Friendly’s – Build Your Own Burger Finals

4812 SunriseHighway
Massapequa Park, NY 11762


Today the fans became the experts. The Massachusetts based family restaurant chain Friendly’s asked their customers to build custom designed Burgers. They could use any of the toppings Friendly’s offers for a possible 10 trillion combinations. Once they had come up with their perfect Burger, they submitted the Burger creation online.


Three contestants’ Burgers were chosen to be entered in a final Burger battle to be eaten by a panel of judges at the Massapequa, NY Friendly’s. Whichever Burger they liked the most would be added to the menu for one month at the winner’s local Friendly’s location along with a $100 Friendly’s gift certificate.


Here’s the press release:

Friendly’s in Massapequa Park to Host ‘Burger Bash’
Enjoy Music, Face Painting, Balloon Artists and Burger Samples as Local Celebrity Judges Choose the Winner of Friendly’s Build Your Own Burger Contest

WHO:               A panel of local celebrity judges including Syke, On-Air Personality on 106.1 WBLIEd Mangano, Nassau County Executive and David “Rev” Ciancio of the blog, Burger Conquest; three burger contestants, who will be competing to be named the winner of the Burger Bash, and hundreds of local residents.

WHAT:              On Sunday, June 9, Friendly’s on Sunrise Highway in Massapequa Park, NY, will host a Burger Bash where three pre-selected contestants will present their own burger creation to a panel of local celebrity judges, while competing to win a $100 gift card to Friendly’s and the opportunity to have their burger creation featured as a limited time offering at their local Friendly’s restaurant.

During the month of May, National Hamburger Month, Friendly’s hosted an online “Build Your Own Burger,” contest where fans of Friendly’s were encouraged to submit an original burger creation by selecting their preferred bread, protein, cheeses and toppings from an approved list of ingredients and accompaniments. Friendly’s chose their three favorite contestant creations to participate in the official Burger Bash, where they will make their burger for a panel of judges. The winning burger will be determined on the judging criteria of creativity, taste, and presentation.

Friendly’s invites local residents to attend the Burger Bash and enjoy complimentary mini burgers (during the first hour of the event), face painting, balloon artists and music from a live DJ, as they watch the three contestants prepare their burger creations for the judges.

WHEN:              Friendly’s Burger Bash, Sunday, June 9, 2PM-4PM

**Complimentary mini burgers will only be served from 2PM-3PM**

WHERE:            4812 Sunrise Highway, Massapequa Park, New York 11762


It was a gorgeous sunny afternoon on Long Island which made perfect weather for an outdoor Burger celebration and of course, a frosty cold Cookie Dough Fribble!Friendlys_Build_the_Best_Burger_Contest_Massapequa_Long_Island_NY_060913_Judges

The other judges and I were ready to taste the best of the best and crown a winner.Each contestant had to assemble and plate the Burgers themselves while Friendly’s staff cooked and served them.

Each Burger was judged on a 1-5 system, 5 being the best. We had to judge them on 3 categories; creativity, taste & presentation.

3rd Place – “Da Billion Dolla Burgah”

  • Ciabatta Roll
  • Beef Patty
  • All White Meat Turkey Patty
  • American Cheese
  • Swiss Cheese
  • Onion Rings
  • Fried Egg
  • Kosher Dill Pickles
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Mayo
  • Special Sauce of: Buffalo Sauce, Ranch & Ketchup

This was an excellent Burger and truly followed one of my life mottos: “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.” Admittedly, your friendly neighborhood “Rev” doesn’t like Tomatos or Pickles and removed them. The Ciabatta Roll was good a call as a sturdy Bun was definitely needed to hold up this behemoth. The judges all joked that we weren’t sure how to get our mouths around it. This was a Burger after my own heart.


2nd Place – Very Veggie-licious Burger

  • Brioche Roll
  • Boca Burger Patty
  • Shredded Cheddar Jack Cheese
  • Sauteed Portabella Mushrooms
  • Fronion
  • Green Peppers
  • Thousand Island Dressing
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato

I’ve heard the cries of my Vegetarian friends in the past about most Veggie Burger offerings being pretty boring almost as though they were an after thought on a menu. This was NOT that Burger. The creator set out to make one serious, rootin-tootin, Vegetarian delight…and they succeeded. It’s not often you would see me reach for a Veggie Burger but if this was that option, things could change. The crisp bite of the Green Peppers worked really well in the make of the Sandwich. The Fronion (fried Onion) was also very smart and delicious idea.


The Winner! – I Love NY Pastrami & Swiss BurgerFriendlys_Build_the_Best_Burger_Contest_Massapequa_Long_Island_NY_060913_5748

  • Brioche Roll
  • Beef Patty
  • Swiss Cheese
  • Pastrami
  • Kosher Dill Pickles
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Thousand Island Dressing

As I’m a marketing person at heart, I truly appreciated the thematic that went into creating this Burger. Eating Pastrami is a treat, but eating Pastrami on a Burger is a gift! The choice of Thousand Island Dressing instead of Mustard, what you would traditionally put on a NY Pastrami and Swiss Sandwich, was a creative and delicious choice. The sweetness of the Brioche Roll played nicely against the savory Beef, Pastrami and Cheese. All in all, from Patty to Bun to Concept was well thought out and tasty.


Everyone who attended today was a winner and all the Burgers were delicious. Get yourself to the Friendly’s in Hillsdale, NJ to get yourself an “I Love NY Pastrami & Swiss Burger.” Or you could head into your local Friendly’s and make one yourself!

As for the judges, Friendly’s graciously thanked us with a super cool make your own Sundae kit!


Thank you to Alyssa, Brad, Joseph and everyone at Friendly’s for inviting me to participate and judge the contest. Thank you also to “stunt Burger eater” Mighty Mike Fox for coming with me.

641 Burgers

June 9, 2013 – 3:22 pm

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