NATIONAL CHEESEBURGER DAY: BREAKING DOWN THE BEST BURGERS IN TUSCALOOSA

Bensbestburger

When I told my parents that I was interested in pursuing journalism, I’m sure they imagined me chasing down and writing about complex stories of great importance. I know they’ll be proud to see that I’m doing exactly that by writing a 947-word story on which Tuscaloosa restaurant has the best burger.

In order to determine which burger tops them all, I paired up with fellow WVUA 23 digital intern Savannah Bullard to order, retrieve and taste what we considered to be the five most well-regarded burgers in town. This article was supposed to accompany a video documenting that process, but the video files were lost, corrupted or otherwise destroyed.Note to self: always make a backup. So, instead of watching me chomp on burgers and incoherently mumble about how delicious they taste, you’ll be able to read my opinions.

Since WVUA 23 wouldn’t reimburse us if we ordered every burger in the tristate area, we had to narrow it down to what we believe are five of the best burger spots in town. It is at this point that I would like to apologize for not including Oasis Bar and Grille in this review. We conducted our review on a Monday afternoon, which happens to be a day that Oasis is closed. I fully endorse Oasis’ burger and believe it could be the best in the Tuscaloosa area.

MEAT THE CONTENDERS

We selected five very different burgers for this taste test that range in both price and composition. All of the burgers that we tested are from locally owned restaurants. 

The first burger we thought to include was Avenue Pub’s burger, since it is thought to be the best around by many Tuscaloosans. My roommates had been hyping up T-town Cafe’s burger for weeks so I decided this was the perfect time to finally time to try it. Since burger is literally in its name, we also elected to include Dotson’s Burger Spot, a downtown restaurant that is owned by the same family that runs Southern Ale House. Although they might be known best for their authentic mediterranean food, we decided Hooligans burger was also a top contender. Wright’s burger was added to give our taste test more variety and as a show of reverence to the southern diner’s delicious breakfast.

PAYING THE PRICE

Avenue Pub – The most expensive of the burgers, Avenue Pub’s bacon cheeseburger comes in at about $15. However, the burger is accompanied by a side of fries.

T-town Café – A burger here would normally cost about $8, but students can knock that down by 15% by showing the cashier their ACT Card.

Wright’s Restaurant – If you want your dollar to go a long way, go to Wright’s. A cheeseburger with bacon comes in at just $5.

Hooligan’s – Hooligans’ burger was the second cheapest burger we tested. It will only set you back about $6.

Dotson’s Burger Spot – A classic cheeseburger at Dotson’s will cost a little over $7

BREAKING DOWN THE BURGERS

The Top Dog – Even though it came into the competition as the unquestioned favorite, Avenue Pub’s burger still impressed. The sheer size of the burger is awesome, and it makes you care a lot less that you paid $15 for it. Avenue Pub was the only place that asked how I wanted my burger cooked and I think that tells you all you need to know about the level of dining that you can expect there. The burger’s size was far from the only redeeming quality. The patty was tasty, the lettuce and toppings were fresh and the bun was robust enough to hold everything together.

The verdict – 4.5/5

Second place – It was my first time eating a T-town Cafe burger and I was pleasantly surprised. I’d been told that the bun was a little different, but I didn’t expect it to be as sweet as it was. It almost reminded me of a King’s Hawaiian roll, which is definitely a positive. However, the sweet bun is something I’d only crave every now and then, not every time I want a burger. The patty on the T-town Cafe burger might have been the most flavorful and fresh. The toppings were solid and featured an interesting compote made of tomatoes that I enjoyed despite my hatred of tomatoes.

The verdict – 4/5

Tied for third – I’ve eaten at Dotson’s Burger Spot many times before, but this was my first encounter with its regular cheeseburger. The patty didn’t knock my socks off. The bun, on the other hand, was terrific. By the end of the burger, the potato bun was the reason I was going back for another bite. So, if you’re in it for the bun, I would highly recommend Dotson’s.Their specialty burgers are also top notch. Hooligan’s was the wildcard coming into this competition since I had only heard vague, but positive, reviews of its burger. With a sesame seed bun, a generous helping of condiments, and a tasty patty, I was thoroughly pleased with Hooligans’ burger.

The verdict – 3.75

Last but not least – Wrights’ burger gives you the best bang for your buck, but it couldn’t quite compete with the others. It’s a straightforward burger, with a good bun-to-patty ratio. You can clearly tell that the chuck for the patty is ground and hand crafted in house, which is a nice touch and doesn’t go unnoticed. I would certainly recommend this burger to anyone looking for a cheap and tasty lunch.

The verdict – 3.5.

I’m sure there are other delicious Tuscaloosa burgers that we didn’t try and I would love to hear your recommendations on the restaurants and food we should taste next.

Categories: Archives, Local News