Battle of the Burger

Six local restaurants competed for the bragging rights of having the best burger in Fort Worth.

Brewster’s • 2837 Crockett St. • Fort Worth • 817.887.9233
Talk about a meat-lover’s special! Chef Pete Hollingsworth took Brewster’s Non-Traditional burger to new levels by topping his juicy beef patty with a scoop of his braised BBQ pulled pork. If that wasn’t enough, he also gave this baby a layer of Bacon and Red Cabbage Cole Slaw and finished with a slathering of his unique Jalapeño and Ghost Pepper Aioli. They call this behemoth The Duke since it holds so much weight and is sure to be a star. “This burger hits on every cylinder,” says Chef Hollingsworth. The winning Traditional burger included an herb-infused beef patty with sliced sharp cheddar, tomatoes, lettuce, red onion and pickles.

| photography by Alex LepeBuild a juicy, meaty, lusciously stacked burger, and they will come. And come they did. Burgers from Brewsters West 7th, Central Market, Fred’s, Kincaid’s Hamburgers, Magnolia Motor Lounge, and Tommy’s Hamburgers sizzled and dripped their way into the mouths and hearts of 1,200 Fort Worth friends and families.

Happy burger lovers were gathered in the plaza of the Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame for the second annual Young Guns Battle of the Burger.
This family-friendly event included live Lone Star Armadillo Races, which pleased both young and old. Cheers, whoops and hollers could be heard as the pointy-nosed four-leggers raced down the track.

Beautiful Texas Rodeo queens were on hand to sign autographs and smile for photographs. All the while, the Ranch and Hank FM radio stations kept the party going with free giveaways and fun games. Raffle prizes made the night even more fun, with all proceeds benefiting the Cowgirl Museum.

Fort Worth favorite Scott Murray, from NBC News, emceed the event, keeping a lively pace while the Luke Wade and No Civilians band provided live music.

Partiers struck gold with luscious Nothing Bundt Cakes for dessert. This corner cake shop, which has been wowing Fort Worth fans for 10 years, brought their four top flavors to the event. Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Red Velvet, White Chocolate Raspberry, and Lemon were snapped up and enjoyed – in a few cases, eaten before the burgers. Kathy Bonds, co-owner with Craig and Wendy Moore, tells us they mix from scratch and bake the cakes fresh daily. No wonder Fort Worth is hooked.

When it was time to determine the best burgers in Fort Worth, the judges were called in. They included Hal Brown, owner and publisher of Fort Worth, Texas magazine; Judie Byrd, founder of the Culinary School of Fort Worth, chef, food writer and author; Justin Frizzell, Ranch radio morning talk show host; and Russell Kirkpatrick, Fort Worth Food & Wine Festival executive director as well as Reata assistant general manager.

Deciding Fort Worth’s best burgers is no small task, but the judges stayed the course, tasting more than a dozen individual burgers. They washed it all down with icy cold Lone Star beer. Entries were judged on the meat patty, the bun and overall presentation.

And the winners? Brewsters hit a double jackpot by taking first place in both Traditional and Non-Traditional categories. This burger-centric restaurant now has a year to host Cowtown’s Best Burger trophy, a bigger-than-life model of a giant hamburger.

In the Traditional category, taking second place for its Cheddar Cheese Burger was Tommy’s. Magnolia Motor Lounge took third place with its half-pound Black-Angus Burger with Cheese.

In the Non-Traditional group, Kincaid’s took second place with its hearty Chicken-Fried Burger. Magnolia Motor Lounge took third place with its Hatch Chili Burger.

Great beef, great buns and great fillings made everyone winners. And this friendly, neighborly, hometown event again proved to be a delicious success.

