I am creating this blog so that visitors to Akron can have some guidance when looking for a great hamburger in my town. Since we are home to the hamburger festival there is a lot of hype surrounding some of the burger joints in town. I hope to clear some of that up for you, because there is nothing more disappointing
then expecting a great burger and walking away disappointed. First I will give some background information on the city and myself so that you can get a feel of where this opinion is coming from. I will end this entry with my preliminary rankings of local burger joints as they stand in my mind right now.
A burger by my definition is ground beef; I will sometimes substitute Bison if it is available. Chicken, turkey, pork and salmon are not hamburgers, nor should they ever be mentioned as such. You are eating a grilled turkey sandwich NOT a turkey burger.
The City: Akron Ohio is home to the annual Hamburger Fest, an imitation of wing fest in Buffalo New York. While we have some great burger joints here in Akron this city is not known as the birthplace of the hamburger as Buffalo is to wings. We do lay claim to Menches Brothers one of several places in the U.S. who claims to have invented the burger. I am not going to argue the history of the burger here, frankly I really don’t care how they got here I just love them.
The Blogger: My name is Mike I have lived in Akron for the last 12 years, and I run a grill tools web site. I am not a food critic or chef I am just a fat guy who loves to eat. I love me a good burger. To date the best restaurant burger I ever had was a Kobe beef burger from the Burger Bar at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, the worst was from White Castle. My favorite burger is my next one. When going to a new burger joint I typically just get lettuce, tomato and onion on top, I want to taste the meat and bun. If the menu has something like “The Burger That Made Us Famous” I will order that and judge the place solely on that burger.
Burger Joint Rankings: I have put them into two categories, it is just not fair to compare fast food burgers with bar or sit down restaurant burgers.
Steak N Shake
Footnotes: The top three are very close and I had a difficult time placing 2 and 3. I gave the edge to 5 Guys because it has a good clean taste where the next two contenders obviously add something to the meat. Swensons is the local legend in the Akron area, and Skyway is like the bastard child. It is like the Coke and Pepsi debate, I prefer Skyway and that is really frowned upon around here. As for McDonalds, their regular hamburger is by far the best thing on the menu.
Max Mc Q’s (Skyscraper)
Louie’s Bar and Grill
Rockne’s (Mac the Knife)
Footnotes: The first place edge goes to Whiteys, it is a long way from downtown but if memory serves they have an awesome burger. Max Mc Q’s is an unknown around here but with the Skyscraper I don’t think they will be for long. Metro Burger is also excellent but severely over-priced and over-hyped, but one of the few places that you can find sweet potato fries. Louies claims to have the best burger in Akron but they don’t. Finally Rockne’s Mac the knife is not great it’s just O.K. which is not what we are looking for here.