There are actually a number of decent options out there — and that is something we never thought we would say when we first arrived here back in 2002. SH magazine dedicated a big chunk of their latest issue — we’re assuming they had this feature in the can and ran it when most of the staff was on vacation — to the “Burger Battle,” which starts with 16 of the city’s top contenders and whittles them down to one champion. Rendezvous Cafe edged Luna in the final. Rendezvous is a decent — and very safe — choice, especially if you factor price into the equation. A burger at Rendezvous will cost you about half of many of the other contenders in the battle. And it is a no-frills burger, similar to what you could get at just about any roadside diner in the U.S., which usually does the trick just fine. But we bet in a blind taste test, when price is not an issue, Rendezvous may not make it out of the quarterfinals.
We have to admit, we haven’t tried a lot of the burgers on SH‘s list. We’ve never even been to Luna, and wouldn’t have expected it to be a place for hamburgers. Now, we may check it out. We think the Tapas Bar serves a good, affordable burger — that’s another place that people might not think of. We are really fond of the Montana Burger at Blue Frog and a trusted friend tells us that the A Future Perfect jalapeno burger is “excellent” — it got knocked out of the battle in the first round by Rendezvous. People always speak highly of the burgers at Malone’s, which advanced to the semis, but for some reason we have never gotten around to trying one there. We blame the fact that we are engaged to a vegetarian.
One glaring omission from the Battle’s contenders was Cotton’s. We suspect this is because the feature was finished before Cotton’s re-opened in late December, and not because SH has some kind of grudge against the place. Quite the contrary, reports are that SH food writer Jarrett Wrisley has made Cotton’s his second home.
It should be noted that the Burger Battle is a pain in the ass to read on the SH website (which is really the 8 Days website). The text is really small and the quarterfinals graphic doesn’t seem to load. But you can read the big print OK. Kudos to SH, though, for continuing to update their old 8 Days site, since their new one has a definite dearth of content. If you want to see how the Burger Battle looked in the magazine, you can always download a PDF of the entire issue, too. It’s a good place to start if you have a burger craving and don’t know where to turn.
So, what is your favorite burger in town?