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Charleston, SC, burger assessments

Here are some cheeseburger assessments for restaurants in the Charleston, SC, area, on a scale of 1-10, 10 being good. Feel free to add:

AC'S BAR AND GRILL: $5.
Rating: 5

Smallish burger that was juicy (or, more likely, fatty?) with decent bun and good amount of toppings. No fries come with it. Quite salty, somewhat small for the price (I'd say somewhere between 1/4 pound and 1/3 pound). Too salty and rather overpriced for the size, IMO, but, perhaps inevitably, tasty.

CHARLESTON BEER WORKS: $6.70
Rating: 6

I have had two here, the first was quite good, very big, with a large amount of freshly made fries that were very hot and crisp. It was quite flavorful with a big bun that fit it perfectly and the price was fantastic. The second one I had was not as good, it was dense, not as big, or perhaps not as correctly formed, and lacked any strong flavor. Still same large amount of fries. I don't know if it was an off night, but I hope if I have another one there it will be like the initial one. Great price.

39 RUE DE JEAN: $10.99
Rating: 3

Touted as the best hamburger in Charleston, I was not very impressed. First, the bun was of very poor quality, crumbling all over the place and making a big mess. Additionally, it was advertised to be 10 oz. (more than a half pound) and it was not. While it tasted quite fresh, it wasn't flavorful and the fries were extremely slender and rather limp, with some of them so small they were overcooked and crunchy...not my idea of what I prefer: nice, meaty, substantial French fries.

VICKERY'S BAR AND GRILL, downtown: $7.99 (half price on Mondays)
Rating: 5

A very large burger, no doubt a half pound as advertised. Unfortunately, it did not appear to be very high quality of meat, as it was rather dry (due to ordering it medium?) and there was nothing in the way of seasoning. The addition of salt and mayo helped, as it usually does. The fries were of the hand cut variety, quite slender, with some of them very little, and there was not very much of them. Wouldn't get it agan due to the lack of flavor.

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  1. Thanks for the write-up!
    Have you tried Sesame in N. Charleston?

    7 Replies
    1. re: savdoug

      I haven't.

      Edit: looked at the pictures and reviews...looks fantastic!

      1. re: observor

        Sesame is wonderful, great fresh ingredients.

        I've been meaning to try the burger at Hall's Chophouse, I think they have it for half price on Sundays. Anyone try it yet?

          1. re: observor

            Weird. Here's the link where I heard about it: http://www.charlestoncitypaper.com/ch...

            Says it's $6, which would imply that they normally have it for 12.

            1. re: General Knowledge

              They say they still have it, they just don't advertise it (?)

              1. re: General Knowledge

                Missed Hall's burger this Sunday, interested to know how it goes.

        1. re: savdoug

          Several replys for Sesame in all of these threads. An OK restaurant, but if your on Montague for a Burger, your missing the best, which is right down the street. Johnny's is one of the original restaurants on that Strip. Dank, old bar/grill atmosphere w/ perfectly charred Chuck Burgers on soft buns w/ breaded potato wedges.

        2. We have two places we like to go for burgers The first is Sesame, and they make everything themselves, even the condiments. The burgers are great, and so are the non burger items on the menu. The second is Poe's Tavern. Again, burgers are great, and we also enjoy the fish tacos and nachos. Both places also have good beer selections.

          On my to try burger list is Moe's Crosstown Tavern. I have also tried the burger at Rue, and I find both Sesame and Poe's superior.

          17 Replies
          1. re: lizzy

            Moe's has great burgers - though I haven't had them in a while, I just love their steak wrap so much I've been getting that every time I go. Their fries are definitely in the top 3 in town.

            1. re: General Knowledge

              I like their blt: fried green tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, greens and local (I think) bacon, yum! Have you tried their brunch? We have attempted to go a few times, but it's always so crowded.

              1. re: lizzy

                I've been to Moe's for brunch a few times, unfortunately my husband doesn't really like brunch food so we don't go much. We've always gotten there at like 2 pm, so it's not crowded, but by that time I'm with him in that I don't really want pancakes or whatever.

            2. re: lizzy

              I totally agree! Sesame and Poe's are better than the others. Poe's is really crowded this time of year, and it's hot to sit outside but it's worth it.

