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Welcome to the Patty Master. Let's talk burgers.

For me, taste is the overriding factor when reviewing a burger. Whilst other factors are important, detracting from an overall burger score due to how displeasurable the venue or price may be seems nonsensical.

These are my methodologies:

Presentation/Style

Imagine standing in Five Guys for the first time. You are glimpsing at the wondrous menu ahead of you with raw excitement. You are in awe at the potential here and make an order. When they hand you that brown bag, you want to rip it apart like the Hulk and slam your head in to the burger. You unwrap it and instead of being met with that perfectly shaped burger so eloquently put together, you are greeted with a sloppy lopsided abomination. Oh, the horror!

There is no denying presentation is important. It is human nature to base opinion on presentation; be it good or bad. However, as that classic saying goes ‘don’t judge a burger by its sloppy lopsided abomination-ness’. This especially applies to dirty burgers, where presentation perhaps is measured on a reverse scale... clue's in the name.

Venue

I have eaten great burgers in some of the most underwhelming locations. I have eaten underwhelming burgers in some of the greatest places. Within ‘Venue’ I also include ‘Service’ on the basis that some places do not require much human exchange to give you what you need. Hell, this works for me; I am not here for a spa treatment, I am here for a burger.

I guess there are limits. Please don't spit in my food... That extra ingredient will get you marked down.

Value

Value is an interesting measurement. I have sat in many burger joints expecting unmatched quality because they only serve luxury beef with your run-of-the-mill 90-day-aged super cow that lived in a Vegas penthouse smoking Cuban cigars whilst being massaged by a Thai hooker before ultimately being slaughtered by a rainbow, only to actually be disappointed by the mediocre taste. Cue the extortionate bill. Do I feel more disappointed because I have paid more? Yes, I do. Will it impact the overall rating of the burger because of this? No. This is not MoneySavingExpert.

Size

Size can often correlate with value, though it absolutely should not. From my experience, the larger the burger, typically the lower the quality. Conversely, I am not a slider kinda guy either, as they are frequently overcooked and underwhelming. For me, burgers feel right when they are... burger size. Whatever that me be. Burgers should not have to conform to the regulations of a ¼ or ½ pound patty on a regular sized bun, but that is the status quo for a reason. It works. Typically I like to avoid rating a burger on size, unless for any reason something is tremendously out of the norm i.e pretentious tiny burger in the middle of a white plate or a whole dead cow lying between some bread.

Taste

This is the one. Taste is derived from quality. In all aspects of the burger, from patty to bun to salad to sauce. Taste is derived from how well a burger is cooked. Taste is derived from how well each element of a burger blends with one another. Taste is derived from flavour (duh!) as it hits your tongue. This is the ultimate driver in deciding the relationship you will have with this creation and that is why I rate (almost) entirely on taste.

Did I Dip?

I am a sauce-fiend. Since childhood I have reached for that handy tomato ketchup to enhance meals. When you dip food, you are seeking additional flavour to compensate for the lack of it. If at any point I have to dip a burger in to a sauce, it has failed its purpose.

Summary

With the above in mind, I use a 1-10 scale for taste and 1-5 scales for the remaining areas. Ultimately, you are on this blog for a reason – because you love burgers, like I do, so forget presentation, venue, value and size and seek anything 8+ on the taste scale.

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