What is it about food and football that go so well together? A few weeks ago I read an article in the Seattle Times about Dick's Drive In winning an award for "Most Life changing burger", which reminded me of our almost yearly debate over which burger joint is the best. First, I have to say that no burger is "life changing", you must realize that this coming from a guy who LOVES food. I like to tell my copilots that, "I love food, and the older I get, the more it loves me!" That being said, which burger joint is your favorite?
As a pilot, I have the joy of traveling on a regular basis and get the opportunity to eat at restaurants that aren't available in the great Pacific Northwest. Every trip I get to California, the first question we ask upon landing is, "Where is the nearest In N Out Burger". It's a great little bonus to traveling, but my wife doesn't seem to appreciate me eating there so often . . . . . . . .without her!
When it comes to football, I consider myself a highly educated fan. When it comes to food, I consider myself an expert. A little background to support my claim, while attending flight school I spent almost four years working in the food and beverage industry. One of the Chef's I worked with was a pilot, which created a great working relationship. After a year of his tutelage, he moved on to another job and ended up hiring me as a banquet cook at the top hotel in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Recently Dick's Drive In has opened a new location in Edmonds, which is much closer to where I live and has given me ample opportunities to sample their cuisine. Now that I've had the opportunity to eat at Dick's, In N Out and Five Guys on a somewhat frequent basis, I feel the need to reopen the argument and give my take on the best burger joint on the west coast. I wanted to add Fatburger to the list, but I've only had one opportunity to eat there and can't seem to find them during my travels.
Dick's Drive In:
Price - A: Eat all you want and you still won't break $10.
Burgers - B: They taste quite good, but the are small in comparison to the competition and come across as a cheap burger.
Fries - D: I'm not a fan of their fries, they often seem soggy or limp.
Milkshakes - A: They taste great and you can't go wrong with a good milkshake!
Extra Credit: Speedy service, the only wait is going to be if there is a line.
In N Out Burger:
Price - A: Very similar to Dick's, you can't beat a Double, Double combo for just under $7.
Burgers - A: They taste great and are a very good size, you really can't expect better, especially for the price.
Fries: - B: Their fries are quite good, always fresh, always crisp and hot.
Milkshakes - A: Again, you can't go wrong with a good milkshake.
Demerits: None located in the state of Washington
Price - C: Probably the biggest issue I have with Five Guys. I love the food, but it get's pricey in a hurry, good luck spending $10 or less.
Burgers - A: They taste great and are a very good size burger. What really sets them apart is the ability to add whatever combination of toppings your heart desires.
Fries - A: Their regular fries are very good, but the Cajun style fries are INCREDIBLE. They are a bit pricey, but one order is enough for multiple people.
Milkshakes - NA.
Extra Credit: Variety. You have many more selections of burgers, hot dogs and even two choices of fries.
Price - B: It's good qualtiy and a reasonable price, but still more spendy than Dick's and In N Out.
Burgers - A: They taste great, very good size, just a very good all around burger.
Fries - B: Very good fries, but I normally opt for their onion rings.
Milkshakes - A: Great shakes and more options than the others. Can you say Chocolate Banana Milkshake!!
Extra Credit: Far more options, salads, chicken burgers and the chicken strips are a hit with the kids!
My favorite, without a doubt, is In N Out burger. My only complaint is the lack of a presence in Washington, it's probably better for my waistline, but I'd rather not have to fly to California or Arizona for one of their burgers! My second favorite is Burgermaster, they don't get nearly the attention of others, but they are a favorite in my family. They have a great combination of quality, reasonable price and far more options. I'm actually torn between Dick's and Five Guys for my third favorite burger joint. Dick's is a classic with a great product for the price. Five Guys has far better quality and variety, but you better believe you are paying for it. The real question for third place, do you want high quality at a high price, or do you want a good burger at a really good price?
Let's hear it! Which is your favorite and why?