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November 21, 2006

Burger Reunion

In a former life -- way back in 2005 ;) -- I was a burger connoisseur (I probably spelled that wrong, but I don't have time to drag out the AHD right now) and a founding member of Burger Club. Burger Club was born during David's stint as a moonlighter with Zingerman's Mail Order, when he and another employee, Andy, began discussing their favorite burgers. As a relatively new convert to burger eating (sadly, I was a vegetarian on and off for most of my life), I had found my own favorites, but was curious to try some of Andy's. So the three of us grouped together with two other friends, Shawn (one of David's coworkers at both Zingerman's and ICPSR), and her husband Dave, and we began our search for the best burger in Southeast Michigan.

Over the course of 2005 we tried Miller's Bar in Dearborn, the Red Coat Tavern in Royal Oak, Joey's Meatcutters' Inn in Detroit, a couple of slider places in the suburbs, Knight's in Ann Arbor, and Sidetrack in Ypsilanti. We had good burgers, bad burgers, big burgers (1 lb. at Joey's!), and small burgers. We added a sixth member, Jaymie, and I went on sabbatical and was replaced by another of David's coworkers, Dieter. This spring, however, Andy moved to Seattle to take a job with Microsoft, and the Burger Club went on semipermanent hiatus.

Until last night, that is, when Andy came back to town for Thanksgiving and we reunited at Grizzly Peak. All six of us were there, along with Jaymie's wife Amy. We ate, drank, took pictures, and caught up. And the burgers? Most of us agreed that they were pretty good, but they didn't displace anyone's previous favorite. Yes, that's right, there is no consensus on the best burger in Southeast Michigan. For me, it is a tie between Grizzly Peak and Miller's, which are both excellent burgers, but in different ways. Shawn prefers Knight's, Dave and Andy prefer Red Coat, and I'm not sure what David and Jaymie's current favorites are. I guess everyone just has different sets of criteria about what make a good burger. For some it is the bun-to-meat ratio, for some it is the available toppings, and for others it is the juiciness of the patty itself. Cost and atmosphere also play a role.

Up next for the Burger Club: a field trip to Seattle to visit Andy's new favorites!

Suggestions for future outings? Email us: burgerclub@umich.edu

Posted by eklanche at November 21, 2006 08:37 AM

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