Saturday, March 24, 2007

Best Fast Food Burger

Matt Doan's comments about bean and cheese burritos and someone else's comments about Casino Royale being the best Bond ever (utterly ridiculous statement) got me thinking about favorites.

The best fast food burger is a topic that can be argued across state lines because best Mexican food isn't realistic - the best are clearly SoCal local joints.

I think the best fast food burger ranking goes like this:
5. Burger King - Whopper with Cheese - there's something I like about the smoky flavor
4. Carl's Jr - Famous Star with Cheese
3. McDonald's - Quarter Pounder with Cheese - a classic I still love
2. Carl's Jr - Double Western Bacon Cheeseburger
1. Fatburger - King burger with an egg, bacon, and cheese.

Those are the big chains. There is a place called Jerry's Dogs by Calvary Church where you can get a Chili Cheese Burger that will blow your mind. Yes it's a hot dog place and yes they have the best burger in Central Orange County for a counter order place.

After that, the Filling Station and Tustin Brewing Company have the best sit-down burgers in town.



Victor Estrada said...

I'm gonna have to challenge your top five chain places with In-n-out. I can't believe you'd forget that.

I do have to say that the chili burger from Jerry's was AMAZING but I don't know if I can rank it as the best yet. I've had some pretty good burgers in my time. Let me give this a little thought and I'll get back to you on that.

Oh and MEXICAN'S ROCK!!! and so does their food.

Victor Estrada said...

oh and I don't think I would say that fat burger is a big fast food chain... they are pretty similar to Jerry's

ashdown said...

yeah man...i agree with in-n-out. wow...almost as speechless as doan putting taco bell #1

aca said...

must continue with what the boys are's not my favorite but in-n-out seems to be the favorite if you don't live in so cal. go figure.

Eric Wakeling said...

In-n-Out sucks. It's overrated. Small patties. Too salty. Crappy fries make the burger taste worse. Come on people! In-n-Out is just trendy.

Mike DeVries said...

I have to throw a vote towards A's Burgers. Only two locations - one in Dana Point and the other in San Juan Capistrano. The one in SJC is next door to an In 'n Out Burger and A's is killing them.

Josh and I had this discussion last night after baseball practice. Both of us... A's over In 'n Out!

Kimberly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Victor Estrada said...

seeing that I've never had A's I think I'm gonna still have to go with In-n-out. Sorry Mike.

In my opinion any place or baseball team with that name has always been a let down.


Victor Estrada said...

moderate this!

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm a week off or so with the comment, but since this may be my favorite of all topics, here goes...
First of all, you list is totally weak. I'm getting concerned about some of your opinions - THE VERY FACT THAT YOU WOULD ADD MCDONALDS AND BURGER KING TO A TOP 5 LIST KILLS ALL YOUR CREDIBILITY. I'll agree that Fat Burger has a tasty burger but the price is so offensive that it almost disqualifies (the fried egg is amazing though).
As for Carls, I'm a fan of the Double Western, but knowing you, you probably take off the onion rings, which is very unfortunate. This burger is the fast food version of the greatest burger in the world - The Hickory Burger from Tustin Brewing Company. I Carls the best burger is the Super Star with cheese. Take your pre-pubescent Famous Star and give it a better meat/cheese/bun ratio and then add that amazing sauce. The value of the whole franchise is found in that sauce. In the Famous Star the meat gets lost. My point here, is if you feel like the Famous Star, BE A MAN and order the superstar.
About In-n-out - YOU ARE RETARDED. When we lived on the East Coast, I would have friends ask me to bring them an IN-N-OUT tshirt back because they remember it as the greatest fast food experience of their lives. Enough said.
Whoever said the A's burgers comment - great choice.
TK Burger - another great burger; phenomenal sauce.
The lunch truck - you know they are outside the court building when you have traffic school, they frequent construction sites, they almost kill you on the freeway. I say with complete seriousness - the lunch truck community mades great fast food burgers - tons of meat, cheese sauce, good bread, tons of salt, no health code.

So to recap here's my top 5.

1. Double-double from In-n-out - animal style - Get 2 and you'll be twice as happy!
2. TK Burger - the cheese burger and fries are almost perfect
3. Carls - The super star with cheese (this is my favorite time to have a Coke with my meal- at Carls with a Superstar) - Also this is Hardees for my brothers in the East
4. A's - a great example of the epitome of the American food expression
5. The lunch truck

So, here are qualities that make a burger great.
1. The meat/cheese/bun/condiment ratio - this the single most important quality. Without this ratio, excellent ingredients turn into the burgers my mom made - good, but not great. This probably why Eric likes the Quarter pounder - it is the only item that gets close to this quality (McDonalds is not all bad - the Sausage McMuffin is greatest breakfast invention of the last century).
2. Lots of salt on the burger. This can be in the form of plain salt or a spice mixture that is predominantly salt. Without this salt layer, the cooking meat could not get the important crusty layer which seals in juices. This is critical. So with out the juices a great burger can be a bad burger.
3. Very juicy and messy. If you're not needing to change your clothes after eating a burger, you're heart wasn't in it and therefore, it likely was not a good burger. One of the greatest things about eating a burger is the meat juice/burger sauce/melted cheese that combines into that glorious fusion, which makes you lick your hands and your arms to not miss a speck. Ah! what a feeling.
4. Somewhat related to #3 - cheese paper is the tell-tale sign that your fast food burger was made with love and the owners are not stingy. The front runners here are in-n-out and carls. No cheese paper at McDs Eric!
5. Bread - The bread is critical! It can't be too hard that it hurts you to get your mouth over it and bite down. It can't be too soft that it can't contain the burger's glory. A soft bun can be reinforced by toasting - In-n-out does this.
6. It should be cheap. If you're paying more than $7 for the burger (any size) fries and a drink. It's too much. Back to Fat Burger - if it were 3.75 for a King Burger, it would be on my top 5. But since its like $7 just for the burger, it puts the establishment in competetion with the sit-down places. It pales in comparison to even Red Robin.
Last comments -
I really want to try the chili burger and Jerrys Dogs. This reminds me that Tommy's is really good too, but not on the top 5.
Lastly, I make a great burger!! I adhere to my rules religiously and have gotten rave reviews.
I think I gained 3 lbs writing this 'comment'.

Eric Wakeling said...

I love how I've posted about AIDS and spirituality and worship and preaching and receive ZERO comments and then I post about hamburgers and the people go crazy.

I just went Tony Campolo on you all!