Saturday, March 31, 2012

Burger Madness: Championship


BGR The Burger Joint: The Burger (with Applewood Smoked Bacon and Cheese). $8.97

Buck's Fishing and Camping: Buck's wood-grilled burger with cheddar and applewood smoked bacon. $17

Palena Cafe: Cheeseburger. $12


Now we're getting down to the really hard choice. Bottom line: you couldn't go wrong with any of these three burgers. All are quite great, filling the bill no matter your preferred price point. BGR delivers classic burger taste with surprising elegance, Buck's transports you away to the best campfire burger imaginable, but Palena delivers unmatched burger excellence. It kicks the humble burger into gourmet territory while remaining true to what makes a great cheeseburger great. It avoids the trappings of ostentation, while delivering something simple and satisfying. It is the Burger Madness 2012 champ.


Palena Cafe

Ranked List:

As an alternate take, here's the complete ranked list of competitors:

1. Palena Cafe
2. Buck's Fishing and Camping
3. BGR - The Burger Joint
4. Bourbon Steak
5. Bobby's Burger Palace
6. Central Michel Richard
7. Matchbox
8. BLT Steak
9. Shake Shack
10. Good Stuff Eatery
11. Z Burger
12. Five Guys

(A correction: In chain division "chains from elsewhere" round, I classified BGR as being "from elsewhere," however, I subsequently discovered that it too is a local chain. This doesn't affect the outcome of the contest at all, given that BGR would have easily beat any of the other chain selections no matter which I'd paired it with.)


  1. I think I agree with your ranked list, although I might place BGR above Buck's. Or maybe not. Perhaps we should sample both again so I can make a final determination?

    This was a fun project and I enjoyed reading it and participating. You performed a real service to burger lovers in D.C.

    Well done! (Burger Madness, that is. Never order your burger well done.)

  2. I'm a little burgered out at the moment, but eventually, I would definitely like to make it back to BGR and try some of their other burgers (it goes without saying that we'll be back at Buck's soon).

  3. We returned to BGR yesterday and it was every bit as good as I remembered. What a delicious hamburger.