Four best hamburgers
May 24, 2002 5:45 AM   Subscribe

Four best hamburgers in this survey includes a place about a mile from my house, and yeah they're great there. It also shows one in NY, one in LA and one in New Orleans - are these the same four you see or are they showing me a place in my town because they know where I am?  Mmmm ... hamburgers.
posted by engelr (39 comments total)
This place was great. I went there on a hellish trip to south Florida. The burgers only came in 2 sizes (I think) & the shakes were good too.
posted by password at 5:53 AM on May 24, 2002

Best burgers in the midwest (won a number of awards, including best in the Big 10 repeatedly) was Dotty Dumpling's Dowry in Madison, WI.

Unfortunately, politics over an arts center under development may have killed it, I'm not sure of its status.

I worked there for a while, and I still have mad grill skillz.
posted by o2b at 6:12 AM on May 24, 2002

As a New Yorker and a burger fan, I can vouch for this article: Island Burgers and Shakes is fantastic. Last time I was there I had a "sans spud" burger: Cheddar, bacon, sour cream, scallions. No fries, but you won't mind.
posted by werty at 6:34 AM on May 24, 2002

Anyone know of a good burger joint in Philly? I looked on that list & they're all poor poor excuses for a burger stand (way too high class, serving martinis & shit).

I want a real, old fashioned hamburger, dripping with grease & a semi toothless man in a paper hat behind the counter.

And I want to be a Jedi Knight too.
posted by password at 6:46 AM on May 24, 2002

Dearman's Drug Store in Baton Rouge gets my vote for best burger (no link available). Mmm, mmm, good.
posted by rushmc at 6:48 AM on May 24, 2002

Certainly Tessaro's, which is the Pittsburgh place they put in the top 4, is not a fancy joint, password. For tips on Philly eating, try Chowhound.
posted by engelr at 6:54 AM on May 24, 2002

I see they didn't include Washington, D.C. in their surveyed cities. If they had, they would find the best burgers in the world at Five Guys.

I recommend the one in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia.

There may be burgers as good, but there are no better. And the fries, the fries!
posted by dfowler at 6:56 AM on May 24, 2002

werty... I'll have to check it out myself next time I'm around there.

Myself, I'm partial to Paul's Place while not in the overall list, it does make #10 on the New York specific list. I guess working 2 blocks away for quite some time had a hand in my choice tho.
posted by 10sball at 7:02 AM on May 24, 2002

mmmmmmmm... hamburgers!
posted by specialk420 at 7:03 AM on May 24, 2002

Fuddruckers is #5 on the Chicago-specific list. I go there quite a bit. I noticed that Come Back Inn is #9 (I think) on that list. I haven't been there in many years but I always loved their burgers. I think it's time to go back. : )
posted by SisterHavana at 7:36 AM on May 24, 2002

I want a real, old fashioned hamburger, dripping with grease & a semi toothless man in a paper hat behind the counter.

Dirty Martin's Kum-Bak Hamburgers haha, no joke, i used to work across the street

from some guy on the website: "First visit was in 1966 and the food is still great in 2002. Life is good."
posted by rhyax at 7:45 AM on May 24, 2002

I think they call it "Dirty" because they haven't cleaned the grill since the '60s... Great burgers, though.

Any N'awlins MeFiers out there know if Bud's Broiler is still around? (There were several locations, but I loved the one on Tchopatoulis)
posted by shecky57 at 8:05 AM on May 24, 2002

Engelr, no, I got the same list as you so I don't think they're reading your location. And dfowler, thanks for the DC tips.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 8:16 AM on May 24, 2002

I've never had a good hamburger on either coast; I don't think they quite grasp the concept. This is not to disparage them -- they have a lock on most other foods hands-down (except maybe ribs). Gimme a Nathan's Hot Dog, a Philly Cheesesteak, Maine lobster, Chinese fare in San Francisco -- but burgers (and steaks) belong to the Midwest. (Listen to SisterHavana, above).
posted by RavinDave at 8:46 AM on May 24, 2002

Bud's is still going strong.
posted by mblandi at 8:50 AM on May 24, 2002

I've never had a good hamburger on either coast; I don't think they quite grasp the concept.

