A collaboration by Heather Hamilton and Wiley Cason.
Food. It is necessary for survival, a representation of culture and often a focal point in gatherings of friends and family. It is a central part of life.
And The Northern Light wants to know where the best college-friendly food in town is. In this six part series, TNL will explore some of the best food from locally-owned restaurants that we can find, and rate it based on price, quality and distance from campus.
Part 1: Best Burger
TNL staff members compared past experiences and came up with five stellar burger joints in Anchorage to sample and rank. Beef flavor, overall burger flavor, how filling the burger is, price v.s. quality and accessibility of the restaurant were all put to the test, and here are our results:
1. Hawaiian Burger (Max’s Beefy Burgers) – This burger stands out as both unique and simple. The beef’s texture and presentation is akin to what you’ll find in an Asian dish, (which makes sense, since Max’s is also a Chinese restaurant). The beef’s flavor is also the most noticeable, and it stands its own against the powerful taste of the pineapple slice the burger includes. The burger is moderately filling, ranking a six out of 10, but is more than worth the $4.95 bill. Max’s is located slightly over two miles from campus, on Northern Lights Blvd near Boniface Pkwy.
2. Kenai Whopper (Arctic Roadrunner) – The Kenai Whopper, which features mozzarella cheese and a pile of onions and green peppers, possesses the best blend of flavors of all the burgers sampled. Still, the beef quality
is inferior to Max’s, as is the overall burger flavor. Located on Arctic near 25th Ave, and priced at only $6.50, this burger is a very close second.
3. Cache Burger (Burger Cache) – While the Cache Burger is certainly tasty with its fun combination of pepperoni, Canadian bacon, mushrooms and mozzarella cheese; the beef patty itself is relatively bland, and the burger isn’t very filling. However, at $4.95 a burger, an opportunity to win $1000 in the restaurant’s bi-monthly drawing, an old-school Tekken arcade game on site, and being located right around the corner from UAA on Northern Lights, this burger and restaurant emerge as a worthy third.
4. Roadhouse Burger (Spenard Roadhouse) – Unfortunately for Spenard Roadhouse, while their burgers are usually very good, they are also very highly priced. The Roadhouse Burger, their
least expensive burger option, cost $9.95 without cheese and $11.45 with. And while the burger is very good, nothing characterizes it as unique other than the use of thousand-island dressing. However, since the burger price includes a side of either tater tots or French fries, the Roadhouse takes a graceful fourth place.
5. Aloha Burger (Tommy’s Burger Stop) – Unlike the 1st place burger, this Aloha Burger sports a slice of pineapple so thick that it completely overpowers the weak beef flavor, and is in fact larger than the burger patty. It must be said however, that in the eyes of co-author and assistant judge Wiley Cason, Tommy’s tied Arctic Roadrunner as the second best overall burger on the list. But at $9.50 a burger, and with a relatively remote location on W. 29th Pl. near Cope St., this burger, while good, still falls to number five.
Be sure to check out TNL’s next issue, where we will be hunting down the perfect pepperoni pizza.