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Your Favorite Chain Burger

Looks like I'll be inaugurating the "Chains" board. Hooray!

I'll go first. As noted in my recently updated profile, I'm currently enamored with the Bleu Ribbon Burger at Red Robin. http://redrobin.com/Menu-GourmetBurge...

Being a blue-cheese-burger-o-phile, I gotta say that this one is pretty decent for a chain. Blue-cheesey, salty, tangy, oniony, and AYCE fries!

Of course, when I'm not in the mood to drop 10 bucks on a burger (w/ tax & tip), I can always rely on a Double Meat, Animal Style, from In-N-Out...

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  1. In N Out, Period! 4x4, rare with everything, extra onion = YUM!

    1 Reply
    1. re: sel

      Update:
      After 4 years I must say that I've had so many wonderful non-chain burgers that I'm finally over the In N Out experience! Fries stink, only slightly improved if cooked longer. I haven't been in over a year, rather eat a better, both tastier and usually healthier non-chain burger!

    2. Farmer Burger from Farmer Boys - sadly they're only in Southern California!

      Plus, they have my very favorite fried zucchini anywhere. And bizarrely good pastrami sandwiches (served on smushy rolls that fall apart instead of on rye, but I don't care!)

      Kathy/Kuisine (formerly KathySK)

      P.S. I'm not afraid to post on the chains board, I'm not!

      7 Replies
      1. re: Kuisine

        Try Farmer Boys' fish and chips, infinately better than say a Long John Silver, or its ilk. But sub rings for the fries.

        And you shouldn't be afraid, a truly adventuresome and open minded 'hound can sniff out the good stuff, even at a chain.

        1. re: Kuisine

          Where and what is Farmer Boys. I live in Burbank.

          1. re: mattesq

            Love Farmer Boys... their fries are great. So is in love with their breakfast sandwich (it looks like the SIMPLEST thing, but it's really tasty! :))

            http://farmerboys.com/

            --Dommy!

            1. re: mattesq

              Farmer boys is mostly in Ontario and surrounding cities like Diamond bar Rancho Cucamonga. I do not think they are that good. I'll take a Fudd buger any day.

              1. re: jdmdc2

                The only FB I can remember seeing is at the Irwindale exit on the 210. I'll have to give'em a try sometime when proximity and hunger coincide.

                1. re: Will Owen

                  There's one on Harbor and Brea Blvd. in Fullerton, another on La Palma and Richfield in Anaheim Canyon, one on Lambert in Brea, one on Lincoln and Dale in Anaheim, and one on Tustin and 17th in Santa Ana/Tustin.

          2. Fatburger. Gimme a fatburger with everything on it, on the char with bacon, cheese, and a fried egg, some fat fries, and a lemonade, and I'm a very happy hound indeed.

            1 Reply
            1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

              I ditto Fatburger. A great fast food hamburger!

            2. Has anyone ever tried FUDDRUCKERS?
              I heard they are osum, and after getting the burger, you go to this condiment bar and they have like 25 items you can put on your burner! wow-sounds interesting...

              21 Replies
              1. re: irwin

                The Fuddruckers in Southern california went the way of Flakey Jake's some time ago - I'd go if there were any around. For chain burgers I'll take fatburger, Farmer Boys, and Bob's Big Boy!

                1. re: calabasas_trafalgar

                  "The Fuddruckers in Southern california went the way of Flakey Jake's some time ago - I'd go if there were any around."

                  Seek, and ye shall find: http://lapublichealth.org/rating/

                  1. re: Joe Blowe

                    thanks, but these are all pretty far away.

                      1. re: calabasas_trafalgar

                        Well, there aren't very many restaurants in Calabasas, now are there? There's a Fuddruckers in Burbank, that's probably the closest.

                        1. re: calabasas_trafalgar

                          I believe one just opened in Thousand Oaks on Moorpark.

                      2. re: calabasas_trafalgar

                        Not sure what part of So. Cal. you are in, but they just opened a Fuddruckers in the new food court in the Century City Mall in West Los Angeles. Ate there about 4 months ago, and it was pretty tasty.

                        1. re: DanaB

                          I'm in El Monte,I think the closest Fuddrucker's is in Burbank...

                          1. re: laliz

                            I wouldn't say that they're my favourite; but the consistent quality of Big Boy burgers is often under-appreciated IMHO.

                            1. re: RoyOfTheRovers

                              Wow, haven't thought of Big Boy since I left the midwest in the 80s...have they changed? Used to love those with an order of onion rings.

                              1. re: pine time

                                They have not. You could walk into one today and recognize a lot of the same menu items. The original double decker is still the same sandwich. The one thing they haven't done, chainwide regardless of franchise, is mess with their classics.

                                1. re: Fibber McGee

                                  Big Boy left my area around 20+ years ago. If you still have them where you live, cherish them! Treasure them! People used to argue about the Big Boy VS the Brawny Lad the way others argue about Cub fans VS Sox fans.

                                  1. re: Fydeaux

                                    The fun is sometimes you're not quite sure what you would get with your personal favorite. I once received a Brawny Lad with an entire slice of onion, not just one ring from a slice but the whole slice, on it and that was it. Didn't ask for it that way, just got it. I have also received a slice of bacon on the side on a couple of occasions, even though I didn't order it.

                                    1. re: Fydeaux

                                      Alas, here in Los Angeles (Bob's Big Boy), the Brawny Lad is not available, which is a pity. There was a purist quality to it that I remember (from Elias Brothers Big Boy in 1960s Detroit). Thick charred beef patty, and thick slice of raw onion, yeah!). I also miss their original oil and vinegar dressing, which was lightly oranged-hued, but tasted like nothing I've had since)... Brawny Lad: great name for a punk band (or a gay bar)...

                                      1. re: silence9

                                        Elias Brothers is the Big Boy I grew up with. It hasn't been the same since they dropped the franchise. It's just Big Boy now.

                                2. re: RoyOfTheRovers

                                  Apparently it depends on the franchise. I've never eaten at the original in Los Angeles, but an outlet (not a _Bob's_) opened up here in Las Vegas a while back, and lasted less than a year. The one time I ate there, my double decker was horrendous. Flavorless, pre-cooked patties on a bun that disintegrated after about 3 bites. The red relish, meh. This burger was even worse than the ones I've had at Sonic.

                                  I was asked how my burger was, but the waitress was not at all interested in my answer. I was so disappointed with the meal, I filled out one of their survey cards. On the way out, the manager offered to take it from me, but I told him, no thanks -- I would mail it in.

                            2. re: irwin

                              Fuddruckers is the place for a good burger. Or Five Guys.

