Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.
Americans are the world’s burger experts. If you doubt this for one minute, consider the way they do things at Burger King Japan.
Novelty burger options include a pizza-sized burger that’s almost nine inches and costs $33.
In April, BK Japan offered a deal, where, for $1.37, you could add 15 strips of bacon to your burger, at which point your burger disappears. One customer took things way too far and added 1,050 bacon slices to his Whopper (spoiler alert: He didn’t finish it).
As I was saying. Americans are the burger experts, and our top ones are the best of the best. Here are some of the country’s (and therefore the world’s) most outstanding burgers.
Holeman & Finch Public House - Atlanta, Georgia
To make their double patty cheeseburgers, chef Linton Hopkins uses freshly ground grass-fed chuck and brisket, topped with melty American cheese served on house-baked buns; condiments include house-made ketchup, mustard and pickles. The accompanying fries are destination-worthy as well.
B Spot Burgers – Cleveland area
Symon is expert at meat-on-meat burgers: the Yo! (topped with fried salami, coppa, hot peppers and provolone); Symon Says (topped with bologna, coleslaw, whip sauce and American cheese); and Symon’s personal favorite, the Fat Doug (topped with pastrami, Swiss and coleslaw). Football fans can rejoice that Symon is opening up a B Spot in Browns stadium later this summer.
There used to be a firm no substitutions rule in place; now you can order the burger without the layer of blue cheese topping. But don’t try to sub in another cheese - that’s strictly prohibited.
If you visit their website and click on the Office Supplies tab, you can find F.O. skateboards for sale as well as F.O. Periodic Table Beer T-shirts. “We feel that great beer is an essential element of life,” they explain.
Depending on the location and the cooker, some burgers will be better seared than others, but at their best, a single patty Shack Burger - made with hormone-free beef with melted American cheese spilling over the top of it, plus crisp lettuce, tomato and the all-important Shack Sauce - is a great thing. The newest location in Philadelphia is the only one to feature the new SmokeShack: a cheeseburger topped with Niman Ranch applewood-smoked bacon, chopped cherry peppers and, of course, that Shack Sauce.
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