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Posted on Tue, Jun 12, 2012 : 8 a.m.

This Bagger Dave burger recipe is one of many you can sample at BRU Fest

By Mary Bilyeu


BRU Fest — a party featuring burgers, wings, 'n' beer (all the important food groups!) — is going to be a great event for a great cause.  And I'm inviting all of you to join me there on Saturday night!

Faithful followers know that I am not only completely and utterly devoted to food — its preparation, its cultural significance, its history, and of course its taste — but I am also a complete and utter bleeding heart, ready and willing to help causes that are near and dear to me. I've written about hunger, homelessness, community gardens for low-income families, a preschool for underprivileged children... I'm just an old softie, and proud of it.

And the cause I'm promoting today is one that touches my heart deeply: sick kids. BRU Fest isn't just a good time; it's a good time that benefits the Children's Leukemia Foundation of Michigan, so that it can serve families affected by leukemia, lymphoma, and related blood disorders. The organization provides information, financial assistance, emotional support, holiday gifts, and so much more to children (and even adults) who are ill, and to their loved ones.

So how can you help, too?  Buy a ticket! Buy a bunch of tickets and invite your friends!  For $39, you'll get to sample fabulous treats from Bagger Dave's Legendary Burger Tavern and Buffalo Wild Wings, as well as receiving 10 tokens and a 10-ounce BRU mug to use in sampling premium craft beers from Kalamazoo's own Bell's Brewery.  Like I said — burgers, wings, 'n' beer... wow!

If you need more incentive, let me be the temptress who tells you just a few of the 15 different Bell's offerings you'll be able to choose from:

Oberon Ale: The heart of Bell’s summer lineup, Oberon Ale offers a refreshing mix of malted wheat flavor and fruity notes, wrapped up in a distinctively citrusy hop aroma.

Third Coast Beer: Pale malts and a variety of American hops combine in Third Coast Beer to produce a refreshing, crisply hopped, dry pale ale.

Black Note: A blend of Expedition and Double Cream Stouts, aged in freshly retired bourbon barrels, this stout combines the best features of its parents and enhances them with undertones of bourbon.

Cherry Stout: Matches smooth, malty dark chocolate flavors with the tartness of 100% percent Montmorency cherries grown in Michigan’s Traverse City region.

Hell Hath No Fury: This was inspired by Belgian Abbey beers and ended up as a truly unique offering — a mixed culture of Belgian yeasts provide distinctive fruity ester and clove notes to a dark, stout-like malt base.

A few other co-sponsors of this amazing event are Treat Dreams (which offered lusciously rich vanilla ice cream swirled with maple syrup, waffles and bacon at Baconfest Michigan), my buddies at The Hungry Dudes and the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. Because, of course, helping sick kids and their families is a cause that everyone can rally 'round.

Just to tantalize you, Bagger Dave's has graciously shared a recipe for one of the great burgers you'll get to sample at Bru Fest. But don't just make the burger and eat it alone — that's no fun.  Join the rest of us and come to the party!  What an excellent way to spend a Saturday night!

BRU Fest - Burgers, Wings, Beer
Saturday, June 16
7-11 p.m.
Royal Oak Farmers' Market
316 E. 11 Mile Road (two blocks east of Main Street)

Bagger Dave's Legendary Burger Tavern Ono Burger

4 beef patties
2 slices bacon, cut in half
2 ounces onions
2 burger buns
2 tablespoons pineapple barbecue sauce

Begin by heating the griddle to 350 degrees.

Place burger patties and bacon on the griddle and begin to cook on first side for approximately 3 minutes.

Saute the onions on the griddle until they become light brown in color, approximately 2-4 minutes.

Flip burger patties and bacon; cook another 3 minutes.

Lightly toast top and bottom buns.

On your toasted bun, place the burger patties and bacon.  Top with the caramelized onions and finish with pineapple barbecue sauce.

Serves 2.

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Mary Bilyeu writes about her adventures in the kitchen - making dinner, celebrating holidays, entering cooking contests ... whatever strikes her fancy. She is also on a mission to find great deals for her Frugal Floozie Friday posts, seeking fabulous food at restaurants on the limited budget of only $5 per person. Feel free to email her with questions or comments or suggestions:

You should visit Mary's blog — Food Floozie — on which she enthuses and effuses over all things food-related.  And be sure to look for her monthly articles about holiday foods and traditions in the Washtenaw Jewish News.

The phrase "You Should Only Be Happy" (written in Hebrew on the stone pictured in this post) comes from Deuteronomy 16:15 and is a wish for all her readers - when you come to visit here, may you always be happy.



Wed, Jun 13, 2012 : 2:07 a.m.

The Children's Leukemia Foundation of Michigan certainly is a worthwhile organization to support. I do, though, have a problem with offering the above recipe in a story related to childhood malignancies. There has been concern for some time about the possible relationship of diet to leukemia (among other malignancies), including childhood leukemia. For example, see and which briefly discusses and references that there are associations (not necessarily definitive causal connections, but suspicious) between leukemia and eating processed meats (of which bacon is one), both in the diet of children themselves, and in the diet of the fathers (presumably prior to conception of the child). Apart from the above concerns, one nutritional analysis of the recipe for this burger (see ) gives it an overall nutrition grade of "D." This analysis shows that one serving consists of 979 calories (45% from fat), 21 grams saturated fat, 4 grams trans-saturated fat, 310 mg cholesterol, and 733 mg sodium. As might be expected, it has a lot of protein (almost 100 grams) and is relatively high in iron (69% RDA). While I encourage supporting research into childhood leukemia and other hematologic malignancies, as well as supporting those children with such malignancies and their families, I think offering a recipe such as the above is contrary to the spirit of disease prevention.


Wed, Jun 13, 2012 : 6:33 p.m.

OK, Mary, thanks. I just thought I would point out the irony of the recipe, given the cause being espoused in this story. One alternative (more constructive, in my opinion) would have been instead to include a recipe for foods that have been associated with a lower (rather than a higher) risk of childhood leukemia. My recollection is that oranges, OJ, and bananas were included in that group.

Mary Bilyeu

Wed, Jun 13, 2012 : 11:13 a.m.

The burgers, wings and beer is supposed to be a fun event encouraging people to come out and have a good time to raise money for this exceptionally good cause. No one is expected to eat this way on a regular basis. And this is merely the recipe that was sent to me when I asked if I could feature something for those who might not be able to attend ....