                              1. re: navygirl7

                                Agree on the Fuddruckers. Pretty consistent, which I can't say for Five Guys since they started franchising. WILDLY unneven product, from dry/skunky patties to stale buns. I've had good luck at the one in Old Town Alexandria, but the two DC sites have some quality control issues. Particularly the greasy fries.

                                I tried the Red Robin burger out near Dulles. Don't see what the big deal is. About what you'd find at TGI Mcpickelpoopers. And when I was in Tampa, I tried the Fatburger. Again, don't see what the fuss is. For a chain burger, it's better than Wendys, but not as good as Fuddruckers.

                                1. re: monkeyrotica

                                  you should know that I immediately googled "TGI Mcpickelpoopers." I had to know if someone really opened a restaurant with a name like that. Monkeyrotica, if you open a restaurant called "TGI Pickelpoopers," I swear I'll eat there!

                                  1. re: kiwi

                                    I'd have to second that! What a great name!

                            3. I actually really like Fudd's.....their rolls are great and buttery!

                              1. Don't think this chain exists outside of Ontario, but I love the veggie burger at The Works - and my friends have only good things to say about the regular burgers.

                                Of course, some of the toppings combos are pretty weird, but you can always get the Plain Jane (though I'm partial to the curry one).

                                1. You all are leaving out the Grandfather of chains and burgers.

                                  WHITE CASTLE

                                  I may live on the West Coast and have wonderful fresh food year round, but I really miss White Castles. Hot, steamy, and a unique taste. Love them!

                                  12 Replies
                                  1. re: Janet

                                    Expectations were dashed HARD when we tried them in Chicago. Really did NOT like them. Sorry. So what is that "unique" taste?...

                                    1. re: kiwi

                                      They are made with a veal and beef mixture. They also are more steamed than grilled It is a taste you either love or hate. The patty has 4 holes in it to let the steam through.The onions are grilled/steamed also. Then you order them to go so they are served in the box to continue steaming.

                                      1. re: Janet

                                        "They are made with a veal and beef mixture."

                                        That's very funny!

                                        1. re: Janet

                                          I don't know much about labeling requirements of beef, veal, or tallow. I *do* know that all of the labels I've seen for White Castle hamburgers and cheeseburgers state 100% beef. The idea that they contain veal just seems ridiculous to me.

                                          1. re: johnseberg

                                            Exactly. And the idea that they would be able to sell a burger containing veal for 89 cents (or whatever they charge these days) is also laughable.

                                        2. re: kiwi

                                          ya she's talking about that unique taste of ass

                                        3. re: Janet

                                          White Castle was primarly invented for the 2am crowd to soak up all the alcohol, at that time anything tasts wonderful.

                                          1. re: malibumike

                                            I have a memory, somewhat dim I'll admit, of the glaring white interior of a White Castle in Louisville at around 4 am. I'm not sure how many I ate - I think there were five of us in the car, but we had a giant bag full - but I *THINK* I enjoyed them. Not so much after I woke up, though …

                                          2. re: Janet

                                            love it! white castle is a guilty pleasure. the fairly new jalapeno burgers are really good.

                                            1. re: xman887

                                              I'll take Krystals over White Castle any day.

                                              DT

                                              1. re: Davwud

                                                Beg to differ strongly, even 4 1/2 years later! Had a few Krystals in Nashville because there was no WC, but when a REAL White Castle opened it was, if not exactly night and day, then at least the real thing (WC) against the wannabe (K).

                                                1. re: Will Owen

                                                  You're allowed to.

                                                  We had WC one day for lunch and Krystals the next day. We both prefered Krystal. Perhaps it's because you're used to WC and we're used to K.

                                                  DT

                                          3. Lots of great choices, especially here in SoCal, but there is a chain that does burgers as good as I've had, and that's Ruby's Diner, based in Orange County. Does the whole nostalgia thing right with a fun atmosphere and great food all around.

                                            1. Hamburger Hamlet for Socal; Blue Cheese Burger.
                                              Red Robin for Nocal; Blue Ribbon Burger.
                                              In-n-Out if I am brave enough to fight through the never-ending crowds. (Is there EVER a slow time for any of this chain?!)

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: The Ranger

                                                Yes. The dead of night, from about 10 or 11 PM until they close. When they are slow, the food is even better than usual.

                                                  1. re: malibumike

                                                    That's a might early to slate any burger cravings I might have. If I'm wanting a burger _that_ early, I will have other needs that require looking after.

                                                    1. re: malibumike

                                                      Every In-n-Out within easy driving distance of my house in Pasadena has a long line well before 10:30 AM; it probably lightens up late at night but I no longer eat burgers then …

                                                      1. re: Will Owen

                                                        Just recently, hubs had an In and Out craving at the ungodly hour of 10 a.m. I told him repeatedly that they weren't open, but we went anyway. Pulled in front of the door, and sure enough, not open. As we were backing up, an employee opened the door, said "we'll open for you" and we had the 1st burgers and fries of the day. Amazing. I guess that's one way to avoid their crowds!

                                                  2. White Castle... though I like the White Rose System better, there's only two of those, so I don't know if it's a "chain" per se.

                                                    5 Replies
                                                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                      I've never heard of White Rose. Where is located and I'm curious what the system is that you are referring to.

                                                      1. re: Dave Feldman

                                                        There's more than I thought. The one I know best is at 154 Woodbridge Avenue in Highland Park, NJ; there are also branches in Clark, Roselle and Linden.

                                                        As for the system, it's basically White Castles writ large, and with a seeded bun. I don't know exactly what the concept is, but there is absolutely no better burger.

                                                        1. re: Dave Feldman

                                                          We were having a "Who's on first?" moment. I thought the name of the place was "White Rose" and that it had a special system of cooking. Now I see that "System" is part of the name of the establishment.

                                                          And then, I thought perhaps you were thinking of White Manna, http://www.ahamburgertoday.com/archiv... , which isn't exactly chopped liver itself.

                                                        2. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                          White Rose is my go to burger...I really luv em...Going to Highland Park for years..Sold to new owners about five years ago and the System still rocks...Where is the OTHER one?

                                                          1. re: gudeatz

                                                            White Rose is an original place for sure and the burgers have a speciap taste. But when you think of the place where it was made you get a little scared I used to frequest the Roselle NJ location until I could not take the filth any more.. It could be fixed just a little elbow grease.. Thats all. Somebody mentioned White Manna there is another place the burgers are great but close your eyes...

                                                            Ciao-

                                                        3. Cheesecake Factory double bbq bacon cheese burger. I feel the arteries...clogging... oh god.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: kiwi

                                                            And they do them rare! Cheesecake gets my vote... Now if only their fries weren't so AWFUL! :P

                                                            --Dommy!

