Food Fight! Burgers
Wed, Jan 6, 2010 (8:40 p.m.)
Photo: Beverly Poppe
In this corner, fighting out of the consistently wondrous Bradley Ogden restaurant in Caesars Palace, we have the notorious Ground Steak Burger, dubbed burger of the year by GQ critic Alan Richman. It’s fancy and fantastic, but it’s up against an American classic: Fighting out of the iconic In-N-Out, we have the Double-Double, a truly beloved burger, and perhaps the reason so many people live in California. It’s upscale vs. old-fashioned, the Strip against the streets. Ring the bell!
Ogden: The base for the Bradley burger is super-soft, a homemade kaiser-ish roll with a shiny egg-washed lid. Very pleasant and structurally sound.
In-N-Out: Old school slow-rising sponge dough makes for a soft bun here, too. The consistency is a little lighter, yet with a bit more to chew on.
Winner: It's a draw.
Ogden: This is where things get serious. This thick patty is a house ground of 90 percent ribeye and 10 percent Japanese Kobe, cooked over a wood-burning grill while basted in red wine butter. Never has so much attention been paid to a simple hamburger, and you can tell with every meaty bite.
In-N-Out: The Double-Double has two thin patties instead of one big one, high-quality, never-frozen chuck. But it’s ground in California, and while it tastes great every time, the flavor simply can’t compare. This is why Bradley’s burger costs 20 bucks.
Odgen: Simplicity is the key. Crumbled bleu cheese is melted on, with sides of ketchup, mayo, spicy mustard, sweet pickle slices and fresh greens. Use it all or only the parts you like, but it’s a tasty balance.
These guys pile it on: two slices of melted American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and the Thousand Island-y spread. The freshness puts all other fast food outlets to shame. The combination of flavors defines the In-N-Out identity.
Winner: Too close to call
Ogden: These spuds come in a cute little cone, but they’re pretty standard. No crisp. A little sog.
In-N-Out: These famous fries, thinner than the competition, aren’t known for being extra crispy, but they are always fresh cut. They taste like potatoes made melty, and that’s nice.
...AND THE WINNER IS
Bradley Ogden is serving a higher grade of cow, but a burger is much more than its meat. This is something special, and maybe it’s the best on the Strip. But In-N-Out? Come on … this is The Burger. The chef at Bradley Ogden probably gets one on his way home from work.