The Eating Our Words Burger Bracket: The Sweet 16

Categories: Burger Break

Thumbnail image for cbnew.jpg
Illustration by Doug Mac
Now that our four teams of judges have been chosen and the space has been reserved for the Final Four party at Lucky's Pub on April 4, only one thing remains to be revealed: the 16 burger finalists themselves.

The competing burgers you'll see on our bracket below were chosen with no input from our judges, in an attempt to keep them as unbiased as possible. And, as previously stated, each bracket of four burger joints was based on the model designed by A Hamburger Today. Those brackets are:

  • Fast food-style burgers
  • Steakhouse burgers
  • Fancy-pants burgers
  • Pub burgers

Within each bracket are four competing burger joints. Each judging team will be assigned a bracket, with the team selecting two burgers from each bracket to advance to the next round. The advancing burgers will be announced each Monday on Eating Our Words until we have our Final Four burgers.

And that's when you, our readers, are invited to join us on Monday, April 4 at Lucky's to help choose the 2011 Burger Bracket Champion. But which of these 16 will it be?

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Illustration by Monica Fuentes
To view a larger version of the Burger Bracket, click here.



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117 comments
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hamburgler
hamburgler

Houston press- writing articles while high as a kite yet again.

This bracket is not even close to picking the top 16 burgers in Houston.

I guess that's not what you set out to do. Why not throw in McDonalds vs. Wendy's to stir up some controversy.

Fail.

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

Who said it was the top 16? That's not how brackets work. You should stick around to see which burgers advanced this week - then your panties will REALLY get in a twist! ;)

Albert Nurick
Albert Nurick

Some very good choices, and some curious ones.

The obvious omissions are Beaver's, Christian's, and Lankford, all of which are often mentioned when talking about the best burgers in town. Alison Cook's recent rave over the burger at Ninfa's makes me think they belong on the bracket, too.

Lucky's, Roznovsky's, Plonk, and Jonathan's all seem far less deserving than those mentioned above.

And the bracket completely ignored the great burgers being served in the northern Houston area: Hubble & Hudson's, Jasper's, and Mel's.

I guess the bottom line is that it's tough to narrow down the list to sixteen when you're talking burgers in Houston. It'll be interesting to see how the judges rate the burgers.

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

The reason that more OTL burgers weren't selected is simple: Eight of the 16 burgers selected (that's half) are outside the Loop. But not by too much. Why? Because the Final Four burgers have to travel from their restaurant to Lucky's (in downtown) for the Burger Championship. It's not fair to pit burgers that will have a really long travel time (say, The Woodlands to downtown) against those that can get there in 10 to 15 minutes.

Daswankone
Daswankone

Lankford set Houston up as a burger Mecca and it is about 30 blocks from Lucky's.

whaaaat?
whaaaat?

i guess no one else loves bubbas the way i do...

SirRon
SirRon

Shilcutt, the way I read the Hamburger Today categories, they are for the most part defined by the type of burger and not the place that serves it. They blur the lines in a few of their descriptions, but each one (even the steakhouse category) defines the burger by the burger itself.

The selections in the bracket above seem to have forced some burgers into regionals that they may not belong in, many which have already been pointed out by commenters.

That's my only beef. That and at least one of the judging teams selected by CM sucks. :)

ps- 103 comments into this thing and nobody suggested Block 7's burger. I had it and Branch Water's last month and Block's is superior in several ways. I would add my opinion is totally objective and not to be questioned, but you guys probably already know that. Peace out.

Ali
Ali

MAAAAAN, you guys are some angry lil' commenters. You realize this is about burgers, right? B-U-R-G-E-R-S. The decision of which restaurants to include will not affect your health or the health of your family, although it's clearly affecting your sanity.

I mean, burgers are serious bitness in my house, but my god. Y'all are acting like the continuation of the human race is at stake here.

Chill. Eat a burger. Have a beer. Get a grip. It's all in fun.

Scott Angelmaier
Scott Angelmaier

This is probably the best comment burger bracket thread EVER.

Czapata
Czapata

MAN petrol station has got to take top honors. Best burger in Houston by far

Jhangten
Jhangten

WOW!! its so good to see were all not alike and have so many choices for burgers! we all have choices thats why they call it the usa!! and yall have a good night and Kathrine get some rest, ur doing great!

Marc Brubaker
Marc Brubaker

Two cents: Beaver's and Sparkle Burger should be on here. Call me crazy, but I think a round of 32 would work.

H_e_x
H_e_x

Better have a defibrillator on hand for the competition.

Bodl
Bodl

I am also very surprised that Rockwell Tavern was not included, easily one of the best in Houston. Still, a great idea, and I am looking forward to the results, since I have not tried 3 of the 16 on the list (yet!!).

sunny bogden
sunny bogden

oooo next year can there be a sliders cat?

Theo
Theo

Sunny, love you, but nooooooo on sliders.