                                                          2. Fuddrucker's put alot of R&D dollars into their bun. Some think it is too thick but I love the buttery flavor, which comes from the swirl they use to coat it. I've never had a bad burger at Fudd's.

                                                            1. This is NO LONGER the case, but long, long ago, Chili's used to have wonderful burgers. My then-boyfriend (now husband) and I used to order a Trip (chili cheeseburger with grilled onions) and an Alpine (Swiss cheese, mushrooms, and green onions IIRC) and trade half with each other. They also had great spicy fries with the skin on! Remember? What happened?

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: zorra

                                                                Like other chains, they matured their business, expanded their menu, and de-emphasized the items that brought their original customers (who had also matured) in place of chasing greater revenue-based customers. Today The Ivory Tower MBAs run the numbers so cost decides quality. It's ironic that many in that management's chain have never run a restaurant in real life. There have been a few chains that lost focus this way.

                                                              2. Cheesecake Factory's "Kobe" Burger....great stuff.

                                                                Island's Hawaiian burger!

                                                                Regional burger chain, but I like the hamburgers at Burgerville in Oregon....love that "spread".

                                                                Also a fan of fuddruckers....mainly the bun and the pump cheese.....

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: Xericx

                                                                  I like Islands burgers, too. Big, juicy and messy. One of those with french fries is a wonderful unhealthy but tasty delight!

                                                                2. Would love to love Fuddrucker's ..but the bun starts to fall apart before you can consume.
                                                                  Grew up w' White Castle and they're still great,even from my grocer's freezer.
                                                                  I live in the land of Fatburger. For me,it's a king burger w' cheese,grilled onions,bacon& tomato . Their onion rings are heavenly,crisp, and real. Gotta finish it all off w' chipotle Tabasco squirts and a lemonade.I love a fried egg on top,but they won't make it runny due to health laws, apparently.I advise to skip the lettuce , it's shredded and dried out and they lay it on thick ,if you don't specify.
                                                                  In N Out Double Double ,animal style ,protein style which means it is wrapped in (usually fresh) iceburg lettuce leaves. That means no bun. Animal consists of heavy on everything especially their sauce....dripping.Included in this decadence are grilled onions chopped fine and fairly carmelized encapsulated in the cheese. Very Atkins friendly.
                                                                  Opening a Farmer Bros in Escondido soon ...Can't wait to try the suggested hits.

                                                                  1. Animal Style actually means patties cooked in mustard (gives an extra savory note), double sauce, grilled onions instead of raw, and add pickles. You can now do your fries Animal Style too, where they put cheese, special sauce, and grilled onions on top.

                                                                    Damn, I should have known mentioning the Animal Style fries would give me a craving for 'em. I know where I'm headed tomorrow after work :-D

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. In the midwest, Steak n' Shake

                                                                      http://www.steaknshake.com/menu/menu.asp

                                                                      makes great burgers, onion rings and hand-dipped shakes.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: Matt986

                                                                        Yeah, I liked it when I drove through Indiana a few years ago!

                                                                      2. i have to say i am not a person who usually eats fast food. maybe once a year, maybe! but for a summer i was dating someone in toronto and i became addicted to HARVEYS. i love veggies burgers (although i am not a vegetarin), and the notion that they must be healthy really doesn't hold true. HARVEYS veggie burgers were greasy (but the perfect amount, not drippy, just right)and you can top them with whatever you like. they have a toppings bar with about 25 items. NO EXTRA CHARGE. i would get, a little bit of lettuce, tomatoes, lotsa dill pickles, hot peppers, mustard and mayo (quite an indulgence, YUM!). i know there is no shortage of HARVEYS in canada but i have only seen one in the us. it is in Buffalo, NY. once again though, on the way to the canadian border. i actually was so hungry and excited i got off the thruway to find it (i saw it from the thruway, but wasn't sure how to get to it) and lost my way. sad and behind schedule, i gave up. listen. try it if you pass by, and don't be afraid of veggie burgers all you die hard carnivores.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: zoni521

                                                                          HARVEY'S

                                                                          Eeeew!!!!!

                                                                          DT

                                                                          P.S. When they first started out, they were great. Same can be said of a lot of burger joints though.

                                                                        2. Fuddrucker's is pretty good, but the only one I am aware around me is well off my beaten path; there isnt a White Castle closer to me than about 50 miles away, but I love 'em when I can get them; I've only eaten at Fatburger once (Las Vegas) and it was wonderful, and I'd love to have one in town, but even with Milwaukee's reputation for not being shy with the calories, I dont think they would go over here; and my beloved Big Boy closed up shop here years ago.

                                                                          That leaves Culver's, which fortunately is a darn good burger for a chain.

                                                                          1. Yes - Bleu Ribbon Burger. GREAT BUN.

                                                                            1. Let me add my 2 cents, actually 8 cents to this thread. I still go for the original chain burger, White Castle. 8 cents is what i paid for my first one in the mid 1960's, right around the corner from my house. And yes, it is the original hamburger chain, 1921. Over the years Wetson's, BK, Micky D's, and Wendy's have been eaten, but if i were asked which I would eat as my last meal, a bag a sliders for me.

                                                                              1. I actually like Tommys quite a bit, with chili or without. Love In n Out Burger too with double fried and raw onions. When Rallys was around I thought they made a good burger too.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: davinagr

                                                                                  I had tommy's last week. It was gross...now I remember why I don't go there......Rally's is still around in LA.....a few around...

                                                                                2. Driving from Ft. Lauderdale to Sacramento, I drove forever through Oklahoma and kept seeing Braum's Ice Cream and Dairy Store. Finally stopped at one in Clinton, and the Jalapeno Jack Cheeseburger was great. Cool it off with Cherry Vanilla ice cream. Any one else stop at a Braum's? I wish I had an excuse to drive through OK again, but probably not in this lifetime.

                                                                                  1. Another vote for the great butterburger of Culver's -- why this regional chain isn't nationally well known is a mystery to me.

                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Machaca

                                                                                      ...because it's only in and around Wisconsin, and they don't have many stores in large cities such as Madison. It really is very, very good though (except the name Butterburger puts me off big-time).

                                                                                      1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                        Culver's has 310 stores including stores in the Chicagoland area, Minneapolis, St Louis, Kansas City, Denver, Cincinnati, Austin, Detroit, Dallas, Austin and Houston

                                                                                        1. re: jlawrence01

                                                                                          I'll concede the point about large cities, but if you look at the map of their locations, it's hugely concentrated in and around Wisconsin and northern Illinois, with one or two branches in most of the cities you mentioned... not exactly a huge penetration into Cincinnati, for example, with one restaurant.

