Monday, December 19, 2011

Burger of the Year

While the full slate of Lord Rutledge Award winners will not be announced until New Year’s Eve, certain categories of exceptionally high importance have been afforded “extended coverage”. Album of the Year gets its own article, and so does Burger of the Year. In preparation for this list, I’ve been deep in thought for many weeks - often with a burger (or two) in my mouth. I took notes. I explored my feelings. After much reflection and extensive research, I have identified and ranked the ten best burgers of 2011. Behold, burger lovers! The list has been posted! Learn it. Know it. Live it.

10. McDonald’s McDouble
While very little of the post-breakfast Golden Arches menu is suitable for human consumption (even their “angus” burgers taste like Soylent Green), the old school McDonald’s hamburger has changed very little in my lifetime. This is the classic McDonald’s burger, double-stacked for your pleasure and priced well under $2. Yeah, I know it sucks they changed the name and took it off the dollar menu. It’s been three years - get over it.

9. Bob Evans Big Farm Smokehouse Burger
The price point on this thing is kind of ridiculous, but let’s not quibble. At least it’s not Applebee’s. This is a good burger, and toppings like Monterey-jack cheese, Memphis spice-rubbed bacon, and chipotle sauce send the flavor over the top. They don’t make this one in the microwave.

8. Fuddruckers ½ Pound Three Cheese Burger
“World’s Greatest Hamburgers”? More like the world’s eighth-greatest hamburgers. Ya gotta love that fresh produce bar, though. Nine times out of ten, I’ll just opt for the buffalo or wild boar burger.

7. Wendy’s Baconator Double
My wife is boycotting Wendy’s these days because she objects to their new “premium” pickles. I’m with her - what was wrong with the old pickles? Not a thing! The Baconator, though, has no pickles.

6. DuClaw Brewing Co. Spanish Kobe Burger
This is the only non national chain burger on the list. Turns out that the food at DuClaw Brewing Co. is actually better than the beer! How does a charbroiled Kobe beef patty topped with prosciutto, piquillo pepper aioli, and melted manchego cheese on a toasted brioche roll sound? Yeah, I know!

5. Chili’s Jalapeno Smokehouse Burger
As we well know, certain “casual” dining chains are not always known for quality. This joint is an exception. And the JSB is one hell of a fine burger.

4. Burger King Whopper
Still an American classic. 

3. Hardee’s 1/3 Pound Original Thickburger
Made with 100 percent black angus beef, and it shows. Didn’t Hardee’s used to suck? Yes, it sure did. It doesn’t anymore.

2. Five Guys Cheeseburger
Why is Five Guys so great? Their regular cheeseburger is a double cheeseburger! If you only want a single patty (Lightweight!), you have to ask for a “little” cheeseburger. This ain’t no health food chain. Greasy, juicy goodness reigns supreme in this house. Toppings are free. The meat is fresh - the place doesn’t even have a freezer! And the bun rules as well.

 1. Steak ‘N Shake Original Double n’ Cheese Steakburger
78 years old and going strong, the Original Double n’ Cheese has yet to be topped. Made from real steak and housed in a toasted butter bun that’ll bring your mouth to orgasm, this bad boy is a bargain at $3.99. Don’t forget fries!

Notice in the photo above, Handsome Dick is taunting me because he can have White Castle burgers and I cannot. I vow to get to a White Castle in the year 2012. I also vow to, for the first time since the early 1970s, try putting ketchup on fries. How will these developments affect my next burger list? Tune in next year!

- L.R.

2 comments:

gunther said...

Having lunch at White Castle with HDM would be on my bucket list.

Shawn Abnoxious said...

AWESOME list! I shared this list, read aloud, with Julie and in 2012 we are going to work this list over... The F&L Workover!