Gut Rumbles

July 29, 2005

i'd like to sample

I haven't traveled all that far in my life, but I've been far enough to know a good hamburger when I taste one. I ate a regular McDonald's hamburger the other day, and I would have enjoyed sawdust more. That burger SUCKED!

Here are supposedly the best 20 hamburgers in America. I've never tasted one of them. Piss on that list--- I'll give you the top five of my own.

1) "The Congress," from the Exchange Tavern on River Street in Savannah. That is a two-fisted burger-eater's burger that has all the essential elements--- grease, meat, fixin's, and juice that runs off your elbows. Get extra napkins when you eat one of those. Absolutely delicious, and they'll still cook it bloody in the middle, unlike some other wussie places.

2) "The Monsterburger" from Chips Drive-in in Savannah. That place is closed now, but they made a burger with THREE side-by-side meat patties on a hoagie bun, dressed with everything and soaked in a "secret sauce" that made you sweat and say "YUM!" at the same time. You had to sit down to eat a Monsterburger, and then rest afterward.

3) "The Rodeo" from Billy Bob's Restaurant in Savannah. That thing weighed a POUND and it had chili, cheese and even refried beans on the side. I used to order one cut in half to feed me and Jennifer both. We usually still couldn't eat it all.

4) "The Bison Burger" that I ate at some diner in Montana. HOLY BEJUS! That waitress need a fork-lift to deliver it to my table, and I needed four hands to eat it right. It was bison meat, about 2" thick, covered with lettuce, tomato, onions and with some genuine Idaho home-fries on the side. I almost killed myself gnawing on that thing.

5) "A Krystal." Call me Southern. Call me provincial. Call me anything you want to call me and I don't care. A sack full of hot Krystal burgers is STILL a taste-treat for me today. I've eaten those little burgers all my life and I still like 'em today. They are the best "gut-nuggets" I ever shoved down my throat at 3:00 in the morning when I was really hungry. And drunk.

Besides--- anybody who thinks he can judge the best hamburger in America has his nerve. It all depends on what you like.


The best burger is the In-N-Out Double Double, only
available in CA, NV, and AZ. Not a franchise, each store is company owned with quality and cleanliness
being the priority.

Posted by: Walt on July 29, 2005 02:43 PM

What really pisses me of is to order a hamburgher and they ask if I want pickles, onion, lettuce, and tomato. You gotdamn right I do. Then they bring the damn thing out with condiments in a little package that ain't big enough to smear a hot dog let alone a hamburgher. damyankees anyway.

Posted by: GUYK on July 29, 2005 02:45 PM

Don't forget the Joe's Twin Park in Savannah and the Joe's Drive In on 21 or the Wigwam on DeRenne Ave, they were all owned by Joe.

Posted by: catfish on July 29, 2005 02:48 PM

How about the Triple XXX deluxe, Cat? That was a damn good burger, too.

Posted by: Acidman on July 29, 2005 02:58 PM

Best one around here is the Browns drive thru. Family owned and operated. They had a place here in the 70-80's but their daughter had health problems and with the hospital bills they had to shut down. Their grandson has re-opened it and it is exctly as I remember it.The best part is their "Browns bag special" hamburger with all the fixins,onion rings or fries and a coke for 3.25 can't beat it with a stick.

Posted by: gravdigr on July 29, 2005 03:10 PM

Have to disagree with Walt about the INn-N-Out Double Double. I wasn't too imipressed with it. Now there's a place called Fudrucker's, they have locations across the US. Now they make one of the best damn burgers around , from the sissy 1/4 pounder to beautiful 1 pounder. And cooked the way you want it. They don't have any in Savannah, but they do have them else where. 2 in Atlanta, 1 in Alpharetta, Dalton, Duluth, Macon and Rome. Go try one and blog about it.

Posted by: RayH on July 29, 2005 03:11 PM

There will never, ever, ever be a good cheeseburger available from a resturaunt in North Carolina. Why? Because the boot licking communist pussies in Raleigh decreed that all 'ground meat products' needed to be served WELL DONE. You can't even order a burger 'medium'. If it's not red and bleeding, it's not a hamburger. Well done beef is a crime against Gawd and nature. You might as well eat sawdust soaked in beef OXO cubes.