                                                                                          I still love it, and I miss the custard quite a lot, but the only time you'd hear about it is from someone who lived in Wisconsin, the same way you would only hear about In-N-Out from a Californian. (There's just more Californians than Wisconsinites and Northern FIBs.)

                                                                                          1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                            I live in Madison, and there are almost as many Culver's as McDonald's. Also, there are stores in Arizona, and there's talk of expansion to Florida.

                                                                                            1. re: Olliegator

                                                                                              They are gaining a presence in Ohio, and get real busy at every location I have seen. They also have a few locations in Michigan. They're no longer just a Wisconsin thing, for sure.

                                                                                        2. Culvers has several locations in and around Des Moines. When they first opened I tried a butterburger (for the sake of research). I was not impressed. It seemed no better or worse than any other drive through window burger.

                                                                                          1. -Fuddrucker's Half Pound original
                                                                                            -Bluenami burger at Islands w/wheat bun
                                                                                            -Kingburger w/cheese at Fatburger
                                                                                            -Peppercorn burger at Chili's
                                                                                            -Tommy's Double Cheeseburger

                                                                                            Dare I say Wendy's Double?

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: Itslikeimsayin

                                                                                              I 2nd the Wendy's - Biggie Classic for me. We're talking about CHAINS so it's OK. AND - you can eat them before you run 5 miles - or was that just when I was 15 and ate them before track practice . . .

                                                                                            2. Favorite - Blake's Lottaburger (they only are in New Mexico) with cheese and lots of green chile

                                                                                              Big Chain - Another vote for Fuddrucker's Pineapple Twist

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: amysuehere

                                                                                                Oooh! My mouth started watering at the thought of a Blakes green chile cheese burger. I moved away from Santa Fe almost 20 years ago and still miss them. I actually mail order Hatch chile to NY and make my own--also GC sauced breakfast burritos--sublime!

                                                                                              2. Can't believe that nobody has mentioned the $6 burger at Carl's JR.

                                                                                                I had one on a recent visit to Santa Fe.

                                                                                                We don't have Carl's up here in Canada and, believe me, I still have dreams about their burgers.

                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: bogie

                                                                                                  They are pretty good, but I'd rank em higher if the buns didn't fall apart!

                                                                                                  1. re: calabasas_trafalgar

                                                                                                    And they weren't flavorless and dry as heck... :P

                                                                                                    --Dommy!

                                                                                                    1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                      Dommy, I've had four of these, one from the location at La Cienega and Rodeo Rd., one out in Santa Clarita, and two from my close-by North Lake place, and none has been either dry nor flavorless. This is yer basic Six Dollar cheeseburger. I did have a problem with the sauce melting the bun halfway through, which taught me to order that separately and add as needed; this requires NOT eating while driving, but then we shouldn't anyway, should we?

                                                                                                      This really is about my favorite FF burger, superior in fact to some much pricier ones in fancier places (I'm looking at YOU, Julienne's!).

                                                                                                  2. re: bogie

                                                                                                    They do rank pretty well in terms of fast food burgers, but would rank higher if that patty wasn't so dry by the time it made its way through the charbroiler.

                                                                                                    But the Western Bacon Cheeseburger in any of its forms is definitely crave-worthy.

                                                                                                  3. McDonalds single cheesburger (not double) 99cents.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: gudeatz

                                                                                                      I can't believe it took this long to mention the Golden Arches.

                                                                                                      I will say, on one trip home from the in-laws we stopped at a MD's around Dayton somewhere. I don't know if the planets aligned or I used up my lotto karma or what but the quarter w/ cheese I had was fantastic. Great fresh beefy flavour and exactly the right proportion of condiments.

                                                                                                      All I have is a memory. Perhaps I shoulda bought that lotto ticket instead.

                                                                                                      DT

                                                                                                      1. re: calabasas_trafalgar

                                                                                                        I don't come anywhere close to BK. I have found their food to be universally extra-bland or overly salty. The last time I went there, it was so incredibly bad all around that I posted the trip on the General Topics board. The next day, the CEO resigned. Mere coincidence? I hope not ;-)

                                                                                                        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                                                                                                        1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                                                                                          Agree totally. Not to be gross, but the last two times I ate there, something they use didn't agree with me and it didn't stay long...I should mention I have a decently iron stomache in most cases. I won't go near one now.

                                                                                                      2. My favorite chain burger is from Backyard Burgers. I love the bacon cheddar burger. This is a chain based out of Memphis and is found mostly in the southeast.

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: Sister Sue

                                                                                                          Where I live (Houston) there is only one Backyard Burgers, and only one Culver's, and they are right next door to each other. Culver's is always busy and has some decent burgers. Backyard Burgers are beyond awful -- I mean, so bad I'd rather go to Mickey D's any day -- and the place is always deserted. I don't see how they stay in business. But I like Johnny Rocket's down the street better than either of these.

                                                                                                        2. Whataburger double double w/mayo cut the onions and an order of onion rings

                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: River Rat

                                                                                                            I tried Whataburger last time I was in Phoenix--it was the worst burger I've had since Sonic.

                                                                                                            1. re: Steve Green

                                                                                                              Sonic really does blow.

                                                                                                              I tried the sole L.A. location in Anaheim, and it reminded me of the slop churned out by a high school cafeteria. Truly dreck.

                                                                                                              1. re: Steve Green

                                                                                                                I don't doubt that in the least. That's what happens when you eat a Texas burger in Arizona.

                                                                                                                1. re: River Rat

                                                                                                                  No, they're pretty disgusting in Texas too. The long drive to Phoenix in an unrefrigerated truck could only improve the flavour. Whataburger and Chick-Fil-A... didn't grow up with 'em, can't stand 'em.

                                                                                                            2. Johnny Rocket's Double Rocket Meal - $12.49 - was pretty good today. It was sloppy-greasy in a good way with lots of vegetables (lettuce, tomato, onion), a solid slice of Tillamook Sharp, and a bun that held together throughout the entire experience.

                                                                                                              The Daughter-units pronounce the hot dogs not Ball Parks but I think that had more to do with them (the hot dogs) being sliced down the middle and the bun toasted.

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: The Ranger

                                                                                                                Bumping this thread, but isn't declaring a hot dog NOT to be a Ball Park a compliment? ;-)

                                                                                                                1. re: PommeDeGuerre

                                                                                                                  It certainly is! A big compliment.
                                                                                                                  Ball Park franks have to be one of the worst of the wurst.

                                                                                                              2. I actually do still love a burger from Chili's. To me, there is nothing like an Oldtimer with cheese and a side of their Chili. And, right now they have the "build-your-own" burger campaign going on, so you can really go crazy. We were there last night and I had a burger with, brace yourself: cheddar, mustard, lettuce, onions, chili, awesome blossom strings, ranch dressing, pickles, and chili queso. WOW! It was incredible! And, the fries ARE good. They are still have the skin on at the location by me and have a good salt and pepper blend sprinkled on them. They were amazing dipped in the chili queso sauce. Maybe I'm just lucky to have a really good Chili's by me, but when I crave a burger, that's where I go.

