Taste: Burger Wars
Ted’s Montana Grill
260 South Broad Street,
The Meat: A thick, loosely formed, half-pound, 100 percent chuck beef or bison meat patty with “Ted’s special seasoning.”
The Bun: A kaiser roll “floated” — that’s Montana-speak for “buttered and toasted.”
The Toppings: Hundreds of possible combinations, with options from cottage cheese to guacamole — plus seven condiment choices on the table.
The Verdict: The floppy roll anchored with an American flag-topped toothpick is the only thing in the place that doesn’t scream on-the-range rugged. It can’t stand up to the massive, but salty, burgers.
1625 Chestnut Street, 215-568-6081, and nine other area locations; rubytuesday.com
The Meat: A half-pound, pre-formed ground beef patty measuring just over a half-inch thick.
The Bun: A bulky, mild wheat bun, buttered and toasted.
The Toppings: On top of the burger, your choice of the usuals. Under the burger, you’ll find mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato and ripple-cut pickles.
The Verdict: Ruby Tuesday’s glossy menu advertises burgers as a house specialty — but extends its definition to crabcakes. The beef burgers are dense but well cooked, with a good meat-to-bun ratio.
Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries
1810 Wilmington Pike, Glen Mills, 610-358-5489,
and two other area locations; fiveguys.com
The Meat: Hand-formed ground beef patties are just 3.5 ounces each, but the “regular” burger is a double-decker.
The Bun: A sesame seed bun, baked fresh daily and toasted.
The Toppings: Load it up with mayo, lettuce, pickles, tomato, fried onions, sautéed mushrooms, ketchup, mustard and green peppers.
The Verdict: Fast food for foodies. The burgers, sizzling in their own fat, are cooked (well-done only) and topped to please in mere minutes. The foil wrap is the only thing holding the deliciously messy concoction together.
Cheeseburger in Paradise
750 Middletown Boulevard, Langhorne,
The Meat: A compact, pre-formed 100 percent chuck beef burger that weighs in at just under a half-pound.
The Bun: A wimpy white-bread bun, buttered and toasted.
The Toppings: The most popular version is the “Cheeseburger in Paradise”— lettuce, tomato and Heinz 57, plus American and cheddar cheeses.
The Verdict: The chain is paying more attention to the “Paradise” part of the name, with its pastel Key West decor and frozen cocktails, than the “Cheeseburger” part. The thin burgers are compressed and dry.