Voting won't start until May, but the Northern Indiana Burger Wars is coming together.
Burgers from seven northern Indiana counties will fill the 64 spots. When the call went out to Elkhart Truth and Flavor574 readers, a ton of you responded. A total of 153 burgers were entered, mostly by people filling out suggestions in an online form.
I took a look at the most popular burgers suggested by readers and passed on a list to Denise Hernandez at the Elkhart County Convention & Visitors Bureau. She got the full list too, but here are my recommendations, in no particular order:
• Grilled Cheese & Burger at Miles Lab, Elkhart. Miles has a lot of good burgers. It's a burger bar. But putting a burger in between two full grilled cheese sandwiches isn't the most common burger. And it's a belly buster.
• Smokehouse Burger at Five Star Dive Bar, Elkhart. It's a pretty new player in the burger game, but has clear fans. It comes with bacon, cheese and a barbecue sauce glaze.
• Heinnie's Cheeseburger at Heinnie's, Elkhart. This is an Elkhart classic and a great cheeseburger made the way it's been for years.
• Pesto Burger at Constant Spring, Goshen. When tomatoes are in season, you can get a burger topped with pesto, mozzarella and fresh tomatoes. The locally raised beef and blend of flavors make this a great burger.
• Stella Moo Burger at Flippin Cow, Elkhart. The burger at this place that specializes in them has smoked brisket, jalapeno bacon, onion straws, pepperjack cheese and an alehouse barbecue sauce. That's a lot to enjoy. Other burgers from here were suggested, but this one is one of the favorites.
• XXX Burger at New Paradigm Brewing, Elkhart. The hand-pattied burger has cheddar cheese, grilled onions and jalapenos with a jelly made from XXX Root Beer.
• Stuffed Burger at The Oasis, Goshen. It's hard to find a stuffed burger these days, but The O still has one. Want olives inside your burger? This is it.
• Mushroom & Swiss Burger at Sports Time Family Pub & Grill, Elkhart. A number of readers suggested this classic combination the way it's served at Sports Time.
• Notre Dame Burger at Around the Corner Cafe, two locations in Elkhart. Named for the nearby university, this burger has two patties, cheese, grilled onions and bacon.
• New England Cheeseburger at South Side Soda Shop, Goshen. This quarter-pounder is on English muffin bread with cheddar cheese.
I don't know which burgers will be in the bracket or how they'll be paired against those from other counties, but I think Elkhart County places could do very well. And I plan to try the burgers on this list that I haven't yet had.