Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Fred's wins ROUND TWO of's Best Burger Contest!

Fred's wins ROUND TWO of's Best Burger Contest!
Body: Battle of the Burgers: Fort Worth, you’re making this hard
BURGER BATTLE: Fred's edges Dutch's in a squeaker, as the field is narrowed to an elite eight.

The five-mile swath of prairie west of downtown Fort Worth should officially be renamed Hamburger Heaven. Fred’s, Kincaid’s, M&O and Tommy’s all grill up burger goodness along West Seventh Street and Camp Bowie Boulevard. Delicious newcomers Dutch’s and Pappas Bros. makes things juicy just a mile or so down the road from there. And now Love Shack is joining the Westside beef brigade, with a new location in the So7 development.

That is a roundabout way of saying that narrowing the field to eight great burgers just in Fort Worth is difficult. Trimming our 32-burger bracket to an Elite Eight is downright excruciating. Every burger that has advanced thus far in’s Battle of the Burgers is a PTPer (Dick Vitale-speak for prime-time player).

But only one glorious slab o’ beef will emerge from our judges’ summerlong search for the best. Could the winner be among this week’s mega-matchups? Grab a napkin and check ’em out:

2. Fred’s vs. 6. Dutch’s

■Winner: Fred’s

Dutch’s is the new kid in town. Fred’s is the grizzled veteran. Both serve magnificent burger creations — juicy half-pounders that reflect their unique and contrasting styles. Their matchup was one for the ages, an instant classic.

The bacon blue cheese burger at Dutch’s is a masterwork. Rich and flavored, the prime beef melds beautifully with the creamy but not overpowering blue cheese. The hunk of bacon is a salty, chewy compliment to the hint of sweetness from the bun. We could find barely anything wrong with this hamburger, except that it was facing off against the genius of Fred’s Diablo Burger. (Cue gunfighter music.)

Like Fred’s itself, the meat in the restaurant’s burgers is unadorned — thick and mmm, mmm good. But the Diablo’s combination of juicy beef, fiery chipotle peppers and cool, perfectly melted Swiss cheese is simply inspired. Add a crunchy pickle and a dab of mustard for some vinegary sharpness, plus a sturdy bun bathed in butter, and the result is a taste explosion, bite after sumptuous bite.

Truthfully, it’s a crime that either of these burger titans has to fall. But the bracket gods have spoken.


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