WATCH: National Hamburger Day taste test

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala (WIAT) — May 28 is known as National Hamburger Day and the CBS 42 team was determined to celebrate. To do so, Digital Reporter Landon Wexler traveled around the Greater Birmingham Area seeking to find the best hamburger in the Magic City.

We used the following criteria to judge the burgers we picked up: affordability, presentation and taste. We kept our budget for each burger between $6 and $8, with the exception of one.

Below are the restaurants Wexler tried, his respective order and thoughts on each burger.

***Results may be different than the video shown above because more time was taken to evaluate the burgers after our CBS 42 Now segment.

#5 Milo’s, Fairfield location: Thick Style Burger – $6.15

  • Milo’s is a Southern classic and staple. Many rave about their sweet tea, secret sauces and burgers. I decided to order the sandwich Thick Style, to get a better perspective on the patty. I placed this burger last because, unlike the other burgers, I didn’t feel like there was much that made it different or better than any other burger. The chain takes great pride in their sauces and their website says the burgers come out “drenched in [their] secret sauce.” The sandwich I got had very little sauce, and the sauce I could taste didn’t add much to the burger itself. I will give credit to the bun, however. It comes out seemingly fresh and has a good flavor to it. The burger was served with lettuce, onions, their secret sauce and a bun.
  • Special note: Customer service at the Fairfield location was great. Though they’re only serving drive-thru customers at this time, the employees at the window were as sweet as their signature tea.
Milo’s Thick Style Burger

#4 Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers, Hoover location: Freddy’s Original Double – $6.01

  • Freddy’s Original Double was a unique burger experience. Rather than a traditional patty, the burger was thinner and crispier, but still offered plenty of meat. When one bites into the sandwich, it may take a moment to appreciate but the meat’s quality is noticeable. I enjoyed the sandwich a lot. The reason it ranked number four is that there was steep competition. Though it was delicious, the other burgers stuck out to me more. The steakburger was served with two steakburger patties, cheese, mustard, onion and pickle on a bun.

#3 Whataburger, HWY 280 location: Double Meat Whataburger – $6.58

  • When one orders this hamburger from Whataburger, you can expect a healthy-sized sandwich. I was born and raised in California and grew up with In-N-Out Burger, an extremely popular and highly acclaimed fast food restaurant that only goes as far east as Texas’s Dallas-Fortworth Area. Whataburger had striking similarities in its taste to the In-N-Out. Though the Whataburger doesn’t use Thousand Island dressing, the patties were flavorful, thick and tender. The bun had somebody to it and had great flavor. The burger came with lettuce, pickles, tomato and mustard. This was an impressive burger for a chain fast food restaurant. The well-sized burger came out to a total of $6.58. Full disclosure, I ate the Whataburger before I could take a photo of it. Below is a picture of me holding it during the taste test.
  • Honorable Mention: Most burger for your buck
Whataburger Double Meat during the taste test

#2 J and J Grocery, Bessemer: Bacon cheeseburger – $8

  • CBS 42 News Assignment Manager Vicki Porter recommended giving this joint a shot because she said they serve the, “best burgers hands down.” Boy, did their bacon cheeseburger live up to the hype. Each burger J and J Grocery serves is hand-pressed and thrown on the grill right behind the counter. Watching the way the chefs handled the orders was nothing short of impressive. This sandwich was not one that made you question why they even call it the bacon cheeseburger because of the micrometer thick bacon. The bacon served on this burger was thick and smokey – there was no forgetting the bacon was there. On top is what seems like their “secret sauce” and loaded up with pepper. When the lovely staff members there bring out your burger, it comes out tender, juicy and flavorful. This burger really packed a punch for it’s $8 price tag, which made it so difficult to place it at number two on the list.
  • Note: The employees here are very welcoming and make doing business with them a pleasure. From the time I walked up to the counter to when I left, employees Brooke, Allison and Austin made customers feel at home.
  • Honorable Mention: Best quality burger possible for the price. Had we stuck to our six to eight dollar budget for each burger, J and J Grocery would’ve held the title. For $8, the burger is phenomenal.
J and J Grocery Bacon Cheeseburger

* #1 Hero Donuts, Homewood: Classic Double Burger – $10

  • Hero Donuts’ burger is highly acclaimed in the Homewood area, which is why it was a must that we try it. My immediate reaction to the burger, as seen in the video at the top of the story, was amazement at how tender and high quality the burger was. Biting into this burger was as easy as cutting through butter with a warm knife. Each patty was thick and juicy and was served on what looks to be a gourmet sesame seed bun. The bun was crispy and flavorful. The burger’s toppings included American cheese, tomato, mustard, lettuce and mayo. This was a great and well-sized burger for the price. Again, it was $2 above our budgeted price, possibly giving it an advantage over the others. Regardless, Hero Donuts served a delicious burger.
  • Note: Customer service here was wonderful.
Hero Double Classic Burger

* Was out of our targeted $6 to $8 range


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