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Bear Bites: I Ate All Fifteen Burgers in Macon Burger Week

The+Donut+Burger+at+Tommy%27s+Bakery+and+Cafe+is+served+on+two+donut+buns+and+topped+with+bacon%2C+cheese%2C+and+a+fried+egg.+Photo+by+Will+Darragh%0A
The Donut Burger at Tommy's Bakery and Cafe is served on two donut buns and topped with bacon, cheese, and a fried egg. Photo by Will Darragh

The Donut Burger at Tommy's Bakery and Cafe is served on two donut buns and topped with bacon, cheese, and a fried egg. Photo by Will Darragh

The Donut Burger at Tommy's Bakery and Cafe is served on two donut buns and topped with bacon, cheese, and a fried egg. Photo by Will Darragh

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Macon Burger Week was an event that brought people out to local restaurants by offering specialty burgers for only $5. Fifteen different restaurants participated in the event, so there were 15 different burgers to try.

I ate all 15 of the burgers in one week. It was a difficult challenge, but I was up to the task. Eating out twice a day in Macon for a week straight gave me some new perspectives.

I try to cook at home as much as possible to save money, and because I enjoy cooking. When I do eat out, it is normally at one of my favorite places, or to try something new.

I have been reviewing Macon restaurants for two years now, and too often when I try new things, I find myself feeling like I overspent or could have eaten better at home. I love Macon and its restaurants, but it can be hard to find a reasonably priced place with good food.

Macon Burger Week was the complete opposite. All of the burgers were creative and filling meals, any of which could earn a spot on its restaurant’s normal menu. At only $5 each, it was not hard to convince friends to go out and try a burger with me.

When you eat great food with great company and do not break your wallet, you experience the reason why eating out can be so great. It is simply a fun, wholesome experience, leaving you feeling nourished physically and socially.

Seeing crowds coming out to both popular downtown restaurants and off-the-beaten-path hidden gems reminded me that Macon is a city reviving its culture. This event gave small businesses well-needed exposure, Maconites a fun reason to get out and me a challenge to conquer.

Alright, so what about the question that everyone is wondering: which burger was the best? Well, I’m not the type to keep score, and it is too difficult to organize the burgers into a list. I do have, however, my Macon Burger Week tier list, which is as close to ranking as I will give.

Summa Cum Laude

These burgers graduated at the top of their class. These masterpieces of burger creation demonstrated innovation and passion. I will not forget these burgers anytime soon. They will be missed.

H&H Restaurant – Meatloaf Breakfast Burger

Parish On Cherry – Southern Delight Burger

Tommy’s Bakery and Cafe – Tommy’s Donut Burger

El Camino – Quesadilla Burger

 

Magna Cum Laude

Close to the very best, these burgers were of superb quality. They are absolutely delicious; I wish I could get these throughout the year. They have earned a distinguished position right below the top tier.

Grey Goose Player’s Club – The Hole In One

Growler USA – Bulgogi Cucumber Burger

The Rookery – The Truffle Shuffle

Fatty’s – Fatty Mac Burger

Ocmulgee Brewpub – The Juliette

 

Cum Laude

Graduating with honors, these burgers went beyond your normal specialty burger. They delivered on flavor and creativity. These truly great burgers earn a special distinction.

Bearfoot Tavern – El Gringo

FOJ An Eatery – Fiery Southern Pimento Cheese Burger

Felicia’s Cake Factory – Felicia’s Sweet Burger

Steve’s Steak and Seafood – O Baby Burger

 

Graduates

These burgers were good burgers. I enjoyed my experience with these and would eat them again. In the competitive burger scene, even the lowest tier burgers are deserving of respect.

Spud Dogs – Cap’n ‘Shrooms Gravy Burger

Greek Corner Pizza – The Greek God

Burger Week may be over for now, but it will be back in a year. I look forward to seeing how this annual event will expand and how restaurants will continue to push burgers to the next level. Thanks to the Georgia Beef Board and all the participating restaurants for an amazing week. For a full description of the burgers, check out maconburgerweek.com.

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Bear Bites: I Ate All Fifteen Burgers in Macon Burger Week