The Hamburger Hunt

Brinson Mullis, Sports Editor

If there’s one thing that I have learned from my 17 years on this Earth, it is that everyone loves burgers. Meaty, juicy, and tasty as grandma’s plum pudding, we just can not get enough of those little beef boys. However, there is one question that seems to plague humanity; where to go for the best burger?

I decided that enough was enough; I was going to solve this problem once and for all. I would do whatever it took to find the very best burger of all time. Well, in Lexington, VA, anyway.

As soon as I undertook this quest I knew there were only three restaurants that were worthy contenders. You see, in my mind, to be a truly great burger, you need to have that “wow factor.” That special something that takes your burger from good to great. Some sort of surprise ingredient or special sauce to elevate your patty.

When it came down to that “wow factor,” I knew there were only two options; the Wild Bill Burger from Macado’s, and the Bacon Royale Burger from The Palms.

I decided to start this adventure with the most exotic burger on my list, the Wild Bill Burger. Named for its bold flavors and Western influences, the Wild Bill Burger is topped with all the standards: cheddar cheese, bacon, lettuce, and tomato. The burger then takes a sharp turn towards the South with a hearty spread of barbecue sauce and a surprise twist, onion rings.

That’s right a classic beer battered onion ring sits right on top of the beef disc. The crunchy batter and sweet taste of the onion elevate this cowboy burger to an all new height. It met every bit of my criteria; flavor, texture, juiciness, and “wow factor.”

However this burger did not come without a drawback. The first thing I noticed about the sandwich was that the bun, if it could even be called that, was wetter than the Atlantic ocean. I could hardly hold the bread without it dripping into a puddle on my plate. I never knew that a hamburger bun could be so excessively moist.

Besides the liquid bun, the Wild Bill Burger exceeded my expectations. Eating it brought me extreme pleasure. Pleasure that most of you will never experience. I knew after eating it that it would be difficult to top it, but I had no idea what was coming next.

My next stop took me to the popular downtown pub, The Palms. There I would find myself seated in a booth, surrounded by friends, face to face with the Bacon Royale Burger.

It was a true masterpiece. A thick burger topped with smoked cheddar, lettuce and tomato, as well as a few special porky surprises. The Bacon Royale Burger got its name from the hearty strips of maple pepper bacon and the bacon aioli that topped it. All of these premium ingredients were sandwiched between a  fluffy, golden brown, brioche bun. Unlike its Macado’s counterpart, this bun remained in the solid state and held my meat perfectly.

As I sunk my teeth into the beefy behemoth, pure bliss surged through my body. I closed my eyes, sat back, and moaned. A deep, guttural moan that can only be generated by an pure, unadulterated ecstasy. As I sat in the booth, the impossibly perfect burger caused me to lose all control of my body and I found myself unable to say anything besides, “More beef.”

I left the restaurant, feeling ashamed of myself, but also feeling incredibly satisfied.

The decision I faced was a difficult one, but I had reached a verdict. I knew in my heart which burger was best. With its gorgeously brown bun and symphony of bacon, the Bacon Royale Burger came out on top.