest of the competition even just aesthetically. Management believes their burger does the same: “When I looked at the bracket in the beginning, and who we were pinned against [One World Cafe], it was kind of the total opposite of what we do,” said Kevin Shiver, a manager at Alewife. “I thought that was an interesting choice.”

Shiver said he thinks the bracket is great, and that other places offer different specialties that don’t easily compare to Alewife. “Places like One World Café are great for what they do, but it’s definitely not a burger in the traditional sense of the word.” Alewife’s widely known Smoke Burger easily overtook One World’s veggie burger in the initial round of the Baltimore Burger Bracket. Now, they’re facing off against Kooper’s Tavern, whose array of burgers together pose a serious challenge to the craft-beer-focused restaurant.

The owner of Alewife called City Paper later to let us know that Hamilton Tavern is the bar’s biggest competition—but in a friendly way. Win or lose, Shiver said, “We are just going to keep doing what we do best and let the results speak for themselves.” -Alex Milstein

Stay tuned to for more updates