Are you ready for a throwdown?

20 10 2010

It all started a little something like this.  “Mmmmm, burger at (insert my favorite burger joint here)  last night, they are the best” on an innocent little Facebook entry.  Quickly a reply came from cousin Mo a little something like this “oh no they are not, (insert Moreen’s favorite burger joint here)’s are the best”.  Followed by the smack talk that only a subject like this can draw out of our inner 6 year olds.  The result was nothing short of a Bobby Flay show gone wrong.

You know Bobby Flay right?  Food Network TV host of many shows including Throwdown with Bobby Flay where Bobby challenges other chefs considered the best at what they do to a cook off, a throw down.  Well our throw down became known as….Burger Quest.

Burger Quest 09/10 as it came to be known started as a challenge for burger superiority between two of our favorite joints.  This quickly spread as did interest into a quest for the best burger in Saginaw County.  A committee was formed(ok so it was Moreen and I, it was our idea you know) and a list was formed.  We decided to make it scientific with set criteria and an official ballot form for each judge to fill out and turn in.  This data was put into a fancy spread sheet and tabulated over time.  We used average percentages vs using gross scores as our group sizes tended to vary by location.

While we didn’t get to every burger joint in Saginaw, time and opportunity did not allow, we did come up with a great list of stops.  These included: 2nd Street Pub Freeland, Bulldog Diner St. Charles, Farmer’s Home Hemlock, Germania Town & Country Club Saginaw, Scottish Inn Saginaw, Spencer’s Saginaw, Tiffany’s Frankenmuth, Timbers Saginaw and the Trackside in Reese.

For judging purposes, categories were picked and we used a 1 to 5 scale with 1 being poor and 5 being great.  The categories were:

  • Meat/Patty
  • Bun/Roll
  • Overall Taste of Burger Bun combo
  • Atmosphere
  • Service
  • Cocktails
  • Overall Value

We felt there is  more to the burger experience than just the meat and bun.  Our Quest started in November and stretched into March.  We averaged two weeks in between gatherings and encouraged make up dates if you couldn’t join the group.  We had a total of 28 different judges and many gatherings where our group exceeded 12, what fun we had.

It was enjoyable to taste all the different interpretations of cheese burgers at these great joints.  I have to say each was unique in its own way and I am very happy to say we didn’t find any bad cheeseburgers, all were delicious.  The patties were unique as were the buns and toppings.  Our atmosphere ranged from small dark pubs to very upbeat clubs and restaurants.  We had great service most of the time but not always and I don’t recall ever hearing a complaint about the cocktails.

Well since the photo might give it away, lets start with the overall winner.  Farmer’s Home Tavern in Hemlock, MI.  Farmer’s was a run away winner in many categories which led to the overall title of  Burger Quest’s Best Burger in Saginaw County .  This just happen’s to be my home burger joint and the inspiration that started it all.  Our runner-up was the Germania Town and Country Club which ironically is cousin Moreen’s home joint and was the original challenger.  Here is how the categories shook out:

  • Best Meat/ Patty           Farmer’s Home
  • Best Bun/Roll                 Farmer’s Home
  • Best Overall Taste         Farmer’s Home
  • Best Atmosphere          Spencer’s Route 46
  • Best Service                     Bulldog Diner
  • Best Cocktails                 Farmer’s Home
  • Best Overall Value        Farmer’s Home

Thanks to all you burger lovers out there.  Thanks also to the joints we visited, as Bobby Flay says, keep doing what you’re doing.  If you are interested in numbers shoot me a note and I will share the fancy spreadsheet with you and you can be amazed at how close this Quest was.  Good eats and good times.

So we are once again embracing the cooler temperatures that come with fall.  What should our next Quest be?  Be careful you never know when Bobby Flay will ask….are you ready for a throw down?




2 responses

20 10 2010

Thanks…now I’m hungry!

20 10 2010
Cousin Moreen

So what about a Friday night Fish Fry Quest? Just a thought.

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