              1. re: Sue in Mt P

                Just got done reading Holly Herrick's Charleston Chow where she extols Five Guys on Savannah Highway, W.Ashley and another on 17 in Mt. Pleasant. I usually agree with Holly -- anyone here try them?

                1. re: birgator

                  Yep, I've tried 5 Guys, and I don't see what the fuss is all about. I know they have their devoted followers, but imo the reality did not live up to the hype. However, I do think they are good for a fast food burger, I like being able to pick my own toppings and I also like their fries......but I also live close to Sesame and since they are almost the same price, I think I will stick with real deal.

                  1. re: lizzy

                    what's the meat-temp situation in Charleston? Can you get a rare burger? We can't here in G'ville unless the rest. grinds their own meat. I assumed this was statewide. Do the places discussed grind their own?

                    1. re: danna

                      Yes that law is statewide. I know Poe's and Rue grind their own, as does Sesame. You can get a rare burger at these places. Now I want me one.

                    2. re: lizzy

                      I like 5 Guys a lot - I lived in DC for awhile, which is where they started, and I'm very excited that they've come down here. They are the best fast food burger you can get, I think, but I'd still put Sesame and Poe's above them.

                      lizzy, you live near Sesame? Me too! Yay Park Circle!

                      1. re: General Knowledge

                        Howdy neighbor!

                        Have you had a chance to try Park Pizza Co yet?

                        http://www.parkpizzaco.com/

                        1. re: lizzy

                          Yep, we gone there twice - the last time we got the Alfredo pizza, which was delicious. I still like EVO better but they are very different. I like Park Pizza if I just want to be lazy and sit on my couch, and I like EVO for a nice dinner out. Also they're open 7 days a week, which is great.

                        2. re: General Knowledge

                          I also lived and was born in DC I went to the original 5 Guys in Arlington where the peanut shells coated the floor and the burgers were twice the size and the extra fries in the bags were great. But now a lousy chain operation that more of a salad than a burger. Sesame is the real deal every time.

                        3. re: lizzy

                          FIVE GUYS BURGER AND FRIES: $5 (fries $2.50)
                          Rating: 3

                          Had it again just to make sure I wasn't missing something. Being griddled, no char taste and no real flavor of any sort, IMO. Pretty coarse texture and gloppy American cheese make me think that it's OK for a fast food burger, I guess, but for a "real" burger it really doesn't make the cut, and it's nearly as pricey. Seems like a poor man's Wendy's. They gave me about a half pound of fries, but they have a slight texture (seem like they were frozen, even though they aren't) and not very meaty, so they weren't interesting.

                          1. re: lizzy

                            I think the appeal of Five Guys comes in the fact that it is physically well-arranged and has robust cheese. The bun is quite soft, and the toppings in healthy amount, so if you add in some decent amounts of cheese I think people are prone to forget the element that the meat is quite tasteless. With incredibly uninspired French fries, I think, for the price, one can improve upon this offering.

                            1. re: observor

                              I think you also have to remember that Five Guys is a QSR that grades along with McDonalds, Hardees, Burger King, Wendy's, etc.

                              Among those choices, Five Guys wins hands down every time.

                              1. re: JayL

                                It may be of note in the field, but given my druthers I would have Wendy's and In-N-Out over this (and even, perhaps, the Burger King of old, not today's product).

                          2. re: birgator

                            I had them in Myrtle Beach, tasted just like Wendy's.

                      2. CAROLINA'S: $12 ($2 extra to make fries truffle oil and parmesan [which I did]) Half price from 5-7, M-F. [Comes with bacon]
                        Rating: 7

                        A very interesting burger experience. Definitely prepared with ability, it had some issues. The grilled bun, while nice and large, was incredibly wilted and fragile, so that it disintegrated as you were eating. The meat, while flavorful, was quite salty, perhaps a technique to encourage juiciness, of which it had some. Also, the meat, and I don't know if this is a sign of quality, was quite loosely packed so that it actually crumbled as you ate, so the whole burger, with the bun, was falling apart. Definitely tasted quite fresh and was a good size. The three pieces of bacon were freshly, and well, prepared and with a nice smoky flavor. The fries, also a good amount, were of a medium-to-smallish shoestring variety, hot, crisp with slight chew. I have never had truffles, or truffle oil, before, but I didn't really taste anything of note on the fries, though I could tell they had been tossed in some oil, as they had a slightly greasy quality before the good
                        crispiness. I didn't taste any parmesan at all. Came with some fried arugula scattered on top, which I didn't think added much at all in the way of flavor, though there was some color. It was, in fact, a little bothersome, kind of like having salty confetti spread over your food. Overall, the fries were too salty, but nice and freshly made.