True, to a certain extent. I had a good one in Florida. But the best burgers I ever ate were in Jenks, OK (don't remember the name). I just can't imagine that there's not a good ol' fashioned burger joint in my city of 1.something million people. Maybe I'll have to go to Pittsburgh, or... (shivers) New Jersey.
posted by password at 9:13 AM on May 24, 2002

In three weeks, I will be in Las Vegas, and I must not forget to have an In-N-Out burger. Then I may die without regret.
posted by Skot at 9:18 AM on May 24, 2002

In-n-Out Burger. All fresh ingredients, cooked when ordered.

Order the Double-double with grilled onions, fries and a shake. Nothing compares.

(Ask for your burger "animal-style" if you're game...)
posted by cyniczny at 9:23 AM on May 24, 2002

password ... Yeah, okay ... caught me in a bit of hyperbole I suppose. And I don't wanna slam my good friends in New York (who have the best of most everything else food-wise). I'm sure they have many places with reasonably good burgers, but I stand defiant against the belief that they possess the nonpareils of burgerdom. (My experiences there and in L.A. have always been along the lines of: "Do you want extra bean-sprouts with that multi-grain bun?" "No thanx, I'd rather have a hamburger." ... It's like they're grappling to put their own spin on a certified classic for no good reason.)

Of course, I can always console myself with the fact that my state (Nebraska) gave the world the greatest sandwich ever made -- the Reuben! (Not that this makes up for our cursing you guys with Spam and Kool-Aid, mind you.)
posted by RavinDave at 9:43 AM on May 24, 2002

This is all so subjective. How many times have I tried a pizza someplace people were declaring 'The Best!' only to find it to be not at all my taste.
posted by HTuttle at 10:06 AM on May 24, 2002

All the burger reviews and comments are making my brown-bag lunch taste extra blah. One of the places on the Detroit-specific list is actually just a mile from my house...gonna try them out for dinner tonight.
posted by Oriole Adams at 10:06 AM on May 24, 2002

I'm surprised that NYC's Corner Bistro didn't make the list. Zagat rates it very well.
posted by gen at 10:11 AM on May 24, 2002

whoa, password. I went to High School in Jenks. Crazy. Nothing pops into my head right now, though. My fav. burger ever (before I got all PC and could eat them without feeling guilty) was at a little Vietnamese restaurant in Waco, TX called Ki-Toks. They had the Double Lip-Locker w/ cheese....two meats, two cheeses. And their oriental fries rocked!
posted by Ufez Jones at 10:14 AM on May 24, 2002

In three weeks, I will be in Las Vegas, and I must not forget to have an In-N-Out burger.

Speaking as one in Las Vegas, you'd be much better off passing the In-N-Out by and heading to Fatburger (I like the one in the Texas the best; avoid the one on Charleston). In-N-Out is good, but it's NO Fatburger.
posted by rushmc at 10:49 AM on May 24, 2002

I too used to be an In-N-Out man. But I've since converted to the Fatburger. They're not for everyone.
posted by euphorb at 10:56 AM on May 24, 2002

Ufez Jones, it was on the other side of that strip mall where the DMV was. It was a famly run place I think. It probably died in the early-mid 90's.

Ravin Dave, I know what you mean. Alot of people try to add all this crap & make a "healthy" burger, or spice it up with avacados etc. I like a plain ol' cheeseburger. The problem here is that they all come in preformed patties that they grill & put on crappy buns. With so much good, fresh food here in Philly, I can't imagine why we can't get good burgers. I can get fresh, grass fed filet, pheasant sausage, and ocean caught seafood (as opposed to farm raised), all within a block of my house, but I can't get a decent hamburger. I guess I'll just grind my own damn meat & cook one myself.
posted by password at 10:58 AM on May 24, 2002

If you've ever lived in LA, Tommy's was the place to go for burgers. . .3rd and Alvarado, if memory serves.
posted by Danf at 11:16 AM on May 24, 2002

There is something to be said about grinding your own, actually. A mix of sirloin and other cuts, and you can do it in a food processor, and control exactly what goes in it.

