My Year in Roadfood (2012)

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2012/12/28 10:02:37 (permalink)

My Year in Roadfood (2012)

With only trip left this year (we are spending New Year's in Charleston, SC), this seems like a good time to start the year in review.  And since I know we won't be eating any hamburgers this weekend, we will start with that list.
Best Burgers
10) Shake Shack - New York, NY

If you would have told us ahead of time that a burger from such a big chain would make the list, I would have never believed you.  But, we were blown away by this burger.  We weren't even planning on eating here, but we walked past it on the way to Papaya King and couldn't resist.  I think it was cousin Johnny's idea to order the double SmokeShack burger, which comes with applewood smoked bacon, incredibly flavorful chopped cherry peppers and shake sauce, whatever that is, all on a grilled, buttered bun.  We weren't all that impressed by the custard, but we will definitely be back for that burger!
9) Jack's North Hi Carry Out - Wichita, KS

This place would earn our love just for the great story of a young man in his 20's buying (with help from grandma) a closing old-fashioned burger stand.  But that wouldn't matter if Jack's didn't put out a great burger and they do.
8) The Summit - Ojai, CA

The owners here have an admirable dedication to quality.  They told me they get their fresh ground beef delivered to them everyday and how fussy they are about how the burger is grilled.  And it shows in just how delicious this Western Bacon Cheeseburger turned out.  Thanks to Chris & Amy for finding this gem.
7) Ranchman's Cafe - Ponder, TX

The Travelin Man and I ate quite a few burgers during our Easter weekend in the Dallas area, but the burger here at Ranchman's was head and shoulders the best.  Nothing fancy, but this is one of those burgers that you think to yourself, this is what beef is supposed to taste like.
6) Meers Store - Meers, OK

The Meers Store is such a fun, interesting place, it is easy to look past the fact they put out a terrific burger.  Using the beef from their own private herd of Texas longhorn cattle, the burger is very lean, but still tastes great.  That this restaurant in the middle of nowhere packs them in tells you something.
5) Powers Hamburgers - Fort Wayne, IN

My favorite sliders!  But, they put so many carmelized onions on the burgers, they will fill you up like a regular sized burger.  The tiny building is an art deco beauty!
4) El Mago de las Fritas - Miami, FL

A big thanks to Roadfooder MiamiDon for acting as our guide to this Little Havana landmark.  The fritas is the Cuban spin on the hamburger and they reportedly use chorizo in the fresh ground beef to give it a distinct flavor and top it off with made in house potato sticks.  We can't wait to go back to Little Havana for more fritas!
3) J & W Grill - Chickasha, OK

I have eaten quite a few onion burgers in El Reno and I think J & W Grill has them all beat.  They can trace their roots back to El Reno and here the fried onions infuse into the beef until it practically becomes one.  As an added bonus, J & W has great lunch counter atmosphere.
2) Hank's Hamburgers - Tulsa, OK

This list is dominated by Oklahoma for a reason.  At this point, I am ready to name Oklahoma the best state in the country for burgers.  Cousin Johnny and I split this four patty bohemoth known as the Big Okie burger.  This was so good, we were still talking about it for days afterwards.
1) Bobcat Bite - Santa Fe, NM

After a one year absence from the top spot, the king is back!  I had a much better experience here in 2012 than I did in 2011.  Though there was some concern, since it was my first visit since they changed to a more substantial bun, the new bun did indeed stand up to the juiciness of the meat much better.  And the green chiles, high quality beef and cheese combination is still perfection.  
Honorable Mention:
1) K. LaMay's Steamed Cheeseburgers - Meriden, CT
2) Owl Cafe - Albuquerque, NM
3) Triple XXX Family Restaurant - West Lafayette, IN
4) Robert's Grill - El Reno, OK
5) Marty's Hamburger Stand - Los Angeles, CA     
post edited by buffetbuster - 2012/12/28 10:08:47

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