In September Howells and Hood hosted a burger battle attended by 10 restaurants who hoped that that their burger would take home the meaty prize of being named Chicago’s best burger. I’m proud to say that before voting, I tried at least one bite of every burger at the battle. I was expecting sliders from most locations, but most burgers presented were at least a full four ounces of pure ground goodness.
As I attempted to taste test my way through the patio I asked myself, “is a good burger just the sum of its condiments, or does it go deeper than that…into the very patty itself?” Some people are burger-purists wanting just a simple well-made and juicy patty while others would prefer their burger be topped with several different aiolis, cheeses, and condiments. What I found while battling my way through 10 burgers was that my favorites were the ones with the best patty itself. A bad burger can’t be masked by even something as good as fried jalapeños or bacon jam. If the burger itself is rubbery or over-cooked it doesn’t matter what’s on top.
View the gallery below (and pardon the sloppy photos) of all the burgers that I tried.