Go On a Burger Bender at 30 Newport Restaurants

From February 16 to 25, thirty Newport area restaurants are serving creative interpretations of the all American burger, and diners can help determine a winner.

The El Santo’s Stuffed Chili Bomb burger at Diego’s.

Diners will get the chance to bite into up to thirty different types of burgers for Newport’s annual Burger Bender. From February 16 to 25, the same week as Newport’s annual Winter Festival, thirty restaurants on Aquidneck Island and surrounding towns are coming up with creative interpretations of the all American patty. The meat masterpieces are on the restaurants’ menus, so guests can experience them anytime they get a craving for a good burger.

As part of the Burger Bender, local restaurants will compete to win the title Newport Burger Bender Best Burger and they’ll earn the coveted Burger Bender trophy. Diners can check out the full list of participants and their burger submissions on the Newport Burger Bender website. Plan your burger binge and then vote for your favorite meaty champion. The burger with the most votes at the end of the contest will be crowned the winner.

There will also be two other awards given to the top burger creators. I am lucky enough to declare the “Creative Champion” as the editor of The Dish newsletter, Rhode Island Monthly magazine’s monthly food newsletter. A “Critic’s Choice” will also be named by Providence Journal Food Editor Gail Ciampa.

I’ll be going down to Newport over the next few weeks to sample some great burgers at Newport’s restaurants. Some creative patties that stand out to me so far are Diego’s El Santo’s Stuffed Chili Bomb, a grass-fed Portsmouth all beef burger stuffed with Oaxaca cheese and grilled jalapeno, served on a toasted local bun with shaved lettuce, beef and pork ancho chili and avocado crema; and the Wharf Pub’s Antipasti Patty, which is an Italian take on the all-American classic featuring a grass-fed Portsmouth all beef burger on a grilled ciabatta roll with Prosciutto De Parma, lemon dressed arugula, fresh mozzarella, balsamic peppers, onions and Rhode Island mushrooms and topped with cherry pepper aioli served with a side of herb truffle tater tots. White Horse Tavern is also a contender with its chuck burger with duck, Lille Colummiers cheese, caramelized shallot and smoked tomato jam with charred piquillo peppers.

The Wharf Pub’s Antipasti Patty burger.

Defending 2017 champion, Jo’s American Bistro, is going to give all the burger contestants a run for their money. The restaurant won last year’s Burger Bender, and the chefs are putting their hats back in the ring for 2018 with a barbecue spice-infused natural ground beef burger topped with roasted jalapeno peppers, barbecue glazed house pork belly and melted cheddar cheese topped with frizzled onion straws and drizzled with Carolina-style “Que” sauce served on a griddle-toasted Kaiser bulkie roll.

So plan your visit to Newport with an empty belly, because it’s time to go on a Burger Bender! Tag your burger photos on social media with the hashtag #NPTrightnow. Tagged photos will be automatically entered to win giveaways from Discover Newport. The public can vote throughout the entirety of the contest.



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