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Who has the best burger on the Coast?

I know I shouldn’t do this; I get clobbered every time I do. Whenever I write about the best of something, whether it be po-boys or fried chicken, I get hate mail. Everybody has their own opinion, and mine are based on my experiencers. It doesn’t mean I think you are wrong, it’s not a personal attack, so just chill out!

Who makes the best burgers?

First, just what goes into making a great burger? The quality of the meat is one of the most important factors. Contrary to popular opinion, the best burgers are made with beef with the highest fat content possible. As all chefs know, fat equals flavor. Some cooks add diced bacon to their burgers, it is that important.   

I also think char grilled or burgers grilled over a wood fire are the best, I love the smoky flavor. But no matter if you use a flat top, chargrill or just a frying pan, the worst thing you can do is cook your burgers well done. I am not going to argue with you about this, but well-done beef is tough and has far less flavor that a medium or even rare burger. A burger should never be dry, that’s why I love a good, juicy burger.

A good burger should be well seasoned: salt, freshly ground black pepper, red pepper flakes, Dale’s Steak Sauce, and Tony’s. But that’s just me. Even the best ground beef can benefit from being well seasoned. And don’t go too easy on the salt! Many of my chef friends tell me that salt is the most under used spicy by most home cooks. 

This list of burgers is in no particular order, it’s just a random list.  If I were to re-write this next week, I would probably add a few more or maybe drop one or two.

Val’s is a great little dive bar in Ocean Springs. Its dark and there are always a few old guys hanging around the bar drinking beer.  I am not sure what makes this burger so good. I am pretty sure it is cooked on a flat top, but it is juicy and delicious. There are times when a good dive bar burger is just perfect.

The Greenhouse in Biloxi is known for their biscuits and sandwiches (I love the lox on toast), but the burgers are great. The Greenhouse burger is made with a house made patty, cheddar, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, pickled onions, mayo, Creole mustard and served on a house made yeast roll bun. Delicious!

The Beau Rivage Casino and resort is famous for its Land Mass burger, a creation of Executive Chef Kristin Wade.  It was named the ‘Best of the Fest’ hamburger at the 2019 Atlanta Food & Wine Festival. It’s made with a succulent blend of New Orleans barbecue sauce and Alabama white sauce. Built atop a homemade bun, the Landmass Burger features a smoky, grilled double-patty, American cheese, Mississippi Tomato Fondue, caramelized ‘sticky’ onions, crispy bread and butter pickles and is topped with a fried oyster. It is on the menu at the BETMGM Book Bar and Grill.

Burger Burger in Biloxi has been around since 1947 and is famous for their burger. It’s an old-time place, comfortable and well worn. The burger is huge, and a half order will be more than enough for most people. It’s made with French bread, mustard, a chili sauce, onions, and fresh ground beef patties. This burger has been a Biloxi favorite for many, many years. 

Project Lounge is known for their rib eye sandwich, but their burger is pretty damn good too. Made with mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomato and your choice of toasted French roll or bun. This is also a great place to people watch, especially those that gather every day at the bar. 

Another one of my favorites is Fayard’s Marathon Gas Station, my favorite there is technically not a burger, but a char grilled po-boy. There is just something about a messy cheeseburger, always with extra mayo and all the trimmings, especially after having be grilled on a smoky chargrill. What could be better?

My absolute favorite, at least at this time is the smash burger from the Lil Market in Ocean Springs. When I first heard about smash burgers, I never thought that just a different technique could make such a big difference. A smash burger is made with two patties, smash on the grill from a ball to a very thin patty. The edges are crispy, but the burger is not dry. Add cheese and all the trimmings, and you are in for a treat! They also have amazing bagels.

I do have to ration my burger intake, and so I like to mix it up. I never go to the same place twice in a row. There is a wonderful world of burgers to explore out there, take advantage of it!

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Written by Julian Brunt

Julian Brunt is a food and travel writer that has been writing about the food culture of the Deep South for over a decade. He is the eleventh generation of his family to live in the South, grew up in Europe, traveled extensively for the first fifteen years after graduating from the University of Maryland, University College, Heidelberg, Germany. Today, he's a contributor for multiple publications, including Our Mississippi Home. He's also appeared on Gordon Ramsay's television show, "To Hell and Back in 24 Hours."

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