Kicking Off "Burger Summer" with the Bacon Cheeseburger at Windsor
Editor's Note: When we asked our summer interns to tell us what they wanted to cover this summer for Chow Bella, David Holden didn't hesitate. "I really like burgers," he said. Okay, David. Game on. All summer long, Holden will sample burgers from around the Valley in search of the very best one. Have a suggestion for one he should try? Leave it in the comments section.
As far as I'm concerned, a burger is much more than a piece of meat, it is an experience. There are several different factors that go into making tasty burgers.
The Patty The patty is the meat of the burger. Without the patty there is no burger and if the meat tastes like the rear end of a cow then the burger is ruined. Chefs also need ensure that the burger is cooked to perfection. I prefer my burgers prepared medium-to-medium rare. Burgers should be filling and size does matter.
Toppings The toppings make the burger special. Toppings do not necessarily have to be innovative; though, a little creativity does go a long way. Without the toppings a regular burger can do the job, but won't wow the taste buds. As Friends' Chandler Bing says, "the cushions are the essence of the chair," just as the toppings are the "essence" of the burger.
Side Like I said above, eating a burger is an experience. The sides should complement the burger. To me, a burger and French fries are the dynamic duo, like Batman and Robin. Every once in a while, the duo has a falling out and some onion rings or sweet potato fries must fill the void. I know, it's a tough life.
Bun The bun can add a lot to a burger. A bun can be very tasty and allows for some chefs to become quite creative with the burger. Nevertheless, the most important, and underrated, quality of a bun is its ability to hold the burger together. If a bun cannot hold a burger together, than the sauce gets everywhere, the burger starts to fall apart and eating a burger has suddenly turned into a shit show.
Price This is the value you get from the burger. Some burgers are way too expensive, but occasionally you can hit the jackpot with a low price, and that makes the burger taste so much better.
Now, the actual grading can begin. I ventured to Central Phoenix to taste the bacon cheeseburger at Windsor.
Windsor has a homey feel to it, and even though the lighting was a little dim it made for a nice burger eating experience. (Plus, we were seated right in front of the bar, so I could watch the NBA playoffs while eating, which is always a bonus.)
Here are my scores on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.
The Patty: 9 The meat was surprisingly the best part of the burger. Normally, when I order a bacon cheeseburger, I expect the toppings to overwhelm the burger, but not in this case. The burger was cooked perfectly and, perhaps, most important, the burger was more than adequate in size.
Toppings: 8 Being a bacon cheeseburger, the burger had a nice sharp cheddar cheese and Tender Belly bacon. Add in a few caramelized onions and you have a solid burger, but what made this burger special was the Windsor steak sauce. The steak sauce was a little sweet and tangy with a little kick of spice and was the highlight of the burger.
Side: 5 The burger was served with French fries, which were pretty average. Although the fries were decent, they added little to the burger eating experience.
Bun: 7.5 The bun was a wheat bun and did not add much to the burger in terms of taste. However, the bun held the burger together very nicely. With bacon, caramelized onions and steak sauce on the burger you would expect this burger to have toppings falling out every which way, but the bun held it all together.
Price: 5 The price of the burger was $12.95, which isn't a terrible price for this burger, but still a bit on the expensive side.
Overall score: 6.9 out of 10
Windsor's bacon cheeseburger was a good burger experience. The burger itself was excellent and gets big points for the size and the creativity of its toppings. Even though the burger is a tad over priced, I would definitely recommend the bacon cheeseburger.
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