AOA/Central Steak Burger Lab finalists

central steak exterior

Pulled pork, coffee molasses glaze, caramelized onions, bacon, and romaine -- just one of the sliders that made the Burger Lab finals.

The AOA Burger Lab event at Central Steak is this Thursday. The people attending the slider tasting, a benefit for the ASAP Daisies, will get to create their own burgers from a long list of meats, toppings, and condiments.

And it's sold out.

But five people are getting a free ticket thanks to the combinations they posted as comments here at AOA when we first announced the event. Their combinations will be tasted a panel of judges, and the winner burger will be added to the Central Steak menu.

Here are the tasty-sounding combinations that made it to the final round...

The judges for the tasting will be Daniel B. (FUSSYlittleBLOG), Jerry (of derryX fame), and Janie from the ASAP Daisies. The finalists were picked based on what sounded interesting to the judges.

Kate H.
Ground beef, caramelized fennel, black pepper aioli, blue cheese, and arugula

Amy Gerling
Pulled pork, coffee molasses glaze, caramelized onions, bacon, and romaine

Pork BellyBlack Pepper Aioli,Pickled onion, Pickled cucumber, Caramelized onion
Bacon,Braised pork belly,Sesame purple cabbage,Blue cheese,ArugulaCall it "the whole hog"

Ground lamb,Black pepper aioli,Caramelized onion,Pickled cucumber.Goat cheese

Pork belly, coffee molasses glaze, pickled habanero, and crispy onion

Here's the full list of options they had to choose from on the slider bar:

Ground beef
Ground lamb
Pork belly
Pulled pork

Horseradish cream
Sweet-and-sour BBQ
Wasabi scallion aioli
Chipotle mayo
Black pepper aioli
Coffee molasses glaze
Blue cheese dressing
Sun dried tomato pesto

Roma tomato
Tomato jalapeno relish
Pickled onion
Pickled cucumber
Pickled habanero
Caramelized onion
Braised pork belly
Crispy onion
Sesame purple cabbage
Caramelized fennel

Goat cheese
Blue cheese


The Burger Lab event is sold out. The addition of the winning slider to the Central Steak menu is subject to final approval by Central Steak.


Can’t wait to try them all! Will they be listed somewhere at the event (or available pre-made) or should I bring a cheat sheet?

This is going to be awesome!

I'm looking forward to hearing about their choice of bun. That could make or break all of these combinations.

I bit sad mine wasn't picked but I'm sure trying all of these on Thursday will help me recover! Congrats!

Adeyinka - I can't speak for the other judges, but if you are up for a little constructive criticism, I can give you my notes on your submission.

It sounded overly sweet. The glaze, plus the caramelized onions, plus the caramelized fennel just seemed like a bit much without enough contrast to bring them into balance.

Maybe in execution, your entry will be more succulent than sweet. More rich and unctuous than cloying, with little refreshing bursts of crisp, peppery greens. That's the fun part of the event, bringing these ideas to life. So much depends on how the kitchen prepares the toppings.

But on paper it seemed more like the former. Please let me know how it turns out.

I did go a little overboard with the sweets- the blessing and curse of options. Thanks!

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