                        Given the fact that each weekday from 5-7 you can get a well prepared, if flawed, bacon cheeseburger in good surroundings, for 6 dollars, I can't imagine why someone would go somewhere else when wanting a burger.

                        THE BLIND TIGER PUB: $9.50 ($5.50 on Tuesdays)
                        Rating: 3

                        I was not impressed with the surroundings, the food area, or the chefs here, particularly the man who made my burger. I found it interesting that in such basic, spartan surroundings, they ask nearly as much for a bacon cheeseburger as Carolina's, with serves 20-something dollar entrees in nice surroundings. I had just a hamburger, no cheese (unlike the other burgers here). I requested it be slightly pink inside, which the barkeep said would be medium-rare, yet the burger was exceptionally pink inside, which I don't really like. It was also quite on the small side for the price, and, with the sesame-seed bun (which looked as if came from a supermarket), constituted extremely little heft, almost air-light. I suppose denseness and heft are different things, but this burger was exceptionally lightweight in all aspects. It was decently seasoned, not too salty, and tasted fresh and was juicy. Came with lettuce and tomato, no onion (?). Fries were somewhat hot,
                        yet stale, and were not at all unique (most likely from a bag). Definitely not worth the relatively high price, given its lack in heft, and I'm not really sure why they ask so much.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: observor

                          We LOVED the burgers at The Blind Tiger. Lovely airy buns, perfectly cooked to temp. burgers, etc. IMHO, a good burger should be at least pink inside. I'd rather it be undercooked, rather than overcooked also - at leaset the former can be rectified. Nothing worse than a well-done burger. They have a nice choice of draft beers.

                          For a pub, I thought the atmosphere was spot on. Hardwood floors, wooden tables and chairs. Gorgeous front door and windows. I can't imagine how you found fault with any of it. Hmmm, go figure.

                          I've attached photos of Blind Tigers signage and burger.

                           
                           
                          1. re: lynnlato

                            That bun is not what I got, which indicates a lack of consistency, and, therefore, a potentially suspect service. Atmospherically, I don't really know how hardwood floors, and wooden tables and chairs can be character..I think many Catholic schools have the same thing. Add in a bar and a dingy back patio with uncomfortable seating, and that's all there is. It could be any generic bar anywhere.

                            1. re: observor

                              I think they the atmosphere they are going for is that of an English pub and that is exactly what they deliver. As for their burgers, My picture says it all.

                              Guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.

                              1. re: lynnlato

                                OK. well, I think The Griffon seems much more reminiscent of a British pub than just a hardwood floor and some tables. I think for the price and atmosphere one could do much lot better than The Blind Tiger for one's burger needs.

                                1. re: observor

                                  Never been to The Griffon so I can't comment. The BT is more than just "hardwood floors and some tables" - it's in the historic district and the bldg is well-preserved. But if someone is looking for white table cloths, comfy chairs and top notch service, than this is most certainly not the place for them.

                                  From reading your previous posts, I understand that price & value are HUGE concerns for you. I found the burger at Blind Tiger to be a great value and a great burger all round. Sorry you didn't. Again, agree to disagree.

                                  1. re: lynnlato

                                    I don't see how a $9.50 burger could be considered a good value unless it was around a pound, or so, but, yes, we are not on the same vibe.

                        2. Beware the burger at Rue de Jean - we went recently and I ordered a burger cooked medium - it was served to me practically raw, with bloody juice soaking the whole bottom of the bun. I cut it in half as I usually do since it is pretty big, and it was still cold inside. It took forever to get our server's attention and once we did, he gave me quite the attitude. When the burger was reserved to me, they had just thrown it on the grill and recooked it, slapped a new piece of cheese on top and replaced the bun. I could not believe how gross it looked and tasted - I was beyond irritated and probably won't go back for awhile. Not sure what was going on that day. When I brought it to the attention of the "manager" on duty, he didn't care and didn't apologize. It will be a while before I go back.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: atruebluedevil

                            That's weird! They're usually so accomodating. I like Poe's better anyway.