                                                                                                                I'm from Raleigh, NC and the local burger chain there is Char Grill. A 50's style drive in where you write your order down on a slip of paper and slide it down the order chute and wait for your number to be called. That's one tasty burger too!

                                                                                                                1. Today for lunch my husband and I split a very good Classic Burger (pickles, lettuce, tomato, 1000 island dressing) at BJ's Brewhouse. This is a pretty good chain; the menu is so varied that anyone can find something he/she would like. The burger is 1/2 pound, $7.95, and we also got it with bacon and cheese for $1.25 extra. The fries that come with it are big and look hand cut (although I doubt that, given the setting), and are sprinkled with a delicious spicy/cheesy seasoning.

                                                                                                                  Oh, and the post about the Char Grill in Raleigh reminded me that there is a local chain in Oklahoma City called Johnnie's, and their burgers are both inexpensive and delicious.

                                                                                                                  1. One thing you can get in Dayton, Ohio is a hamburger! And a lot of them are pretty bad. We don't have Carl's Jr. here, but they (Carl's Jr.) operate a chain here called Hardee's and serve the Carl's menu, the burgers they serve here are awfull.

                                                                                                                    However, I prefer a smaller patty size (1/4 lb. or under) and my favorite chain burgers are, in no particular order: Steak N Shake, Culver's Butter Burger (we have several Culver's in SW Ohio, closest one to Dayton is about 15 miles north in Troy, Ohio). And going against my original statement: Fudruckers for a big burger, love the toppings bar.

                                                                                                                    Oh yeah and this is kind of like a chain, but is independently operated is a Roy Roger's. This particular one is between Cincinati and Batavia, Ohio. It might be the only Roy Roger's left in Ohio. The ones I've been to along the Penn Turnpike and in NJ really stink, but like I said this is an independent operation and hasn't changed much since 1971. Me and a buddy drive about 70 miles a couple of times a year to get a burger and fries here, they are great!

                                                                                                                    1. BBQ Burger at Red Robin, hands down.
                                                                                                                      You know, I think that In-N-Out is OK; was definately more enamoured of it when I first moved to Los Angeles. Coming down to it though, when you face the lines and hassle for an OK burger, I'd rather sit in a booth at Red Robin, pay the extra 4 dollars and get the BBQ Burger.
                                                                                                                      Though In-N-Out's fries are good when you get them crispy, other wise, they are usually undercooked for my tastes.

                                                                                                                      That, and Steak'N Shake's Frisco Melt. It's 2 thin steakburger patties sandwiched between white bread, with American and Swiss Cheese, and "special sauce," then cooked on their buttery grill. Normally I hate stuff like that, but it is seriously delicious for some reason.

                                                                                                                      1. In-N-Out, In-N-Out, In-N-Out, In-N-Out, In-N-Out, In-N-Out, In-N-Out, In-N-Out, In-N-Out, In-N-Out, In-N-Out, In-N-Out, In-N-Out, In-N-Out/

                                                                                                                        Fuddrucker's #2

                                                                                                                        In Canada, I put my money on Lick's and then Harvey's.

                                                                                                                        1. Definitely the Royal Red Robin. The fried egg on top makes it perfect.

                                                                                                                          1. In-n-Out - Double Double Animal Style
                                                                                                                            Del Taco - Double Del
                                                                                                                            Tommy's - Double Chile Cheese

                                                                                                                            1. Jake's in Pasadena make a pertty good burger. I also like the sliders they serve with fires. The Hat makes a good soild burger too. Double with cheese and pour on the chili.

                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: jdmdc2

                                                                                                                                Old post, but Jake's is not a chain.

                                                                                                                                1. re: PommeDeGuerre

                                                                                                                                  And the Hat just barely is, but still … Saturday, after looking through my fridge at lunchtime, I said The Hell With It and went to my nearby Hat and got a double cheeseburger and "small" (hahahaha!) fries. Got'em home, applied my own condiments (mustard and mayo) and stuffed a handful of fries into the bun. Ten minutes later I was a ghastly, dripping mess with a bigass grin and a strong need for a nap. It had to be good, since I get to do that only about once a year now …

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Will Owen

                                                                                                                                    Isn't the Hat known more for their pastrami?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                                                                      Better piled on top of said double cheeseburger, well at least better for the cardiologists out there!

                                                                                                                                    2. re: Will Owen

                                                                                                                                      I once had a cheeseburger and a chili-cheesburger from the Hat, IMHO the chili-cheeseburger was great, better than Tommy's but the plain cheeseburger was just mediocre.

                                                                                                                                2. I've had reason to be around a Houilhan's in NJ a few times the past few months, and I think they do a decent burger for a chain.

                                                                                                                                  1. My favorite is a local San Antonio chain called Chester's Hamburgers.They have these great poppyseed hamburger buns,a very good chili cheeseburger and home cut natural potato fries like my mother used to make.

                                                                                                                                    1. Not sure if it counts as a chain, but there is an incredible local fast food place in East TN/Southwest VA called Pal's...it's a tossup between the sauceburger - a thin patty covered in some proprietary sauce mixture. Nothing fancy, but it comes with cheese and pickles...both cheap and out of a can but it somehow seems to work.

                                                                                                                                      And the chain is locally owned, so you don't have to feel THAT guilty about going there.

                                                                                                                                      1. BURGERVILLE. every ingrediant used is fresh from the northwest...and the locations are only in the norhtwest as well. the single cheeseburger is delicious. so is the walla walla onion cheese burger which is something to look forward to because the onions used are seasonal.

                                                                                                                                        1. Orcutt Burger. They're a two-restaurant chain in central California. Orcutt is a tiny berg that's more-or-less attached to the southern end of Santa Maria, CA. Anyway, great hamburgers, FANTASTIC grilled chicken sandwich (the chicken is marinaded -- must be for days -- before they grill it), and their fried zuchini is over the top!

                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                          1. re: mendicant_av8r

                                                                                                                                            Wow. Orcutt. I lived there in the 70's, and we used to pick up burgers from a bar 'at the bottom of the hill on the corner'. They were THE BEST! Could it be??????

                                                                                                                                          2. The best fast food burger that i have ever had is the 1/3 lb burger from Back Yard burger. Their 1/3 lb burger only cost about $.50 more than a Burger King whopper, but the takes was night and day difference.

