Whether it's the quality of the ingredients or the consistency, there are countless contributing factors for what makes your favourite burger, well, your favourite. But one thing's for sure: great burgers hold that special place in the heart. Our favourites are below, and appear not only due to their deliciousness, but for their ability to ward off a raging hangover and perhaps even soothe a broken heart.
In no particular order, here are five burgers that keep us talking about them long after we've demolished them.
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1. Burger Joint, Le Parker Meridien, New York
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What: Double Cheeseburger 666 meal
Why: Burger Joint is tough to find, for sure, tucked behind a curtain in the lobby, rather like a naughty child. Stand in line, cop some abuse from the cashier and if you're tough enough, snatch a booth. Messy as hell, she's all sweet sauce, charred patty and hot cheese. Beer and heavily salted fries are the perfect foil.
2. McDonalds, Everywhere, Earth
What: Double Cheeseburger in a steamed bun.
Why: To be clear, this isn't our invention. We were introduced to it by Ben and Elvis, our mates from Porteño, and it is a slice of burger genius. Soft, squishy bun, perfect meat-to-cheese ratio and the condiments are sweet. This is the light at the end of the hangover tunnel.
3. Shake Shack, Madison Square Park, New York
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What: Shack Burger with bacon
Why: For us, it's all about the Martins Potato Rolls that hold the Shack burgers together. Sweet and resilient, they're the perfect foil to the smashed patty crust on the beef. This is as classic a burger as there is to be found. No gimmicks, just beefy deliciousness with yellow cheese and sexed up mayo. The cheese fries suck, but the shakes definitely do not.
4. Paul's Hamburgers, Sylvania, NSW
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What: Paul's Hamburger with the Lot
Why: It's big and unapologetically Aussie: Paul's Hamburgers is the finest example of the Greek-milk-bar-burger that exists. Pineapple, beetroot, grilled onions, egg, tasty cheese... THIS is no American wannabe. 40 years of burger cookery has fine-tuned the process, and on some days you can find three generations holding it down in Sylvania. It's the best thing about travelling over Tom Ugly's Bridge.
5. Corner Bistro, West Greenwich Village, New York
What: Bistro Burger
Why: We know, we know. Another from New York, New York. Whatever. This is the joint that got us off our fat arses to open Mary's. It's a hulking, mean mess, yet it's not just about what you're stuffing in your face hole. The bartenders have been there forever, and their chat is always a pleasure. The beers are cold and the whiskey is poured heavy. It's a very special place, and if we find that you went and ruined it, we will find you.