A couple weeks ago at work, Brian and I came up a plan to try and find the best burger in town. We then narrowed that search down to best burger in town for around $10 and it had to be a place we could get to from the office within time to drive there, eat and get back within the span of a lunch hour. We opened it up to the entire company and asked for people to nominate their favorite burger or burger place. We then picked the top 5 vote getters, invited some people to go along as judges and we set out to have a burger a day at lunch for a week. Thanks to a couple scheduling issues, we stretched it out over 2 weeks and ended up visiting 6 places total.
I had printed out score sheets that we handed out to each judge while we were at each restaurant. Each judge scored the burger on the following criteria:
Taste: max 20 points, most important part so it's worth the most points.
Size: max 5 points, were you able to eat the whole thing and were you still hungry.
Prep-Time: max 5 points, did you have to wait a long time for the burger.
Distance: max 5 points, how far away from the office,
Value: max 5 points, total overall value based on size, taste, distance.
Bonus: max 5 points, pretty much anything you wanted to give it bonus points for.
After all the burgers had been eaten and the votes had been tallied, Here is how they fared.
#6) Claim Jumper, The Widow Maker (average score: 26.9)
The Widow Maker was big, the place is pretty close, they cooked it pretty quick, but the taste just wasn't that great. It wasn't bad, just not really a contender for the Best Burger.
#5) Nikki Lee's, Pizza Burger (average score: 27.2)
If there was a category for messiest burger, this would win hands down! The Pizza Burger consists of the burger with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. I was expecting a little more creativity.
#4) Yard House, Western Burger (average score: 28.8)
I gotta say, I was expecting the Yard House to do better in this competition. I had eaten here before and had the chicken fingers and they were excellent. This burger was pretty average in the taste category.
#3) American Grill, Cowboy Burger (average score: 31.8)
This was a good burger! It had bacon, cheese and an onion ring plus some BBQ sauce. The sauce had a bit of a kick and that turned off a few of the people causing it to score a bit lower. It's because of the American Grill that we threw in the bonus category. While we were waiting for our food they brought out 2 plates of chicken wings and a plate of chips with melted bleu cheese.
#2) Burger Bar, American Kobe Burger (average score: 33.4)
We almost disqualified the Burger Bar because of the cost. Burger, Fries and a soda ended up costing about $25. The quality of the beef on this burger is second to none. It really is a great burger. Cost, prep-time and the difficulty of getting to it quickly during lunch is what stopped it from winning.
#1) Steiner's, Kobe Burger (average score: 38.4)
Let me start with the one downer about the burger, it didn't come with fries. Other than that, this burger is nearly perfect. The cost was reasonable at $11.99, the place is less than 5 minutes from the office, we were served quickly and we all walked away plenty full. I will definitely be adding Steiner's to my regular rotation of lunch spots!
Next time I go to Steiner's I'll make the following changes to the burger; grilled onions, add bacon. I think those two minor changes will make this the heavyweight champion of lunch-time burgers!
Next up, Pizza Wars. I'll keep you posted.