Alan Richman is a well-traveled food writer and essayist. He estimates he traveled 23,750 miles and consumed more than 150,000 calories while taking the measure of 162 burgers across the country so he could come up with a list for GQ magazine of the 20 best burgers in America.
Of course, such lists are great for conversation starters but they're fraught with fraught. In a nation of 230 million people, it's likely there will be at least 220 million different lists. I discount 10 million people right off the bat to account for vegetarians,, infants and ne'er-do-wells. Plus, Richman often stirs a lot of criticism, most recently for his comments about New Orleans cuisine.
Nevertheless, Richman is an amusing guy who doesn't stint on his research. So, here's his list. You may want to print it out to keep on hand during your travels:
(1.) Sirloin Burger, Le Tub, Hollywood, FL.
(2.) Luger Burger, Peter Luger Steak House, Brooklyn, NY.
(3.) Not Just a Burger, Spiced Pear Restaurant at the Chanler Hotel, Newport, RI.
(4.) Rouge Burger, Rouge, Philadelphia, PA.
(5.) Kobe Sliders, Barclay Prime, Philadelphia, PA.
(6.) California Burger, Houston's, Santa Monica, CA.
(7.) Buckhorn Burger, Buckhorn, San Antonio, NM.
(8.) Hamburger, Miller's Bar, Dearborn, MI.
(9.) Cheeseburger, Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien Hotel, New York, NY.
(10.) Number Five, Keller's Drive-in, Dallas, TX.
(11.) Grilled Bistro Burger, Bistro Don Giovanni, Napa, CA.
(12.) Hamburger, Bobcat Bite, Sante Fe, NM.
(13.) Cheeseburger, White Manna, Hackensack, NJ.
(14.) Hamburger, J.G. Melon, New York, NY.
(15.) Build Your Own Burger, The Counter, Santa Monica, CA.
(16.) Hamburger & Fries, Burger Joint, San Francisco, CA.
(17.) Double Bacon Deluxe with Cheese, Red Mill Burgers, Seattle, WA.
(18.) Hamburger, Poag Mahone's Carvery and Ale House, Chicago, IL.
(19.) Our Famous Burger, Sidetrack Bar & Grill, Ypsilanti, MI.
(20.) Hamburger Sandwich, Louis' Lunch, New Haven, CT.
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