If you could only eat one kind of burger for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Now pause. Think that over for a moment…picture it in your head. I’ll wait.
Got it yet? Ok, let’s move on.
Yesterday, Eatocracy posted an article referencing Alton Brown’s recent declaration on the Food Network special America’s Best that the late-night burger at Holeman & Finch Public House is the best burger in America.
And a tsunami of passionate comments ensued.
As I read through the comments, some of which agreed with the claim while most countered with what they considered to be the best burger and how crazy he/she thought Alton was, I noticed something. Most of the suggestions had a common theme: they weren’t just suggesting a burger from a different restaurant, they were suggesting a different style of burger.
Ranking food– specifically, claiming that one dish is the best of its kind in the country–can be tricky. So much of it comes down to individual preference. Of course, it is much easier to compare two dishes of the same style, but ranking two varieties of burger that are of equal quality is a different beast all together.
That’s why you will never hear me claim to have found the best burger ever.
One of the best? Sure, I can definitely say that. But to crown the One Burger to rule them all is a very big claim, and a question that I’m not sure that anyone can answer in this life.
There are many different sub-species of burgers to choose from, with limitless varieties of toppings and presentations. But, as far as I can tell, the countless combinations and arrangements all really boil down to two core styles, and it’s all about the patty.*
Exhibit A: “Stacked” style – Two thin pressed patties, stacked on top of each other, a la Holeman & Finch or Bocado.
Exhibit B: “Pub” style – A single, thicker patty, such as Farm Burger or The Vortex. Multiple thick patties qualify as a “double burger”, and falls into a sub-set of Exhibit B.
* For the sake of this discussion, I’m not including sliders or non-beef burgers as unique styles. One is a shrunken version of Exhibit A or B, and the other is simply imitating a burger. Buns and a protein do not a burger make. Yeah, I said it.
Though I’m sure that some of you believe you’re the exception, the fence-sitters who swear that they like both styles of burger equally, everyone has a preference. It’s like being asked to choose your favorite child– deep down you know that you have one, even if you won’t admit it.
So, what if you don’t prefer the thin double patty style that Holeman & Finch serves? What if your idea of the perfect burger is a massive ½ lbs single slab of beef? Then you are probably in the camp that thinks that Mr. Alton Brown has flipped his lid, or at least that he is a little off base.
Since I’ve had burgers on the brain lately, and have a lot of burgers in my near future with my new slot here on the Dining Team, I’m curious as to where my readers stand on this hot-button issue.
So I want to know: What kind of burger lover are YOU? Thick or thin?
*Objectivity Disclaimer* – While I have a preference, which I’ll keep to myself for now, it isn’t so heavily weighted that I don’t love burgers of both styles. There is room on this blog for both.
- Jon Watson writes about Popular Eats for the AJC Dining Team. He also publishes his own blog, Live To Feast