Game of Burgers: Fast Food Fiefdom, First Round!

Categories: Game of Burgers
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Sorry, ladies and germ: I really wanted to do as thorough a Game of Burgers first-round review as possible, but the news side of my life has occupied the past couple of days. Instead of being completely thoughtful, I'll try to be succinct, and offer my thoughts.

One thing I do want to explain: the overload that will be Round One of Game of Burgers. Each day will have four matchups--that's eight burgers, and we will break them up into multiple pages--no so much for the page hits (although that never hurts), but to quicken page loading times.

Anyhoo: on to my first round: the Fast Food Fiefdom! TK's versus Knowlwood's! The Habit versus Five Guys! In-n-Out versus Fatburger! Carl's Jr. versus Ruby's Diner. Let the battle begin!

Oh, and methodology: I ordered the basic cheeseburger at each location, no tomatoes, with ketchup, mustard, and whatever their sauce is. No fries, and I tried each burger in one matchup in the course of an hour.

TK's and Knowlwood's: come to the arena!

TK's vs. Knowlwood's


TK's is my Number One seed for this bracket, and eating it anew just further confirmed its ranking. It's not just the patty, juicy and a bit charred, or the crunch of the lettuce. It's not just the egg bun, which doesn't lose its structural integrity one bit (unlike its competitors--details to come...) or that mysterious secret sauce they use. It's not even the cute surfer girls they employ. It's the totality of this, the fact that, although they now have multiple locations, there hasn't been a drop in quality at all--something that can't be said about its competitors (details to come...)

Knowlwood's is almost TK's mirror image. It's a small, OC-only chain that still makes a pretty good burger.


The meat in a Knowlwood's burger is fine, but the sesame bun crumbles too easily. Worst of all, however, is the quality of ingredients. Their Thousand Islands dressing taste like it's straight from a vat; the pickles are bland, pathetic. They heavily distract from the rest of the burger, the unceremonious whoopie cushions during a symphony. TK's, meanwhile, is a friggin' Bach-on-the-harpsichord masterpiece.

WINNER: TK's. Knowlwood's: I remember you as being better. Get to that time. Next up: The Habit versus Five Guys!

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