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Chowhound - ranking the fast food cheeseburgers

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Old Oct 20, 17, 11:08 am
  #16
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Originally Posted by VivoPerLei View Post
I don't like over-sauced burgers, particularly with thousand island, and that was how Checker's was described in the survey. Sounds like it is much better than described
The burger I order at Checkers which is the simple checkerburger (or at Rally's the rallyburger) no 1000 island on either

https://www.checkers.com/food/burgers/checkerburger/
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Old Oct 20, 17, 12:02 pm
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Burgerville should be 1 or 2. McDonalds shouldn't even be on the list
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Old Oct 20, 17, 12:12 pm
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Originally Posted by pseudoswede View Post
I just had a Five Guys bacon cheeseburger on Tuesday. They have gotten incredibly expensive ($9 not including fries).
5 Guys Cheeseburger in France is $14. It makes $9 seem like a bargain.
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Old Oct 20, 17, 3:47 pm
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I never liked SmashBurger, and the local location closed after 9 months as it wasn't doing very well in a high traffic shopping center.

One that is not on that list is Burger-Fi, a chain that is opening restaurants like crazy. They use Angus Beef in most of their burgers, and the rest are either vegetarian or a combination of Wagyu and Brisket blends.

https://burgerfi.com/menu/

Also there is a local chain in the Fort Lauderdale area called Char-Hut. They only use fresh beef grounded in house daily and cook them over a char-grill.

http://www.charhutinc.com/signature-menu-items/
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Old Oct 20, 17, 10:37 pm
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Originally Posted by teddybear99 View Post
I never liked SmashBurger, and the local location closed after 9 months as it wasn't doing very well in a high traffic shopping center.

One that is not on that list is Burger-Fi, a chain that is opening restaurants like crazy. They use Angus Beef in most of their burgers, and the rest are either vegetarian or a combination of Wagyu and Brisket blends.

https://burgerfi.com/menu/
Wagyu would imply that it comes from Japan. Is it "American wagyu?"
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Old Oct 21, 17, 12:17 am
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Originally Posted by goodeats21 View Post
Smashburger at #14 --- 4 lower than McDonalds???

Laughable.
Agreed. This list is very questionable.
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Old Oct 21, 17, 3:04 am
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Definitely a West Coast bias on this list. The list is an interesting topic of discussion, but like any other top XX list, it can't (nor should it be) taken seriously. As it is someone's personal opinion.

Dick's at #5 ?? The natives here in Seattle would shoot me, but the first time I tried Dicks it reminded me of a McDonalds Cheeseburger at twice the price. Dick's is more hype and NW pride than substance.

And being a native from the San Fernando valley, In and Out never impressed either. At least I can say it was never a terrible burger. But nothing special (except name and hype) to separate it from the pack. Carls Jr. IMO is slightly better and always less crowded. No fighting with the gate lice at Carls, lol.

A&W being last is somewhat baffling. However the quality does seem to differ greatly from location to location. I've had burgers there that top any other food chain. At other times just average. In all honesty however, I would go there for Root Beer, not burgers.

One chain left out that deserves a mention is Arctic Circle. The Fry Sauce on the burgers is the best special sauce I've ever tasted on a burger.
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Old Oct 21, 17, 3:33 am
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Originally Posted by TiberiusOnTime View Post
One chain left out that deserves a mention is Arctic Circle. The Fry Sauce on the burgers is the best special sauce I've ever tasted on a burger.
I'm not sure about Arctic Circle's fry sauce but I bought some in a bottle last time I was in SLC and found that it goes better on burgers than on fries. But that could be me.
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Old Oct 21, 17, 3:40 pm
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there's in-n-out and there's everything else. anything not #2 doesnt really matter
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Old Oct 21, 17, 5:27 pm
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It seems like a silly list, as most of these types are.

Putting the obviously inferior burgers aside (Wendy's et al), what stands out to me is that Whataburger and Freddy's should be much much higher up on the list, at least the middle.

And don't get me wrong, there's a time and place for McDonald's, Hardee's, and that group, but putting them on the same list with the more "gourmet" burger joints doesn't seem right, it's a totally different concept.

Someone mentioned Fuddruckers. I believe there are still 3 in the Chicago suburbs. I remember it being a favorite in college because we could get a big burger and load it up with basically another full meal on top . But I haven't been there in the 23 years since.
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Old Oct 21, 17, 6:29 pm
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Originally Posted by BuildingMyBento View Post
Wagyu would imply that it comes from Japan. Is it "American wagyu?"
Not necessarily. IIUC, Wagyu beef can be bred from Japanese cattle or cattled raised in the Japanese style. Kobe beef must be raised in Japan. All Kobe beef is Wagyu, but not all Wagyu beef is Kobe.

