I'm not talking about the toppings or condiments. And I'm not talking Mickey-D's or Hungry Jacks - I love the Golden Arches too but let's face it, the McD burger is actually in a phylum of its own. I'm talking about the essential ingredients - the burger itself plus a bun, and if there's something special to be said, the cheese. I've had it up to HERE with these fake bread-burgers made of beef-ooze. Forkers? No. KGB? No, sorry, yummy but no. Carnegies - ditto: it's big and cooked right, but the meat's a bready macedoine of poo-beef.
My vote goes to Gordon Biersch because it's 100% beef, it's huge, they cook it right (with the exception of one night out of the 20 when our table received essentially cook-sealed raw beef) with a tasty bun.
Second place is Dan Ryans, they do it right every time, and coming in third I have a tie between the Outback Mad Max (Aussie in name only, the burger's a-Murkin like the company itself) and a little place behind the Matsusei behind the Sherwood called "Bravo Burger" - the guy learned in the USA, he's one slow motha-f'ing cook, but he does an excellent job. Evan clocks in 4th for me.
In the US there's an upscale steakhouse chain called Morton's, and they do a US$18 lunch burger that uses ground steak meat. Now if I could find one here...
Anyone got any better ideas?