This bracket ain't fancy-schmancy, but it's got some great burgers worthy of your stomach space. (And some not-so-great ones.)
Five Guys vs. TK's
Five Guys is tasty. While Gustavo
declared the bun to be "too soft," I enjoyed the billowy texture. It has a subtle sweetness, kind of like a King's Hawaiian roll. It does sort of crumple in your hands, which makes eating it a major mess. But hey, if it tastes good, I don't mind the lunch table disaster.
The patty, though, is another thing. While surprisingly juicy for a standard, well-done fast-food slab, it's way under-seasoned, which is probably why they give you all those extra toppings (not complaining about that!).
P.S. Those fries, while not part of the judging--oh my goodness, yum!
TK's is the reverse. The bun is too bread-y (I'm very particular about my meat-to-bread ratio), so I end up peeling bits off as I eat. (Yep, I'm a complete mess.) The patty, however, is awesome. Charred to a slight crisp and seasoned with some addicting secret sauce, it tastes like it's straight off a BBQ grill, not a conveyor belt. The lettuce is always crisp, giving it that extra homemade touch.
Note: I didn't know we could include cheese on our burgers at the time, which is why it's left out here.
Next up: In-N-Out vs. Carl's Jr.!
In-N-Out vs. Carl's Jr.
Childhood car-ride nostalgia aside, I always have happy feelings about In-N-Out. The quality of the meat is standard--nothing out of this world, but it's the sweet symphony of the Thousand Island-like dressing, tangy pickles and toasted bun that makes me want to inhale the thing. (That, and the fact that there's always a huge drive-thru line so by the time I get my burger, I'm really, really hungry.)
I actually had my hopes up about this one after Gustavo had sang it some high pretty high praises, but Carl's Six Dollar Burger failed me. While the bun and everything else about it were passable (though there was too much lettuce for me), the patty was floppy, dry and barely edible. It reminded me why I never eat their burgers and stick with the Spicy Chicken Sandwiches. Now those are yummy.
WINNER: In-N-Out. Was there really even a contest?
There you have it!