Nothing beats a juicy burger, on a perfect bun with melted cheese, and the oils dripping off the burger. We put Hopdoddy Burger Bar and Paradise Valley Burger Co. in the ring to see who takes the prize in the battle of the burgers.
In This Corner: Hopdoddy Burger Bar
The Setup: Hopdoddy is a burger and beer joint that touts their fresh, natural ingredients, including their homemade buns. Walk in and the host will hand you a number, proceed to the line to order and your meal will be brought to you. The have Four Peaks Brewing Co. on tap, as well as Santan and Grand Canyon Brewing Co. One of their best sides is the green chili queso with fries to dip. The chili is so fresh and the cheese so good you'll want to drink it.
The Good: We ordered the Llano Poblano burger with Angus beef, pepper jack, roasted poblano chilies, apple-smoked bacon and chipotle mayo. The size of the patty is the first noticeable feature of the burger. Next comes the sliver of poblano sticking out of the side. When we bit into the bun it was soft with obvious freshness. The bacon paired well with the chili and the burger melted in our mouth with each bite.
The Bad: Since poblanos are the star of the dish, we hoped for more of a kick. The only spice that or burst of flavor came from the chipotle mayo and the bacon. Even the cheese lacked the heat usually expected with pepper jack cheese.
See also: 10 Best Hot Dogs in Phoenix
In The Other Corner: Paradise Valley Burger Co.
The Setting: Paradise Valley Burger has a humble demeanor on the outside, with no flash or glitz drawing attention to the joint. Even inside you're not sure what to expect, but one look at the menu and you know you've walked into a dream burger spot. Some of their specialty burgers include a brulee burger with fried egg, bacon, onion, burnt sugar and havarti. Every week they have a different burger special, and sweet potato tater tots are an optional side. All burgers come on a Brioche bun with a quarter-pound ground beef patty.
The Good: The Beach House burger comes with roasted green chili, smoked mozzarella and pico de gallo. The burger comes open-faced so you get the chance to admire all the ingredients and imagine the flavors before diving in. The patty was juicy and well seasoned, but it didn't take away from the other flavors. The green chili carried heat, as well as the pico de gallo. It was hard to put down the burger, and we couldn't get over the gobs of cheese that seemed to spill out of the burger.
The Bad: Because the burger is served on a Brioche bun, the size was smaller than your average burger. And it was unfortunate because it was one of those burger experiences that you don't want to end.
The Winner: Hopdoddy's menu is full of tantalizing burger creations, but the Llano Poblano seemed to fall flat in comparison to Paradise Valley Burger Co. In the end, the Beach House burger was more memorable and left us craving more.