2013 Burger Bracket: The Sweet 16

Categories: Burger Break

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Illustration by Monica Fuentes
Let the March madness begin: Our Sweet 16 semifinalists have been chosen for the 2013 Burger Bracket, which will narrow down 16 of the best burgers in Houston to a Final Four round over the next month.

Those Final Four will bring their A-game to the final Burger Bracket match-up on Saturday, April 6 at The Refinery, which is when we'll turn to you -- our readers -- to tell us which of the four is your favorite, and the ultimate winner of the 2013 Burger Bracket. The Final Four round of the Burger Bracket just happens to coincide with the Final Four games in this year's NCAA tournament, which The Refinery will be showing all day long. Doors open at 11 a.m. on April 6 and sampling of all the burgers begins at 12:30 p.m. sharp.

A panel of 16 judges across four teams will each be assigned one of four brackets to judge. The two best burgers from each bracket -- Wild Game, Pub-Style, Classic Roadside and Readers' Choice -- will advance to the Elite Eight round, announced on March 20. From there, the panel of judges will venture back out to judge a brand new bracket and choose a best burger from each one. The top burger from each of the Elite Eight will make it to our Final Four.

In the meantime, let the debate begin: Did your favorite burger make it into the bracket? Which team burger joint got robbed? And which do you think will be crowned champion this year?



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Location Info

The Refinery Burgers & Whiskey

702 W. Dallas St., Houston, TX

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24 comments
FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard topcommenter

And is Rainbow Lodge now serving burgers regularly?  Last I heard, they only made 10 burgers every Friday.

SirRon
SirRon

Were the judges announced? Who do we rail at for advancing the wrong burger?

Nellie
Nellie

Very cool Rainbow Lodge made the cut!! 

I've been wanting to try their Wild Game burgers on Fridays. Glad you went beyond the usual suspects that HTownChowDown lists while stifling a big yawn.

HTownChowDown
HTownChowDown

Where are The Burger Guys? Hubcap Grill? Bernie's Burger Bus? Hubbell & Hudson? Beck's Prime? Zelko? Wicked Whisk?

I love you guys, but this burger bracket is strictly minor league.


DylanO
DylanO

No Lankford? And if you think Hay Merchant is a 'pub' you must also think Max's really is a 'dive.'

chashollis
chashollis

Where is The Burger Palace?

The Burger Palace has the Best burger in Houston with BRC in second. The Burger Palace didn't even make it Why? 

PS Here is my burger blog http://chasburger.blogspot.com/

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editor

@SirRon The judges have been notified. You may rail at them in person at the Final Four.  :)

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editor

@HTownChowDown I'm not sure where any of those places would fit into the brackets above, save the Readers' Choice bracket - and the restaurants that are in that bracket were voted on by our readers. All of the spots you list received votes, but not as many as Christian's, Stanton's or LBBB. The Refinery, our host, was also granted a spot since it's graciously allowing other restaurants to come out, use its kitchen and serve their burgers at The Refinery on the day of the Final Four.

Also, as with Jonathan's the Rub - the 2011 winner - Bernie's Burger Bus won the 2012 Burger Bracket and is retired until our 5th annual Burger Bracket in 2015. That's when we plan to have a bracket with all the past champions pitted against one other, Thunderdome-style.

J.A.Justice
J.A.Justice

@chashollis You got to vote for readers choice.  I didn't see any votes for Burger Palace.

DylanO
DylanO

Just seems a little high end for a pub. Not dingy enough I guess.

ArtsCousin
ArtsCousin

@FattyFatBastard

Thanks for the additional information.

As you can imagine, the family had closed the store the first week Art was in the hospital to be there at the hospital for him, and to come to grips with the situation.  They opened back up last week with some additional help from family and friends.  

They also changed their weekly schedule to be open on Sundays and closed on Mondays, starting this Sunday.  Now with their increased seating capacity, that should help with business because there are probably a lot of people who have heard about the burgers but don't work or live nearby so having another leisurely weekend day to try to get there should help a lot. 

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard topcommenter

@ArtsCousin As I stated, I was misinformed.  I heard about this on a website that was saying that Stanton's had shut down, or was planning on it. 

ArtsCousin
ArtsCousin

@FattyFatBastard

Art's cousin, here.  I see that you followed up and said that you didn't mean any disrespect with your original comment, but don't you think you could have worded it more appropriately to begin with, as in:

"I heard the owner passed away.  Do you think his family would still want to participate?"

...instead of  "It might make sense to switch out Hubbell for Stanton's.  I heard the owner passed away today."


When I first read your original post, I had to read it 3 times to see if I was misreading it.  It really came across as if you were the owner of Hubbell's trying to elbow into the competition, now that the owner of one of the Sweet 16 spots had passed away.  Very distasteful, to say the least.   I see that was not the intent, but still...


And as for J.A.Justice's volunteered recommendation of removing Stanton's from the competition "as a condolence," I am glad that Katharine Shilcutt of the Houston Press has said that Stanton's will remain in the competition.  She is right - Art (and his family and legion of friends) would want it that way.

We're not looking for a sympathy vote - Stanton burgers can stand on their own.  

It will be a fitting tribute that, in this time of sadness and loss for everyone who had the pleasure and privilege to have met Art, that there will be some well-earned public recognition for what he had poured his heart and soul into these many years.


Beyond the mouth-watering fabulous burgers, I think Art's enduring legacy, as can be seen and read about in postings and comments on Facebook and elsewhere, is this simple fact about Stanton's -

"Strangers might enter the first time as Customers, but they always left as Friends."


Rest in Peace, Arthur.

vinnybalsamo
vinnybalsamo

@FattyFatBastard @kshilcutt @HTownChowDown @laurenafernandez Stanton's has been open for the past 51 years and we plan to be open for another 51. We are a family business and even though Art passed my family will always continue to do what we love, make amazing burgers for the city we love. Thank you for the condolences. This is for you Art.

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard topcommenter

@J.A.Justice Not meaning any disrespect, just wasn't sure what their plans were in that regard.  It wouldn't be the first time I've seen a family-run business shut down after the proprietor passes away.

J.A.Justice
J.A.Justice

@FattyFatBastard @kshilcutt @HTownChowDown Sorry for your loss. As condolence, we are going to remove you from this event that your loyal fans voted you into.  Makes sense.  :/

J.A.Justice
J.A.Justice

@DylanO Pub-Style Burger.  The place's decor/style has no bearing on it.  Rockwells isn't a pub either.

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