Burger Bracket 2013: The Elite 8

Burger Bracket 2013: The Elite 8
Illustration by Monica Fuentes

Our teams of judges have spoken. Eight burgers advance into the next round and we say goodbye to eight more, all of which were worthy competitors.

The biggest upset during the Sweet 16 round is likely to be The Refinery edging out Little Bitty Burger Barn in the Readers' Choice bracket -- a newcomer knocking out an old favorite. While the team of judges assigned to the bracket admitted that all four of the burgers were terrific, they said Stanton's City Bites was by far the best, with The Refinery as a close second.

And although the bracket winners aren't determined by side items, the Readers' Choice judges gave a shout-out to them anyway.

"The Refinery definitely gets a mention for its amazing service and fries," judge Ryan Ngo mentioned in his tasting notes. "We tried fries with all of our burgers and The Refinery's waffle and sweet potato fries really stole the show there."

In the Classic Roadside bracket, the judges had a tough time calling it between Cream Burger and Champs.

"Both brought their A game during the lunch rush and a line was at each," reported judge Wesley Jurena. "Both with very fresh, crisp vegetables and obviously cooked while you wait. Similar buns, fresh and soft, both wrapped in white paper and both served in a paper bag by very friendly folks."

Not all teams sent along tasting notes, but the judges assigned to the Wild Game bracket were succinct in their summation of the bracket: Rainbow Lodge and Bubba's Texas Burger Shack blew past the competition.

The judging teams have now been assigned new brackets and we wait with baited breath while they decide which of the Elite 8 will advance to the Final 4. As a reminder, the Final 4 tasting party will feature samples from all four Burger Bracket finalists -- and you, our readers, are the final judges.

The Burger Bracket Final Four will kick off at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 9 at The Refinery. Sampling starts at 12:30 p.m. and the first 150 people in the door will be deciding which of the Final Four is this year's Burger Bracket Champion.

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