Battle of the Burgers 2013: The Final Four

Posted 7:54pm on Wednesday, Jul. 31, 2013

Voting in our Readers' Bracket will open sometime Thursday morning. Also, check out our cool Burger App, which features an interactive map, burger bios, and a breakdown of the judges' and readers' brackets.

Two years ago, Pop’s Burgers & Grill sizzled and clawed its way to the Burger Battle title, charming our judges with its proudly old-fashioned, thick-pattied burger that transported us back to the best barbecues and picnics of our childhoods.

What a difference two years makes.

Pop’s is no longer in business (though a recent conversation with owner Russell House suggests it’ll be grilling in a new location soon), and this year’s Final Four competitors largely represent a new breed of burger makers — mad scientists and gurus of the grill whose mission, it seems, is to enrich not just the heart of the humble hamburger but its very soul.

They use better beef, grind it in-house, make their own sauces and cheeses, and use locally sourced vegetables. Their burger ambition is so big it can barely be contained to their custom-made buns.

Two of these burger Turks will collide in next week’s Final Four, fresh off victories against a couple of the most storied names in Fort Worth’s rich burger history. And in the other matchup, the lone flat-patty purveyor left in the judges’ bracket will try to buck the trend and put these chef-driven burger joints in their place.

The competition was no less fierce in the Readers’ Bracket, where two of Fort Worth’s most beloved burgers vaulted into the Final Four. They’ll run headlong into a Dallas-based mini-chain that flexed its muscle in this round and an Arlington burger joint with fiercely loyal fans.

For now, let’s dig into the results of this week’s matchups, and don’t forget to cast your vote in the Final Four at

Pickle Region matchup: Charley’s vs. Rodeo Goat

Ketchup Region matchup: Chop House vs. Goodfriend

Mustard Region matchup: Johnny B’s vs. Dutch’s

Bacon Region matchup: Hopdoddy vs. Kincaid’s

Click here for a list of our top veggie burgers in DFW, and find out which reader will be joining us as a guest judge during the Final Four matchups. And below, check out Bud Kennedy's Eats Beat podcast, which focuses on the battle for the Final Four, and other dining tidbits.

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