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April 30, 2009

Maryland's best burger, according to the Food Network


The Food Network Magazine has picked the 50 ultimate burgers in the country, and Maryland has one of them.

I was tired of guessing how national publications come up with these awards, so I asked the PR person for the network. Here's what she told me:

Elizabeth – along with Food Network Magazine’s editors and staff, a food critic from Maryland assisted in the selection. They’re listed at the end of the article.  From Maryland it was Suzanne Loudermilk, Baltimore Magazine. The burgers were narrowed down to five nominations and each burger was tasted.  The Heart Attack on a Plate was chosen as the one burger you can’t miss.

Maybe Suzanne will weigh in and tell us what the other finalists were. ...

Here's Maryland's entry in its entirety:


Heart Attack on a Plate

Cardiologists may disagree, but burger lovers think this 8-ounce beef patty -- stuffed with cheddar, dipped in an ale batter and deep-fried -- is worth the obvious health risks. On the upside, there are a few veggies involved. The patty is topped with lettuce, tomato and onions, along with chipotle mayo.

$11; 113 S. Charles St., Baltimore; 410-244-8686

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 10:43 AM | | Comments (46)


That is one heck of a gussied up item, but it isn't a burger. Burgers aren't battered, stuffed and deep-fried. It is closer to kibbee.

Umm...I would hardly even think to go to Mothers for the "ultimate" burger...just because its stuffed with cheese, doesn't constitute grandeur.

I agree with Lissa, a real burger should not be deepfried!

Should have been Brewers Art IMHO!

Between the rachel/reuben talk and that burger pic, I'm dying for lunch and its only 10 am here.

I think I'd prefer a Wendy's single with cheese and everything.

No way. It can't be better than In-n-out.

Just kidding. Never had In-n-out.

But I think the best I had in the past year was.... Hamilton Tavern.

If its gotta be a fast food burger, I'd go for a Hardee's Thickburger with cheese.

Woodberry Kitchen makes an awesome, simple burger.

The standard is Burke's downtown. Lean beef, a nice kaiser roll, a slab of onion. Simple perfection.

Yeah though a deep fried cheese stuffed beef patty sounds sinfully awesome, I don't think it should be on a "best burger" list.

Speaking of good burgers, the burger at Hamilton Tavern is most excellent. Juicy roseda farms beef and cheddar with a hint of horseradish... delicious.

I'm just upset you werent the food critic who assisted!

Also, the choice of burger is lame.

cheesy & greasy... sounds like Mothers to me.

Check out Abbey Burger Bistro in Fed Hill - outstanding.

I still say Burger Bros in Towson is the best burger in the area.

I've conducted some research of my own to find the best burger in town, and in my humble opinion, Capital Grille's Signature Burger is it. A chopped sirloin burger blended with onion, smoked bacon and Havarti cheese. Just in case there is any doubt, it comes with a side of their delicious truffle fries and dipping sauces. No contest.

Jacks the best burger!

Isn't this the burger that comes with a punch-out card that says "Buy 10 and get 25% off on your next coronary bypass"? Or was that the Wendy's Triple Burger?

The Waterfront has the best burger. Plus, I agree with everyone who says that a deep-fried concoction can't count as a real burger. Does country-fried steak count as a real steak?

If they knew how much a coronary bypass costs, they'd yank that card.

Wow, that Hamilton Tavern burger sounds great!

All this burger talk made me go have a burger at lunch with a co-worker at the Fleet Reserve Center. It was okay, nothing special. At least it was from fresh ground beef and not a frozen patty.

E W Becks in Sykesville!

Birches has the best hamburger in town. Big underdogs in the Baltimore restaurant wars. Great staff, great environment, better food.

Hamilton Tavern is a close second...

Baltimore restaurant wars? Somebody watches too much TV.

If I split a burger with my wife at Birches can we use two credit cards? Because I would definitely want to do that.

Birches... oh no he didn't!

(he did. and he forgot to mention the cranky old man and the dog)

Hamilton Tavern, the "close second," lets people spilt checks

I'm with lore! Who failed to do the homework here. I get Baltimore Magazine, and the food critic there has logged how many articles?? And EL has been doing this how many decades?? Someone on the top floor of Chelsea Market should do some math.

Birches...Great staff, great environment, better food.

Yeah, but isn't that the place that hates customers?

OMG wrote: If I split a burger with my wife at Birches can we use two credit cards? There is a Mrs. Gravy?

I guess it is appropriate that Mother's has the best burger. It is pretty much a meathead bar.

There is a Mrs. Gravy?

A little leftover business from my time in a cult in New Mexico. We were married by a goat which is not considered legal in most states. We like to get together and split checks once a year and chat about the good times at Rancho Chupacabra

Michael S.-- don't you sell Abbey their beef?

Birches?? Oh, NO!!

There is a Mrs. Gravy?

The imagination runs amok.

Habibi, in many western states, a marriage is legal no matter who is the officiant. I've been told this is because men used to get a friend to pretend to be a priest so they could have a bit of fun with a woman, then dump her.

(Yes, I did once perform a marriage, which is probably the strangest thing I've ever done.)

Lissa, your mystique and legend grows.

Thanks Lissa. In retrospect a goat was a bad choice for Rancho Chupacabra

Slight correction - a marriage is valid if at least one of the people getting married believes that the person performing the marriage is a clergyperson.

(No, I do not consider myself clergy.)

MD Canon

You can relax now.

I married (I get to use the verb in its transitive sense) both of my brothers in Colorado. I found the marriage license fascinating in that it licensed me to perform the marriage, not my brothers and their spouses to be married.

(Spoiler Alert: conservative Christians may want to go to the next post NOW.)

My hunch is that Iowa (where I am as I type this) will be the first of many of these western states which will look at their existing procedures and decide that the licensee can indeed marry anyone he/she/it (nod to OMG) sees fit. I had a Facebook friend from Divinity School announce today that "they" were off to the courthouse to change their status. Hooray!!

My sister in the Bay Area has attended many commitment ceremonies over the years. She was most impressed when one bride's ex-husband stood up with the brides as Best Man. That was certainly big of him!

Ponka Bird Inn has great burgers grilled over an open flame behind the bar; and best of all it's NOT a yuppie bar!

Hmmm ... was that the same "Sam DUTTON" who was singing the praises of the 5 Guys burger less than a year ago???

That would be Ponca Bird (with a c, not a k). And certainly not a yuppie place.

Can I get a shoutout for the foie-Kobe slider at Salt up in here?

Anyone? Anyone?

Yep, Salt makes the best burger in the area. Unless of course you include my back yard. Would love to try the burger from Mothers. Sounds great to me....

Yes, that's the same Sam DUTTON. 5 guys is good but the Ponca Bird is GREAT. and thanks for the spelling correction, Hal.

The burgers at The Abbey Burger Bistro in Federal Hill are as close to perfection as a burger can get. They were so good that once I finished my 1st I had to order a 2nd and that was a Sunday morning before a Ravens game!

At Abbey, I keep seeing people not finishing their burgers. Is drinking the manin draw there?

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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