Three thousand burgers sold in nine days — that’s The Barley House’s goal this year for Burger Fest, its annual CHaD fundraiser.
From Friday, June 13, through Saturday, June 21, The Barley House will offer a limited Burger Fest menu from which the purchase of each burger will directly benefit CHaD.
“This year we’re trying to break the 3,000-burger mark,” Manager Kevin Graham said. “Every year it’s grown, and this year we’re trying to break through that.”
Last year, The Barley House sold 2,852 burgers during Burger Fest, with about 2,200 the year before.
The Burger Fest menu will feature 15 specialty burgers; some will be returning favorites, but others will be brand new.
“We try to get an array of burgers on there for all tastes,” Graham said. “I’m personally trying to get a tofu burger on there.”
Last year, some of the more popular burgers included the Korean Barbecue Burger (made with a Korean barbecue sauce seared patty topped with an Asian slaw and served on a sesame bun) and the Old Fashioned Patty Melt (served on a buttered and grilled sourdough roll, with a house grilled burger patty, secret onion sauce, and Swiss and provolone cheeses).
“[Customers] really just look forward to the new and exciting burgers,” Graham said. “At The Barley House, we butcher the meat and grind our burgers every day. We hear these are the best burgers people eat in their entire lives. Often that’s one of the big draws. They’re exciting burgers, and it’s a good time. Summer’s about to kick off, and [you can] help raise money for CHaD.”
Gourmet and specialty burgers have become a popular trend in the restaurant scene, with many restaurants in major cities opening up just to serve that niche. Specialty burgers often include unique culinary pairings or toppings, taking the traditional patty and sesame seed bun to a whole other level. The Barley House offers eight different burgers on its regular menu (with options like The Hangover Burger, made with bacon, cheddar, a fried egg, peppercorn charred burger and potato cake with buffalo sauce).
“We were there before [the trend started], of course. We’re just running right along with it, reaping the benefits of that trend. It brings a couple more people looking for them, willing to try a different burger to get out of their comfort zone,” Graham said. “You could start with the perfect burger patty itself, never mind the toppings. … To the other people, it's simply letting someone come up with these concoctions that marry perfectly.”
Funds raised from purchases off the Burger Fest menu will be donated to the Fred Fund, which benefits CHaD. Each of the burgers has an outside sponsor as well, and New Hampshire Distributors will also donate a dollar for each sale of any of its draft lines (like Founders All Day IPA and Stella Artois).
If you’re up for the feat, The Barley House extends a burger challenge: Diners who come in every day during Burger Fest and order a specialty burger will be entered to win one of the bigger raffle prizes (everyone who orders a specialty burger gets a raffle ticket for a chance to win smaller prizes).
“Every year that keeps growing, and the people that enter and complete that challenge … that elite group gets the chance at one of the bigger prizes to win,” Graham said.
Those “bigger” prizes include a kayak, a custom-built mountain bike and a grill, to name a few.
Burger Fest kicks off on Friday, June 13, with a special performance by Boogie on Alice at 9:30 p.m.
As seen in the June 12, 2014 issue of the Hippo.