 


Central Market • 4651 West Fwy. • Fort Worth • 817.989.4700
“Love! The secret ingredient to our Onion Smash Burger is love,” says Chef Pete Weikel, mastermind behind Central Market’s scrumptious entry in the Traditional level. Chef Weikel took his freshly ground beef patty, which includes brisket, chuck and tenderloin, and placed it on top of butter-sautéed, thinly sliced sweet onions. Then he mashed it gently into the sizzling onions to help them penetrate the meat. When cooked, Weikel places the meat in a freshly baked cheddar/hatch-infused bun. “This burger can’t be beat!” says Weikel.

Central Market's Traditional Onion Smash Burger

Fred’s Texas Café • 915 Currie St. • Fort Worth • 817.332.0083
“What a Burger Should Be” is Fred’s motto. This proved true with their Traditional burger entry, the good ol’ Fred Burger with Cheese. With a melting of medium cheddar and quality buns made for them by a small bakery, this burger always pleases. For their Non-Traditional burger, chef/owner Terry Chandler created a two-fister he calls the Chili Relleno Burger. He stuffed his beef patty with hatch chiles and queso requesón and then topped it with Oaxaca cheese. A layer of grilled onions and tomatoes was the perfect addition to this kicked-up burger. “I’m not going with the weird stuff,” says Chandler. “Just sticking to the basics that make a burger what it should be.”

Fred's Traditional Burger with Cheese Fred's Non-Traditional Chili Relleno Burger

Tommy’s Hamburgers • 5228 Camp Bowie Blvd. • Fort Worth • tommyshamburgergrill.com • 817.569.1111
Tommy’s Traditional Cheddar Cheese Burger, topped with house-made Chipotle Mayonnaise, was a crowd-pleaser for sure. A soft, Oroweat white bun set it off perfectly. For their Non-Traditional entry, Chef/Owner Kelly Smith, along with Chef Henry and Chef Jason, spiced it up with their Juicy Lucy Jack Burger. This beef patty is stuffed with Pepper Jack cheese and then anointed with Tommy’s house-made Jalapeño Mayonnaise. It’s all nestled, along with a crown of arugula, in a wheat bun. “Our quality of ingredients makes us No. 1,” says Smith. “We use only 100 percent natural, Nolan Ryan beef,” she adds. “This gives us a leg up.”

Tommy's Traditional Cheddar Cheese Burger - 2nd Place Tommy's Non-Traditional Burger with Jalapeño Mayonnaise

Kincaid’s • 4901 Camp Bowie Blvd. • Fort Worth • kincaidshamburgers.com • 817.732.2881
Ron Gentry is dedicating his Non-Traditional entry, the Chicken-Fried Steak Burger, to Diane Massey and the Massey family, who built the Fort Worth restaurant that became our city’s icon for chicken fried steak. When you talk to him about his hamburgers, it rings loud and clear that freshness is his first priority. Kincaid’s grinds their Black Angus beef daily and preps all the extras as they are needed – no prepping ahead and storing for the next day. “Our quality and fresh ingredients are our signature,” he says. Gentry’s two sons graduated from Texas Tech (Jonathan in Restaurant and Hotel Management and Christian in Graphic Design) and have joined the family business, adding yet another generation to this local burger landmark.

Kincaid's Traditional Burger Kincaid's Non-Traditional Chicken-Fried Steak Burger - 2nd Place

Magnolia Motor Lounge • 3005 Morton St. • Fort Worth • mmlbar.com • 817.332.3344
Chef Derrick Hamilton combined his love of Hatch chiles with 100 percent Black Angus beef to create two fabulous burgers. His Non-Traditional entry included layers of grilled onions and the famous New Mexico chiles. On top of this, a spoonful of garlic cream cheese nestled just under the tender sour dough bun. Chef Derrick’s Traditional burger also started with Black Angus beef and included everyone’s favorites: mustard, ketchup, onion, pickles, bright tomatoes and lettuce. More than just a great bar, this restaurant shows its ability to stack up juicy, loaded burgers that draw the crowds.

Magnolia Motor Lounge Traditional Burger - 3rd Place Magnolia Motor Lounge Non-Traditional Chile Burger - 3rd Place