Top 10 Burgers

August 13, 2008 at 5:14 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments
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Hamburgers and fries are my manna from heaven, and I feel like I’ve sampled enough wares to compile my top 10. This is by no means a final count–I’m constantly trying new places every chance I get, and revising this list as I see fit.

So, without further adieu, here is my Top 10 Burgers list:

#1. Range Melt** with Sweet Potato Fries, Lucky Brewgrille
5401 Johnson Dr., Roeland Park, KS

Hands down the meal I have dreams about it’s so good. Here’s the lowdown: A patty melt drenched in BBQ sauce, a few slices of bacon, and melted to buttery perfection. Coupled with the tastiest sweet potato fries dipped in buttermilk ranch and a bottle of Newcastle, this is what I call heaven in meat-form. (**note that as of 2011, the Range Melt no longer appears on the menu. Never fear! The staff is happy to make one at your request. Yay!)

#2. 3.6.9 Mini Burgers with Onion Straws, Matchbox
713 H St NW, Washington, D.C.

Succulent, tiny little burgers arranged around a pile of deep fried onion goodness. You can order 3, 6 or 9 to either share with your group as an appetizer or gobble up all by yourself. Three guesses which I always choose. They go great with a glass of Dekonnick.

#3. The Goober Burger, The Wheel Inn Drive-In
1800 W Broadway (hwy 50 @ hwy 65), Sedalia, MO

On a college road trip with my buddy Matt, he insisted we stop at this hole-in-the wall grease-spot so I could try the infamous Goober Burger–all-beef patty topped with melted cheese…and melted peanut butter. And I’m so glad we did. Yes, I know it sounds gross, but this unbelievable concoction was gooey perfection. I have yet to find this particular pairing at any other restaurant, but I’m always on the lookout.

#4. Pine 22 Burger and Pine Fries, Pine 22
22 East Pine Street, Orlando, FL.

This burger knocked my socks off! Served on a rich, fluffy bun and made from organic, locally procured beef, this juicy, perfectly cooked burger deserves this high spot on the list. The super skinny, super crunchy Pine Fries reminded me of Steak n’ Shake, who I’ve always thought had substandard burgers, but awesome fries. The best thing about this place: the endless number of options for your burger. I mean, just look at this menu.  I added barbecue sauce and bacon to my Pine burger, and next time (which there will definitely be) I plan to try something else. They even offer peanut butter and cheese, so perhaps I can recreate the Goober Burger from #3. I can’t wait to go back!

#5. Room 39 Burger, Room 39
1719 39th Street, Kansas City, MO

A perfect blend of succulent burger, absorbent, fluffy bun, and crispy fries, this delicious meal recommended by friends Jeremy and Sarah usurped my mom’s turkey burgers for this spot. Sorry mom!

#6. The Keller burger, Hut’s Hamburgers
807 W. Sixth, Austin, TX 

Topped with 1000 island dressing, cooked to perfection, and with a side of ginormous onion rings, this tasty sandwich was one of several tantalizing burger selections on the menu. With decor delightfully Texas-kitch, I can’t wait to make a second trip.

#7. Third-pounder with Bacon, Cheddar, and Mushrooms, The Quarry House
8401 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, MD

Good luck finding this local dive located beneath an Indian takeout place at Georgia Ave. and Bonifant, with barely a sign to indicate its whereabouts. But rest assured, it’s worth the find. A juicy patty with lots of interesting topping choices, crispy tator tots, and best of all, half price burgers every Monday means more money for beer. Cheers to that!

#8. (TIE) Double-double with grilled onions, In-N-Out Burger and the Bacon Double Del Cheeseburger, Del Taco
Both of these California fast-food chains claim burger superiority, but for a few reasons, I like them both equally. The In-N-Out definitely has the better fries — to me just as important as a succulent burger — but as far as I could tell, no bacon options. I gotta have my bacon! So next time I’m out in LA and I’ve got some time to kill, my perfect combo would be a quick drive-thru to Del Taco for the Bacon Double Del Cheeseburger, and another quick drive-thru to the In-N-Out for those fabulous fries. Yum-mmy!

