Mustard region results below. Click Ketchup, Bacon and Pickle for those Round 2 results in the judges' bracket.
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Burger Xtreme vs. Johnny Bs
(8) Burger Xtreme, 6401 McCart Ave., Fort Worth, vs. (4) Johnny Bs, 2704 E. Southlake Blvd., Southlake
Johnny Bs had good reason to sweat this matchup: Up-and-comer Burger Xtreme took down the mightiest of the mighty in Round 1: Freds. No easy task. To make this throwdown as fair as possible, we pitted double cheeseburger against double cheeseburger, the primary difference being the size of the patty. Johnny Bs delivered a small but powerful double C-burger, a tiny beauty stacked with two thin patties (cooked the only way they do it at J.B.s: well done), melted cheddar, crisp lettuce, sliced tomatoes, onions and Thousand Island dressing. An uppercut came in the form of a soft, sweet bun.
Burger Xtreme came out roaring with a gargantuan pair of half-pound patties, but points were shaved right off the bat when we noticed that the meat was cooked well beyond our medium request. Also, the lettuce was a little wilted and lifeless, but we did like the white buns, which spent some time on the grill, the warm blanket of melted cheddar and, gosh, we love a burger with mayo. We just couldnt shake the hit-and-miss taste of the patties, though. They were likably peppery in spots, odd and metallic tasting in others, as if theyd been unevenly cooked. Looks like, for the time being at least, Johnny B good.
Winner: Johnny Bs
Twisted Root vs. Dutchs
(3) Twisted Root, 2615 Commerce St., Dallas, vs. (2) Dutchs, 3009 S. University Drive, Fort Worth
Weve always been cheerleaders for the mouthwatering burgers at Twisted Root, which is why we were shocked in 2009 and 2011 when they made early exits from our contest. Anyone can have an off day, but cmon already, Twisted Root! So when we sank our chompers into the Roots delicious Bacon Bomb, a wave of relief came over us. That familiar harmony was still there, in the form of three neat bacon strips not too chewy, not overly crispy plus a walloping dollop of oozing blue cheese dressing, a fresh sheaf of green lettuce and a gorgeous-lookin patty that was peppered to the max (several bites in, we smeared on a little of the Roots house-made horseradish mustard and elevated the flavor even more). Only two things kept perfection at bay: our sesame-seed bun was lackluster, and though the pattys exterior shone with a heavenly burger glisten, inside, things were cooked close to the dry side.
The Dutchs version of the same burger came with blue cheese crumbles, lettuce, tomato and chipotle mayo. The beef wasnt as peppery as Twisted Roots, but the salt from the crispy bacon and blue cheese crumbles wouldve made any more seasoning overkill. And at Dutchs, the beef was cooked with just enough pink inside to keep the juices flowing. As the horseradish mustard elevated the Root burger, chipotle mayo did the same at Dutchs. But the Dutchs burger had an ace in the hole: its delicious and pillowy bun (the Tempur-Pedic of buns?). Its taste was both sweet and yeasty truly almost good enough on its own to make you forget about the burger. If only the burger werent so dang good.
Our hearts and tastebuds were torn.