I personally don't see the point to the McDonald's-hating. As others have said, for the price, it's fine and has its place. There aren't any others on that list below it that I'd put higher. And there are several both lower and higher that I've never heard of, so that says something, to me at least, of the value of the list.
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Old Oct 21, 17, 9:06 pm
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Originally Posted by MaxBuck View Post
Scratching my head over the low ranking of Steak & Shake. And I never have understood the fascination with In-n-Out.
In-n-Overrated is more like it. Sure, In-n-Out makes a fine burger but at the end of the day it's still a fast food hamburger. It's nothing worth making a special trip to LAS or LAX just to eat. It's nothing worth the massive lines at their stores when they entered the DFW market.

I think all things considered, I prefer Steak & Shake to In-n-Out too.

Notably, both places' fries are terrible (even when the I-n-O ones are special ordered well done).

Five Guys is incredibly overpriced and their bugers no better than S&S, I-n-O, etc.



Edited to add: it's been years since I've been to one but from my childhood I remember Bay Area (predominantly East Bay) chain Nation's making outstanding cheeseburgers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nation...ant_Hamburgers

http://nationsrestaurants.com/find-a-nations/

I'm glad to see that they're still in business. Hopefully they are as good as I remember them from years ago.

Last edited by Herb687; Oct 21, 17 at 9:15 pm Reason: Remembering Nation's
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Old Oct 22, 17, 2:33 am
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Originally Posted by JBord View Post
It seems like a silly list, as most of these types are.

Putting the obviously inferior burgers aside (Wendy's et al), what stands out to me is that Whataburger and Freddy's should be much much higher up on the list, at least the middle.

And don't get me wrong, there's a time and place for McDonald's, Hardee's, and that group, but putting them on the same list with the more "gourmet" burger joints doesn't seem right, it's a totally different concept.

Someone mentioned Fuddruckers. I believe there are still 3 in the Chicago suburbs. I remember it being a favorite in college because we could get a big burger and load it up with basically another full meal on top . But I haven't been there in the 23 years since.
Gourmet burger joints?? I'm still trying to figure out what makes Whataburger or In N' Out "gourmet" (besides the hype and marketing) as opposed to Wendy's, Burger King and McDonalds. Do they have French chefs cooking behind the counter as opposed to Ronald McDonald and the Burger King? Because as you said yourself "it's a different concept." Which implies there really isn't any difference, they just want you to think there is.
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Old Oct 22, 17, 4:01 am
  #29
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Originally Posted by cubbie View Post
I personally don't see the point to the McDonald's-hating. As others have said, for the price, it's fine and has its place. There aren't any others on that list below it that I'd put higher. And there are several both lower and higher that I've never heard of, so that says something, to me at least, of the value of the list.
I don't hate McDonalds. If I'm out with my kids here in London and we want a reliable value meal, McDonalds is a life saver. If I'm on my own and hungry, I'm heading to Five Guys. We're probably in our high street branch at least once a week or more.

As an aside, McDonalds consistency of quality worldwide is something of a miracle. We also have a KFC on our high street and it's absolutely disgusting, nothing like the US parent. We watched the Michael Keaton movie recently and it was interesting to see how they enforce this.

Where McDonalds does excel, in my opinion, is in their breakfast offerings. For me, the sausage biscuit sandwich (US McDonalds only), is a destination item. McDonalds here offers a hash brown product that we really like also.
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Old Oct 22, 17, 8:45 am
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Originally Posted by TiberiusOnTime View Post
Gourmet burger joints?? I'm still trying to figure out what makes Whataburger or In N' Out "gourmet" (besides the hype and marketing) as opposed to Wendy's, Burger King and McDonalds. Do they have French chefs cooking behind the counter as opposed to Ronald McDonald and the Burger King? Because as you said yourself "it's a different concept." Which implies there really isn't any difference, they just want you to think there is.
Actually, I was struggling for the right word, and settled on gourmet to differentiate. I do think the quality of the ingredients are better at most of the more expensive (does that work? ) places, and I think they have more creative sandwiches overall at many of them.

There really is a difference, in my opinion. I'm not one to fall prey to marketing tricks. I rely on facts, in this case my own taste buds.

My point is I think they've mixed two different lists together here. They are different concepts at very different quality levels. I can respect that you disagree, but if I were offered Five Guys or McDonald's for free, I would take Five Guys every time based on quality an taste.
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