Eating burgers is like doing heroin: The more you’ve eaten, the better the burger needs to be to get you high.
My name is Alex Gerrish, and I am a burger addict. I have no intentions of trying to quit. Some things in life are just too good. While heroin is not one of those, I have long passed my need to fix a burger craving with a dollar-menu knockoff. That’s like handing a seasoned pothead a bag of oregano and telling them to light up.
Utah has a lot to offer in the realms of beefy goodness. I started by trying to make a top-10 list, and realized that I couldn’t begin to rank all of the burgers. While I have tried many, I’m not ready to make that kind of call. I might later. Maybe.
Regardless of pending lists and burger supremacy, I do feel that three burgers are drastically underrated, and I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t tell you about them. So, without further pontification, here are the three most underrated burgers in the state.
1. Tonyburgers’ Big Tony
I am not exaggerating when I say that this is one of the best burgers I’ve ever had. Many burgers try to frill up the thing so much that it loses its beautiful simplicity. When done right, it’s delicious, but it can’t hold a candle to a perfectly crafted simple burger. The craft in Tonyburger is found in the meat. They blend sirloin, chuck roast and brisket to create the most perfect harmony of beef I’ve encountered. The marbling in the brisket adds the deep flavor that you crave. Sirloin adds the class and steak flavor that you don’t expect, and the chuck gives you the substance and texture that you demand from a top-quality patty.
In the unlikely event that you’re not on your way to get one right now, let me also tell you that they give you free reign over your burger. I prefer grilled onions, jalapeno, a Southern kick ranch (think Cajun) and barbecue sauce. I call it the Alabama Chipotle Burger, and it’s a contender for the best thing I’ve ever tasted.
2. Dairy Keen’s Train Burger
Deep in the valley of Heber lies Dairy Keen, a local favorite for burgers and shakes. This hot spot is spread by word of mouth, so consider this your official invitation. The Train Burger is named after the Heber Creeper, a Utah tourist trap offering vintage train rides around the canyon and one of the best views of the fall foliage in the country.
Aside from that, the only thing it shares is the sheer tonnage that comes with the flavor of this masterpiece. A quarter-pound patty is topped with a third of a pound of ham, and then graced with Swiss cheese. Top it any way you want; that foundation sets you on track for a locomotive of satisfaction.
3. Roosters Brewing Co.’s Naughty Burger
Anything that has “naughty” and “burger” in the title automatically intrigues me, so when I tried this dish around seven years ago, it was out of curiosity. Never has my curiosity served me so well. They start with a third of a pound of beef on a sesame seed bun. What happens next is as unexpected as it is delicious. Served in a sidecar is a trinity of delicious sauces. First, a pepper jack cheese sauce, adding a smoke and chiles. Next, a Gorgonzola cheese sauce, adding acidity and zip. Lastly, Louisiana hot sauce, made from vinegar and red pepper, peaks the liquid ecstasy with vinegar and heat. Few things in this life compare to this burger. It is not a health-conscious meal, but, given the heroin alternative, it’s fairly healthy.
If you’ve tried any of these three, I commend you. If you haven’t, you need to — now. You can thank me later.