Regardless of whether a burger is from a fast food place or a gastropub, they inspire fierce loyalty and love. Indeed, some folks dedicate their lives to the pursuit of the perfect burger. Just ask The Burger Beast, whose third annual Burgie Awards are coming up this Saturday. In the meantime, behold: our best burgers list. Let us know what we've missed in the comments.
10. Big City Dogs. For the classic
Fortified with lard, this half-pound hunk of meat on a kaiser roll, layered with cheese, lettuce, onion, tomato, and yes, Chicago-dog style pickle spears characterize Big City's classic cheese burger. Named New Times "Best Burger" for two years' running, it's also been dubbed the best burger for the money in comparison to today's number one pic. Take plenty of napkins and a fork, and expect to lose half of it out the sides.
9. Grease Burger Bar. For late night burgers
Low prices, a full bar, and burgers to the north until 2 a.m. ensure Grease Burger's spot on this list. Just don't be surprised if your medium rare order comes out well done, though skinny fries just might make up for it.
8. Le Tub. For the pedigree
Way back in 2006 before burger mania infected cities and towns across the land, Le Tub was dubbed "Best Burger in America" by GQ and was hailed by that burger aficionado, Oprah Winfrey. The 13-ounce hunk is quite near obscene, though the toppings are underwhelming, as is the service. Still. With a hand-made, quirky dining space on the water with great tunes, what's not to love?
7. Five Guys. For the guilty pleasure
Among the most satiating fast food burgers around, the chain beat In-N-Out Burger as best fast food paddy last year. It's not pretty, but it's tasty, especially with a giant mound of fries (or peanuts while you wait). Even President Obama is a fan.
6. Gilbert's For the clean, well-lighted place
This half-pound, charred Angus burger is served up in bright, family friendly spot. At $10, it's not cheap, but with terrific toppings, it'll please a burger-meister, especially one whose party is looking for other menu options besides burgers.
5. Charm City Burgers. For the value
Fresh ground meat blend from K&G Brothers Inc. makes for a delicious burger. That it's under $5 is even better. Co-owner Mike Saperstein said these burgers are labor-intensive, from the daily (meat) grind to the fifteen-plus individual toppings available.
4. Georgie's Alibi. For simplicity
Burger chef Ron Kerr's thoughtfulness in creating a burger has to do with ratios and properties as much as deliciosity. If this sounds to technical to you, consider that his burgers won the Riverwalk Trust Burger Battle two years in a row. According to Kerr, a proper burger should be made with 100% ground chuck --he uses grass fed beef from Creekstone Farms. It's served medium. There's less bread than meat. The bread is challah not brioche, which he believes gets too soggy. And it doesn't leave a puddle. Why leave flavor on the plate?
3. Bill's Filling Station. For the flat top
The burgers at this beloved bar across the street from Georgie's (grilled) burgers are the pre cursor to Bites Gastrotruck. If the gayborhood is your stomping grounds, Bill's Filling Station should be a second home.
2. Bites GastroTruck. For curbside dining
For $7.50 a burger, those made on a flattop grill in a truck are pretty damn delicious, with (the very busy) Ron Kerr to thank. Get fancy with a bacon and egg burger and save room for the profiterole of the day.
1. ROK:BRGR. For decadence
Despite that the spelling annoys the hell out of me, the burgers are quite delightful at this Himmarshee gastropub. The ten-ounce prime on a brioche bun touts some of the most decadent, top-shelf ingredients around. Gluttons can order off-menu for minced bacon mixed in with the beef. Add an egg, and it's bovinity: burger-inspired bliss.