(3) Charley's Old Fashioned Burgers, 4616 Granbury Road, Fort Worth vs. (4) M&O Station Grill, 200 Carroll St., Fort Worth
With each round, you would think the competition would become increasingly more difficult; that trying to decide the winners in these last few matches would make us just as sick as eating all these burgers. In the case of Charley's vs. M&O, however, there was no agonizing.
This was a clear-cut win. A walkover.
We started at Charley's. Predictably, the shambling shack on Granbury Road was jammed with golfers and tourists and burger-chasers, and the A/C was sputtering something other than cool air. After about a 15-minute wait, our burgers arrived: the fiery Project X and the boastfully named Greatburger. Both were close to flawless. On the spicy Project X , we loved the mix of vinegar and heat from jalapeños; the tang and peppery finish of the Tabasco-marinated beef. Granted, the gently toasted white bun was smushed, and the bottom half was on the soggy side, but every bite was so terrific, we didn't care. Meanwhile, the Greatburger -- two patties, topped with Canadian bacon and two strips of traditional bacon - sent our blood pressure spiking and our taste buds soaring, with its note-perfect combination of the salty, the peppery and the cheesy. Pure magnificence.
Across town at the popular and diner-inspired M&O Station Grill, we went with the Greek burger and the California burger. Or, as we called them, Dud and Dudder. As has been the case throughout the competition, the ground-beef patty had a strong, not-especially-pleasant, oniony aftertaste. The feta, supposedly stuffed inside the meat but mostly just spilling out, and the sun-dried tomatoes added little to the flavor profile. The California Burger fared even worse: The house-made guacamole tasted anything but house-made; the spicy chipotle mayo lacked any punch. After two bites, we were bored silly.
Charley's, you're going to the Final Four -- yet we can't help but wonder: Have you truly been tested yet?
The winner: Charley's