Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Chris Hennes

Best Fast Food Burger

Recommended Posts

Within the last couple of years we've gotten Five Guys, Elevation Burger, Smashburger, and Sonic in North Jersey where I live. We also have White Manna, White Mana, White Rose, White Diamond, WhiteCastle, and others. I love Five Guys but my vote goes to SmashBurger. Just a delicious burger prepared perfectly. Medium well, but juicy and flavorful. I think it's the best burger I've ever had. I've never had In-N-Out. I'll have to get there before I die. Sonic is lousy and overrated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

White Castle FTW! :wub:

In all seriousness though, Carl's/Hardes has a mighty good burger most of the time. And I don't know why, but I get the urge for a Whopper now and again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally made it to a Smashburger today, and I liked it. That dark sear has great flavor. I don't know if it's my favorite burger yet, but it's a contender.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally made it to a Smashburger today, and I liked it. That dark sear has great flavor. I don't know if it's my favorite burger yet, but it's a contender.

Did you get fries?? if so, which style and what did you think?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had the double Steakburger at Freddy's on Tuesday. I went back today to double check, and make sure I wasn't just dreaming. Wow. This is the best fast-food hamburger I've ever had. It had a fantastic Smashburger-like sear, double patties, lots of American cheese, and comes standard with raw white onion, mustard, and two long, thick, crispy dill pickle slices. The patties are cooked medium-well to well but retain a great juiciness, the sear amps up the beefy flavor, and on both burgers I've had the condiments have been applied in a consistent, balanced manner. The big pickle slices in particular set this burger above its peers. And to top it off, the shoestring-style fries were great too. It looks like those of you in the Northeast don't get Freddy's, but they have locations in most of the Southern US. Try them, see what you think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for that info, Chris. I checked the Freddy's website and they're opening a Las Vegas franchise "soon." I'll try one a few weeks after they open and report back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had not heard of this place, but they have a couple of locations in the Dallas area. Not sure how I missed out on this. Of course, the locations aren't in an area I normally travel to.

Steak burger makes me think of Steak n' Shake. I've found that the burgers there tend to bee too dry (meat too lean). But Chris H's description of his Freddy's burger makes it sound like something I should try out. Also intrigued by the custard component. Did you try that? I love a good frozen custard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly, I'm surprised that Freddy's doesn't get more play in the "best burger" discussion: they are very similar to Smashburger, but edging SB out in toppings-quality (not by a lot, but the utter perfection of those thick, crisp dill pickle slices is enough to put them on top in my book). It's not a "juicy" burger by homemade burger standards by any means, but it's definitely not dry considering the doneness level. As long as you're only comparing it to fast-food style burgers I stand by my ranking here (with the caveat that I've never had an In'n'Out burger). Of course, I've only had three of them, and all from the same location, so I'll be interested to know what others think.

(No, I've never had the custard there: a burger and fries doesn't exactly leave me hungry :smile: )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly, I'm surprised that Freddy's doesn't get more play in the "best burger" discussion . . .

It's less surprising if you dig into their "Locations" map a bit. On the surface, it looks like they've got much of the south and west covered. But clicking through reveals that they don't have any actual stores east of the Mississippi, just ones that are "Coming Soon!" None yet in New Mexico, Wyoming or (as Scoop points out) Nevada. There's but one store in California (Victorville).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

True: even though In'n'Out is very regional, they do have almost 300 locations, it looks like Freddy's is under 100.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I finally got to an In-n-Out today (in Ft. Worth). I got two double-doubles, one Animal Style and one with mustard, pickles and onions. The toppings on the Animal Style were good: fresh, with a nice flavor, even from the tomato. The beef had good flavor, but doesn't deserve all the praise it gets, in my opinion. It also suffered in the texture category. Maybe it's just the new locations in Texas, but if this chain wasn't so famous I wouldn't have even bothered posting about it. It was good: it was NOT great. And the fries had a half life of about thirty seconds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I finally got to an In-n-Out today (in Ft. Worth). I got two double-doubles, one Animal Style and one with mustard, pickles and onions. The toppings on the Animal Style were good: fresh, with a nice flavor, even from the tomato. The beef had good flavor, but doesn't deserve all the praise it gets, in my opinion. It also suffered in the texture category. Maybe it's just the new locations in Texas, but if this chain wasn't so famous I wouldn't have even bothered posting about it. It was good: it was NOT great. And the fries had a half life of about thirty seconds.

