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Blog: Burger Wars!!!

My personal quest to find the best burger in Plainfield.

No "Best of..." post has brought as spirited of a reaction as

It has become something of a fierce debate of not only what the best burger is, but also an inane jurisdictional battle, the likes of which have not been seen since Thomas Shorewood encroached on the land of Plainfield D. Ruffleman in 1843 (may not have actually happened).

Eight restaurants competed for the title of Best Burger In Plainfield: , , , , the ever so controversial , and .

I've decided that it's time for someone to put their foot down and put their stamp of approval on the true best burger. And I've decided that as a full-fledged carnivore (as long as my girlfriend who is an, ahem, vegetarian isn't around) I'm the man to take on this challenge.

First, I need some rules.

1) McBride's WILL be a part of it. I'm at least half sure you can hit from McBride's with a paper airplane in a good breeze (distance approximate). I don't actually care if it's technically in Joliet. There have been enough responses by people on Patch stating how good the burger is for it to merit my attention.

2) Red Robin WILL NOT be a part of it. For what it's worth, it's the favorite burger of my father. But it's also a chain restaurant. It wouldn't be fair to the owners of the various restaurants that have built their restaurants from the ground up in Plainfield. (I'm giving Tap House the benefit of the doubt. They have six locations, all in Illinois. I'm not arguing this point any further.)

3) I WON'T eat any burger that claims to be Kobe (looking in your direction, Tap House). Kobe beef is illegal to sell in the United States. The only place where it can be found is Japan, Macau and Hong Kong. What you are eating is actually a Kobe style Wagyu/Angus cut of beef.

4) I will be creating a completely arbitrary point sheet which I will base each burger off of. I'm cool like that.

5) I won't base a burger off its side dishes, but will use the ingredients used in the making of the burgers as a barometer of quality. I don't care how many places try to sway me with waffle fries.

Okay, onto the scoring system in which i'll be basing the burgers:

A) The burger itself (10 points)-The burger has to be cooked properly and of high quality. If the menu says where the beef comes from, then obviously it will be a step ahead of the competition. A simple look at the HopScotch & Vine website says that their meat comes from Market in Plainfield. I shop at Tischler's; I know they have great beef.

B) The bun (10 points)-This is no joke. The bread is often the most overlooked part of a burger. A restaurant serving a pretzel roll is miles ahead of a restaurant slapping their burger on Wonder Bread. I'll also watch for burgers that are getting sloppy and falling apart. That's a sign that the burger has been sitting on the bun for too long before being served to me.

C) Toppings (10 points)-Not just the toppings put on, but how well cooked they are/how fresh and crisp they are. If I get the impression the cheese is stale, then there will be issues. I don't care if it's just a standard cheeseburger, if you are going to do a cheeseburger well, the lettuce, the tomato and the onion all need to be crisp and fresh.

And that's it. 30 point scale. Over the next few weeks, I will be visiting all of the restaurants(and possibly a couple more that didn't make the list, just to keep things interesting) and putting my reviews here for you all to harshly judge me about.

If you guys have any ideas for further ways I can improve the scoring system, let me know. Like I said, scoring is arbitrary so I can change it pretty much whenever.

And now, let the burgers begin!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

