Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Budget Burgers

Fond memories: Burger Chef

Sometimes you just don't feel in the mood for a Big Mac or a Double Whopper... or maybe you're out and about, and all you have is a buck in your pocket and a hankering for something delicious to eat. I don't need to remind you that times are tough; and grabbing lunch for a dollar and change can be a necessity every now and then. What's a burger-lovin' fool to do?

Burger King
: You can't do better than BK's entry-level, fire-grilled option for a buck. Simply adorned with ketchup, mustard and a pickle on a toasted sesame seed bun, BK's hamburger is worth double the price. If only I could swap out that pickle for some onions...

Grade: B+

Burger King Hamburger

Checkers: Seared and seasoned, the Checkerburger ranks as the biggest of the budget bunch. It also checks in as the most expensive (2/$3) but you get a full burger's worth for your buck and a half. Good beef, your choice of toppings (I went with plain) and the convenience of drive-in, cinch runner-up status for the Broken Branch Lane outlet in Manassas.

Grade: B


: Reasonably priced at $1.29; Hardee's entry-level burger runs is far from filling. It makes more sense to upgrade to their 1/4 lb. Little Thick Cheeseburger for $1.20 more. Great bun lifts this score above average.

Grade: C+

McDonald's: Minced onions make all the difference in McD's McDouble, two patties served with all the usual suspects (including American cheese.) The bun is blah, and the 100% beef patties are questionable at best; but where else can you get a double burger for a dollar? The only question that remains, is why anyone would pay the same for McD's regular, single-patty hamburger?

Grade: B- (Value, value, value.)

McDonald's McDouble

: The other fast food giant offers a number of impressive looking choices in its Right Price, Right Size menu; but their Junior Hamburger is flat out gross. Priced at $1.37, my pint size "burger" arrived ice cold (I was given a Junior Bacon Cheeseburger by mistake minutes earlier) slathered in mustard with a single slice of onion, a dab of ketchup and a couple of pickles. The bun came straight out of a bag (put it on the grill baby!) and the mystery meat can best be described as shriveled up and dead.

Grade: F (Awful, awful, awful.)

Wendy's Junior Hamburger