A few days ago, the folks at Li'l Woody's announced the burgers and chefs for their third annual Burger Month; and judging by the descriptions of this year's burgers, Seattle eaters are in for a wild ride.
When I last checked-in at Li'l Woody's, it was to partake in their fried chicken sandwich and the gustatory wallop that the sandwich provides. But for Burger Month, they are hitting eaters with their best shot as they hand over the reins to four local chefs to design a burger to their heart's content. These burgers utilize each chef's creativity and feature flavors they want to showcase. Starting on January 31st throughout February, all of the Li'l Woody's locations will feature a different chef's burger each week. And if you're a completist, go back each week to get your punchcard checked off to get your limited edition hat. But here is a description of the burgers with some words from their respective chefs.
January 31 - February 6 : Relay Burger from Rachel Yang (Joule, Trove, and Revel)
Kicking off Li'l Woody's Burger Month is the Relay Burger from Rachel Yang. If you've ever had her food at one of her spots she co-owns with her husband Seif Chirchi like Joule, Trove, and Revel, you'll know that Yang's skill with flavor is refined, unique, and personal. Taking her skills to the Relay Burger involved, well let her take it away; "We wanted to do a straight up, more American style burger, with an unseasoned beef patty but adding umami-rich bacon caramelized kimchi marmalade, along with bright and sharp Korean chili and onion pickle.”
February 7 - 13 : Ras el Hanout Fried Oyster Roll from Zoi Antonitsas (Jarr & Co)
Unabashedly, some of my favorite restaurant experiences in Seattle have come with Zoi Antonitsas at the helm. From meals at the bygone Madison Park Conservatory to her most recent turn at Omega Ouzeri, Antonitsas has a knack for letting flavors shine and stand out, while showing enough panache to elevate them. Which is why her upcoming gig at Jarr & Co. will be so exciting. Until then, this sandwich featuring fried oysters will hold us over. Let's let Antonitsas describe it a bit further; "Fried oysters are my fave...so I had to do a fried oyster "burger"!! This sandwich is a combination of flavors that evoke the Mediterranean. Ras el hanout is a Moroccan curry with floral notes and complex flavors. I paired this with fresh mint, lettuce and tomato, as well as creamy tzatziki sauce and bright pickled onions." An added bonus for her week are french fries with her seasoning blend sprinkled on top for purchase.
February 14 - 20: Merguez Sausage Burger from Aaron Willis (Ciudad and Bar Ciudad)
Starting on Valentine's Day is the Merguez Sausage Burger from Aaron Willis of Ciudad in Georgetown. As Ciudad features grilled foods with global influences, his burger for Li'l Woody's Burger Month reflects that through the addition of merguez sausage and piperade. Here is Willis in his own words describing his burger; "My burger is inspired by the desire to combine two great things into one awesome treat. Merguez sausage was a natural choice to match with Li’l Woody’s burgers. The spicy and smoky merguez is complimented by plenty of roasted garlic in the aioli and a hint of sweet from the onion and pepper piperade.”
February 21 - 27: Big Freedia from Jason Stratton (mbar)
Closing out Li'l Woody's Burger Month is Jason Stratton's Big Freedia. From all of Stratton's past roles in Seattle restaurants (Le Gourmand, Cafe Juanita, Spinasse, Artusi, and now mbar), he's showcased his talent and expansive knowledge of food along the way. One of the hallmarks of Stratton is his devil-may-care style edge and his restaurants with their look and feel reflect that. Which is why his take on the burger is exciting. Let's have Stratton describe it; "My burger is called the Big Freedia in honor of the reigning Queen of Bounce based out of New Orleans. I love a burger that is packed full of bold flavor and lots of texture—dreaming up something as vibrant as Big Freedia’s music, I delved into some common flavoring elements in the mamnoon restaurant wheelhouse: a baharat spiced beef burger evokes shawarma and street foods."