The Meat of the Matter: Dope Burger and BuiltBurger Face Off

"BuiltBurger is another new burger joint in town, operated by another gang of renegade burger-flippers trying to carve a place for themselves by improving on that which should be unimprovable: the classic American cheeseburger. Like a bad teen movie from the '80's, imagine Dope Burger and BuiltBurger as two rival gangs of quarrelsome breakdancers fighting over the same turf of appetite. Both come to the floor wearing their raddest parachute pants and headbands, but only one of them can win the climactic dance-off at the film's conclusion.

The thing that Built does differently than every other burger place around is to bravely mess with that inalterable core of American taste known as the hamburger. In the kitchen at Built, they warp and twist the burger. They add and they take away. The burger here is no longer just a simple puck of meat, but a blank canvas on which can be written any number of stories told in food."

From this week's double-review of Dope Burger (in Belltown) and BuiltBurger (in Pioneer Square)--two new burger joints fighting it out for the hearts and minds of Seattle's cheeseburger fanatics.

Yes, this week brings another epic burger showdown, this one pitting two newcomers to Seattle's scene against one another in a fight for the very definition of what a burger should be.

Is a burger, by definition, ground beef? Must it strictly follow the classical form in order to be great? Or is there room in our minds and bellies for change--for fundamental alterations to one of America's most beloved meat products?

Dope Burger is new and classic: a hamburger stand that caters to the need for a sloppy, topped puck of ground beef and some French fries, sometimes required late at night. BuiltBurger is the opposite: a mail-order operation gone brick-and-mortar, offering burgers which are, in many cases, burgers only in shape and presentation; burgers that are made of chorizo and barbecued pork, of chiles and bacon.

So which one of these newcomers to Seattle's burger battle does the better burger? You'll just have to check back tomorrow, when the review goes live, to find out.

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