Observations: Oliver’s tangy Russian hits spot, Juicy Burger is well-named

When it comes to a restaurant burger, there are as many different ways to cook and assemble them as
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When it comes to a restaurant burger, there are as many different ways to cook and assemble them as there are establishments that serve them. So, after looking at how a great burger is made at some local restaurants, which one had the best?

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For more of Brian’s burger musings, click here.

As part of this story, I sampled burgers from the six Capital Region restaurants featured in this story. For the record, I would consider myself a burger connoisseur, and as such can honestly say that every burger I ate had something going for it. I mean, really — if it’s ground beef between two sides of a bun, there’s not much I can say against it.

I prefer my burgers with cheddar cheese and bacon, so for the most part, that’s how I had them. I also don’t like tomatoes, so those were out. All burgers sampled were cooked to medium.

I’m not going to rank each burger, but I will reveal that my favorite was the burger I had at Oliver’s Cafe. I tried the day’s special, which was the Russian burger. The tangy Russian sauce was a perfect complement to this juicy monstrosity, and slathered with ketchup, the mix was even better.

Scarboroughs Restaurant is an old favorite of mine. The bacon cheddar burger I had was simple, coming with no other vegetables on it (I thought it would). But the flavor of the beef, without any seasoning, more than made up for a lack of other toppings. And plus, this may have been the biggest burger I had, and the wonderfully crisp bacon was piled up high. And I have to mention the steak fries this place serves with each burger — probably some of the best I’ve tried.

The Blue Ribbon Restaurant’s Blue Ribbon Burger was a nice surprise. This thing comes loaded with fried onions and mushrooms along with the usual lettuce and cheese, giving a unique spin on this classic.

The Circus Cafe’s signature burger has a smoky taste on the outside, no doubt from the char grill, but still retains the flavorful juices thanks to being finished up on a flat grill. This was another huge slab of beef, again with a massive helping of bacon on top, and it’s a wonder that people can finish this thing. (It’s a wonder I did, anyway.)

Juicy Burgers & More was an interesting dining experience. These burgers are definitely a notch above your typical fast food offerings, and are aptly named — the juice was squirting from the patty with every bite. Again, this was a simple, no frills sandwich with no veggies on it as a standard offering, although you can get almost anything you want on these burgers.

The Fountain’s fresh ground bacon cheddar burger was a bit dry — every place has a different definition of what “medium” means, as this burger seemed a bit too well-done. Despite this, the burger still had a lot going for it, with a good grilled flavor, and ended up being quite satisfying.

OK, I think it’s time for a salad.

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