Double Cheeseburger at Annie's Hamburgers

Because I associate hamburgers more with dinner than with lunch and I usually avoid rush-hour traffic at all costs, I was always doubtful I would make it to Annie's Hamburgers, which closes on the early side (7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 8 p.m. Thursday through Sunday) and lies not within five miles of my house (this lazy girl's dining radius on most weekdays). I thought this a sad thing since one of my many food quests is to try all the city's renowned burger establishments, a group that certainly includes Annie's.

But with some appropriate encouragement from a fellow burger-loving friend, I managed to make to Annie's before sundown. For the sake of experimental consistency, I try to order the same thing at every burger joint: a half-pound burger (or equivalent) with cheese, mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, and onion rings. Annie's doesn't offer a half-pound patty, so I got the double (two quarter-pound burgers) with all the accoutrements.

Annie's makes a perfectly fine burger, but it will never compete with the likes of other powerhouses like Christian's Tailgate. The lettuce and tomato were a bit limp (probably from having sat out on the prep counter for several hours), and the mayonnaise was tasty but strangely watery in consistency. In the past, some reviewers have complained that the burgers themselves were deficient in flavor and temperature. These criticisms were spot-on in my experience, as both patties had no discernible trace of seasoning and were at best lukewarm. It's hard to chalk up these flaws simply to the fact that Annie's is a "dive" joint, since other establishments classed in the same category seemed to produce more nuanced burgers or at least use a higher grade meat.

The rings, by the way, were top-notch: thickly battered with a crunchy exterior shell and a crisp interior onion. If I find myself at Annie's again, I'll get a double order of rings and try the frozen lemonade.

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