                                                                                                                                            I have to admit that i have never had a White Castle slider in my life, (the shame:)

                                                                                                                                              1. After 16 years of living in Southern California, I finally broke down and had a Fatburger over the weekend and I was sorely disappointed.

                                                                                                                                                First, the charbroiler was already shut down, so no "on the char" option. Also, it was frigidly cold inside, and I have a very high tolerance to cool temps. I suppose the cooks like it that way and since the grill is somewhat in the middle of the place, everybody is subjected to freezer burn.

                                                                                                                                                Had the chocolate shake which was quite tasty but not as thick as I'd like. The onion rings were great, no doubt about it.

                                                                                                                                                As for the burger, the bun was on the stale side and everything else was just okay.

                                                                                                                                                There weren't many people in the place and I can understand why when there are now lots of In-n-Out's around.

                                                                                                                                                I'll give it another try but not anytime soon.

                                                                                                                                                1. islands is my favorite... i do want to try houston's california burger some day as i hear thats really good..

                                                                                                                                                  and i just read the previous posters comment about fatburger... and u know... i used to love fatburger and had 1 just today for the first time in over a year, and was dissappointed that they got rid of the "on the char" option and my bun was also on the stale side... and to top it off, they have significantly raised their prices from a year ago..

                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: civicisr

                                                                                                                                                    See, I really like Islands burgers... but the Islands near me (Burbank) is so bad at service that I can't bear it.

                                                                                                                                                  2. Western Bacon Cheeseburger from Carls Jr.

                                                                                                                                                    1. The Goldie's Special at Goldie's Patio Grill, a small chain based in Tulsa, is the standard by which all others are judged, as far as I'm concerned. But they're awfully far away from where I live now.

                                                                                                                                                      Steak & Shake has to be a close second, but again, five-hour drive.

                                                                                                                                                      I've never even *seen* a White Castle; they were a Big Deal in Wichita years ago but were long gone by the time I arrived there.

                                                                                                                                                      Of what's handy, I've got to put in a plug for a good ol' Whopper with cheese, no tomatoes, extra pickles.

                                                                                                                                                      1. Not that they don't exist somewhere, but I've never had a bad Backyard Burger (specifically the Black 'n Bleu Burger with Black Angus) or Culver's Butterburger.

                                                                                                                                                        I am willing to drive to either of these places even though they are considerably off my beaten path.

                                                                                                                                                        I never could much stomach McDonald's burgers but always used to like Wendy's burgers. I'd not tried a Wendy's burger in years though until maybe last year and it was quite dreadful. I thought I might have just hit a bad location/time so I tried again elsewhere the same week and found it dreadful, to.

                                                                                                                                                        1. In N Out double double and lite on the onion!

                                                                                                                                                          1. Can I add a shout-out for Dick's Drive-In in Seattle? It's kind of a late-night-booze-sponge spot but if they are fresh, they are tasty anytime of day. Plus, you have to get out of your car to order and stand out in the freezing Seattle rain. Anyone committed to that must beleive in this kind of beef.

                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LFP

                                                                                                                                                              whataburger is my fav fast food burger

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LFP

                                                                                                                                                                I second Dick's. My favorite is the special. The Queen Anne location is indoors if you want to skip the rain. Very crowded after Sonics games.

                                                                                                                                                                Another Seattle favorite is Kidd Valley where I get my burger with a side of garlic fries or fried mushrooms.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LFP

                                                                                                                                                                  (late, but thread reopened) - the whole point of Dick's is not the burger but the fries.

                                                                                                                                                                2. Fast Food Large Chain Burger - This one goes to In 'N Out Burger. You cannot beat their freshness!

                                                                                                                                                                  Fast Food Small Chain - Orange County CA based TK Burgers. At least good as In 'N Out, perhaps a little bit tastier.

                                                                                                                                                                  Restaurant Large Chain - The Surf 'n Turf Burger at Jack Shrimp. The cajun remoulade is awesome on this burger!

                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: IDavis

                                                                                                                                                                    I am a Fuddruckers guy. Never had a bad burger but I actually don't like their fries. I love their fixings bar so I can make it just the way I like it.
                                                                                                                                                                    Red Robin is pretty good.
                                                                                                                                                                    I used to live in Florida and we had a chain called Rudy's. No longer in business but was told they were created by the people from Fuddruckers as well. I remember it as being awesome.
                                                                                                                                                                    Also a chain in Florida called HOP'S. When I used to live in Tampa they were running a special, eat at the bar after 8pm and get a burger for 2 bucks and a beer for 2 bucks. Burgers used to have shaved cheddar on top, really good deal.
                                                                                                                                                                    I know alot of differing opinions on chow about Outback but I have always enjoyed going there by myself for Sunday or Monday night football and sitting at the bar and getting a burger and of course if you have more than one a bloomin onion is like ultimate onion rings to me.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ronaldpedwards

                                                                                                                                                                      Since my 5 year stint with vegetarianism/veganism, I am once again enjoying real burgers. Oh, and I've lost 26 pounds, but that's besides the point.

                                                                                                                                                                      Best burger I've found? Damon's Ribs. Consistent, GREAT char-broiled taste, and they cook it the way I like it, medium rare. Some places won't. I tend to avoid the latter. :)

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MarlboroMan

                                                                                                                                                                        Congrats on the 26 lbs. weight loss!
                                                                                                                                                                        Damon's Ribs?
                                                                                                                                                                        Location please?

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sel

                                                                                                                                                                          I used to get ribs at this chain in Canton, Michigan. I never tried their burgers. It's probably been six years since the Canton, MI location closed.

                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.damons.com

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: johnseberg

                                                                                                                                                                            Damon's has multiple locations. I'll still go there occasionally, (usually for kid's night, because, well, I have a kid) but there's a new local chain (currently only in NJ, sorry!) called 25 Burgers. Their burgers, unfortunately, have ruined me for eating a burger nearly anywhere else, to the point that I won't even bother ordering a burger at most places, knowing I could have a great one at 25 Burgers. Great shakes and onion rings, too.

                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.25gourmetburgers.com/

                                                                                                                                                                  2. Longhorn Steakhouse...They'll cook to any dergree of doneness you ask for!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Another vote for Fuddruckers, though the ones in the Raleigh-Durham area closed down a few months ago - so I will be trying to find one any time I travel. Already planning to hit the one in Greensboro on my way to go ziplining this fall.

                                                                                                                                                                      Everyone around this area raves about Char-Grill (a local chain) but I have been underhwelmed when I have tried them.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. Still In And Out, but Smashburger is a very close second.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. Kewpee Burger. Very small chain, six in three states, three of them in Lima, Ohio of all places. Was a lot more prevalent before mcdonal's came along, Dave Thomas claimed Kewpee was the inspiration for the square burgers at Wendy's. I don't believe any of the ones i've had are square, though. The burgers are outstanding.