British Plainfield September 05, 2012 at 04:50 AM
Brandon - you stated "I'm giving Tap House the benefit of the doubt. They have six locations, all in Illinois." But you don't give Red Robin, Culvers, or BP AM/PM a chance? There is no logic to this statement. It's either a chain or not. Then, you exclude Nabbys and Larry's Diner which are stand alone restaurants just like some of the others. It's hard to say you're going to determine "Plainfield's Best Burger" if you don't include all the restaurants in your research. For example: Larry's Diner offers eight different burger selections, Nabbys offers seven different burgers, Culvers offers ten different burgers, and AM/PM also offers several different burgers with their condiment bar. Do some research. http://larrysdinerplainfield.com/menu.html http://www.nabbyscatering.com/menu.html#burgers http://www.culvers.com/menu-and-nutrition/butterburgers/ http://www.ampm.com/ampm/sectiongenericarticle.do?categoryId=16002905&contentId=7062468 You're also including a restaurant in Joliet, so why isn't Westfield Family Restaurant included. You should reconsider your faulty "Burger Wars" plan before you come to a conclusion of about half of the restaurants in Plainfield that actually serve burgers.
British Plainfield September 05, 2012 at 05:03 AM
Contd, Southern Belles offer six differrent burger selections. http://www.sbpancakes.com/web-data/Components/menu.pdf A good comprehensive list can be located at the Plainfield Area Chamber of Commerce. http://business.plainfieldchamber.com/list/Category/restaurants-ice-cream-pizza-caterers-139.htm Please explain why these restaurants have been not allowed to participate in your "Burger Wars."
Shannon Antinori (Editor) September 05, 2012 at 05:20 AM
I'm pretty sure Brandon clearly states in the blog that, with the exception of chains, he's reviewing restaurants that were nominated by readers as part of our Readers' Choice contest. None of the places you mention were nominated -- and people had well over a month to nominate their picks.
Shannon Antinori (Editor) September 05, 2012 at 05:21 AM
(There's a helpful link within the blog, too, so you can see the Readers' Choice article/votes he's talking about)
British Plainfield September 05, 2012 at 05:36 AM
"Brandon clearly states in the blog that, with the exception of chains, he's reviewing restaurants that were nominated by readers as part of our Readers' Choice contest." Brandon has changed the rules from the Readers' Choice contest by stating "Red Robin WILL NOT be a part of it." Tap House is also a chain with six locations. So one is included and one isn't. It's obvious no rules apply to this. He admits there was a "spirited" discussion about the Patch's contest to which I agree. He has decided to have "burger wars" to determine the best burger which I like. Yet, he's decided to change the rules of the initial contest so it is his own rulebook even to those who were nominated. I'm just stating that he is not being inclusive of all the restaurants. No one was allowed to nominate a restaurant for "burger wars." Even leaving off one restaurant is not fair if its going to be comparable and used with the Patch's contest.
Shannon Antinori (Editor) September 05, 2012 at 05:53 AM
Actually, readers WERE allowed to nominate restaurants. For Readers' Choice. Which is done -- voting ended Aug. 17, and the rules for the contest were already followed. But this is a blog, which means it's Brandon's opinion and he gets to review the RC picks he chooses (and, yes, make his own rules). It's not directly affiliated with Readers' Choice, and it's just for fun. If you want to review every burger from every restaurant in town -- have at it.
Shannon Antinori (Editor) September 05, 2012 at 06:12 AM
I should also note that, regardless of which burger Brandon likes best, it has no impact on Readers' Choice. Voters already made their selection and crowned their winner. Congrats to HopScotch!
Concerned (NL) September 05, 2012 at 06:55 AM
Stay away from Westfield unless you want a stomache ache.
Brandon Andreasen September 05, 2012 at 10:41 AM
Shannon, thanks for backing me, but I can't stress this fact enough: I do not care what British Plainfield thinks. He is talking a big game but hiding behind a fake name. Let him troll if he wants to. He's not worth our time to engage in conversation at this point.
LMS September 05, 2012 at 12:39 PM
Are you telling a blog writer what "was never intended" in the contest that he created? Are you doing this after reading the clearly spelled out contest parameters in the blog, and further explanation in the comment section? Knock it off. This blog is fun to read, and commenters like you make people like Brandon less likely to share their time and talent. Lighten up and enjoy the burger blog.
Rich September 05, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Last time I checked McBrides has a Plainfield address, and also pays taxes to school district 202. I rest my case.
Nicole September 05, 2012 at 12:47 PM
Not again.
Ed Arter September 05, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Who cares??? This is about an independent survey of local Burgers as defined very clearly by Brandon's Rules as posted VERY CLEARLY in article #1--Read the rules and stop the BS about jurisdictional civic boundries.
Jerry September 05, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Then Ron, you should do us all a favor and choose not to read nor comment on this blog any further. Brandon wrote a blog saying he was going to review local burgers. How "local" is defined is completely up to him. He could have included burgers in Naperville, Oswego, Romeoville...anywhere he wanted. IT'S HIS BLOG AND HIS CHOICE. If you don't like the way he is handling it, it's very simple...don't read it. But for God's sake, you're like a broken record. Just let it go already.
Droncz87 September 05, 2012 at 05:38 PM
