(1) Kincaid's Hamburgers, 4901 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth vs. (5) Pop's Burgers & Grill, 4400 U.S. 377 S., Fort Worth
This was a devilish matchup of two old-school burger joints, one a local legend (Kincaid's has been around since 1964), the other a Cowtown newcomer. Both serve thick, unfussy, high-quality beef patties presented in white paper -- for a minute, you might be fooled into thinking Lyndon Johnson is still president. Keeping in the spirit of things, we made our orders uniform and old-school: cheeseburger with mustard and lettuce, please. The Kincaid's burger was cooked to the perfect temperature, with great texture, sandwiched by a bun that was grilled a beautifully golden-brown inside. The iceberg lettuce was still crisp, and the cheese melted just so. But where was the mustard? It was there, but barely. As for the beef -- it was under-seasoned, and a teensy bit less juicy than it should have been. All told, a solid, just not spectacular showing from the old-timer. At Pop's, meanwhile, our burger came sliced in half in white paper, piping hot. Which didn't bode well for the lettuce, which was WOA (Wilted on Arrival). Lettuce casualty aside, just one bite delivered a glorious burst of juice and a beefy-cheesy-mustardy marriage of flavor, causing our eyes to roll about in our heads. Once we righted ourselves, we did note a heavy hand with the pepper on our patty -- but that was our only other quibble. Otherwise Pop's was pretty near close to transcendent, which -- sorry to say it, Kincaid's -- beats solid any day of the week.
The winner: Pop's