                          2. **************RATINGS**********************
                            1=WORST, 10=BEST

                            AC's: 5
                            Charleston Beer Works: 6
                            Rue de Jean: 3
                            Vickery's: 5
                            Carolina's: 7
                            The Blind Tiger: 3

                            1. KING STREET GRILLE, downtown, $9.99 (Half-price Wednesdays)
                              Rating: 4

                              This was quite a big burger, with two medium sized patties stacked in what they said was a pretzel roll, but was really more of an egg-based roll, very flat, almost like challah. The burger had an extremely pronounced char, and was a bit on the salty side, but what I didn't like about it was that it was quite dense. It was like eating a hefty puck that was jammed into a roll too large for it. Having two dense patties makes for quite a mouthful, and the excess bread on the side makes even more for your mouth. The beef didn't taste very fresh, unlike other burgers here. It came with waffle fries, which looked good, but I wasn't interested in. Was surprised to find out they charge extra if you want something other than fries (I got a side salad, which was very nicely prepared, with thick, seemingly homemade, blue cheese dressing, for $1.99 extra)

                              1. TBONZ, downtown $8.95
                                Rating: 2

                                Very corporate in presentation, this burger was very thin, overcooked, dry, and almost gritty-llike, in a heavy and shellacked bun and served with lettuce and two too-thick slices of plum tomato (no onion). Perhaps the one-day 2 dollar, 6 oz. special I got gave them issues. Didn't seem to be 6 oz. Mistakenly gave cheese fries with it, which consisted of a glop of cheese over soggy bits of potato. Not very good, almost like Burger King but drier.

                                1. MOE'S DOWNTOWN TAVERN, $7.50 (half price on Tues.)
                                  Rating: 4

                                  This burger was very unnotable, without any perceived seasoning or char, without any juiciness (though not dry), and a bit on the smaller side. No real notable freshness either. The bun was a very nice chewy toasted kaiser roll, and it came with lettuce and tomato, but no onion. The fries were completely abominable, stale, cold, no salt, and rather greasy... The only real likable thing about it was the price, though the burger was on the smaller end. (may have been because of half price night).

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: observor

                                    Well, I'm completely shocked that you didn't like the fries - I've never had a bad batch. Of course, I haven't been to half price burger night in a while (too crowded) so maybe that had an effect.

                                    You must be getting tired of burgers by now! But I'm enjoying your reviews.

                                    1. re: General Knowledge

                                      Yes, it was incredibly crowded (though I would think that would help fresh fries getting served, instead of poor ones), and I was surprised the burger was not more impressive than it was, since people have been celebrating it. I suppose half price burgers (and single slices of pizza) are not the most advanced way of measuring a place's food. I am getting a bit tired of the burgers, wouldn't mind going to shrimp and grits if I could get some backing. Maybe I could wear a SC Shrimpers Association t-shirt during my eating and then I could get some corporate financing.

                                  2. MELVINS HAS A PRETTY GOOD BURGER

                                    1. HALLS CHOPHOUSE, $12 (half price Sundays)
                                      Rating: 7

                                      This was an excellent burger, at least regarding the meat, for it was incredibly, even sublimely, flavorful, perfectly formed, precisely seasoned, and accurately cooked. It sported a minor crust and a good level of char, and the consistency of the burger was just right, with a nice light and smooth texture that was cohesive. It just needed to be about 1/3 larger. The other aspects of the burger were no where near as impressive, as the bun was of a hard and uninteresting sesame seed nature and the cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion were very scant. It came with a good amount of shoestring fries that were the same in cut as McDonald's frech fries, were handcut and, though hot and salted, were of a stale nature (common with handcut fries?) and, in my opinion, overly cooked. Pleasantly, the burger came with a small amount of thinly sliced pearl onion rings that, though tasty, were not hot. The service was excellent (they use your name in expediting) and the surroundings are quite pleasant, clubby, with live music. As an added plus, there's a canister of mixed nuts at the bar.

