Burger battle: Xtreme, Grumps earn final two spots in bracket

Posted 8:28am on Tuesday, Jul. 09, 2013

The 2013 Burger Battle has been joined by two play-in competitors who round out our elite field of 32. They each defeated another top vote-getter just to make it into the bracket, so if the first few bites of this year’s battle are any indication, it’s going to be a juicy summer.

Bronson Rock Burgers & Beer vs. Burger Xtreme

In a perfect world, both of these upstarts would advance. Bronson Rock, which opened in early 2012, has fast become one of the most popular places in Keller, thanks to its spacious patio, live music and great burgers. Burger Xtreme is so low-frills it makes the funky Bronson Rock look like Del Frisco’s. (Xtreme opened on McCart in southwest Fort Worth in 2012; an Arlington shop was added in June). Both contenders do massive burgers and have some offbeat menu items, but we went for the namesake items, pitting the Bronson Burger (thick patty, Cheddar cheese, bacon, grilled onions, jalpaenos, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles with Thousand Island dressing, on a poppy-seed bun) against the Extreme Cheeseburger (half-pound patty, sauteed onions, mushrooms, jalapenos, American and Provolone cheese, mayo, mustard, lettuce, pickles and tomatoes, on a 5-inch toasted bun).

The Bronson held together better as a sandwich, while the Extreme quickly fell victim to a messy pattylanche. Both burgers had big, strong, flavorful patties, but Extreme’s cheese blend had more snap and its jalapenos added some nice heat. This might have been draw except for one thing – the underperformance of the bacon on the Bronson burger. (It was barely there.)

Bronson Rock bows out, and Burger Xtreme advances to face Fred’s Texas Cafe in Round 1.

Winner: Burger Xtreme

Grumps vs. Jimmy’s Jungle Burger

Grumps, the downtown Burleson favorite, put forth an attractive-looking Queso Burger, with a juicy half-pound patty and orange-ish cheese sauce spilling out the sides of a lightly toasted bun. But the beef had virtually no seasoning and got upstaged by the mild queso and crisp veggies. (A squirt of jalapeno ketchup livened things up a bit.) Our mushroom Swiss burger had a similar problem. Delicious ’shrooms; bland meat.

But Jimmy’s, located in a lonely strip mall on South Collins, couldn’t seize the opening. Our avocado cheeseburger – with generous slices of light-green avocado and topped with creamy Swiss and American cheese – got lost beneath an oversized, lackluster bun. Jimmy’s half-pound patty put forth more seasoning than Grumps, but it wasn’t nearly as juicy – or enjoyable. A bacon cheeseburger we tried also suffered from dry-meat syndrome, though the bacon was thick cut and smoky.

So Grumps goes forth into our bracket, but it’ll need a more seasoned approach against first round opponent, Chop House, a 2011 finalist.

Winner: Grumps

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