A noble mission that I was invited on for my journalistic abilities, I recently had the absolute pleasure of traveling with Daniel E. Carpenter as we discovered burger joints which boast the best elements of burgers.
We all have a preference in our burgers, whether it’s the type of buns to the amount of salad, everyone has an idea of the perfect burger based on their own preferences. We spent a month eating burgers twice a day to bring you back the good news of who does the best elements in a burger.
Our first stop as Daniel had heard about the amazing buns here from a friend, and we were not disappointed. Bill’s Bar and Burgers boasts beautiful burger buns made of pretzel bread, Dan and I both agreed that it was the first time that biting into a burger and only chomping down on the bun actually felt alright.
In fact the whole burger was pretty damn good, the bacon well cooked, the cheese held the pattie together well; the burger may be a little expensive compared to fast food but in terms of quality it’s incomparable.
“Chuck me in one of these and serve them at my funeral!” Dan scoffed through a mouthful of bun and cheese.
Our second stop had me thinking that Dan had a preference for burger joints with the founder’s name in the title, which immediately reminded me of the success of McDonald’s across the world. On interrogation he quickly responded “It takes a true man to wear his name for all to critique,” citing the fame of his own name and all that had come with it.
Matt’s Bar and Grill do their patties a bit differently, stuffing them with cheese and making that the main feature of the burger. Neither Dan or I missed the rabbit food that usually adorns a burger, and found that the patty itself had been cooked to absolute perfection and the quantity of molten cheese was perfect for the size of the burger.
“I knew it’d be good, I just didn’t realize it’d be that damned good!” Dan loudly proclaimed as we left Matt’s Bar, both of us patting our bellies in a euphoric post-burger trance.
(Bonus tip: Be sure to have plenty of cash on you as Matt’s Bar is a cash-only establishment!)
As an old haunt of Daniel’s, he convinced me we needed to spend a couple days trying all the different toppings they have on their burgers, and I’m deeply happy he did.
The burgers they had were reminiscent of “special” burgers that fast-food joints do, instead using fresh and locally sourced ingredients. The result is an absolute journey into flavortown with each burger, the El Jefe was the perfect Mexican-themed burger, the Hot Rod Deluxe felt like an afternoon BBQ slapped between buns.
“These are portals,” Daniel started, between bites, “they take you back to happy memories with flavors rich in nostalgia.” And I couldn’t agree more, during our time in Savannah eating at the Green Truck Pub we both reminisced about burgers past, burgers that promote bonding must be the best I’d decided.
Finishing near my neck of the woods, the burgers were starting to taste bitter sweet with the thought that this magical quest we were on was coming to an end.
Not only are their patties 100% grass-fed Wagyu beef, but their fries are fluffy and crispy, dancing comfortably on that fine balance that all fries deserve. In fact, Dan and I shared an extra bowl of them after eating our burgers, not because they didn’t serve enough with the burgers, we only wanted to carry on crunching through those golden morsels.
“Daniel E Carpenter believes that the fries don’t make the burger, but good fries do make a burger last longer, which I’ll never complain about”, Dan’s philosophy here felt important, and we discussed how that frame of thought could be applied to many other aspects of life.
We’d been on an epic journey of discovery which had gone beyond the burgers and fries we were eating, and discovered a world of culture and actual variety in American cuisine that most of the world may never see. There are many other great burger places out there, make sure to try them when you can and figure out your favorite element of this classic American dish.