Food.Man.Chew: Helping develop DaBurger

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A few years ago, Smokey D’s was contacted by the Illinois Pork Producers Association, to help develop a pork burger that potentially would be featured at Soldier Field during the Chicago Bears’ games. We thought this would be a cool opportunity to be involved.

This was near the beginning of the planning process, before the special pork burger even had a name. We were sent ground pork from the companies IPPA was considering and from there, we went to work.

click image to zoomPork BurgerJoAnn AlumbaughOne of the pork burger variations created before DaBurger was born. Shad and I tried several different variations, one of which was a half-pound pork burger with bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo. Another was a half-pound pork burger with cheddar cheese, bacon, grilled onions and barbecue sauce.

We were pleased when these two suggestions were chosen to be presented to the chefs at Soldier Field (in addition to a couple other favorites). The chefs loved the pork burgers and in 2011, DaBurger was born! For you younger readers, "Saturday Night Live" used to do a sketch of “DaBears,” featuring a group of locals with a stereotypical Chicagoan look, accent and passion for the home football team. What better way to play off of that success than to name the new pork burger DaBurger?

click image to zoomDaBurgerOne hungry DaBurger fan. Everyone wondered if the season would go forward that year because of the players’ strike, but when the first home game kicked off, DaBurger was there. It was met with great enthusiasm and expanded to the United Center (where the Bulls and Blackhawks play) and also to the Chicago White Sox’ U.S. Cellular Field for a time. Learn more at DaBurger’s Facebook page and if you’re in Chicago to watch the Bears play this fall, be sure to give DaBurger a try (or better yet, make some of them at home).

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