Over at the popular food website Daily Meal, they’ve crafted a painstaking list of the 101 best hamburgers in the United States. What could be more fun than researching such a list? Oh, right: not having to make such difficult distinctions between great burgers.
Look at the decisions that came into play in Texas alone. The first Lone Star burger clocks in at number nineteen, with the famous Tostada Bean Burger from Chris Madrid’s in San Antonio. That’s a less-trendy choice than some other options (as the comparative line at locations of the Austin/Dallas burger chain Hopdoddy make clear), and it’s followed up by another one off the beaten path: the Perini Ranch Steakhouse’s burger, in the tiny town of Buffalo Gap just outside of Abilene.
Rounding out the list, though, are burgers from more usual suspects, at least on the map: Houston (Becks Prime, Guy’s Meat Market) and Dallas (Motor & Maple, Keller’s Drive-In) each land two burgers apiece on the list, Fort Worth sneaks in with another one (Love Shack), and Austin lands a whopping five.
That’s perhaps to be expected: a New York-based food website is probably going to have a lot of staff who visit Austin for various events throughout the year, so they’d have had the chance to sample the burgers at Hopdoddy, Parkside, P. Terry’s, Hut’s, and Second Bar + Kitchen and consider them for listage. How often a writer for the Daily Meal ends up at the Frisco Burger Inn in El Paso or Mega Chicken in Edinburg, though, is another story.
Here’s the Texas portion of the list, with their overall rankings intact:
#19 Tostada Bean Burger, Chris Madrid’s, San Antonio
#22 Hamburger, Perini Ranch, Buffalo Gap, Texas
#34 Congress Burger, Second Bar + Kitchen, Austin
#54 Bill’s Burger, Becks Prime, Houston
#61 Cheeseburger, Parkside, Austin
#62 Dirty Love Burger, Love Shack, Fort Worth, Texas
#66 Cheeseburger, Motor & Maple, Dallas
#74 Hut’s Favorite, Hut’s Hamburgers, Austin
#77 Double with Cheese, P.Terry’s, Austin
#88 The Classic Burger, Hopdoddy Burger Bar, Austin
#93 Smoked Burger with Barbecue Sauce, Guy’s Meat Market, Houston
#101 No. 5 Double Meat “Special”, Keller’s Drive-In, Dallas
There’s no doubt that every one of the burgers on that list would make the person ordering it happy, but the list is also stacked toward Austin in ways that ignore not only many of the better sandwiches in other prominent travel destinations like Houston and Dallas but also certainly the many delectable burgers in various other parts of the state that may not have a major or well-trafficked airport. (Austinites who look for a list-within-a-list-within-a-list, meanwhile, might dispute the findings for other reasons: Are Second Bar + Kitchen, Parkside, Hut’s, P. Terry’s, and Hopdoddy really the site of the best burgers in the capitol? What about Counter Cafe, home to the number two burger on Texas Monthly’s best burger list from 2009?)
Ultimately, lists like this are definitely about who they forget as much as they are who gets ranked.