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Battle Burger Round 2
See bottom for scores from Round 1

Welcome to round 2 of CV Battle - Burger.
The series unfolds each month as we scour the city in search of the burgers touted “The Best” by owners, popular local media and foodie site polls & awards. Rounds of entries are anonymously presented to our panel of judges. Each round’s winner goes to the semi-final round.
We enlisted the help of the 20 Brix staff as judges. Executive Chef Paul Barraco, General Manager & Level I Sommelier Clay Mitchell and Owner & Level II Sommelier Hunter Thomas (all of 20 Brix) all have outstanding pallets in both food and drink. Why 20 Brix? Simple, 20 Brix does a serious burger of their own (a screaming mean 10 Oz. Blend of Ground Prime Beef and Braised Ohio New York Strip, White Wine Braised Onion, Beefonaise (20 Brix Steak sauce). It can best most any in town, and often does. The team has earned many awards of their own. So, we know they know WTF their talking about. They kindly excused their beautiful burger from competition in order to help us out with some serious judging talent.
This isn’t wannabe foodie blogger or “hired food critic” BS jibberish folks. This team puts perfection on a plate on a daily basis. You can rest assured our Battle - Burger judges are all packing pro pallets.
In this second round we throw two top dog corporate chains (Five Guys and Smashburger) against local mighty mite Sammy’s Three Meat Burger. They all have “Burger” in their name and all pride themselves on burgers as their claim to fame.
They were judged anonymously and scores of 1-5 were given in 16 profile categories. The scores in all 16 categories were totaled and averaged. (Patty: size/ratio, texture, seasoning, juiciness, meat quality, flavor. Bun: size/ratio, texture, quality, freshness, flavor. Sauce: flavor, ratio. Toppings: freshness, quality. Appearance: overall). Finally, the total scores were averaged to determine the winner. This makes it virtually impossible to score low due to a single shortcoming.

Round 2 - The Scores.

#3 Five Guys Burgers & Fries
All Locations.
Total score = 3.12
With the lowest scores by any entry, Five Guy’s burger got bumped by every burger in the competition. Their burger suffered poor scores on both freshness and quality. They scored well in the patty texture and size ratio, but fell short on everything else. Maybe we should have put them up against Wendy’s. We thought we were pitting award winners against one another, not hyped up fast food. Well Hell, you never can tell. One judge even commented “Tastes a lot like a Big Buford...” I guess that says it all. Save yourself some money and just hit a drive thru, it’s cheaper and apparently much the same.

#2 Smashburger
All locations.
Total score 3.67
Smash burger scored great in the patty size/ratio, texture, quality, freshness and flavor categories. And scored well in everything else. Smash Burger had comments such as “...meat tastes nice... good consistency”. They scored great across the board but just not quite great enough to move on in the competition. They may not win Cincy’s Best Burger award this year, but they showed so strong in the scores I’m certain many will give it a try for their next burger crave quencher.

#1 Sammy’s Three Meat Burger
Mt, Washington.
Total score 3.75
Sammy showed up the corporate boys with his delicious “Three Meat” burger. Exactly which three meats does Sammy mix? Sam’s from West Liberty Kentucky so his recipe calls for none other than squirrel, possum and coon of course! Just kidding, no one eats coon anymore, it’s actually just good ole rabbit, possom & squirrel. OK OK kidding again. Fact is, little info exists on Sammy’s Three Meat. They have no website, only a useless facebook and a rather blank urbanspoon listing. From the spooner posts I gather it’s hit and miss with some customers. Nevertheless, Sammy’s beef, chicken and lamb burger stole the show on this round. Chef Paul said “Interesting seasoning, thin (patty) but moist. Almost Mediterranean flavor”. Whatever the recipe it won the judges over on this round. Sammy’s Three Meat Burger will go on to the Battle - Burger semi finals.

Round 1 - The Scores
View round 1 article

#3- Mad Mike’s - Newport. Total score - 3.40.
#2- 915 Pub - Ft. Thomas, Total score 3.59.
#1- Sidebar - Covington. Total score 3.76.