March Madness: The Tale of the Cheeseburger

I don’t follow sports too closely, but I do participate in March Madness every year. One year I came in second, but typically I tend to end up falling somewhere in the middle of the pack. So this year I decided to participate in a March Madness activity I knew I could win. And how do you ensure you win at something? Well, you make your own rules, of course.

And that’s how “The 2011 Burger Bracket” came to be.

My friend Christin and I laid the groundwork for it. Here’s how it works: We picked 10 restaurants known for their burgers in the Salt Lake area. Once a week we get a group together, eat burgers, and rate them. See what I mean? With a delicious burger once a week, there is no loser! I win! I win! I win! Well, my arteries may lose a tiny bit in this scenario, but I’m going to ignore that fact right now as I am still in pursuit of the perfect burger.

Now lest you think we don’t take this seriously, there are 10 categories that we rate each burger on a scale of 1-10. So the burger gets a total score out of 100. We still have two more places to go before we can reveal the final results, but here’s a breakdown so far.

Week 1
We kicked things off at Red Robin. A personal fav of mine with delicious bottomless fries, tons of crispy onion straws, and bbq sauce! Come on, is there anything not to love about this place?

It was during the first burger bracket that we came up with the categories, which are:

Appearance
Bun-to-Burger Ratio
Available Toppings
Juiciness
Overall Satisfaction
Sauce
Stick-Togetherness
Bang for Your Buck
Overall Experience
Sides

Week 2
We ventured to Smash Burger. Another delicious contender. Their burgers are great, and you can’t go wrong with their Smash or Sweet Potato fries. (Sorry, no picture)

Week 3
Five Guys was a favorite of some people in the group. I’m not a huge fan. Their burgers are pretty good, but I think their fries are gross. Too soggy. I prefer crispy and delicious, but whatev. I will say it’s better than In ‘n Out, so there’s that.

Week 4

I’ve always enjoyed Salt City Burgers. The group was enamored by this place. I’m not sure if it was the ability to put all your own toppings on your burger, or the fact that we had a big group and had to wait awhile so everyone was starving. At any rate, it was good.
As an added bonus, this is me with my “I just ate a delicious cheeseburger” face on.
Week 5
Hires Big H is a Salt Lake classic. I think it’s more a nostalgic thing though. The food is fine, but it’s not ready to play with the big boys in the Burger Bracket.
Week 6
Tony Burgers is another delicious place. It’s a lot like Five guys but with better burgers and waaaay better fries.

Week 7
Lucky 13 is, well, it’s a bar. A bar with super great burgers and fries. I got the Celestial Burger and it did not disappoint. I was in heaven. I think this one is definitely in the lead in my book. (Sorry, no pictures)

Week 8
Yesterday we went to Rich’s Mighty Fine Burgers and Fries at the suggestion of a friend. Really, it should just be called “Rich’s Mighty Fine Burgers” period. The fries, not so great. But that flame kissed burger tasted just like a backyard bbq. Mmmmm. (Stop judging me for forgetting my camera. I was trying to enjoy my burger, ok!)

There are only two more places to test before we crown a winner. Is it weird if I cry when this is all over? At the end I’ll post all of the scores and such because I know you’re dying to see them.

Melanie

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