Burger Battle DFW: 2013 edition

Posted 11:16am on Thursday, Jul. 11, 2013

Click here to vote in our Readers' Choice bracket. And if you're a burger nut who'd like a chance to help us judge the Final Four, click here to find out how you can.

Let’s talk about hamburgers for a few minutes, shall we?

Or, better yet, let’s make it a few weeks. Or even a couple months.

Because burger banter in Dallas-Fort Worth never gets boring.

Don’t believe us? Try floating a trial balloon like, “I think Twisted Root makes the best burgers in town” at a Rangers game, or “Kincaid’s is King” in line at the movie theater, and you’ll see what we mean. Get ready for a juicy throwdown.

So, as we embark on another summer Burger Battle (our third), DFW.com would like to pay homage not just to the 32 worthy burger specialists that have earned a spot in our NCAA-style bracket, but also to the beautiful and beefy discourse we’ll engage in for the next five weeks, before we crown a champion.

Our conversations will be animated, complicated, infuriating and, occasionally, thrilling. We’ll marvel at the imagination and ingenuity sizzling across the grills in DFW. We’ll invent new words, like “pattylanche.” But we’ll also tackle tough questions, such as whether some rookies are pushing the culinary boundaries too far. (Is red curry and peanut butter on a burger pure genius or a sin against nature?)

And we’ll challenge conventional wisdom. Have burger titans of the past, like Fred’s and Charley’s, lost a step? Or will they teach newcomers such as Off-Site Kitchen and LA Burger a thing or two about delivering greatness, round after round?

Honestly, we could just publish a list of “10 best burgers” and be done with it. (Our waistlines would prefer that option.)

But where’s the fun or fairness in that? There are so many more than 10, 20 or even 30 great burgers in the Metroplex. Classics like Tommy’s and Keller’s, chef-driven burgers like H2 and Maple & Motor; and chain favorites with cult followings like In-N-Out and Whataburger. In Arlington, there’s been a burger renaissance with the rise of Chop House and Grease Monkey. And Dallas has added new heavyweights like Hopdoddy and Goodfriend.

These burgers demand to be tasted — and tournament-tested.

Our judges, many of them veterans of the last two Burger Battles, racked their brains to fairly seed this year’s bracket, positioning each burger based on past experience and reputation. Then each seed was randomly assigned to one of four eight-team “regions.” We’re calling them the Bacon, Pickle, Mustard and Ketchup regions, because condiments and add-ons are crucial to the overall flavor profile of the burger, too.

We invited you to help us choose two play-in burgers. Congratulations to Grumps and Burger Xtreme, which defeated worthy competitors (Jimmy’s Jungle Burger and Bronson Rock) just to join this party. And you’re invited to weigh in this year. You can vote for your favorites in the Readers’ Bracket, and you can also follow the judges’ journeys on Facebook and Twitter, #BurgerBattleDFW, and keep up with all the burger tales at DFW.com/burgers. You can also check out our burger Web app, which includes an interactive map that will allow you to make your own tasting tours, too.

Certainly, some beloved burgers didn’t make the cut this time. We suspect we’ll be hearing about them. But that just adds to the beautiful burger banter.

So, let’s fire up the grill and the conversation.

It should be one delicious, sizzling summer.

And now, it’s on to the matchups for this year’s bracket! Click on each region below to see which burger joints are pitted against each other.

Click here for the Pickle Region contenders.

Click here for the Mustard Region contenders.

Click here for the Bacon Region contenders.

Click here for the Ketchup Region contenders.

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