                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Fibber McGee

                                                                                                                                                                            I wouldn't go that far. They do have good burgers and beef ground fresh daily.
                                                                                                                                                                            They are indeed square burgers.
                                                                                                                                                                            http://tinyurl.com/34pentk

                                                                                                                                                                            DT

                                                                                                                                                                          2. for fast food, it's the Western Bacon CB from Carl's. it's not a great burger, per se, but all those flavors work so well together.

                                                                                                                                                                            for a sit down, chain: i recently had the most amazing burger at Sizzler. it was juicy and the flavor was out of this world.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. Here's another vote for Fatburger. I had one the other night that was almost perfect and ranks among the best I've ever had. It was their XXXL 24 oz ( I guess it's 3 8oz patties) fixed 'on the char' (as opposed to the griddle), with cheese, grilled onions and mayo only. It wasn't as rare as I would have liked but it did have a nice crust, was well seasoned, and juicy on the inside. DEElicious

                                                                                                                                                                              1. my favourite chain burger is the triple prime cheddar burger from ruby tuesday's. the flavour is great and when i ask for it rare, that is exactly how i get it. they also have drinks that re five bucks a piece with premium rail liquor. good stuff. i havent been there in about a year, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                i used to love hardee's thickburgers. ESPECIALLY the jalapeno thickburger. however, the past few times i got the jalapeno thickburger when it came out again last winter or spring, i was incredibly disappointed. the lettuce used to be fresh, green leaf, the tomatoes used to be of consistent, ripe quality. these burgers had sad, wilted ice burg lettuce and tomatoes with white cores.... the burger seemed flat, also, compared to its past juciness, and the onions were old and acrid. unfortunate, this used to be my favourite junk food. however, someone once speculated on chowhound that hardee's in rural settings are always good and in more urban settings, the quality suffers. i don't know if this is true, but the past few hardee's experiences i had were in the city, and the good burgers that i had gotten in the past were always out in the country. so... maybe i will give them another chance (at a rural location) when/if they bring the jalapeno thickburger back.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. I don't rate national chains because none are up to my standard. Yeah in a pinch, I'll do a Big Mac or Whopper, but I try to avoid them.

                                                                                                                                                                                  My Picks:

                                                                                                                                                                                  Regional Chain (fast food): The In 'n Out Double Double Burger, (West Coast)
                                                                                                                                                                                  Regional Chain (restaurant): Surf 'n Turf Burger at Jack Schrimp (Various States)

                                                                                                                                                                                  Local Chain (fast food) The Kind Burger at TK Burger, (Orange County, CA)

                                                                                                                                                                                  Honorable Mention: The Counter, Five Guys Burger, Portillos, Hamburger Mary's

                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Mayflour

                                                                                                                                                                                      Five Guys hands down the best fast food burger.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kmozo

                                                                                                                                                                                        Best Fries I will give you burger I don't know too well done... Five Guys should cook to customers request...

                                                                                                                                                                                        Ciao-

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Since Little Tavern closed, it's either White Castle or Krystal.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                                                      Smashburger is the best chain burger I've had.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: hotdoglover

                                                                                                                                                                                        Agreed, just went there yesterday. I've had it roughly five times or so and I think it's the best out there.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. The Shake Shack chain in NYC has tasty burgers.....and you can check out the line in advance on their on-line webcam. I hope that this chain gets bigger....they have a winning recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: maryanne06

                                                                                                                                                                                        Finally got around to trying the DC Shake Shack. I was hesitant at first since it looked like most of the prep staff was just loitering around. But after I got my double, this is definitely my favorite chain burger. A little more expensive than Five Guys, but a superior product. The potato roll really holds everything together: fresh ingredients, and two thin medium rare patties with lots of flavor. This is a really juicy burger, which is more than I can say for my past few 5G experiences. Five napkins were needed to wipe the juices up. And unlike 5G, the fries are outstanding: crinkle cut but with a really jagged edge that crisps up nicely, and twice fried proper so they're not soggy greasy clumps of potato and skin. I'd much rather have a smaller portion of perfectly fried fries than a giant cup filled with potatoes and grease. A slightly more upscale experience (they serve beer and wine) but well worth the extra couple of bucks.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. For me it's a complete toss-up between the Big mac, Whopper, and White castle. It all depends on my mood...but the Whopper would have to be the best overall FF burger for me. I've had plenty of non-ff burgers that were far worse.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. in n out (don't care for the fries tho)
                                                                                                                                                                                          farmer boys (also make a pretty good gyro)
                                                                                                                                                                                          double 6 dollar burger from Carls Jr
                                                                                                                                                                                          George burger (they also have an outrageously large and inexpensive gyro plate)
                                                                                                                                                                                          I have moved back to Louisiana and am in burger hell now (tho other foods make up for it)
                                                                                                                                                                                          In new Orleans the non chains that have good burgers are Snug harbor (tho you may have to dodge bullets gettin in ) -- the Swamp Burger at the Swamp room (where you may or may not get hit with a bar stool) and City Diner in Metairie (who also offer 24 hour local delivery -- sweet !!)

                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: turtleninny

                                                                                                                                                                                            That is so NOT TRUE about dodging bullets to get into Snug Harbor! It's on Frenchmen Street in the Marigny neighborhood to the "east" of the French Quarter. Many, many, many, many other bars and restaurants on Frenchmen Street, and it really gets hoppin' there. There's ALWAYS safety in numbers. Snug Harbor is a tourist destination, for cryin' out loud!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Christine

                                                                                                                                                                                              Agreed! I have been on Frenchman St at pretty much all hours of the day & night at one time or another, and the only thing close to a hard time I have EVER had was from one particular agressively sales-oriented watercolor artist.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Regardless, Snug Harbor is not a chain burger, unless there are many more of them that I dont know about.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Fydeaux

                                                                                                                                                                                                To be fair to ninny, it was stated that Snug Harbor has a good burger for non-chain in New Orleans. Haven't eaten at Snug, but I would put Port of Call and Buffa's right up there against it.. POC and Buffa's have kick-ass burgers and are both on Esplanade Street on the "east" side of the Quarter, very close to snug harbor, coincidentally....

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. "Voted New Mexico's #1 Burger": The Blake's Lotaburger! Give me mine w/ double green chile!

                                                                                                                                                                                            And for you burger heads , The NM Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail:

                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.newmexico.org/greenchilech...

