To almost every dish, there is a season: Cassoulet's for deepest, darkest December, while carnitas is most suitable for summer. But burger season never ends. No matter what the month, someone in Seattle is wondering where to find the city's best beef patty.
Since we've often wondered the same, we've designed the ultimate system to determine the answer. We've sent our intrepid, hard-arteried contributors across the city to size up the 32 burgers which most frequently crop up on superlative burger lists. The evaluators were asked to faithfully document the burgers they encountered, assessing such important criteria as texture, juiciness, flavor and char. Their accounts will begin appearing next Monday in head-to-head fashion: We're counting on you to choose a winner in each match-up.
The tournament will proceed until voters have narrowed the field to four great burgers. Those burgers will be served to a blind tasting panel of Voracious contributors, who will issue the final rankings - and declare which burger is deserving of the "best" title.
A few housekeeping details: To keep the project manageable, we restricted our search to the city proper (Sorry, Zippy's.) And while many burger joints pride themselves on topping quality and creativity, we couldn't figure out how to fairly compare a burger dressed with teriyaki glaze, pepper jack cheese and a grilled pineapple ring to a burger crowned with bacon and black truffle mayonnaise. So we skipped the fancy garnishes, and sampled standard cheeseburgers everywhere we went. If a restaurant's menu didn't list a "classic cheeseburger," we requested a burger with American cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion.
Also, we only tried each burger only once, so it's possible a burger we described as dry and overcooked is usually a portrait of juiciness. Whether you base your vote on our report or your experiences is entirely up to you.