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Where to find the city’s finest burger

GIANNA MUZZIO, Staff Writer

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For high school students, one question always seems to go unanswered: “Where can I find the best burger in town?”
The most difficult thing about picking the best burger is the countless variations of the beloved comfort food. My criteria for this “Best Burger in Middletown” includes: an all beef patty cooked medium, a crisp bun, and the execution of the burger as a whole (don’t forget: bonus points for specialty toppings). I quickly asked around about which restaurants my fellow peers wanted me to review, and I got an overwhelming response for three specific places: Five Guys, the Emporium, and Taino Smokehouse.
First, I started off with the winner of the best milkshake in Middletown, the Emporium. I have never had food from there other than their buffalo chicken grilled cheese, which was delicious. The eatery offers numerous choices, from soups to crepes and wraps. With such amazing food options available, I had high expectations for the burger.
Eventually, I decided on the barbecue bacon burger with blue cheese crumbles. The patty was exactly how I wanted it cooked, which is sometimes difficult to do. Most of the time I go to a restaurant and ask for a burger cooked a specific way, they seem to ignore my request on purpose. The burger was well executed as a whole and all the toppings seemed to fit well together to make a flavorful burger. The only downside was that it got messy towards the end as the bun got mushy, and I had to pull out a fork and knife to finish it (I know, it’s embarrassing). Overall, I praise the Emporium for the execution of this burger and the flavors they presented.
Next, I traveled to Taino Smokehouse on South Main Street. The smell of their fantastic food greeted me as soon as I walked in. This time, I decided to be a little more basic and go for a classic cheese burger. Being familiar with this restaurant, I hoped for a gourmet twist on the classic American dish.
As I anticipated, I received a burger that looked like any other ordinary thing but was far from ordinary in taste. I took my first bite and my mouth seemed to be filled with the flavor of the signature smokehouse aroma. If you love the flavor of smoke infused into meat, this burger is for you. The best thing about Taino happens to be their ranch, and when paired with this smoky burger, it creates an unforgettable flavor. I highly recommend this burger to anybody who wants a unique and satisfying twist to the familiar meal.
Lastly, I stopped by the famous small chain restaurant Five Guys on Washington Street. This place is slightly different than the others I went to. Since their specialty is burgers and fries, customers can customize a classic burger with any and as many toppings they wish.
The burgers are all cooked the same, since it is basically a quick alternative to a sit down restaurant but better than your average fast-food burger. I got all the basic toppings to a bacon cheeseburger (minus the ketchup because anyone who knows me knows that I despise ketchup). Although Five Guys’ milkshake didn’t win the battle against the Emporium a few months back, it does not mean they automatically lose once again. In fact, they stand a pretty good chance against all of the other places in town. Personally, I love a quick and tasty meal, especially after a long week at school, and this Five Guys burger definitely accomplished that.
In conclusion, the burgers that I tried were almost incomparable. For anyone who wants a quick, easy, and classic burger with all the fixings, Five Guys is the way to go. On the other hand, the Emporium delivers a more restaurant quality burger for those seeking a more refined meal. If you’re more of a barbecue person and love the smoky taste, Taino could be your match made in heaven.
As stated before, burgers are a touchy subject to many, and it would be difficult to pick a favorite without offending anybody. Everyone always says “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and that “love comes in all shapes and sizes,” which I find to be true for food purposes as well. In the end, the different burgers I reviewed were merely a sampling of everything Middletown restaurants have to offer and I encourage everyone to try these delectable burgers for themselves.

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The student news site of Middletown High School
Where to find the city’s finest burger