Personally, I never understood what the big deal was with In-n-Out. There is one down the street from where I live, and I don't think it's anything special. Sure, it's better than McDonalds, but there are better options. And I really don't care for their fries either.

Locally we have Burger Lounge which I really like. The grass-fed beef that they use has a great flavor, and they use good quality freshly-baked buns.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I live with a crazed in n out burger fan, but I me dont get the attraction. Its an acceptable burger with dreadful fries. The option for grilled onions is a plus. Still no one ranking Wendy's in the mix?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I live with a crazed in n out burger fan, but I me dont get the attraction. Its an acceptable burger with dreadful fries. The option for grilled onions is a plus. Still no one ranking Wendy's in the mix?

Of the Big 3, Wendy's is clearly the best IMO. I don't think it holds up well against some of the smaller chains though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

According to the 2011 Zagat Poll Wendy's is the best drive through chain. I would agree with this. There has been a lot of talk about how Wendy's seems to have cut the salt content of their burgers and I personally prefer the texture of their meat to McDonalds. I think the Wendy's Hot and Juicy is a solid competitor to In and Out and Five Guys although I know this is blasphemy in some circles. I also like Wendy's french fries because they retain some resemblance to the potato they are cut from.


Edited by rocketshipdog (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's be clear. NO ONE goes to In 'N' Out for the fries. No one.

They are marginally (marginally....) better if you order them well done, but they are still meh. They only single-cook them, and even though they are fresh, not frozen potatoes, cut in-store throughout the day, they suck.

I can't speak to the quality in other areas as the franchise has expanded Eastward. But in the LA basin, the 'burgers rock.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With Chris' review of Freddy's I am happy to see that Nashville is going to be getting a store soon. I've not tried it so I'm eagerly waiting.

I am a fan of 5 Guys (with sauteed onions and mushrooms, mayo and lettuce.) and I even like the fries. Wendy's has always been my "go to" fast food but something has changed recently. I think that they may have changed their seasoning mix because every time I eat there I get, ahem, gastric distress. Three visits in the last year and three, er... episodes. Since three stops being coincidental I guess I have to swear off Wendy's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just tried Freddy's in Chandler,az.

Probably the best fast good burger ever.

Suffering through a concrete, just for research you understand. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Genos, a newly re-incarnated chain from the 70's with two locations in the Philly area

(king of prussia and Bensalem) and one in Maryland somwhere are making a very good "fast food" style burger, made fresh to order. served hot with a nice sear and the cheese melts very nice into into the meat. fries, while may be frozen are quite good. pricier than fast food, a combo double burger with fries and drink is just about 10 bucks.

tasty !!

www.ginosgiant.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I finally got to an In-n-Out today (in Ft. Worth). I got two double-doubles, one Animal Style and one with mustard, pickles and onions. The toppings on the Animal Style were good: fresh, with a nice flavor, even from the tomato. The beef had good flavor, but doesn't deserve all the praise it gets, in my opinion. It also suffered in the texture category. Maybe it's just the new locations in Texas, but if this chain wasn't so famous I wouldn't have even bothered posting about it. It was good: it was NOT great. And the fries had a half life of about thirty seconds.

I've found the quality of the In-n-Out burgers in Dallas to be just like they are in California.

it's STILL better than McDonalds, Burger King, Jack In the Box, Wendy's etc. etc. while being just about as fast and just about the same price. Sure, there are better burgers. Like Smashburger, Five Guys, etc. But you are jumping up a level in pricing for them.

PS: You are right about the fries. Even in their "prime", they still suck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

it's STILL better than McDonalds, Burger King, Jack In the Box, Wendy's etc. etc. while being just about as fast and just about the same price.

I will grant you better, but at least at the Ft. Worth location the other day they certainly weren't "just about as fast": the wait was comparable to Freddy's, Smashburger, or Five Guys—McDonalds delivers way faster. It sounds like I've got to actually try Wendy's one of these days... something about "Dave's Hot and Juicy" is less than appealing, I gotta say.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To me, In-n-Out has all the GOOD qualities of chain fast food joint like McDonalds (quick, reasonable price, consistent) without the bad qualities (crappy food).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×