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Burger Battle: The road to the final two

Posted 12:00am on Thursday, Aug. 08, 2013

It’s an all-Tarrant finale in DFW.com’s 2013 Battle of the Burgers, with Arlington’s Chop House Burgers, the runner-up in 2011, taking on Fort Worth’s Rodeo Goat, which wasn’t even around in 2011. Here’s how they got to the finale.

Chop House Burgers : Despite its strong 2011 showing, Chop House almost didn’t make it past Round 1 this year, barely eking out a victory over Burleson’s Grumps. But then it regained its footing, with its namesake burger and its ground beef-brisket patty fending off what looked to be a strong showing by Tommy’s Junkyard Burger in Round 2, then simply crushing Dallas’ Goodfriend (which judges raved about in earlier rounds) with a dynamite Chop House Burger and a 10 Pepper Burger in Round 3. In the Final Four round, Chop House took on Southlake’s solid Johnny B’s, the sleeper of Burger Battle ’13, and despite a couple of off-the-mark burgers, Chop House was the judging committee’s overwhelming fave for a spot in the finals.

Rodeo Goat : Opened in late 2012, Rodeo Goat has perhaps the most ambitious menu of Burger Battle ’13, but it continually backed up that ambition. Its Round 1 opponent, Fort Worth’s Chubby’s, served up two very good burgers — but then Rodeo Goat steamrolled it with inventive creations like the ’shroom-rific Oh Whitney and the mind-blowing Caca Oaxaca with its beef-chorizo patty. Rodeo Goat then took down Dallas’ vaunted Off-Site Kitchen with RG’s Cowboy Murrin burger, which pleased the judges enough with its barbecue sauce and fried onion strings to score a victory. In Round 3, Charley’s Old-Fashioned Hamburgers (the readers’ fave in 2011) stumbled with a subpar performance from its fiery Project X, while Rodeo Goat’s Hot Bastard and Caca Oaxaca brought the heat for a win. The big battle was in the Final Four, when Rodeo Goat took on the Dallas location of Austin-based Hopdoddy, which has a similarly ambitious menu. The judges were so divided that it took days to make a decision, as both places served some really strong burgers and some underwhelming ones. But after crunching both numbers and the stray corn chip, Rodeo Goat won this one in a squeaker.

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