McBrides DOES have a plainfield Mailing address does it not? "7162 West Caton Farm Road Plainfield, IL 60586"
Jerry September 05, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Well, Brandon, it's probably "another discussion for another day" but be careful to not confuse blogging with journalism. By definition, blogs are not balanced and fair. They are the opinion of the writer from their perspective. Now, you hope that the writer considers and weighs all sides to a story as they formulate their opinion but clearly that's not always the case. I enjoy reading blogs by others that have differing opinions from mine because often I am introduced to a different perspective that I hadn't necessarily considered. The comments on those blogs are a different story, but that's beside the point. My only point to you was, maybe don't be critical of other bloggers who express strong opinions on hot button issues. If you find you don't want to read what they have to say, that little red box with the X on the upper right corner of your screen will solve all your problems. Keep up the good work...I have enjoyed your writing for the most part and look forward to more burger reviews!
Jerry September 05, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Every Patch site I read, and there are several, has a couple characters like British Plainfield and Ron Jidzny. They exist to stir the pot, hijack the comments on articles with unrelated rants, and raise the ire of other readers. You can't reason with them because they don't really care about the arguments they are presenting, they just want a reaction. I kinda feel bad for people like that...they must not be very happy in their own lives and they derive satisfaction from upsetting others and ruining (or trying to ruin) a perfectly harmless blog.
Droncz87 September 05, 2012 at 05:54 PM
But it is just...a burger. Why get all hurt and upset on what side of street the restaurant falls on.
Droncz87 September 05, 2012 at 06:00 PM
But it is a juicy Burger Ron...
Tim September 05, 2012 at 06:10 PM
You are claiming that you can't reason with someone who is presenting you with unquestionable facts that you would prefer to ignore instead? Reason flew out the window when you decided that convenience is more important than truth. Lets be honest about why McBrides is included in the Plainfield Patch... nobody reads the Joliet patch(for good reason), so it isn't as much 'bang for the buck' in advertizing.
Jerry September 05, 2012 at 06:43 PM
The inability to reason is not about the fact of what is located where. The breakdown in ability to reason (in this case) comes from the idea that it really doesn't matter where these places are located. They could be in Rockford, but if Brandon decides that this is his definition of local, then so be it.
Brandon Andreasen September 05, 2012 at 07:19 PM
So i'll just throw this out here: it's my blog. I can write about what I want. If I decide i'm going to call a place in Sandwich local then i'm going to do it. If you want a bad representation of Plainfield, Ron, then maybe you should look in the mirror. Your crybaby attitude towards this is borderline absurd. I can write about any restaurant I want if I deem it to be in the area. That's the perk of me being the writer and setting out my own rules. I've been living in Plainfield for 27 of the 28 years i've been alive. My family moved into Plainfield in the early 50's and has been a constant presence in the town since then. How long have you been in the town, Ron? I'll add more restaurants as I go. The list i've provided isn't concrete, but I can assure you of one thing: I'm going to go and find the worst burger in Plainfield, probably somewhere that British Plainfield recommends, and i'm awarding it the "Ron Jidzny Worst Burger In Plainfield" award.
Ed Arter September 05, 2012 at 07:40 PM
@ Brandon-TOTALLY AGREED!
Jerry September 05, 2012 at 07:44 PM
BRAVO! LOL...I love the Ron Jidzny Worst Burger Award.
Jerry September 05, 2012 at 07:58 PM
LOL Ron, fantastic! Any potential nominees? You've been here a while it sounds like...surely you've had some bad burger experiences?
Brandon Andreasen September 05, 2012 at 08:02 PM
I'm just gonna review the BP AM/PM burger so I can kill two birds with one stone.
Ed Arter September 05, 2012 at 08:31 PM
Is there any truth to what I have heard from a source in Joliet that BP meat (Mad Cow Mahem) is a frozen (Pink Slim) patty shipped in from China (or maybe mixed with their Gulf Kill Shrimp,,, it's just as bit greasy)? Did I hear the FDA approved both for farm animal consumption? Soy content=48%? Their tainted gas reflects their gourmet choices. Sorry- off topic again.
Brandon Andreasen September 05, 2012 at 09:03 PM
I'm not sure, but i've already changed my mind. The Ron Jidzny Worst Burger in Plainfield will undoubtedly be a place I go and review in Gary, Indiana.
RB September 05, 2012 at 09:29 PM
Brandon, I like most of the blog postings here in the patch and can't wait to read about the results of the burger contest. I also want to volunteer 10 bucks towards buying a trophy for the “Ron Jidzny Worst Burger” winner. I can’t wait to see it delivered at the am/pm store to be chosen by British Plainfield. These guys are hilarious, anytime I need a break from work and a good laugh, I read their postings about the importance of the BP gas station and Plainfield x Joliet city limits.
Scott September 05, 2012 at 09:37 PM
Brandon, I'm very sorry that despite your attempt to avoid the Plainfield/Joliet debates when you clearly stated that you knew that McBrides was in Joliet but wanted to include it anyway, there are still people (yes I'm referring to you Ron) who need to steer the conversation away from the real subject. I just wanted to say I enjoy your blog and support what you are doing. British Plainfield, if you want to review the burgers at the AM/PM which give me diarrhea (I do like their cookies) feel free to start your own blog.

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