Loyola’s Best Burger

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The Cheeseburger, an American staple whose origin goes back to 19th century cattle ranching on the great plains, is one of the most popular foods in the world, possibly because hamburger meat is the cheapest cut of beef.  Legend tells us that The Cheeseburger we know and love today was born in our own Southern California. In 1926, Lionel Sternberger, a fry cook at his father’s sandwich shop “The Right Spot” in Pasadena, added a slice of American cheese to a hamburger, and the Cheeseburger was born, creating a whole new restaurant industry. 

The CDC has found that younger age groups, specifically men, tend to be the main consumers of fast food. Considering that the cheeseburger is native to Southern California and that Loyola is bustling with young men, it is only fair to claim that Loyola High’s take on the best burger is the most accurate. Here is how the Loyola student body feels about local burgers.

This chart represents the results of a survey sent out to the whole student body. Each number represents the average score given by the responses for each respective category. The scale was 1-10, with 10 being best.

HOSPITALITY

Hospitality, in my opinion, has absolutely nothing to do with the actual product that is received. If you are looking for an exceptional meal, then you are, most likely, willing to risk hospitality for the effect on your tastebuds. Furthermore, hospitality is tough to measure with respect to fast food. Unlike a sit-down restaurant,  fast food places don’t have waiters or waitresses. The whole point of fast food is to get your food, eat it, and go. Chick-fil-A is the only fast food restaurant that is notable for hospitality, which is why it received the highest rating with  a 9.0. Chick-fil-A specifically has a hospitality team member to make sure customers feel welcomed. It’s a specific job title. I’ve had the Pasadena hospitality team member come over to me and my friends and ask us about our day and even offer us free ice cream. Chick-fil-A hands down wins the prize for this category. 

VALUE

When you are a high school student with an average of $8.35 in a personal bank account, value can be the most important quality in a burger. Value has two different criteria: qhe quality of a meal and the cost of the meal. For example, Chick-fil-A and McDonalds are around the same price, but Chick Fil A, in most opinions, has fresher food, so it is a better value. In-N-Out wins the Blue Ribbon in the value category with an average rating of 8.6, hitting the mark with quality and price. $15 at In-N-Out will get you a 4×4, Animal Style Fries and a drink. A 4×4, Animal Style Fries and a Dr. Pepper happens to be my exact order and I am satisfied every time. $15 at Shake Shack, Five Guys, McDonalds etc… will leave me hanging. McDonalds is second on the value podium with an average score of 7.8. McDonald’s is home to the dollar cheeseburger. What can I say? I actually think that it’s $1.29 now, but we can reminisce about the dollar deal for now. Surprisingly, I don’t see McDonald’s holding the best value without the “deals”section of their app. To clarify, the McDonald’s phone app has a section full of different promotions designed to save you money. Without the App, a meal at McDonalds starts around eight dollars. That eight dollars is getting me nowhere. McDonald’s meals don’t come with volume. As high school students we need the equivalence of two and a half McDonald’s meals. I’m talking about ordering a large Dr. Pepper, 10 piece chicken McNuggets, a Big Mac, large fries, a McChicken and a McFlurry. This order is nearing $20 already. When you use the “deals” section of the McDonald’s app this all changes. Currently I have a deal for two large fries and 40 chicken McNuggets for $16. That is an absurd amount of food. I used an example earlier of how Chick-fil-A has better value than McDonald’s, and I stand by that, but that is not what Loyola students decided. 

SHAKE

Shakes aren’t an essential part of my order, but I know, for many, they can be. I have an ice cream addiction, so even though I might not always get a shake (because I’m getting a Dr. Pepper), I know my shakes pretty well. Shake Shack lives up to its name for best shake with an average score of 8.8. I would have to agree that this is rightfully deserved. Shake Shack is full of options and you can never go wrong. My personal favorite is cookies and cream. The Oreo pieces are just the right size and the shake is on the thicker side, but not so thick that you start to hurt your mouth trying to enjoy it. In-N-Out comes in as a close second with an average of an 8.7. I love In-N-Out, as you can see, but I am not a fan of their shakes. I mean, they only have three flavors, and that never changes. 

