WEST RIDGE — The North Side restaurant famous for its deep-fried double cheeseburger is among a dozen Chicago eateries hoping to win an award from the James Beard Foundation for having the best burger.
VPT Burgers, 5457 N. Western Ave., recently joined other area restaurateurs in participating in this year's Blended Burger Project, a national contest that judges burgers whose patty contains a base of beef and finely chopped mushrooms and reflects a burger that's "tastier, healthier and more sustainable," according to the foundation's website.
From now until July 31, the public can vote on which creation represents the most creative use of mushrooms, interesting flavor profile and most drool-worthy appearance.
The five chefs who receive the most votes win a trip to the historic James Beard House in New York in January.
To compete, VPT submitted a patty swirling with short rib, brisket, Portobellos and Angus beef and crowned it with smoked gouda, apple wood smoked bacon, Cremini mushrooms and chipotle-garlic red onions.
The West Ridge restaurant has been recognized for its burgers before — including taking home the Critics' Choice award from the 2016 Roscoe Village Burger Fest.
The full list includes entries from:
• Fulton Market Kitchen
• CH Distillery
• Prime & Provisions
• Knife & Tine
• Urban Market
• The Berghoff
• Broken Shaker
• STK Chicago.
As of Wednesday, VPT was tied for second place in the Chicago group with Fulton Market Kitchen with 48 votes, while WHISK led the pack at 65 votes.
Currently taking the contest's top spot is a fruity Florida-based lamb burger with more than 4,600 votes.
See how VPT makes its deep-fried "Blackhawk" burger below.
Video by Linze Rice.