Blue Moon Burgers' entry, dubbed the Dirty Hippy, featured a risotto cake, a small slab of foie gras, and edible flowers.
Image: Sabina Cao

While standing in line for a Cactus tostada at the South Lake Union Block Party Friday night, I overheard one guy remark to his companion, "It's too bad; I didn't realize all these restaurants would be from South Lake Union." No need to sound so disappointed, good sir (also, you know what a block party is, right?). The neighborhood's annual night out is proving quite a restaurant showcase, as more establishments fill in the developing blocks of Amazonia and its environs.

The block party culimantes each year in a burger showdown between local burger-oriented establishments. This year's contenders drew on cheese curds, mushrooms, risotto cakes, chicken patties, and more to deck out slider-sized burgers for a sellout crowd. Fun fact: Emcee El Vez performed the marriage  ceremony for Top Pot owner Mark Klebeck and his wife years ago. Another fun fact: The Lunchbox Laboratory team concocted a chimichurri-type sauce so good that Seattle Met publisher Michael Zivyak went across the streets to Whole Foods, retrieved a soup container, and asked Lunchbox Lab to fill it up with sauce, which he has no doubt been pouring onto his eggs and into his morning coffee ever since. The burger restaurant and fancy grocery store competed against Brave Horse Tavern, Seastar, and Blue Moon Burgers.

I had the onerous professional duty of judging the burger competition (Seattle Met was a sponsor of the block party) and not to overshare on the highly confidential proceedings, but it was a tough choice that necessitated a runoff vote. At the end of the night, Brave Horse Tavern's cheese curd burger emerged the judges' favorite, while Seastar's mushroom burger won the popular vote. Cast your mouse upon the slide show above for some ogle-worthy burger shots.