Posted by: pdb on July 29, 2005 03:33 PM

It is the same here, you can't get anything but well done anymore. They say when they grind the beef up the bacteria that are usually only on the outside get ground into the meat.
So they have to cook it well. Bullshit I eat raw hamburger every once in a while(a little seasoned salt on it....and down the hatch) and I have yet to get sick.

Posted by: gravdigr on July 29, 2005 03:58 PM

I like mine with lettuce and tomato,heinz 57 and french fried potatoes. Big kosher pickle and cold draft beer, good golly Miss Molly which way do I steer?

Posted by: Kelly on July 29, 2005 04:06 PM

"Cheeseburger in Paradise".... I love that song.

Okay, I know that this is a subjective thing, but the best burger I've ever tasted was cooked 5 feet from my back door on my own charcoal grill. (I'm a good griller, but my wife beats me hands down.)

The best restaurant burger I've ever had would be hard to choose because I've had so many good ones over the years. They serve a really good one at a little hole-in-the-wall place called "Granny's Country Cookin" located just down the street from the railway museum in New Haven, KY.


Posted by: Roy on July 29, 2005 04:18 PM

For my fellow damnyankees....

Krystals = White Castles [sliders]

Posted by: Jane on July 29, 2005 04:34 PM

1. Best burger I've ever had was at the "Belmont Grill" in Memphis, TN.

2. I order burgers cooked medium all the time in eastern NC. I live in a backwater pretty far from the state capital, though.

Posted by: GORDON on July 29, 2005 04:43 PM

Being a Southern transplanted elsewhere, thanks for the Krystal reminder. Nothing better when hot.

One of the best hamburgers I used to eat was Rose's in Dallas (close to SMU). It was in a house near office buildings. You walked in through the back fence, into the house, told one of the old ladies in the kitchen if you wanted a hamburger or cheeseburger, then sat at one of the tables scattered around the house (a couple having framed pictures of dogs playing poker above them). The place smelled of grease and patties on the grill. Those ladies probably aren't alive now, but eating there once a week was one of my few work highlights.

Posted by: Chrees on July 29, 2005 05:10 PM

I've had a lot of those Bison Burgers in Montana, in little diners along Flathead Lake. They are huge and tough.

Walk out of there, you'll pop a collar-button, and fur grows on your chest.

Posted by: Bonita on July 29, 2005 07:08 PM

Bonita, I got a hard-on after I ate mine. I almost popped my ZIPPER, but I already have fur on my chest, so I didn't notice that effect.

Posted by: Acidman on July 29, 2005 07:27 PM

... sure, Krystal's rock... but stay away from the chili cheese pups...

Posted by: Eric on July 29, 2005 07:36 PM

Rob, If you ever come to Texas and visit Houston read this guys reviews of Texas Burger joints.

Posted by: jerry on July 29, 2005 07:40 PM

Walt - when my oldest son was in college, he discovered In 'N Out Burgers....he actually managed to put down a "4 by" one night.

For those who don't know, if you want a bigger burger than the Double Double shown on the menu, you can ask for a Triple Triple....and if you are really adventurous, you'll go for the "4 by", which is four layers of everything.

Where my son put it all is a mystery - he's 6'1" but at the time was lucky if he weighed 155 lbs. I believe that he weighed more after that burger, though.

Posted by: Trish on July 29, 2005 07:52 PM

If you can stand going to the southern part of People's Republik of Kalifornia, not only can you get the In'n'Out double-double (not one of my favorites, but not bad either), you can also get the World Famous Original Tommy Burger. Those babies come in single, double, and triple, with enough chili slathered on top to harden your arteries on the spot.

I'll throw in a vote for Fuddruckers, but they seem a little uneven across the chain. The best Fudd burgers I ever had were at the Fuddrucker's in Riyadh, KSA (directions available if you like :-) ). Must have been that imported Irish beef they used....

Sure do miss those Krystals, too.