                                      When deciding between Carolina's burger and this one, I would head for the Carolina's burger because it was much bigger, came with decent bacon, and the fries were much better. But, in terms of fantastic flavor, this meat was phenomenal, it will make you feel great.

                                      1. Rita's on Folly has a great burger. We also really love the burger at Cru Cafe, but the last two times we went they were way below the temp we ordered.
                                        Also, I think Hall's isn't doing the $6 burger as of Aug 30th.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: penny35

                                          Yes. that is the case about Hall's unfortunately. That is incredible meat, it's too bad.

                                        2. O'MALLEY'S BAR AND GRILLE: $6.75 half-pound ($2.50 1/4-pound burgers on weekends)
                                          Rating: 5

                                          This was a basic burger that seemed much larger than the advertised quarter-pound. It came with a spongy consistency and unimpressive flavor, with solid seasoning and a notable *two* slices of cheese, and covered by a mashed and wilted bun. There was a decent amount of lettuce, tomato, and onion. It did the duty, though the sponginess was rather annoying. The fries were a goodly amount, hot, but with a stale nature. The barkeep hesitantly claimed they cut their own, but, though they had bits of potato skin on them, they definitely had a lightweight consistency like frozen fries.

                                          Overall, for $2.50 on weekends, this is an exceptional deal, for, though not of very exceptional quality, this definitely meets the idea of a burger and fries.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: observor

                                            I had this burger again and this time it was much smaller in portion, including all toppings. Still...$2.50 is pretty good.

                                          2. Here's a off the menu secret...Shhhh..if you go to Daniel island to Sienna (upscale italian) and ask for a burger you will get what I think beats them all with great fries to boot. They use to have a bar menu with it on it but now it's a secret worth knowing.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: tbonef

                                              An Italian burger? I suppose it comes with mozzarella.

                                              1. re: tbonef

                                                Do they have it even though Vedrinski has departed?

                                              2. MAD RIVER BAR AND GRILLE: $8.50 (half price on Mondays)
                                                A complete and totally uninteresting burger with nothing at all worth mentioning. Meaty spiced fries, no doubt from a bag). I liked the plate.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. THE KICKIN' CHICKEN $6.70 (half price on Tues.)
                                                  Rating: 7

                                                  A large, juicy, extremely flavorful burger, if needing seasoning, with lots of gooey cheese, flavorful toppings, and a rather mediocre roll. Comes with a literal mountain of chips. Fantastic price.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: observor

                                                    Try the Village Tavern on 17N in Mt,P.Half price on Tues.Consistently pretty good.Comes with tots,waffle fries or steak fries.I usually order the Blue Cheese burger.

                                                    1. re: observor

                                                      Forgot to mention its around $4.00.

                                                    2. First of all, you need to stop going to some of these horrible restaurants. Listen to what some of the other people said. You have to try these places. Poes, melvins, moes on rutledge not downtown, Genes in w. ashley, Jacks Cafe on george st (not high quality but the best griddle cooked burger in town), Samos Taverna (lamb burger), Your place in mt. P. this may have closed.

                                                      If you know all you want is a gourmet fresh ground burger (which isn't the best in my opinion) then the only ones worth trying are Poes. Samos, and sesame (which I don't recommend). have fun

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: sonalamp

                                                        Why isn't "gourmet, fresh ground burger" the best? I would like to have the "17" burger at Oak Steakhouse...it's more than a pound ($17). Every single place has a burger...definitely have to get to the good ones.

                                                        1. re: sonalamp

                                                          I definitely second Your Place! I used to go all the time when it was downtown and the burgers are by far the best I have ever had!

