By John Trump
I make quite the effort to stay fit and to eat healthy, and I generally refrain from eating red meat.
But I’ll never give up burgers. One of my twin sons is a self-proclaimed burger aficionado, and I indulge him probably more than I should. He has eaten hundreds of burgers — at least — and each time I anticipate his reaction to that first bite.
“Hmm,” he say. “Juicy.”
Or, conversely: “A little dry.” “Tasted burnt.”
I don’t always agree, nor does his brother. But we eat a lot of burgers. So, to make something of this, I’ve — with his and Lisa’s help — developed a list of our favorite burgers so far in Raleigh and Cary. We’ll expand the list as we see fit.
Abbey Road, Cary
I love this place. It’s a fun, relaxed restaurant and bar with a great selection of beer. The burgers are named after Beatles and things Beatles-related. “The Full Monty” is double the meat and cheese. My burger son has eaten a couple of these. God bless him.
Spirits Pub & Grub, Cary
Another fun place with great beer. (See a theme here?) The half-pound burgers are decadent. I like the basic OLT, but there’s a hot-and-spicy option, too.
Myriad diner-style burger options perfectly sizzled on a flat-top. Simple yet amazing. No beer here, but this place offers dozens of sodas from around the U.S. Inexpensive and delicious.
Raleigh Times, Duh, Raleigh
This place is always hopping. I had a burger on my mind, and we snuck in here during the International Bluegrass Music Association festival. Lisa and I ordered ours medium rare and were just blown away. The beer selection is great and the service exceptional.
The Mayton Inn, Cary
OK, I’m a bit biased. The bar here offers break-even-bourbon pours every Monday, and the bartender is one of my favorite people around. We are regulars, and the food is always exceptional. The wings may be the best in the Triangle, in fact. But the perfectly cooked and seasoned double burger makes my mouth water just thinking about it. And, uh, I want one now.
Tribeca Tavern, Cary
Upscale burgers and wonderful selection of craft beers. It’s also one of the best bourbon bars in the Triangle. Yep, there’s that.