The Secret Behind Georgie's Alibi's Championship-Winning Burger

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The votes are in, folks, and for the second year in a row, Wilton Manors' Georgie's Alibi claimed victory in the Riverwalk Trust Burger Battle, held Friday on Las Olas Boulevard.

For Georgie's, winning this competition two years in a row proves it can't be a fluke. This burger, a deceptively simple bacon cheeseburger on a soft egg bun, is the real deal -- or at least so say the judges at the Burger Battle along with the hundreds of happy customers who belly up to Georgie's to order one each week. 

So what's the secret behind these award-winning burgers? We asked General Manager Vincent Frato, and here's what he had to say.

New Times: First of all, how does it feel to be named Fort Lauderdale's best burger two years in a row?

Frato: We're definitely very grateful to have had the opportunity to be in the battle and for the opportunity to win again. The second one is really gratifying. It's great to get recognized for all the work we do day in and day out.

You say day in and day out -- you actually serve this burger in your restaurant, don't you?

Absolutely. And this is something that we're very proud of. We developed this burger three years ago now, and we've been serving it ever since then. So the burger people got at the Burger Battle was the same one available in the restaurant at 11 a.m. the following morning.

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A lot of restaurants concoct specialty burgers specifically for the competition. You weren't tempted to go down that route?

Well, we actually changed our concept burger less than 24 hours before the competition. The burger itself was the same, but we changed the toppings and were planning on making two patties to do a double patty. But later that day, we started to think about execution. Like, can we do this and not screw it up for the guests in the restaurant? So we said, let's go back to basics and pulled it back to the original patty setup the way we do it in-house.
 
So now that you've one twice, can you just get it over with and tell everyone what the secret to an award-winning burger is?

Ah, no! [laughs] You know what? It's all about the burger itself. There is a secret in creating a good burger that's palatable to the masses, and that's balance. That includes everything from the chemistry of the burger and the fat content to the ratio of meat to bread. If you don't have that foundation, then it just won't turn out right.

What do you mean by chemistry?

For instance, our meat is farm-raised in Colorado and specially blended to our specifications. We specify the amount of fat we want and the texture of the grind, which all affects how it cooks. And depending upon how you cook it, you may want more or less fat. In the restaurant, we use a grill, but doing the volume of sliders we did at the burger battle, we used a flattop, which means you can use less oil since the fat stays with the burger rather than dripping down through the grates. 

Did you get a chance to taste the other burgers at the competition?

Unfortunately, I did not get out of the tent this year. One of the burgers you have to taste no matter what is the one that won last year, so there was a huge line. We had at least 75 people or more in line all night. We pumped out about 800-plus sliders and as many Jack Daniel's vanilla milk shakes.

What was your inspiration for that milk shake? 

Our inspiration was that a hamburger and a milk shake is the American way, and people have forgotten about that. McDonald's used to be all about the burger and the shake, and that's what made it so popular. 

How did you come up with the recipe?

Jack Daniel's gave us their honey wheat bourbon to use, and so we thought "Why not in a milk shake?" And what better way to top it than chocolate-covered bacon? We didn't even use ice cream. We used homemade creme anglais, ice, and a little bit of Kahlua. 

Any chance you'll put that on the menu?

No, we don't have the facilities to do a milk shake! But yeah, we wanted explosive flavor in a tiny cup, so it was pretty rich with the cream. We may have to change the formula if we ever decide to do it in the restaurant.

What's the game plan for next year? 

I don't really know. I don't know if we'll get invited back [laughs]. But our chef is so talented, he can do anything from down-home poor boys to upscale food and wine pairings. I call him the culinary chameleon. So we'll have to see. 

Any last thoughts?

We're just so happy that to win it again. It showed that our way of thinking and going about how to make this burger was correct. It's like, yeah, we are crazy!

Follow Clean Plate Charlie on Facebook and on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB.

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Georgie's Alibi

2266 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors, FL

Category: Music


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13 comments
TinFoilHats
TinFoilHats

I think this conspiracy theorist John needs some meat in his bun.

John L.
John L.

Not sure what you're getting at, John. You're saying that the Riverwalk Trust voted a restaurant -- located outside of the area it aims to promote, mind you -- as its best burger two years in a row because of some vast gay conspiracy? And that they bought off all the judges, including the Burger Beast, John Offerdahl, and the Mayor of Fort Lauderdale (who naturally has a huge vested interest in a restaurant from Wilton Manors winning a Fort Lauderdale-based award)? 

You're right, "bonehead" might be the correct term.  

John
John

Sure. The gay run riverwalk trust has the gay owned place win twice and it proves it's not a fluke. What kind of bonehead journalism is this? They think people are stupid. Cheaters never proper

John
John

Being a bonehead involves being a gullible fool. There's no reason for a video gay bar to be at this contest. Except for the fact that they have buddies at the RWT. When judges rave and no-one else does something isn't kosher.

The Pulp Blog
The Pulp Blog

As a judge for the event, I can tell you that Georgie's won fair and square. The judging was entirely blind -- we had no idea who we were voting for, and I didn't know which burger was which until the Riverwalk Trust sent us pictures of each one with the restaurants' names attached to them the next day.

While I'm at it, congratulations to Georgie's for another well-deserved win. You guys obviously put some hard work into an amazing burger. Congratulations too to the Riverwalk Trust for putting on one hell of an event. And congratulations to the contestants for a very tough field. Aside from a couple misses, the burgers were among some of the best I've ever had.

Ronkerr99
Ronkerr99

So the riverwalk trust fixed the blind tasting and even though the judges picked another restaurant she still announced Georgies as the winner? John you get might be the smartest man alive!!

Ron
Ron

 That "video gay bar" sells more food than many restaurants in the country, including over 2,500 burgers a month.  Considering that fact, what should the criteria be to be in the Burger Battle? 

Paul
Paul

Wow.....food isn't food anymore I guess!Blind tasting. In 2 year's 12 judgesCulinary teachersThe Mayor of FTLRegionally and nationally acclaimed chefsCulinary school program directors all say "winner" and you guys are playing the gay card? Paid off by the gays. LOLOh and I just did some research for you John, the chef, like many employees I hear are straight at The Alibi. Looks like they don't discriminate or cry and play the "straight" card.

Max
Max

Yeah, yeah. And Sammy Sosa never tested positive for steroids either. You guys are working way too hard to "prove" the case that it wasn't fixed, which just makes it more suspicious.

Imjohnhenry420
Imjohnhenry420

The chef is actually married to a woman. Go try the burger, it really is very good. 

Qgvng
Qgvng

Nice.  A known restauranteur is crying conspiracy. This is a shame. Probably didn't even go to the Battle.........oh wait.....that's right....they weren't invited.

John L.
John L.

Yeah, writing a comment sure is hard work. So is using your brain, Dennis. Oh wait, you're not Dennis, you're Max. Could've fooled everyone! 

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