New best burger in the triangle
- ben f Jan 18, 2005 07:43 AM
Stupidly, my wife and I went to southpoint Saturday night. The crowds were truly horrendous.
Making up for it however was the newly opened Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries, in the food court. I don't think I've ever had food in a food court that I really liked, but these were honestly some of the best burgers I've ever had. They have an extremely limited menu (burgers, smaller burgers, hot dogs, and grilled cheese, and fries) and I think that's the trick.
It was extremely busy when we went. after placing our order we were given a pager which buzzed when our food was ready (a nice touch that I hope occurs even when they're not busy).
I wasn't a huge fan of the fries, they're your basic faux Thrashers fries... But the burger was masterful. Two small patties rather than one large one to keep from overcooking, with plenty of burger grease soaked into the bun, fried onions and bacon that was actually crispy...
I don't get the whole 5 guys craze. I ate there when I was in DC and was totally underwhelmed.
For my money, Joe and Jo's in downtown Durham has the best burger. Funny story, I used to be a wine salesman and was having dinner with my old boss the other night. He told me that he remembers reading in one of my weekly recaps that I had lunch there and remarked at what a great burger they had. He told me this because he was going through the weekly recap from the guy who took my route and he made the same comment.
James Joyce might have the best burger in durham, but not the triangle... and i don't even think their burger tops the q-shack's burger, to be honest.
but abby road in cary is the best burger i've eaten since moving from ny 6 years ago. they have delicious onion rings as well. it's a 10 oz burger of on-site ground beef, so they'll bring it out still "mooo"ing if you prefer. i had a bowl of their chili, which is great as well. it was a great surprise, ahh, man was it good. they've got just a usual burger, for like $5.50 with a side, and then there are about 6 specialty burgers for $6.99 with a side, and i'd pay $10 for the stripped down burger if that's what they were to charge... absolutely delicious.
Best Triangle burgers are:
Raleigh--Char-Grill (if you get the Steak Junior)
Chapel Hill--Sutton's Drug Store
Like detlefchef, I don't get the Five Guys craze. The burger I had at Five Guys reminded me of the caribao (water buffalo) burger I had in Cagayan d'Oro (Philippines) a few years back (note: that's NOT a good thing): dry, dense, devoid of flavor.
In Durham, Joe and Jo, Federal, Q-shack, and Wimpy's Grill are all lightyears better than Five Guys.
Same here. I don't get the Five Guys thing. Spouse thinks they're the greatest. I could take it or leave it - preferably leave it. And at least at North Hills the fries are generally limp. I do like the peanuts, though.
Char-grill and Federal top my list, although it looks like I need to try some of everyone's suggestions.
Char-grill is certainly a Raleigh institution, but it's by no means anywhere close to the best burger. IMO, you first have to find a place where they grind their own meat that allows you to order a burger something less cooked than medium-well. So for me, that puts Char-Grill off the list (and Cloo's, which has a very decent slider).
It ends up being a tight battle between Porters and the Raleigh Times Bar, and I'll take either of those any day of the week.
a great burger needs to be cooked over an open flame, preferrably a flame from wood or charcoal. 5guys unfortunately has a flat-top grill.
char-grill has been my long time favorite.
barry's in cary (near walnut & tryon) is as good a char-grill, but a little pricier. he grinds his own beef using sirloin for his "papa" burgers.
flamingo (formally pittstop) in pittsboro has a great burger. it's a frozen patty from sterling-silver-meats, but it's tasty meat.
I haven't tried the Five Guys Burgers yet, as I had never honestly looked around the food court much in the time I've lived here. However, the best burger I've had in the Triangle so far was at Bin 54. 10 oz, cooked how you want it (medium rare was actually medium rare for once), and great fries to go with it. Had it at the bar one night, easily the place to go for my burger fix after I finish up at the gym down the street. Oh, and if you have room for dessert, the banana pudding with bourbon pecan cookies was just fantastic.