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The Budapest Burgerwar is On!

burgerwar.jpgHere at Chew.hu we’ve never been particular comfortable with the idea of “best of” restaurant contests. As we’ve discovered time and time again with our own “Top 33″ list of Budapest restaurants, ranking or grading restaurants is a very subjective business. This is especially true in Hungary, where the consistency of restaurant food and service is so uneven that an eatery can legitimately be judged excellent one day – or hour – and awful the next. Still, there are a few important areas in which a more methodical approach is called for, especially when readers start calling for it. Hamburgers are one.

For the last several weeks, a thread in the readers’ forums on our sister site Caboodle.hu has been devoted to the question of who serves the best burger in Budapest. So with the help of some of these readers, we’ve put together a list of Budapest restaurants that are alleged to serve excellent or at least passable versions of the American classic. And for the next several weeks, or however long it takes, we’re going to eat and rate each of these burgers, with the aim of determining what at least we believe is the best burger in Budapest.

Without forgetting that the beauty of any particular burger is in the mouth of the individual scarfing it down, we will nevertheless be rating the various nominees using a carefully-constructed rating scale, with a maximum of 10/10 points each for meat, bun and trimmings (e.g. fries). Further points will come from service/setting and, given what seems to be a vast difference in prices between some of the burgers, affordability. Finally, note that if a restaurant has a “signature” burger – that is, a burger named for the house, or otherwise held up as an exemplar of burger perfection – we’ll rate that one. While this may result in overstuffed “Frankenburgers” being set against more plain or even homely hamburgers and cheeseburgers, again, we are going into this knowing that, when judging a dozen burgers, you’re always comparing apples and oranges. So wish us luck and, if you can think of a place that serves a burger fine and beefy enough to be enlisted in the first-ever Budapest Burgerwar™, let us know via the above-linked comment thread. Until then, may the best burger win.

How They Stack Up:
(As of August 1, 2008)

Nothin’ but the Blues (“Cheeseburger”) 8.6/10
Clock Café (Mexicanos Toro Hamburger”) 8.4/10
Éhes Samurai (“Samurai Burger”) 8.4/10
Lazza Pizza Guru (“Big Burger”) 8.25/10
Cha-Cha Bodega (“Hamburger”) 8.2/10
Gresham Kávéház (“Gresham Beef Burger”) 8.2/10
Gerbeaud Sörház (“Pub Burger”) 7.8/10
Goa Café and Restaurant (“Brie Shitake Burger”) 7.8/10
Café Farger (“Brutál Burger”) 7.2/10
Cara Mia (“Hamburger”) 7.2/10
Champs Sports Pub (“Champs Beefburger”) 7.0/10
Jeff’s Burger Stand (“Jeff’s Sajtburger”) 6.8/10
Kaledonia Pub (“Edinburger”) 6.8/10
Norbi Update Gyorsétterem (“Double Cheeseburger”) 6.8/10
Balettcipő (“Deluxe Burger”) 6.6/10
Sunny Corner Diner (“Sunny Diner Sajtburger”) 6.6/10
Vista Kávéház és Étterem (“Vista Burger”) 6.6/10
Pár Perc Krumpli (“Pár Perc Cheeseburger”) 6.4/10
Taco Express (“Taco Express Cheeseburger”) 6.25/10
Grund Büfé (“Hamburger”) 6.2/10
Hotel Intercontinental (“Corso Burger”) 6.2/10
Claro Bistro (“The Claro Texas Burger”) 6.0/10
Friday’s (“World Famous Friday’s™ Burger”) 6.0/10
Menza (“Menza Burger”) 6.0/10
Beer Cellar/Beef Club (“Sörös Hamburger”) 5.8/10
Hotel Kempinski (“Beef Burger”) 5.6/10
Iguana (“La Hamburgeresa”) 5.6/10
Wikinger (“Gasztronómiai Orgazmus,” “Full-Burger”) 5.4/10
Pampas Argentine Steakhouse (“Classic American Burger”) 4.6/10
Net-Burger (“Mammoth Burger”) 3.0/10
Longford Irish Pub (“Steakburger”) 1.8/10

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