Chubby’s, the funky shack in west Fort Worth, proclaims that it’s burgers are “Hard to Beat,” and that’s not just a burger boast. We ordered Tha Big Nasty because, well, it just made sense, and it did not disappoint. The half-pound, hand-formed patty was nicely salted and juicy, cooked just past medium. A blanket of spicy chili, pickled jalapeños, bacon and grilled onions covered the beef, overpowering it slightly. The promised Monterey Jack/cheddar cheese blend wasn’t detectable, and the bacon was a bit firm, but those are quibbles with a strong first-round burger. (The bleu cheese bacon burger was also solid.)
But Chubby’s ran headlong into Rodeo Goat, a brash new competitor in Fort Worth’s West 7th district. The Goat’s burgers, made from 100 percent natural beef ground in-house daily, are simply more refined and addictive. The Oh Whitney — a beef patty topped with mushrooms, carmelized onions, cucumbers, Gruyere and Sriracha mayo — performed a graceful balancing act between earthy and bright flavors that still allowed the well-seasoned, perfectly pink meat to shine through. The light bun held together, too, and the cucumber slices retained a nice crunch. The Caca Oaxaca, a beef and chorizo patty with avocado, pico de gallo, fried egg, queso fresco and Tabasco mayo, was also a mind-blowing success. The combination of savory and smooth tastes in this burger gave us a warm feeling in our gut. And it earned Rodeo Goat a decisive debut victory in the 2013 Burger Battle.
Winner: Rodeo Goat