                                                        2. SESAME: $5.70 with lettuce, additional toppings for $.30 to $1.05 (half price on Tues.) Fries $1.50 extra

                                                          Rating: 3

                                                          This was an on-the-small-side burger (perhaps 1/3 pound) that was totally dwarfed by the incredibly commercial, heavy, and artificial-tasting bun. For the beef, it had a coarse, nearly grit-like consistency, dryish, and of modest flavor. I don't really think it matters so much if the meat is ground in-house as much as what the level of beef is. This was not very impressive flavorwise, and there was no noticeable char. The "special seasoning" seemed to consist primarily of pepper. The plankish fries were of the some-hot-and-some-cold type, and completely flaccid. Perhaps inescapably, the housemade condiments were somewhat odd. The mustard came across as spicy and sweet, and needed salt, IMO, and the ketchup seemed to be little more than some processed tomato. The mayo was a slightly eggy and thickened cream sauce. This burger is unconsiderable, really, due to it being overrun by a monstrous bun...if it was served as a smaller burger than normal due to half-price day, then that says that they are not really culinarily faithful or committed, because no burger of that size should have been served with that kind of roll. I wouldn't even recommend this burger at the half-price amount, considering the Kickin' Chicken burger is bigger, tastier, and comes with a ton of chips, for a slightly less cost.

                                                          1. OAK STEAKHOUSE: $17 plus $1 extra for cheese

                                                            Rating: 2

                                                            They call it the 17 burger for its price and its supposed weight (17 ounces), which is a complete baldfaced fib. There is no way in hell this burger weighed more than a pound. Additionally, it was ordered slightly pink and came out totally and utterly red. A complete lack of any kind of seasoning, it tasted like basic, raw meat and not even of a very high quality type. The bun was completely cheap and a non-issue. It came with, IMO, way overcooked and much too salty housemade potato chips, but this was not stated on the menu, so I got what they called hash browns but were actually home fries. They could have been on any typical breakfast buffet and cost $7.50 (they also said it was enough for two or three people, but it was good for two *at the very most*.) The ambiance is very nice, with soft lighting and beautiful decorations and extremely comfortable seating, and the service seems very good. But the food was a total waste of funds.

                                                            1. Wow, thirty-some responses to a burger thread and only one mention of Johnny's? Seriously folks, it really is the best burger in town. I know they're only open from 11-4 on weekdays, but trust me, it's worth the effort.

                                                              1. MELVIN'S BBQ AND RIBS: $4.25 w/o fries
                                                                Rating: between 4 and 5

                                                                This had a decent bun and ample toppings (including nice purple onion), but the meat was frozen, it isn't fresh. That, with a slice of cheap American cheese and a rather too-large bun made this a not very impressive burger. Good price, however.

                                                                1. JOHNNY'S OLDE VILLAGE GRILL AND SPIRITS: $5.75 w/o fries
                                                                  Rating: 6

                                                                  A nice crust on the fresh and hand rolled meat along with a good amount of cheese, ample toppings, and an incredibly soft roll make for a burger that's quite OK. Somewhat small for the price and the bun, it is nonetheless a decent product. Kitchen and restaurant, also, were rather tidy. Open only from 10-4.

                                                                  1. OAK STEAKHOUSE (redo): $17
                                                                    Rating: 3

                                                                    Oak Steakhouse invited me back to try their "new and improved" burger, and it was not much better...it was a whole lot bigger (large), but very salty and with an excessive crust...it came with toppings on the side, including nice caramelized onions and basil aioli, but as far as the burger goes, it was much too salty. Came with housemade potato chips that I found overly cooked and overly salty.

                                                                    1. HIGH COTTON: $10 ($8 M-F from 4-7)
                                                                      Rating: 3

                                                                      This was very sad, as High Cotton appears to be a quality restaurant, but this was not a very good hanburger. It was very small, I think less than 1/3 of a pound, and it was on a wilted and very cheap bun. It was also much over-cooked, with a highly pronounced crust, and didn't have a lot of flavor. The hand cut shoestring fries were ample but limp. Came with chilled vessels of condiments and a pickle spear, but not impressive. I also don't like how much they upsell at High Cotton.

                                                                      -----
                                                                      High Cotton Maverick Bar & Grill
                                                                      199 East Bay St., Charleston, SC 29401

                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: observor

                                                                        I've enjoyed your posts over the past few months, even the ones that weren't so complimentary towards some of my favorite places. However I have to wonder, what's your idea of a perfect burger?

