New York’s 2013 Best Burger Contest Regional Award winner for Region Four surrounding Utica area was none other than Crazy Otto’s Empire Diner’s bacon cheeseburger. The New York State Beef Industry Council presented the award on behalf of the New York State Beef Producers Association.
Last year, the diner won the Region Four award for its cheeseburger, making the diner a multi-award winner two years in a row for its diner-style burgers.
“Since we won last year, we decided to enter again, but this time with our bacon cheese burger,” said Scott Tranter, owner of Crazy Otto’s Empire Diner.
The bacon cheeseburger is made with quality ground beef patty, cheddar cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, mayonnaise and, of course, the part that makes the burger, Thousand Island dressing.
As a Region Four award winner, Crazy Otto’s Empire Diner could advance to New York’s 2013 Best Burger Contest State Finals. The winners will be announced on May 15.
“It’s such an honor to be chosen as a best burger award winner especially for a small town like Herkimer in a state as big as New York,” said Tranter. “To get singled out twice is an absolute honor and since the New York Beef Council promotes the winners and invites the public to visit, people from all over the state are coming here to try our burgers and once they try it, we hook em’.”
At Crazy Otto’s Empire Diner, Tranter said, all the food products are fresh and never frozen.
The diner also receives produce daily from Carlo Masi Produce, a local family-operated business in Utica.
“By using fresh lettuce, tomatoes, and onions it really enhances plate presentation and creates an infusion of ingredients together to give a unique flavor,” said Tranter.
He said the diner is starting to become well-known for its quality and consistency.
“A lot of restaurants won’t cook a burger to the customer’s liking because of internal food temperature misconceptions, but customers have the right to have their burger cooked the way they want it. We explain to our customers how we cook the burgers they want to meet temperature cooking requirements,” Tranter said.
In two weeks, he said, the diner will be introducing its newest burger called The Loose Caboose, which is a homemade burger patty, topped with jack cheese, shaved prime rib, then cheddar cheese topped with a fried egg all inside a Kaiser roll with mayonnaise and Thousand Island dressing.