GBG vs. Longhorn

Posted by Hamburglar | | Posted On Friday, March 19, 2010 at 11:29 PM

Winner: Gourmet Burger Grill, by a 4 to 3 vote.

Talk about a tough match-up. Given the heated discussion amongst the bloggers as to which burger was better and the constant attempts to swing votes one way or the other, one would think we were voting on the health care reform legislation. At the end of the day, though, GBG won out by a hold out voter at the last minute. Go figure. Here are the bloggers' impressions, votes and arguments:

Prefers His Tots Tatered:

GBG

When will GMs learn. You can’t just buy your way into a champion caliber team. Sure, every once in a while it will work out, but the more likely result is a team with prima donna superstars all trying to steal the show and forgetting the whole concept of teamwork. Plus, the fans/patrons are stuck holding the bill for these high priced players. This is the case with GBG. Their whole marketing pitch is their high quality beef, and I have to admit, it is pretty tasty (and pricey!). But a burger should be a blend of teamwork with all the ingredients working together. This is where GBG goes wrong with its burger. The fixins are mediocre at best. And, on top of that, they come on the side where you have to put them on yourself. This is a huge pet peeve of mine and in my opinion, a sure sign of a substandard burger.

Longhorn

Now this is teamwork. All of the different ingredients did their part to make one hell of a performance. I don’t know how they did it, but truly, the sum was greater than the parts for the Longhorn burger. Nothing individually stands out about this burger, but when they put it all together, it just works. Slam Dunk, Home Run, and whatever other sports clichés you want to put here.

Winner – Longhorn, and it wasn’t even close. I’m in the minority that thinks GBG didn’t even belong in the tourney to begin with.

Where's The Beef:

Longhorn: Typically when I go to Longhorn I spend the extra $$$ and get the Angus burger. On this particular trip I just went for the standard “Big Juicy.” It was neither big nor juicy. The burger reminded me of a sodium-reduced version of TJ’s hamburger, and, while tasty, I was not blown away. The bun was the highlight- crisp and buttery. If you go to Longhorn, spend the extra $1.80 for the Angus and you won’t be disappointed. As a side note (pun intended)- their onion rings and tots were outstanding.

GBG: I can’t say enough about this place. Some people think it is only fair to compare cheeseburger to cheeseburger, but how can you possibly ignore GBG’s unique offerings? On my trip I handcrafted my own burger. I took their standard ½ pound Angus hamburger and added goat cheese, roasted red peppers and the basil pesto aioli. It was like eating ambrosia from the gods. Unlike most burger joints, the GBG’s burger is actually thick enough for them to ask how you want it cooked, and mine came out medium just as I ordered. Their artisan bun is proof positive that greasier is not necessarily always better. People have complained about their basic burger fare (including my wife who thought her kids size cheeseburger was dry). However, going to GBG and only ordering a basic cheeseburger is like buying a Ferrari and using it as your daily driver. In both cases, you’re simply not using them for their intended purpose.

The verdict: GBG wins by a landslide. Anyone can dip a bun in a stick of melted butter and toast it, but it takes true talent to come up with GBG’s artisan roll. Their unique and flavorful burger add-ons cannot be beat. If GBG is the Ferrari of hamburgers, Longhorn is like a 1987 Mustang. It was awesome when it first came out, but now you realize that it only had a 225 horse engine and was surpassed long ago by technological and engineering advancements.

BurgerMeister MeisterBurger:

Longhorn – I have been to Longhorn’s quite a few times and I can say this: They will give you a consistent performance – solid, but not spectacular. The burger is tasty and has nice fresh toppings. The sauce (I think it is simply mayo) that they use helps the meat remain juicy. But personally, I think they are a bit overrated. They will probably always make “the dance” but don’t expect them to go deep. Longhorn just doesn’t have that inexplicable quality that you find with a truly championship squad.

GBG – GBG is the Duke Blue Devil of the San Antonio burger joint world. Maybe they shouldn’t even be in the “dance.” They pride themselves on their creative menu, their superior cuts of meat and they price themselves out of the burger joint market (who ever heard of $15 for a burger and a beer?) Perhaps we should relegate GBG to the NIT where they can face off against brainiacs like ORO Restaurant (MIT, perhaps), Brasserie Pavil (Stanford – what’s up with that stupid mascot?), or the latest Kobe Burger offering from some chef that used to have a gourmet restaurant (any Ivy league). But like the Dukies, GBG somehow cobbles together ingredients to make a product that can compete, and shine. Maybe I am giving GBG too many extra points for its burgasmic Caprese Burger offering, but that dish smacks Longhorn right off the court.

GBG leads buzzer-to-buzzer, in a solid defeat.

Hamburglar:

GBG – A burger at GBG is unlike any burger you’ll get from another burger joint. I know, it’s gourmet. I ordered a regular cheeseburger to even the matchup, but in a matchup against a burger from Longhorn Café, it is really hard to compare the two. GBG brings a thick, well seasoned and juicy patty, but presents the burger to the patron naked (meaning you have to dress it yourself). This is where GBG loses against Longhorn in my opinion. Maybe it’s my lazy nature, or maybe it’s because I’m not going to lather a burger up with condiments on my own, OR maybe it’s because if something is already dressed it leaves a little bit of mystery about what’s under the clothes, but I have a hard time getting behind a burger that I have to make myself. GBG still has a very good burger, but when matched up against Longhorn’s Big Juicy, GBG misses the game winning shot.

Longhorn – I ordered the Big Juicy on our trip to Longhorn and it brought the A game. The patty is pretty thin and in no way compares to nor can beat GBG’s patty, but the teamwork going on in the Big Juicy is really remarkable. The toppings are fresh and plentiful, the grease on the bun glistened in the sun and the condiments are lathered on to provide a great taste and flavor. Just like Hannibal says, “I love it when a plan comes together.”

Longhorn and the Big Juicy win with a slam dunk that shatters the backboard.

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