#9. Cheeseburger and Fries, Five Guys
808 H Street NW, Washington, DC (and just about everywhere else now)

This is the kind of place with buckets of peanuts at each table, and peanut shells littered all over the place. The kind of ambiance I can appreciate. The burgers are thick, juicy and affordable. The fries come in a gigantic portion, and they leave the skins on. Certainly the best burger in the fast food category.

#10. Bacon Cheeseburger, Sunshine General Store
Sunshine, MD.

Nurse Emily at Holy Cross Hospital told me about the legendary burgers at this hole-in-the-wall gas station just 30 minutes north of Silver Spring on Georgia Avenue. This giant juicy burger with crisp bacon and fresh tomatoes was definitely worth the trek. Even with baby in tow.

Ok, ok, so I know this is called the Top 10 Burger List, but why stop at just 10? I keep adding more to this list, and it seems a shame to relegate the ones that get bumped off the list to obscurity. Besides, sometimes the stories of their discovery are amusing. So, here are some more:

#11. Cheeseburger on Onion Roll and Fries, Fanelli’s Cafe
94 Prince St. at Mercer St., New York, NY

The ambiance of this place made my trip totally worth it. Nestled in my favorite neighborhood in Manhattan (SoHo), this restaurant/bar touted its history right on the back of the menu. It oozed old-world charm. I sat myself right by the window for prime people-watching advantage and settled in to my meatball-shaped burger. It was juicy, and the bun was just the right weight to absorb the juice. One of many great meals I enjoyed while living in NYC

#12. Junior Bacon Cheeseburger, Wendy’s 
This is my go-to burger, the one I crave when we’re on the road and my food options are McDonalds, Wendy’s, and the like. Hell, I don’t even have to be on the road to crave it — there’s one just across the road that calls to me on a regular basis. I love their little square patties, and the crisp lettuce, serviceable (usually pink) tomato and slathering of mayo has become my combo of choice at other restaurants. And bacon. Let’s not forget the bacon!

#13. Burger, fries and a giant coke, Birrere
somewhere in Florence, Italy

Slathered in thick mayo and so big I could barely hold it, this burger left quite an impression on me in the land of pasta courses. The Coke cost me $4 with no refills, but the glass was about a foot tall. And, of course, no ice. But this was a welcome American oasis at the end of my summer abroad.

#14. Burger with Fried Egg, The Broadway Diner
22 S 4th St., Columbia, MO

The first time I ever tried at egg on a burger was here. Lots of places offer it, and I’m sure they measure up. The combination of runny egg and juicy burger, absolute, artery-clogging perfection. But this place will always be my favorite for being MY FIRST.

#15. Pretty much any burger on the menu, Red Robin
When they opened up this restaurant close to my work in Overland Park, it became an instant favorite for staff lunches. The vast menu meant I could get something different each time, and each combo was delish. I particularly liked the Whiskey River BBQ. Fried onions, yum!

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9 Comments »

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  1. Burgers

    Can’t get any Wendy’s in the STL either. They all closed down 😦 As for great burgers around STL – R.T. Weiler’s on Main Street in St. Charles…don’t think I have had the fries though. When you guys move back to KC you’ll have to come visit and I will take you there. Yum!

    Tori

    • Re: Burgers

      I would love to visit St. Louis again! Will definitely be taking you up on that. And this time I can drive. Or maybe take the train…

  2. Wow

    It is 8:00AM and now I want a cheeseburger. Great list… you got some of my DC faves. The Quarry House Tavern (a total dive pub in Downtown Silver Spring) had a mean burger before they got bought out…ever since it hasn’t quite been the same. Goes to show you that Organic beef isn’t all it is cracked up to be. : ) Next time we are in KC (October) you will have to take me to one of your faves.

  3. Hooray for Huts!

    Amanda,

    I seriously think you could get a job as a food critic or travel guide writer. I’m so glad I was able to experience Hut’s with you! And that I’ve also been to Lucky’s with you too. BTW, Armando’s favorite restaurant is Wendy’s. We call each other the Baconator frequently because that’s the name of their new sandwich and it cracks us up.

    Miss you!
    Marisa

  4. So sorry! Pups should live forever. In a perfect world they would!

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