Food News

Battle Fast Food Burger: Five Guys Versus Elevation Burger

All hail the fat-ass restaurant hamburger. Is anything better than an inch-thick patty of carefully blended, freshly ground beef, char-grilled and bleeding all over the bun? These hulking sandwiches are the star attractions at the lowliest of dive bars and the stateliest of steak houses and everything in between. And when gussied up with melted Brie or braised short rib or foie gras or whatever thoroughly fattening ingredient the chef deems necessary, they're almost impossible to resist.

Unless, of course, you consider the virtue of a simple, griddle-cooked patty, patted into a sweet roll and served with, oh, maybe a slice of tomato and few shreds of lettuce and a squirt of ketchup or two.

Those griddle-style burgers, as I'll call them, can be just as good as their overgrown counterparts. Most often represented in the fast-food world, they don't get the respect they deserve. With thin meat, ground fresh and cooked well-done, these burgers can feature layers of deeply caramelized flavor and an intense meatiness you just can't get in a big-ass patty.

Now, we put two of them to the test. Both chains, Five Guys Burgers and Fries and Elevation Burger, hail from Virginia. And both make thin, well-done, griddle-cooked burgers that rise far above their fast-food origins. But which is better? Read on to find out.

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John Linn