Slyders Suck
Slyders Suck

Glad that sliders are NOT included. Sliders are pathetic excuses for burgers. Burgers are not meant to be little bity tiny snacks. Who wants to be hungry after eating? Burgers are meant to be complete meals. Anything with less than a 1/3-1/2+ pound of meat on it is not a burger. Sliders are a terrible fad that I hope goes away sooner than later. Death to sliders in all their tiny sissy forms!

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

I was seriously considering it for this year. I wish we'd had room for more than four brackets, but that would have meant a LOT more eating for our judges. Hehehe.

Marc Brubaker
Marc Brubaker

Gotta say, if you did include sliders then Lucky Strike Lanes should be included. As much as I think that place is the opposite of what a bowling alley should be, the sliders are deericious.

Jeff Berlat
Jeff Berlat

Hubcap is not fast. Where is Millers?

Kyle
Kyle

In a miraculous twist of fate, BBB and Roznovsky's destroyed each other in the bracket and were replaced with the Christian's Totem burger with the chicken-fried bacon on top.

/bracketfantasies

Jlake420
Jlake420

Should have let fans vote in the best 16 places. Then it would be FAIR.

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

Fair to whom?

Jlake420
Jlake420

Fair to all the burger joints in Houston. If they are voted on, the most votes gets you in the bracket.

Urumomo
Urumomo

there's nothing fun about burgers ,.,, crazies !

Jlake420
Jlake420

Just want my favorite burger joint on there :( but good luck to bellaire broil burger

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

You do realize that this isn't like a baccalaureate ceremony or something, right? These aren't the SATs of burgers. This is just for fun. ;)

MMF
MMF

This is SO funny...and SO in the spirit of actual BRACKETOLOGY. No one is ever satisfied...mission accomplished! Now let's have some fun!

Alan Stout
Alan Stout

I like what they have laid out here. The format is cool (only alternative might be a Round Robin? Pun very much intended).Roznovskky's v. Bellaire BB will be "one for the ages". Don't dismiss either simply because they are vintage: they know what they're doing.Everyone will have their favorites that have been left out. Christian's has already been pointed out. I would also add Cliff's on Fountainview and Sam's Deli Diner, but the format inherently will leave some places out.

Marc Brubaker
Marc Brubaker

Oh, man. Cliff's. My dad used to take me there, great burger.

Kyle
Kyle

Roznovsky's certainly knows what they are doing: freezing patties and then cooking them. The burgers are as one might expect, rubbery and tasteless. My parents swear it was a hot joint in the 70s, so maybe the burgers have gone downhill over the years.

Emily S
Emily S

I believe not too long ago there was an article published in the paper on Houston's oldest institutions. Prince's Hamburgers was number 4 opening in 1934. Wish they were in this bracket!

Long Time Reader
Long Time Reader

Houston Press, you guys and gals did a great job with this and I'm excited to see how this unfolds. This is a fantastic idea. I know it's tough to do your job on a daily basis and I'm not going to tear this apart like your other readers are doing. I'm going to be happy with this little experiment and watch the drama unfold.

Mike_mcr
Mike_mcr

Beck's Prime should be in the fast food division. Branch Water Tavern should be in the Fancy Pants division.

I also want to know if the same burger ordered at each place, I think it would be an unfair advantage to be served a specialty burger with fried egg, and someone else just get a regular bacon cheeseburger. All orders should be the stardard bacon cheesburger.

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

The judges have all been given their instructions on what to order at each restaurant: a standard burger. That's it. :)

Tom
Tom

What's a "standard burger"? Cheese? No cheese? Mayo, mustard? Both? Ketchup?

Beck's Prime as a steakhouse and Branch Water are as a pub are pretty glaringly inappropriate.

SirRon
SirRon

Damnit Shilcutt. I just scratched another notch in my desk next to "EOW uses 'just for fun' to defend post." Nearby on the desk, I also have etched "EOW tells commenters that work is purposeful and they are proud of it," but there aren't that many notches. Mostly just from NLH's work. ;)

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

Again, the judges have been given very explicit instructions on what to order. And I trust each team's judgement. And - most importantly - this is just for fun. Let's all take a deep breath. :)

Changoleon0113
Changoleon0113

Were these selections made based on advertisement participation? Pretty confused about the selection process.

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

Nope, they were made based on a mixture of inner and outer Loop locations, some old "institutions" and some newcomers, some unlikely candidates and some more obvious choices. Just trying to mix things up.

Changoleon0113
Changoleon0113

That's funny, I just looked at the bottom of the page and noticed an ad for little bitty burger barn and they are in the competiton. Also saw one for the Burger Guys, guess it's just a coincidence.

changoleon0113
changoleon0113

Ahhhh nice comment Katherine, just pointing out the obvious! Isn't this forum designed to post comments? Maybe use these comments and make a better bracket next time, that's all i'm saying.

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

If you look up in the sky, do you also see some black helicopters following you? We sent them, because you figured out our big secret. Watch out!

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