FRENCH FRIES

French Fries can be a complicated topic. With so many different toppings to put on fries it makes it hard to determine who has the best fried. For example, soggy chilli cheese fries are generally pretty good because the chilli and cheese take away the focus on the soggy fries. In addition, not every fast food restaurant has specialty fries, so, for the purposes of this discussion, we are talking about fried potatoes and salt only. Chick-fil-A wins the overall fries category with an average of 8.2. I have to agree with this score, when the fries are done right. McDonald’s comes in just behind Chick-fil-A with an average of 8.0. Even my mother who hates fast food will eat McDonald’s fries. McDonald’s is notable for the consistency of their fries, but occasionally can be too salty. 

THE CHICKEN SANDWICH

Ever since Popeye’s came out with its blockbuster chicken sandwich, Chick-fil-A, the creator of the chicken sandwich, has been under some pressure. Many argue that the Popeye’s chicken sandwich has a better bun while Chick-fil-A has the better chicken patty. Is the bun or the chicken more important? According to Loyola the answer is obvious. Chick-fil-A runs away with an average rating of 8.4 while Popeyes is left with a 6.9. Unpopular Opinion: If we are just talking bun and patty, the Popeye’s chicken sandwich is better than the Chick-fil-A version.  However, Chick-fil-A sauce is unparalleled and, therefore, wins the prize. On a side note, the spicy chicken sandwich at Chick-fil-A has spices in the batter while at Popeye’s it is just a spicy sauce. Is that really a spicy chicken sandwich?

THE BURGER

The moment that we have all been waiting for. The real meat (pun intended) of this article is about to be revealed . Who has the best burger? If you don’t want to read,  the best burger is in the graph at the top of the article. Now, for those who have read the article in its entirety, it’s time for a showdown. Coming in at number three: Five Guys receives an average score of 7.1. At number two: Shake Shack is given an average of 8.4. And the winner of Loyola’s best burger is the Southern California staple: In-N-Out with a whopping 9.2. There is absolutely no debate with these results. In-N-Out is the standard for cheeseburgers. That’s all there is to it. Take me to any restaurant, sit down or not, it simply cannot beat an In-N-Out cheeseburger. The haters will argue that I am biased because I am a Southern California native, but what they are forgetting is that the cheeseburger was created in Southern California. It only makes sense that the classic California cheeseburger brand is the best in existence. It’s like saying that pizza from a spot in the US is better than pizza from Italy. I beg to differ. I have never had an In-N-Outt cheeseburger I didn’t like. Fresh off the grill and into your mouth. Mouth watering. Shake Shack does produce an impressive cheeseburger, and their buns are better than In-N-Out ones, I must admit, but they always put on too much shack sauce and they don’t even have grilled onions! Not to mention, Shake Shack is ridiculously expensive. Five Guys rightfully deserves the third place spot. Five Guys offers a wide variety of toppings which can appeal to many different tastes. I think that the bottom line is that all three of these burgers are made to order and are, therefore, completely unique to what you want. 

OVERALL

In-N-Out Burger, with its simple, affordable menu and delicious food takes the top spot in Loyola students’ rankings of the best fast food restaurant. Photo courtesy of In-N-Out Burger.

The overall category reveals the true purpose of this article. What burger joint is the best across the board? The debate is over as the people have spoken and we have our winner. If you haven’t read the graph yet, I’m sure you could put in a good guess as to who the top three are. Shake Shack goes home in third place with an overall score of 7.6, while the Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A has rocked the west coast with an overall score of 8.2. The Southern California Native, In-N-Out, is considered by Loyola students to be the overall best fast food restaurant with an 8.7. I agree with these three overall rankings. 

In short, whether it be Chick-fil-A, In-N-Out, Shake Shack or one of the other seven restaurants that were surveyed, if you are hungry, you generally can’t go wrong, no matter where you go around here.


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