- September 19, 2019
The votes are in, and Ormond Beach has picked Pumphouse BBQ as the 2023 winner of the first Ormond Burger Week.
And needless to say, owner Rob West and chef Bryan Brymer are pumped to have won, especially since they’ve been open for less than a year.
“We’re excited to make our mark on this town and bring good food,” West said.
“Let them know we’re here to stay,” Brymer added.
Ormond Burger Week ran from April 30 to May 7. A total of 14 restaurants participated in the inaugural competition, organized by a committee of local businesswomen from Realty Pros Assured and Realty Pro Title. Based on feedback received from the participating restaurants, committee member Carly Krajewski, of Realty Pros Assured, estimated that at least 1,400 burgers were sold.
Pumphouse BBQ sold about 250 burgers during Burger Week — about five times the average number of burgers they sell weekly. The restaurant has had burgers on its menu for about six months.
“When they told me it was a competition, I was like, ‘Oh we’re in. For sure,’” West recalled. “We love creating new things. Bryan is amazing at what he does back there, so I was like, ‘We can win this.’”
On Friday, May 12, the committee, along with community supporters, presented Pumphouse BBQ with a burger-themed trophy, now on display inside the restaurant.
In second place for the competition was 31 Supper Club, with its “Brie Berry Burger.” In third place was Fletcher’s Irish Pub’s “The Stuffed Irishman” burger.
The competition ran smoothly, Krajewski said.
“The owners, the chefs who created the [burgers], and some of them to begin with weren’t 100% sure they were competing, and when they figured out they were competing against other burgers, that made them more excited in what they were going to do,” Krajewski said. “Everybody’s talking about what burger they’re going to do next year.”
Committee member Billie Jo Kaler, of Realty Pro Title, said she was surprised to see not only how well-received the initiative was in the community, but how many people were talking about how fun it was.
We're excited to make our mark on this town and bring good food." — Rob West, owner of Pumphouse BBQ
“To have this idea that Carly’s been thinking of, and we’ve been listening to her talk about it ... and then to actually do it and come to fruition and see how the community embraced it and had fun with it, was really rewarding,” Kaler said.
Next year’s competition will have some changes. Committee member Skye Russell, of Realty Pros Assured, said all restaurants entering the competition will need to come up with an original off-menu burger. There will also be more restaurants competing.
“Think of it as a challenge,” Russell said. “... It’s a fun thing, so next year, if there’s more, that’s going to be hard — in a week.”
That’s one thing the committee won’t change: the length of the competition. Kaler said part of the excitement comes from the limited time to try as many burgers as possible. The goal was to introduce people to restaurants they’d never tried before.
“And it seems that’s what happened,” Kaler said.
The winning burger? Pumphouse BBQ’s rendition of a Cuban burger — an 8-ounce beef burger topped with slow-smoked pulled pork, applewood smoked bacon, house-made pickles, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, Pumphouse BBQ’s Carolina Gold sauce and garlic pepper mayo served on a toasted brioche bun.
It was inspired by the restaurant’s Cuban sandwich, which Brymer said was a “hit on the menu.”
“I think Rob and I split the first one [Cuban burger], and the look on both of our faces — we knew it right there,” Brymer said. “This is a winner.”
Though the burger was created solely for the competition, Pumphouse BBQ plans to keep it on the menu.
Burger Week also brought new customers to Pumphouse BBQ, West said. The contest was a great concept for the local restaurants, he added, and he and Brymer are already thinking of ideas for next year’s burger.
I think Rob and I split the first one, and the look on both of our faces, we knew it right there. This is a winner." — Bryan Brymer, Pumphouse BBQ chef and pitmaster
West and Brymer thanked the community for its support and votes. The win came at an opportune time: Pumphouse BBQ is expanding to occupy the entire building at 124 W. Granada Blvd. West said a grand opening to celebrate the expansion will likely take place in June.
“The community has always rallied around us, and we appreciate that,” West said.