                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                              Ohhhhh! Blakes green chile burger is the best! My pop wanted to start a franchise but the owner said no to anything out of NM (we're in Tx)

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I haven't had them all, but at least for fast food I like BK. Don't care for McD or In-n-Out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. The Luguna Burger is a half pound green chile cheeseburger w/ "real" fries for only $3.99. It is award winnning and now w/ 3 locations from Albuquerque to the Laguna Pueblo, which qualifies it as a chain.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://nmgastronome.com/blog/?p=8598

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. New here! Hi!
                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Baker's Crust- Kobe Burger with the crispy onions and mushrooms.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Cheesecake Factory's Kobe burger is good as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Just ate at Culver's for the first time and I have to say I am impressed. Had a hard time figuring out on the menu what I wanted (burger w/ cheese, no onion) but got a salad as a side and a ice cream something or other. Burger was excellent - I finished it which is rare for me and the salad was very fresh and crisp. Culver's rates very high in my book now. We'll be back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JerryMe

                                                                                                                                                                                                        "a ice cream something or other"

                                                                                                                                                                                                        My inner Wisconsinite just died a little. Culvers does not serve ice cream. Culver's serves FROZEN CUSTARD. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Semantics aside, I was actually scrolling down this thread to post my vote for Culver's as my favorite chain burger. Something about their "butterburgers" is like crack to me. My personal favorite is the Bacon Blue-it's not usually on their menu but most places will still make it for you if you ask...crispy bacon and bleu cheese w/lettuce and tomato on top of one of their cripsy-edged burgers. Deeelicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Like the OP I vote for Red Robin. I will usually go for the bacon guac or mushroom Swiss. $10 bucks for a burger is a little steep but I feel they are a pretty good value and worth it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Red Robin's Royal Burger. I thought the fried egg was going to be funky, but it was delicious. They are actually running a $5 cheeseburger special. All the fixin's and bottomless fries for 5 bucks. Now that's a deal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: awm922

                                                                                                                                                                                                            For those in the Kansas City area.. Winstead's. Loved the grilled onion, along with the great old diner feel, (and the cherry limeade.. way better than Sonic can ever make.) And their onion rings.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Since Hot Shoppes and the "Mighty Mo" no longer exist, I'll have to go with the Ollieburger at Ollie's Trolley.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. River City Cafe in the Myrtle beach area has some great burgers, unfortunately since they got bought out by a restaurant conglomerate about a year ago their prices went up a good bit - you used to be able to get a loaded burger with everything you could imagine - cheese, onions, chili, jalapenos, etc - with fries and drink for around $6 with a coupon, now the same deal runs $8.50 or so.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Either a hardee's frisco burger, a red robin banzai burger, or jalapeno sliders from white castle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Most of the chains being mentioned are regional. As far as national American chains go, I think the newly-redone burger at Wendy's is the best, and a huge improvement over their previous offering. None of that steamed meat taste of its predecessor. The bun holds up better, and the vegetables are crisper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I just finished a season coaching high school soccer. The away games stopped at fast food burger joints. I had not had a chain burger (they hurt my teeth) in nearly 15 years, so I was curious to experiment. The Whopper at Bogger King was worse than I remembered. I think it is their new tecnuque of nuking smoke flavored burgers. Carl's Jr, a pleasant surprise for their upper end burgers. I liked the condiment tray where I could load up the burger w/ chopped green chile. I agree w/ Grey, the new Wendy's burger is pretty good, best of the national chains.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I still prefer to go burger chowhounding to mom and pop restaurnats looking for the holy Grail of a hand formed burger, and fresh potato, twice cooked fries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I had the opportunity on a recent trip to try both Fuddruckers and In-N-Out. Both, IMHO fall below the 5 Guys I usually visit off University Ave in Huntsville. The other 5G in HSV is better but just barely.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Re: Fudd. It was in the DFW airport so I'm not sure it's the best place to judge it. The INO was in San Diego and there should've been no reason to suggest it wasn't up to par. I was so underwhelmed but that is probably based on hype more than anything. It was good. But nothing all that great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    DT

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Five Guys, all the way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I get the Cheeseburger (double patty) with A1, mayo, and pickle, and it's a little slice of heaven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The ONLY thing I wish they would improve is the quality of their bun. Standard gross bleach-white bun - c'mon, give me a whole grain or at least a pretzel bun . . . . . mmmmmm, pretzel bun . . . . .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Does anyone remember the Mc.D.L.T. from McDonalds in the mid to late 80's? That burger was awesome and such a simple concept. Keep the lettuce, tomato and cheese cold and place it on top of the hot hamburger patty yourself. Boy do I miss those days, can't believe that McDonalds stop serving that one. See the commercial for yourself just to wet your appetite.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zL2c6N...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mr_big

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I remember that one - and the Mclean deluxe - about the only burgers I ever actually remotely liked from McDs. I guess theres a reason I have never gone there on a regular basis, they seem to make generally bad menu decisions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ncyankee101

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            They seem to be doing well despite the bad menu decisions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The problem with the McLean Deluxe was it was a bit too dry, and a lot of people avoided it for that reason. (I actually did like it). Once the word got out they made up for lesser fat content by adding seaweed, its fate was sealed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The McDLT was my favorite. Even good things fail.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Fibber McGee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The McDLT didn't fail for quality reasons. It was pulled off the menu because the Styrofoam packaging that kept the hot side hot and the cold side cold helped fill landfills as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: RB Hound

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yeah, I believe the styrofoam did it in but do I ever miss that burger. You would think that with today's technologies they could come up with an eco friendly alternative to styrofoam. Who know's maybe McD's is reading this thread. You never know.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mr_big

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I do remember what RB Hound is talking about. McDonald's made a concerted effort to reduce packaging, period. Even if they were to use a more eco-friendly container, it may be tough pulling it off while maintaining that mission statement.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: mr_big

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Try this one. Much funnier.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTSdUO...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I bet JA would love for this to go away.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            DT

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. The Habit is a small fast food chain here in California.I usually have the grilled tuna sandwhich, which is a thin tuna steak on a soft sesame roll. My wife gets a lettuce wrapped charburger. We share an order of fries which we dip in jalapeno juice or malt vinegar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I almost tried the bleu ribbon the other day. I decided to try the Jim Beam burger instead and it was amazing. It wasn't on the menu, it was on a cardboard ad sitting on the table.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Braum's and Whataburger, but they gotta be in Oklahoma. If you are ever sentenced to a long drive through Oklahoma, DO stop and have a burger at either. Braum's is a small chain that started as an ice cream parlor that also did burgers. They are the real deal. My fave is still a Whataburger, but ones I've had in other states were atrocious. Dunno why. I was disappointed by Farmer's and In-n-Out when I was in California, having heard so much hype over the years. Steak-n-Shake uses the best quality lean beef for their burgers, which IMHO is a huge mistake. Flavor suffers from lack of fat. Their shakes are the bomb, though.