Burger Bracket 2013: The Elite 8

Categories: Burger Break

Illustration by Monica Fuentes
Our teams of judges have spoken. Eight burgers advance into the next round and we say goodbye to eight more, all of which were worthy competitors.

The biggest upset during the Sweet 16 round is likely to be The Refinery edging out Little Bitty Burger Barn in the Readers' Choice bracket -- a newcomer knocking out an old favorite. While the team of judges assigned to the bracket admitted that all four of the burgers were terrific, they said Stanton's City Bites was by far the best, with The Refinery as a close second.

And although the bracket winners aren't determined by side items, the Readers' Choice judges gave a shout-out to them anyway.

"The Refinery definitely gets a mention for its amazing service and fries," judge Ryan Ngo mentioned in his tasting notes. "We tried fries with all of our burgers and The Refinery's waffle and sweet potato fries really stole the show there."

In the Classic Roadside bracket, the judges had a tough time calling it between Cream Burger and Champs.

"Both brought their A game during the lunch rush and a line was at each," reported judge Wesley Jurena. "Both with very fresh, crisp vegetables and obviously cooked while you wait. Similar buns, fresh and soft, both wrapped in white paper and both served in a paper bag by very friendly folks."

Not all teams sent along tasting notes, but the judges assigned to the Wild Game bracket were succinct in their summation of the bracket: Rainbow Lodge and Bubba's Texas Burger Shack blew past the competition.

The judging teams have now been assigned new brackets and we wait with baited breath while they decide which of the Elite 8 will advance to the Final 4. As a reminder, the Final 4 tasting party will feature samples from all four Burger Bracket finalists -- and you, our readers, are the final judges.

The Burger Bracket Final Four will kick off at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 9 at The Refinery. Sampling starts at 12:30 p.m. and the first 150 people in the door will be deciding which of the Final Four is this year's Burger Bracket Champion.

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Location Info

The Refinery Burgers & Whiskey

702 W. Dallas St., Houston, TX

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Adriana Ballarin
Adriana Ballarin

Rainbow lodge makes burgers once at week...SWGG should have won ;( more choices of meat and awesome sauces!

Taylor Byrne Dodge
Taylor Byrne Dodge

The grey font on mustard yellow is hard to read, will you repost with it in a darker color please? :)


i'm very surprised that the hay merchant beat out rockwell's.  rockwell's isn't the same since the original owner left, but it's still better than the completely lackluster burger i had at hay merchant. strange.

Bruce_Are topcommenter

I think you mean bated breath.

I am pleased that there isn't a vegetarian burger category this year. I'm all in favor of vegetarians and stuff, but it is a proven fact that vegetarian hamburgers suck ape. 

kshilcutt moderator editor

@Matthew If it's any consolation, the judges told me they were very surprised too. At least one, it turns out, is a die-hard Rockwell's fan.

kshilcutt moderator editor

@Bruce_Are No, baited like with stink bait! (You're right; correcting now. Thanks!)

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