Ranking Dollar Menu Burgers: Don't Deny it, You Know You Eat Them

The City of Ate has spent the past week parsing and pummeling through the Dallas burger scene. We can all personally attest to the wide girth of our coverage, which includes buns, off-the-beaten-path burgers, Korean burgers, smackdowns and more.

See Also: Burger Week

But, if we're really going to discuss burgers, we can't leave out fast-food burgers. (Or can we?) Because honestly, fast-food burgers are what we eat the most. Now, I didn't technically fact-check that, nor should you, but I'm basing it on a really good source, who will remain nameless because I couldn't read her name tag. See, there was a slight snafu in my order at a McDonald's drive-thru the other day (Dr Pepper instead of Diet Coke), which was no big deal, but then the lady at the window apologized for being in such a hurry and offered this:

"We recently beat the record for 132 cars in one hour. The previous record was 130. But, we beat it by two cars."

She was proud. She should be. That's 2.2 cars per minute for those of you that are statically inclined.

So, in our full-court press on burgers, I've broken down five dollar-menu burgers. Besides, there are just some days (albeit few and far between) when the less shameful stars of my universe align and require a couple sharp left turns through the line for a large Diet Coke and a McDouble with cheese for $2.17, ordered and delivered in less than 30 seconds.


This Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe was basically served cold, which makes sense considering how long it took to get it. The square patty was thin and had holes in it, but what was most disconcerting was how the beef looked. It's probably best not to inspect fast food patties closely. Less is more. And someone needs to put that iceberg lettuce out of its misery. Jack In The Box

If I'm at Jack in the Box ordering cheap, it's usually two tacos for 99 cents. This burger was served hot and didn't have any unexpected surprises. They should probably just save the cost on that lettuce and nix it completely because if the purpose is to add a layer of crunch, well, they've lost that fight.

McDonald's McDouble with Cheese

Thar she blows! The mothership of fast-food, with whom we all have a (sometimes painful) bond. If you've ever been pregnant and had to crawl through a playland to retrieve another kid, you'll understand the painful part. Those tubes are like oil filled arteries. But, the nostalgia of the McDouble with cheese, those tiny onions, distinct ketchup and pickles tastes like American voracity. Burger King

Many don't agree with me on this, but I'm a fan of the flame-broiled flavor of a BK burger, but I don't want to know what chemical provides that actual "flavor." The sesame-seed bun lends the experience some texture. In terms of flavor, it's my favorite dollar menu burger. And look at those two slices of thick glorious American cheese.


Let's bring in someone from the regional team: Braum's also has a value menu. And upon my close patty inspection, the patty most resembles actual beef. The thick slice of cheese doesn't hurt things, but it's essentially a dry burger, like the rest.

One question: Should food be this cheap? OK two questions: Is this the greatest disharmonic example of everything that is wonderful and horrible about American food culture? The great part being that cheap fast food is so easily accessible, yet cheap fast food is so easily accessible.

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