The Chain Burger Joints We Want Here

Categories: Lists
It seems we're getting inundated in these parts with chain burger joints. First came Five Guys, then Elevation Burger, and now Boardwalk says it'll open 50 stores in Florida. So that got us thinking: Which chain burger joints should also be heading to South Florida?

Below is a list of the top burger joints we ought to have.

In-N-Out Burger
Photo by Flicker user adamteale
Quality: There's perhaps no chain more loved by its regulars or more frequently mentioned by chefs and celebrities as a place they go to indulge. It's a simple recipe copied now by many fast-food joints: good buns, good patties, quality toppings. Ordering is simple: hamburger, cheeseburger, or a double-double, which, many will argue, is the nation's best
fast-food burger.
Nearest location: Yuma, Arizona, 2,465 miles
How badly we want it: Five out of five burgers

White Castle
Photo by Flicker user Morton Fox
Quality: The slider-style burgers at this Wichita-based chain have been made famous by stoner movies and stoners themselves. The patties taste almost more sausage-like than ground beef, and the onions have sort of a reconstituted texture. Sure, this doesn't sound like much of an endorsement, but if a White Castle opened in South Florida, you can bet those who grew up with the tiny, greasy burgers would flood the place.
Nearest location: 900 miles, Nashville
How badly we want it: One out of five burgers

Photo by Flicker user gooskimo
Quality: In the commercials, Hardee's likes to drop its big burgers in front of the camera to show just how much stuff you're getting for your four bucks. No squashed bun here. No paper-thin patty. Pickles? Yeah, you'll get quarter-inch slices. The quality is more Applebee's than McDonald's, which, yeah, is still Applebee's. But Hardee's has saved many a road tripper from lesser chain burgers.
Nearest location: 110 miles, Fort Myers
How badly we want it: Two out of five burgers

Photo by Flicker user Taekwonweirdo
Quality: One day long ago, somebody decided to top a burger with bacon and realized they were on to something good. The same must have happened when the folks at Culver's started using butter to griddle its amazingly thin burgers. (CORRECTION: As noted in the comments below, Culver's isn't cooked in butter, but they put the stuff on the buns.)That butter gives the meat a nutty, sweet flavor and a juice that drips down your arm. The patties are so thin -- it's how they eat burgers in the Midwest -- that the edges even get a bit crispy. Yeah, the rest of the burger's ingredients are good too, but did we mention the butter?
Nearest location: Murray, Kentucky, 1,004 miles
How badly we want it: Three out of five burgers

Taylor's Automatic Refresher
Quality: The secret here is that Taylor's is staffed by chefs in training from culinary schools. They assemble burgers so perfect that they seem almost out of place at a fast-food joint. Take the bun: It's brioche-style, cut right in the middle, so that the top and bottom are the same size; it has a chewy exterior to hold the thing together and a soft interior to absorb those great burger juices. It's one component of an amazing burger.
Nearest location: San Francisco, 2,580 miles
How badly we want it: Five out of five burgers

Any we've missed?

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