Friday, March 23, 2012

Catskills entry the top Albany regional burger

If you live in the Albany area and don't mind driving south an hour or so for a good hamburger, keep The Spinning Room in mind.

The restaurant, located in the heart of the Catskills at 5975 Main Street in Tannersville, Greene County, has just been named Region 5 (Albany area) winner in the New York Beef Industry Council's "2012 Best NY Burger" contest.

Jean O'Toole, public relations and promotions director for the Council, told me today that the 10 regions into which the state is divided for purposes of the contest are somewhat elastic.

"It does tend to depend to some degree on how many entries we get," she explained with the touch of a smile in her voice. "Some regions have a lot of competitors, others not as many, so to be balanced I try to 'redistrict' just like the state Legislature."

The Spinning Room's winning entry is the "Buckaroo Burger," a hefty creation consisting of a bacon cheeseburger perched atop a pair of mozzarella sticks that have been tossed with barbecue sauce, and topped with onion rings. It comes as part of a platter, with French fries and macaroni salad, for $10.

The establishment does a lot of its warm-weather business with boaters coming off nearby Lake Rip Van Winkle. It's a bar-style restaurant open for dinner every night, as well as for lunch on Fridays through Sundays. The menu features entrees such as sliders (four small burgers), and "dirty water dogs," a platter dominated by two New York-style hot dogs. It also has the requisite amenities for such places -- karaoke, dancing, and happy hour specials. Phone: (518) 589-7387

The Buckaroo Burger and the other regional winners will be judged anonymously by a panel of judges over the next six weeks, with the winner to be announced on May 15. Criteria include taste, value and customer service. The latter is a new judging point this year. In the past, the regional winners had to participate in a grill-off at the New York State Fair.

The other regional winners:

• Region 1, Buffalo: The Terrace at Alfred State University, Alfred, "Asian Twist Mandarin Beef Burger."

• Region 2, Rochester: River Park Grille, Waterloo, "Reuben Burger."

• Region 3, Syracuse: Ale & Angus Pub, Syracuse, "Power Play Burger."

• Region 4, Utica: Crazy Otto's Empire Diner, "Cheeseburger."

• Region 6, Adirondacks: The Pickle Barrel Cafe, Depauwville, "Pickle Barrel Burger."

• Region 7, Binghamton: McGirk's Irish Pub, Binghamton, "The Blarney Burger."

• Region 8, Hudson Valley: AJ's Burgers, New Rochelle, "AJ's Club Burger."

• Region 9, New York City: David Burke's at Bloomingdales, Manhattan, "Juicy Burkey Burger."

• Region 10, Long Island: The Burger Spot, Garden City, "Parisian Burger."

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