Not every place can carry home the big burger crown, but many of the 32 joints in our 2013 Battle earned superlatives from our hungry judges. We honor them and their delicious creations with the Burgie Awards.
Best fries: Maple & Motor
All we could think about after our visit to Jack Perkins’ Dallas dive was those fries. Crispy but not too crispy, pillowy inside and dusted with nothing more than salt and pepper, they were a perfect complement to the assortment of straightforward burgers on Maple & Motor’s menu. It’s worth a trip just to get an order (or three) of these.
Best soda fountain/shake: Hopdoddy
The blueberry soda was a special treat. And though we didn’t sip our way through the whole milkshake menu, the Chocolate Stout shake, with a hit of cinnamon, was a creative twist, too. And it hit the spot.
Best use of pimento cheese: Kincaid’s
The Cowtown Deluxe was so drenched in melted housemade pimento, with a flavor sharp as a switchblade, we could barely even taste the patty. And though we love a Kincaid’s patty, that was fine with us.
Most tempting desserts: Chop House Burgers
The burger joint has expanded considerably since 2011 and now has a display case full of very yummy-looking baked goods at its Arlington location. We were too full to chase our burgers with cupcakes or pastry, but as Arnold would say: We’ll be back.
Burger name that makes us giggle: The Caca Oaxaca at Rodeo Goat
The chorizo-beef burger is one of our favorites and it gives us free reign to say “caca” in public.
Sweetest buns: Dutch’s
If there were a Bun Hall of Fame, Dutch’s would be in it. There’s something otherworldly about those sweet, yeasty pillows that always manage to elevate the delicious beef at the TCU burger shrine.
Most masterful use of melted cheese: Johnny B’s
The Southlake burger grill has turned melting cheese into an art form, draping a gooey layer of American over each patty with precision and grace.
Best stuffed burger: Mixed-Up Burgers
It takes a skilled hand to stuff a burger with bacon and blue cheese, and the grillmaster at this Grand Prairie joint has the right stuff.
Best burger at a behemoth chain: In-N-Out
This is a good way to start a late-night bar brawl, but for our money the Cali cult favorite has quickly become the best of all the big chains in the area — including Five Guys and Texas icon Whataburger.
Best use of bacon: Burger Xtreme, Love Shack
Both of these burger joints made second-round exits, but it wasn’t because of their bacon. Xtreme’s strips were big and beautiful, with deep, smoky flavor. The Dirty Love Burger’s bacon was satisfyingly salty and chewy, packing more power than the patty or the signature quail egg.
Best hot mess and/or hangover cure: M&O Station Grill
The Supreme Tijuana burger at M&O is two onion-laced patties smothered in gobs of guacamole, poblano peppers and cream cheese. If it doesn’t fill your gut, nothing will.
Best use of avocado: Charley’s and OC Burgers
The avocado Swiss burger at Charley’s is one of our favorite creamy burgers. And OC, the Watauga surf burger shack, understands how to balance the flame-broiled flavor of its patties with bold and beautifully green avocado slices.