This worked for Dee’s Diner, 1362 E. Fourth St.
The 13-year-old restaurant won the Best Burger in Owensboro contest during “Owensboro Burger Week” last week.
Dave Kirk, director of destination management for the Owensboro-Daviess County Convention and Visitors Bureau, which sponsored the event, led reporters and photographers into the restaurant at 10 a.m. Tuesday to surprise the owners – Kenneth Harper and his mother, Dee Harper – with the “Best Burger Award”.
Kenneth Harper said they experimented with several burgers before deciding on “Dee’s French Toast Breakfast Melt”, which included a quarter pound of beef topped with bacon, scrambled eggs and American cheese on two slices of Dee’s Famous French Toast sprinkled with powdered sugar.
“Our customers love our French toast,” said Dee Harper. “We do breakfast and we wanted something people could have with their coffee.”
The restaurant sold nearly 700 burgers — between nearly 1,400 pieces of French toast — between 5 a.m. and 2 p.m. over five days last week.
Kenneth Harper said the burger would return to the regular menu after a few days to give staff a break from last week’s rush.
Kirk said 16,434 burgers were sold last week from the 32 participating restaurants.
That was up from 11,606 burgers prepared by 24 restaurants last year
Sales figures show more than $115,000 worth of burgers were sold by these restaurants, he said.
The burgers were selling for $7 each, including tax.
That was up from $69,636 a year ago when burgers were $6.
Miller House came in second with its “Get In My Pork Belly Burger,” which included Angus ground beef, braised pork belly, bourbon tomato jam and arugula on a brioche bun.
Third place went to O’Bryan’s Bar and Grill in West Louisville, which won the contest last year.
Ole South Bar-BQ finished fourth, and Mellow Mushroom and Old Hickory Bar-BQ tied to complete the top five.
This year’s entry from O’Bryan’s was its “Maker’s Melt” – two beef patties on garlic butter toast topped with pepper jack cheese, bacon, fried onion straws and a homemade spicy Maker’s Mark sauce.
Last year, Beef ‘O’ Brady’s sold the most burgers in the competition – 1,377 of its “Five Cheese Burgers”.
This year, the restaurant again sold the most, with 2,078 of its “Boeuf’s Campfire Burgers” consumed.
Kirk said there were 14 judges this year. Each visited the eight restaurants anonymously and rated the burgers.
Only one burger – Brew Bridge’s “Banh Mi Burger” – got a perfect score from a judge, he said.
The CVB is partnering with the city for the event, which has support from local and state sponsors including the Kentucky Beef Council, Independence Bank, Green River Appliance and Hill View Farms Meats.