Galley Beach - Bubbles, Burgers, & Beer

By Jillian Bernardini - May 31, 2012 - 02:14 PM
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As a continuation of the festivities during graduation weekend, a beginner's trip to Nantucket and participation in a BBQ slider throwdown was in order. 

One of the final days and featured events of the 2012 Nantucket Wine Festival, "Bubbles, Burgers, & Beer" took place on the sunniest Sunday a few weekends ago at the oceanside restaurant, Galley Beach







An incredibly gorgeous day to hop on a ferry, John, my friend Carolyn, and I ventured south for our first ever visit to Nantucket Island.  The "Grey Lady" was a mere hour from Barnstable to Nantucket, which breezily passed by as we soaked up some sun and a few local Cisco brews on the outdoor deck. 


Arriving at Galley Beach a little early, we passed the time by walking along the beach and thoroughly enjoying a few more celebratory drinks. 


With salt-washed tables and tanned wicker chairs, Galley Beach offered that quintessential New England ambiance by showcasing the event directly on the northern sandy shores of Nantucket.   Arduously prepping hundreds of juicy sliders for the competition, the chefs manned their grills in the furthermost corner of the beach so that taste testers' slider votes could be anonymous. 


Individual ballot slips were passed around with event instructions, which informed tasters to judge the following, "Look at everyone around you, judge them.  Then judge your favorite slider creation."  Having been our first time to Nantucket, the food and drink at Galley Beach was equally as entertaining as people watching the mingling cliques of the "Nantucket elite." 


In addition to three sliders and a complimentary Cisco beer or Veuve Clicquot flute of champagne, unlimited Narragansett Bay oysters and Pat's littleneck clams were shucked during the two hour event. 


A lengthy wait for the raw bar should have been remedied by an additional shucker or two, but the oysters were worth the wait.  Plenty of liquor and with a buttery texture, Narragansett Bay oysters were incredibly refreshing as a palate cleanser between bites of sliders. 


Now, to the main attraction: the sliders.  After each meaty morsel was savored and votes were fully tallied, each chef's slider identity was revealed.  From left to right, the caramelized onion focaccia roll and pickle garnished slider was courtesy of a head chef for Cape Cod based Pain D'Avignon bakery, which was also the suprise winner of the burger competition. 


Having thought the first slider was composed of too many sweet condiments, the second slider with a red and yellow striped flag had the most flavor complexity.  Richly seasoned with a unique blend of curry, coriander, and smoked paprika, this slider excited the palate and remained incredibly juicy for being comprised of such lean tasting meat. 

The third and final slider, which would have received my vote, was crafted by a brewer from Cisco Brewery.  The simplicity of the buttery brioche bun allowed for the encrusting of espresso powder to shine through.  Adding coffee liquer into the meat mixture itself, we were all addicted to the subtly sweet and caffeinated burst from the patty and the exterior's caramelization from the ground espresso.  Quirky and a delicious standout. 


What an exciting event to attend, and our server, Lindsay, couldn't have been more kind and attentive to us.  The scene wasn't exactly what we are used to and JCrew corduroy pants may not have been the best choice, but Lindsay was super welcoming and spending a Sunday on an island was well worth the visit. 


If our budgets this summer will allow, John and I would certainly intend on returning to Nantucket for its sense of pristine and relaxing beaches.  Hopefully with the surfboards in tow...