Posted by: Grumpy Old Ham on July 29, 2005 09:13 PM

Jane is correct...

Krystal totally ripped off White Castle's idea and sliders still beat the pants off of them. I know because I was a griller there and I STILL eat them every chance I get.

Although when I'm in the south I admittedly eat Krystals

Posted by: marcl on July 29, 2005 10:37 PM

2. Luger Burger
Peter Luger Steak House

That's number one. Hands down. No contest. Anyone who says otherwise is wrong. Peter Luger also has the best steak on the planet. Anyone who says otherwise is also wrong.

Number two is the "21 burger" at Manhattan's 21 club.

I've had burgers from Arizona, to Seattle, to Boston to Florida (and many places in between), and nothing is better. Although a barbecue place, the name of which slips my mind, about 50 miles west of Houston, offers a solid #3.

Posted by: Mr. Lion on July 29, 2005 10:42 PM

... but the best burger I ever had was some enormous monstrosity (at least a pound of beef) on fry bread with all the fixins at a little teeny side of the road hamburger joint run by a Navajo family in Medicine Hat New Mexico.

Posted by: marcl on July 29, 2005 10:42 PM

Walt said:

"The best burger is the In-N-Out Double Double, only available in CA, NV, and AZ. Not a franchise, each store is company owned (and the company is family owned) with quality and cleanliness
being the priority."

In & Out is an aquired taste, but those who love them (like myself) would go to the end of the earth for one. Also, here in Hawaii we have Kua'aina Burger, best in the state.

Posted by: Sarge on July 29, 2005 10:50 PM

Ok, I've now added all of the Savana locations to my next trip to SC to see the in-laws. Bluffton, SC to Savanna is only a short hop, and I've still got tickets to a ghost tour in town.

Posted by: tacberry on July 30, 2005 01:21 AM

Count me in with the In-N-Out crowd. As far as chains go they ROCK! (Although, in addition to their secret menu they must have a secret compound in Neveda where loved ones of employees are held for torture in the event any of them gives less than exemplary and cheerful service...) Fuddruckers is great except for those crappy buns - won't somebody tell them?


Posted by: JohnW on July 30, 2005 07:05 AM


We ate at Luger's once, and were completely underwhelmed. Overpriced, mediocre fare, with the usual snarling NY "service" (which demands a tip of Brobdingnagian proportions, withal).


I'll take In-N-Out burgers anyday... and I HATE most things Californian.

Incidentally, Acid, The Mrs. makes the best burgers in Christendom -- which you'd find out if you only ever came to visit.

Posted by: Kim du Toit on July 30, 2005 09:47 AM


As with In-N-Out, you need to be a native (or at least with someone in the know) to get the "special" service and off-menu items at Luger's.

I've yet to be disappointed there, and I've eaten enough beef to make a PETA nut have a heart attack.

Posted by: Mr. Lion on July 30, 2005 09:56 AM

When you're in nashville, drop into Browns Diner on 21st. Been there since the 40's at least and I think that's the last time they cleaned the grill. Maybe that's why they taste so good...AND, you can get beer to go with it. If you're inclined toward the surley side, Terry will pat you on the back, take your money, and throw your ass out. Good ol' fashion burgers, suds, and world class cussing.

Posted by: James Hooker, Ace of aces on July 30, 2005 11:19 AM

Hey, PDB, I've found two places that make great burgers in NC and you don't have to get them burnt to a crisp. Go to the Varsity Ale House in Durham and order the Vasity Burger and say you want it as rare as you can legally cook it. They always manage to hit it just right for me. Also, hate to say it but a damn fine burger is the bison burger at Ted's Montana Grill in Durham. I hate Ted Turner, but his bison burgers are fantastic. And they don't seem hung to have a problem with a rare or medium rare order.

Posted by: rivlax on July 30, 2005 02:14 PM

Peter Luger's is a complete dump. The steak is fantastic, but so is the steak at a million other steakhouses. Prime beef + high heat + salt = great steak. Not rocket science.

Posted by: Steve H. on July 31, 2005 12:17 PM
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