I love cheeseburgers. A good cheeseburger is a meal unto itself. I like them to have thick meat and thin buns, and I don’t like a lot of veggies piled up. The meat needs to be juicy without being greasy or dripping. It needs to be medium well, and it needs to have a nice crust from being grilled. You don’t usually get a good cheeseburger from one of the flat stainless steel cooking surfaces (I think they have to be turned up pretty high). I like a bit of mayo or mustard on my burgers; ketchup just does not cut it (which attitude drives my son nuts, since ketchup is what makes his life worth living sometimes… 🙂 ). I like some dill pickles every once in a while. Lettuce is good, too. I like the shredded type best. I half pounder is best. The beef you use also has a lot to do with it.
The Sonic chain used to have very good burgers, but over the past three or so years, the quality has dropped off. As an example, the location that used to be at Kelley and 63rd in OKC used to make outstanding burgers. The location moved to MLK just south of the big theater there, but the quality of the burgers dropped significantly, to the point I will not eat there any more.
Braums used to have uniformly very good burgers, but many locations are not very good any more. There is one on 71st and Elm in Broken Arrow that is outstanding. The 63rd and Bryant location in OKC is also very good, as is the location at May and 61st.
The Ron’s chainlet in OKC is also excellent.
I do not usually consider the big chains. I won’t usually eat at a McDonalds anymore except when I need a quick breakfast. There are some decent ones. The over-I-44 location near Vinita, OK is excellent. BK is terrible uniformly. The Five Guys chainlet is excellent.
All that being said, I have heard that In-N-Out is simply the best burgers around. My very cute but not fully cheeseburger appreciating roommate says that we ate at an In-N-Out sometime in the past couple years, but I can’t remember where. So this evening, I decided that since I was not terribly hungry, I would try one. I chose the location at I-5 and Damon Avenue in Pacific Beach, CA (a suburb of San Diego) simply because it was the closest location to my hotel in La Jolla.
I got there around 1820, and the place was hopping! There were lots of people going through the drive-through, and standing in the parking lot, and sitting at the tables outside. The inside was about 70% full. I ordered a Double-Double (double meat and double cheese, reported on the web to be four ounces, or a quarter-pound). The burger came with “spread”, which was a variety of Thousand Island dressing. I was asked if I wanted onions, I said no, but there were also tomatoes, pickles, and a leaf of lettuce.
The burger and bun and veggies were pretty darn good. The meat had a good crust, and was very juicy without being greasy. It seemed small, if it was a quarter pound, it must have cooked down a LOT.
The fries were good, crispy and light. The tea was fresh brewed, but tasted a bit funny. I don’t know what brand of iced tea they brew from, but it had an odd taste. There is also a self-serve soda.
I left around 1910. My check was $6.69. The burger? It was pretty darn good. I would choose it over any of the other burger chains like BK, or even Sonic. It was pretty darn close to Five Guys, and pretty darn close to Ron’s. The price was pretty good, too.
I’m looking forward to my next one!