                                                                        1. re: lizzy

                                                                          The best burger I have ever had was at Taylor's Automatic Refresher in St. Helena, CA (Napa Valley). The beef was so fresh you could taste it almost like a breeze, overwhelming (from Niman Ranch). It was big, moist, perfectly formed, minorly seasoned with a solid bun that was the right size for the meat and an ample amount of cheese. At $6.99 w/o fries it wasn't expensive for the quality, especially considering I shelled out $18 ($25.50 with home fries!) for a burger at Oak Steakhouse that was terrible. The Hall's Chophouse burger I had here was incredibly good flavorwise, but it was very small and the toppings were extremely scant. Overall, most of the 19 burgers I have had here have not been very good, but, of course, I haven't been able to go to all the fine restaurants. I thought High Cotton's might be good, but I was wrong. (I was shocked to learn the Rooftop Bar doesn't even sell a hamburger!) The best I had were Hall's, Carolina's, and Kickin' Chicken IMO (with AC's on the perimeter).

                                                                          EDIT: Was near Grindz today but didn't go in. Very interesting menu, burgers are rib eye!

                                                                          1. re: observor

                                                                            I posted this in the other thread, after writing the above:

                                                                            IMO, the perfect burger has to have a good beef-to-bun ratio, with the beef accompanied by, but certainly not dwarfed by, the bread. Meat should be at least 1/2 pound, IMO, more wide than high. Less bread is more, since bread has a heavy texture compared to the relative lightness of the beef. The bread should be somewhat flat so as not to make the burger too high so you can still bite into it, and there should be a slight chew to the bread, and maybe even a small crust, but still soft and pliable so you can tear it with your teeth. Paramount is the pronounced freshness of the beef that should sing on its own, and clearly. It should have a very minor crust and char flavor, be juicy and naturally flavorful, but not so juicy to ruin the bread, and with a cohesive, smooth consistency that is neither dense nor crumbly, slightly pink in the middle, and with toppings that are very fresh and flavorful and a distinct complement, not lost in it, including small but present amounts of thin leaf lettuce, thinly sliced, wide, tomato, onion (prefer yellow, but red is OK in extremely small bit) and avocado, occasionally just a slice or two of crisp bacon (since it is strong-tasting.) I don't think caramelized onions are necessary as they are too mild and sweet and rather stringy. Cheese should be properly proportioned as well, and on the *slightly* gooey end, not lost in the sandwich. I am partial to Cheddar, as I think a slightly sharp or mildly creamy cheese is necessary to make itself stand out. American doesn't seem to really cut it unless there is a hell of a lot of it. Seasoning (salt *and* pepper) should be present but not overwhelming (more pepper than salt) and I am quite open to a little herbage and perhaps a hint of garlic. I am also open to alternative toppings so long as they are complements and not dwarfed by the beef and/or bread, but with good beef, I think less is probably more when it comes to accompaniments. I can probably do without condiments if the beef is good, but poor beef usually can use a slight kick of ketchup and/or mayo (not really a fan of mustard on burger).

                                                                      2. Note to all tourists: Don't come to Charleston for a hamburger.

                                                                        1. TRISTAN: $10 in bar
                                                                          Rating: 7

                                                                          A rich and smooth tasting burger, if too small, that came with tasty, though scant, cheddar cheese, and a large amount of bacon that was too sweet for me. It was nestled in a rather commercial and shellacked bun and had three slices of plum tomatoes and lettuce, but no onion for some reason. A big cone of shoestring French fries came with it that were hot and narrow in cut, with good crispiness and chewiness, if pretty salty, and flavored with, according to them, basil, parsley, and garlic. Also , a big, tasty kosher pickle spear. Overall, a very tasty burger, if it were only 50% or so larger!

                                                                          1. MAGNOLIA'S: $9
                                                                            Rating: 7

                                                                            A sublimely juicy, if oddly bland (including the cheddar cheese) dish, with a delicately chewy, if also bland, kaiser roll, and decorated with very impressive tomato and just-right amounts of purple onion and lettuce. Still on the small side, gosh darn it, and somewhat loose in consistency, but wins big kudos for its juicy characteristics.

                                                                            1. Still interested to look into:

                                                                              Poe's
                                                                              Poogan's Porch
                                                                              Grindz
                                                                              82 Queen
                                                                              Cru Cafe
                                                                              SNOB
                                                                              Muse

                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                              1. re: observor

                                                                                I had a burger at Triangle Char and Bar and was rather impressed - better than the burger I had the week prior at Moes Crosstown. Add them to your list.

