Wait. So Jack Pirtle's Chicken is a title sponsor for the second annual Best Memphis Burger Fest? Can you even buy a hamburger at Jack Pirtle's?
"You can, in fact, get a burger at Pirtle's," says Best Memphis Burger co-founder Seth Agranov, who describes it as respectable without being notable. "It's a pretty basic burger," he says. "It's not as good as their steak sandwich, which is pretty off the charts."
Wait. Pirtle's Chicken has a steak sandwich?
"It comes with gravy and slaw," Agranov continues, making a hunk of beef situated between two pieces of bread sound like something you need to be 18 to watch on the internet. It's just a prelude to his burger festival pitch.
"This year we have 27 teams signed up to cook. We're going to have close to 300 individual burgers turned in," Agranov says. "And I expect to see a little of everything. Some teams will keep it really simple, like a Tops Bar-B-Q-style burger: meat, cheese, bun. Some teams will be totally gourmet with home-baked buns and a variety blend of meat: prime rib cut with a little bit of short rib cut with a little bit of bacon to achieve that rich, almost buttery flavored beef.
"There will be homemade aiolis," he continues. "There may be a fresh fried egg on top. I even know a person on one team who keeps chickens."
The festival kicks off at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, September 22nd, at Minglewood Hall and features teams competing in the categories Veggie, Anything But, Most Creative, and Best Memphis Burger. Activities include a burger eating contest and a dill pickle eating competition. There will also be live music by Grand Theft Audio, Throttle, the Hellbillies, and the Donnie Brunson Band.
Best Memphis Burger Fest at Minglewood Hall, Sunday, September 22nd, 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission is a $5 donation to Mid-South Spay & Neuter Services. Children 12 and under enter free.