Ben’s Burgers: A review of Burger Week in Milly


Ben Grunert, Sports Editor

Last week, Milledgeville held its very own Burger Week as 13 locally owned restaurants served a special, hand-selected burger for just seven dollars. Visit Milledgeville, the GA Beef Board and Milledgeville Main Street partnered with these restaurants from April 15 to April 22 to support Milledgeville Burger Week.

Through the Visit Milledgeville website, citizens and students of Milledgeville could vote on their favorite burger. The first-place patty would then earn the title of the Milledgeville People’s Choice Award Winner.

Various types of restaurants and eateries partook in the citywide culinary event. From casual bar-and-grill spots like Amici and The Brick to more unique restaurants that do not typically serve burgers in Shima and Metropolis, the participating locations offered various twists on the everyday hamburger.

In order to experience Burger Week in all of its glory, I took on the challenge of trying every specialty burger in Milledgeville. Thanks to my love for food and never-ending appetite (and fortunately high metabolism), this task proved to be right up my alley.

I ordered a seven-dollar patty from 12 different restaurants (all participating locations aside from Taylor’s Cove), and I gave each burger a rating between one and ten for three different categories: presentation, creativity, and taste.

The first burger I tasted set the bar quite high. I began with “The Luigi” from The Brick, a burger topped with caramelized bacon, onion jam, and a pepperoni cheese crisp, all served on a bed of Italian slaw. After one bite, I was already in Hamburger Heaven.

The pepperoni pizza cheese gave The Luigi a major boost in the creativity and taste department. The burger’s unique choice of cheese was further complimented by its scrumptious onion jam, making for an impressive 8.5 rating on the taste scale.

Only two burgers fulfilled my taste buds more: Shima’s Shima Burger and The Reel Grill’s Bourbon Burger.

To my genuine surprise, the Shima Burger proved simple but effective. Presented as a totally plain hamburger with a side of waffle fries, the patty came with a house-made slaw and spicy mayo sauce on the side.

Once added, this simple pair of ingredients gave the Shima Burger a phenomenal injection of flavor. The sauce truly stood out and helped cement Shima’s entry as one of my favorites with a whopping 9.1 taste rating.

While Shima and The Brick provided burgers of exemplary taste, one patty took the cake: The Bourbon Burger.

The Reel Grill’s eight-ounce burger contained lettuce, tomato, sauteed onions, portabella mushrooms, melted gorgonzola cheese, and a bourbon glaze. Ironically enough, the presentation and creativity of the entree did not impress me at all. However, once I took my first bite, I couldn’t help but scarf down half of the burger immediately.

The bourbon glaze made the burger beyond delectable. The patty was juicy, and the bun was sweet. In fact, I enjoyed the burger so much that I took it home and saved it for later. All in all, I gave the Bourbon Burger a 9.4 taste rating, the highest of all the entries.

Several other burgers made a nice impression, such as patties from The Velvet Elvis, Ned Kelly’s, and Ms. Stella’s. On top of a satisfactory burger, Ms. Stella’s provided great customer service with an authentic presentation of the burger and its contents by a waitress.

Velvet’s Sunrise Burger stood out with its beefy twist on an everyday breakfast. Topped with bacon, egg, cheese, lettuce, and tomato, this seven-ounce patty more than delivered in the taste department.

While many of Milledgeville’s mouthwatering specialty burgers gave my taste buds a nice surprise, there were a few burgers that didn’t quite live up to the hype. Metropolis, a popular Greek restaurant, provided an original twist with the Kafta Kabab Burger through its inclusion of Greek spices, oregano, garlic, onions, pepper, and feta cheese. The patty was also topped with a special mint sauce.

While I gave Metropolis’ burger a well-deserved 9.5 creativity rating, I found the patty itself to be underwhelming. With a 5.8 taste rating, the burger did not benefit much from its Greek twist of ingredients. The bun was also much bigger than the patty, making for a very disappointing bun-to-patty ratio. Most disappointing of all, the mint sauce I had been so excited for proved average at best.

Overall, Milledgeville Burger Week was a roaring success. From creative ingredients to flavorful patties, most of the burgers met or exceeded expectations. The winning burger is yet to be decided, but the final vote will be announced in the coming days