                                                                                1. re: MyNextMeal

                                                                                  Did you have the market Moe's or Rutledge? The market Moe's was not impressive, but I wonder if I should try the Rutledge Moe's.

                                                                                  1. re: observor

                                                                                    Moe's Crosstown is better than Downtown. Give Triangle a try. They have reinvented themselves and are now featuring a burger menu with fresh ground local beef.

                                                                                    1. re: tennreb

                                                                                      What local cattle ranch are they getting that beef from?

                                                                                      1. re: JayL

                                                                                        Why not just call the restaurant? (843) 377-1300 Or, check the SC Dept. of Agriculture's website...it lists local beef sources throughout SC, including several in Charleston County:

                                                                                        http://www.certifiedscgrown.com/Certi...

                                                                                        Good luck!

                                                                                2. SNOB: $8.75
                                                                                  Rating: 7

                                                                                  Finally, a good-sized burger that had nicely sharp and substantial cheddar cheese, a decent amount of both salt and pepper, and was wonderfully juicy. But undermining the production was a horribly cheap and useless kaiser roll that was much like air. Unfortunately, this brought down the piece of business, but the burger itself was quite good, quite hefty and tasty.

                                                                                  1. T-Bonz: Peppercorn Burger.

                                                                                    Great peppercorn taste very reminiscent of au poivre. My first, and biggest, problem is the total lack of salt. The burger was extremely mediocre because of the lack of seasoning.

                                                                                    Along with the burger came a side of mushrooms and onions. These were swimming in a pool of oil and also devoid of salt.

                                                                                    The other order at our table was a marinated ribeye. The marinade was decent at best...and again...no salt was added during the cooking process.

                                                                                    With the ribeye came the "seasoned fries". Yes the name on these fries on the menu actually says "seasoned". Again, salt was added at the table to make them palatable.

                                                                                    I will say that the burger and ribeye were both cooked to perfection (medium & med rare respectively).

                                                                                    1. No mention of Matt's Burgers in Summerville? At least, not that i've seen.
                                                                                      Filthy good burgers. The sausage burger is a mix of beef and pork sausage. Chili burger is a normal burger with a giant laddle of chili poured over the entire thing. Chilli Fritos and Cheese. all types of greasy good food.

                                                                                      1. Who remembers the little blue shack that used to be on Market Street downtown between Eastbay and Concord that used to serve the absolute best burger ever. I can't even remember the name of it now. I just looked on Google Street View and it appears to be something called the Tabbuli Grill. I don't know if I'll ever find a burger that I like as much as I liked that one. Anyone remember the name?

                                                                                        -----
                                                                                        Market Street Cafe
                                                                                        17 Lagoon Rd Apt 12, Hilton Head, SC 29928

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: GrillMaster

                                                                                          Do you mean Your House? They moved to Mt Pleasant some years back into a shopping center and I think they have since closed.

                                                                                          -----
                                                                                          Your House Restaurant
                                                                                          5110 Capital Blvd, Raleigh, NC 27616

                                                                                        2. What about the burger at HUSK????????

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: UrDaddy

                                                                                            The burger at Husk is, in my opinion, one of the finest burgers in the entire universe.

                                                                                          2. BEST BURGERS: Sesame in N. Chas, Genes in WA, Osprey in Kiawah, Moes Crosstown

                                                                                            1. We had some great local, grass-fed beef burgers at Triangle Char & Bar over in Avondale/West Ashley. Many different toppings. SO had The A.M. which was a burger topped with a fried egg, bacon and hollandaise. I had The General Lee which was house-made pimento cheese and carmelized onions. We loved the truffled parmesan popcorn too and they have a great beer list. The atmosphere is fun, especially when they open up the bay doors (it used to be a filling station). The service is second to none.

                                                                                              http://www.trianglecharandbar.com/index

                                                                                              -----
                                                                                              Triangle Char & Bar
                                                                                              828 Savannah Hwy, Charleston, SC 29407

                                                                                              1. www.homcharleston.com will be opening soon. Looks very promising on the burger joint radar.

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: sdm614

                                                                                                  Thanks for that! Oh boy, it looks fun.

                                                                                                2. Of all the burgers I had in Charleston, I would say Johnny's and Carolina's were the most impressive.