Let the games begin!

The new year ushers in a brand-new list of contenders for the Downtown Sioux Falls Burger Battle, with a record 37 entrants in 2024.

The first one I crossed off my list this year is the one that might just have the best backstory of the bunch this time around.

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2024 DTSF Burger Battle: The UnBrieable Burger - CRAVE
Results/Townsquare Media

It's the UnBrieable Burger from CRAVE Food + Drink inside the Hilton Garden Inn.

It's unique in a lot of ways, but the genesis of the burger is what really sets it apart from the competition.

It all started with the chefs at CRAVE teaming with the students at the Sioux Falls Career + Technical Education Academy to create this burger battle entry.

What they came up with was quite ambitious.

The UnBrieable Burgher is a seven-ounce beef patty topped with brie cheese, and a cherry merlot sauce, and is topped with a puff pastry. It comes with arugula and a brioche bun.

I have to admit, the notion of cherry merlot sauce on a burger didn't get me too excited, but I was more than pleasantly surprised at how the flavor complemented the overall taste, rather than overpowering it.

The delicate texture of the puff pastry and brioche bun were highlights as well.

It was a good place to start the 2024 journey.

SCORECARD (Out of 5):

• Flavor: 4
• Patty: 4
• Toppings: 4
• Bun: 4
• Presentation: 4

You have until January 31 to sample as many of the 37 burgers as you can.

After you've polished one (or more) off, don't forget to download the official app downtown – The DTSF Digital Passport - to cast your vote.

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