And there is this local hamburger joint that used to be a walk-in freezer, hasn't cleaned the grill since Carter was president, and has the best burger, so there.
posted by ebarker at 11:28 AM on May 24, 2002

Please believe me when I tell you that the "best in the country" portion of this survey was performed in a highly unscientific manner. HIGHLY.

Although the burgers on the Philadelphia list are all top-notch. (Ahem.) Don't be such a snob - martinis and burgers are, in fact, quite tasty together (and the burger prices at most of those places nominated by the editors - well, FORMER editors, ahem - are comprable to the best you'd get at divier joints).
posted by maura at 11:42 AM on May 24, 2002

Culver's has gotten huge here in Wisconsin and neighboring states. If you want a meal of fatty goodness just have a butter burger with cheese, a side of fries or onion rings, washed down with a chocolate malt made with their frozen custard, with a turtle sundae for dessert. Two days worth of fat and calories in one sitting, but sometimes I can't help myself... Okay, make that once every week or so I can't help myself...
posted by schmedeman at 12:16 PM on May 24, 2002

Yep, especially with Wendy's coming in #4 on the reader poll.

I don't doubt that some of the burgers are tasty & delectable [sp ?], but my point is that I'd rather have a nasty fat burger in someplace like the Low bar or Anthony's. IMHO, burgers are a class issue, and eating them should be treated as a sacred ritual with strict guidelines for complete and total burger satisfaction. I don't like the sound of burgers and martinis together. It stinks of compromise. I'd like to have mine served up in a red plastic basket with some thick, greasy fries, and a coke.

Maura, if you know of a good place to get a qaulity burger like that, let me know.

posted by password at 12:17 PM on May 24, 2002

Sorry, the #4 was in reference to this.
posted by password at 12:18 PM on May 24, 2002

IMHO, burgers are a class issue

What an interesting (and rather bizarre) notion!
posted by rushmc at 12:55 PM on May 24, 2002

Hehe, I don't have anything else to do today than talk trash.

Oh wait, it's rushmc, don't beat me for being a moron... jk :)
posted by password at 1:07 PM on May 24, 2002

Ha, Wendy's. Also check out the "Best First Date" poll - Burger King placed I think second.

Does Low have a kitchen now? I haven't been there in almost a year. I actually don't care for Anthony's so much -- I'm really sensitive to smoke, and I prefer the old-style bar atmosphere at Sassafras around the corner.

For burgers in Philadelphia, you seriously, IMHO, can't beat the Standard Tap - their beer selection is filled with all the Foodery gems like that Dogfish Head Raison D'Etre. (Must. Stock. Up. This. Weekend.) North 3rd has great burgers too, and the ones at the Moms, Tattooed and Sugar, are fairly decent. I went to New Wave Cafe last week and I loved the burger I had there - their fries are to die for, and the atmosphere there is really nice and homey.

But if you want the whole red plastic basket experience, I'd say go to Nifty Fifties. Or a diner - I went to a diner in Astoria last night (I moved to Queens two weeks ago) and I had a huge, tasty 7 ounce burger at a diner. It cost $5. With fries!!!
posted by maura at 1:27 PM on May 24, 2002

Every person has a fingerprint, every city has a hamburger. Smothered in onions, sopping with that sweet spicy brown Milo's sauce (who knows what's in it, but get extra to dip the fries) and complemented by crinkle-cut fries that have been liberally doused with that safety-orange fluorescent seasoned salt......mmmmmmmmmmmm.........

And they make the best sweet iced tea in the world.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:53 PM on May 24, 2002

Oh wait, it's rushmc, don't beat me for being a moron... jk :)

Oh, you were SO close...!

::: grudgingly puts away club :::
posted by rushmc at 3:25 PM on May 24, 2002

Danf, yes, LA's Tommy's is great!!! Pre and post In-N-Out...
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 6:15 AM on May 25, 2002

Late to this party, I'm sad to say, as a cerifiable burger loon, but nobody's mentioned White Hut in Springfield, Mass or Big Nick's which gets points for unbelievable variety as well as taste.
posted by jonmc at 6:24 PM on May 25, 2002

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