A few weeks ago my husband proposed an idea he had heard from a co-worker. Get a group of four friends together, each pick your two favorite places for a burger in Bozeman. Write a riddle for others to guess where it is. Meet up, share the riddles, determine the places narrowing it down to four. (Everyone picks two in case there are duplicates!) Go to each restaurant, order a hamburger and have it split four ways. After you’ve eaten it, head to the next place until you’ve tried them all. At the end put them order of your favorites and compare. It sounded fun for many reasons. Number 1, you get to try different hamburgers and as a mostly vegetarian who still loves a burger this was a perfect excuse. Number 2, you get to feel like you’re on a Food Network show commenting about how the “avocado really upped the flavor,” or the “homemade bun was a game changer”. Number 3, it’s something different to do. It changes up the usual going out with friends. Last weekend we met up with our best friends and decided to give it try. Here we go…
The plan was to meet at White Dog Brewery, everyone ready with their riddles for their two favorite burgers. But, first we had to make a visit to the Heap Burger food truck, knowing we wouldn’t be able to make it there later because they close early. I’ve been hearing amazing things about this place so we knew it had to be a part of the challenge. After explaining to the very helpful gentleman what we were doing, he encouraged us to order the monthly special…The Mountina. The hamburger was topped with green apples, caramelized onions, apple-Pernod reduction, lettuce, tomato and Mountina cheese. It didn’t take much convincing, he had me at caramelized onions. We took it and met up with our fellow burger eaters to start. The group verdict on this one? Yum. Everything tasted so fresh and the homemade bun added to it. The apple wasn’t everyone’s favorite and some thought the caramelized onion made it a bit too sweet but definitely a great way to begin.
After solving all the riddles, we had our schedule set for the rest of the evening. Next up was a surprise to me…we left downtown and made our way to Brewsker’s. I was instantly skeptical. We ordered the Mack Jack…it had pepper jack cheese, bell peppers, onion and thousand island dressing. Interesting. We found a seat in the low key lounge and waited. Now the ambiance here isn’t much but the burger blew me away. The meat melted in your mouth and the thousand island was just old school fun. I could see now we had some serious competition going on.
The last three places all had been picked by more than one person. At this point we knew we couldn’t possibly eat at all three so we narrowed it down to two. We also knew trying to get a table on a Saturday night at our next choice, Over the Tapas without a reservation just to order a burger wasn’t the best idea. We solved the problem by calling and ordering it take out and then taking it with us to the last spot…The Baucchus. Our lovely waitress said it was fine to enjoy it there since we were ordering food and beers (gotta love Bozeman). From Tapas we had the beef sliders that are topped with goat cheese croquettes. You gently crush the croquette on the burger and the goat cheese oozes out. Oh. My. Goodness. Deliciousness. As my best friend said “the crushed balls crushed it.” (We may have been a couple beers in by this point). Because they were sliders we each had our own rather than split them and it was a good thing because otherwise there may have been fights over it.
Last was the Hippie Burger with a side of curry fries from the Baucchus. This burger is topped with my favorites…artichoke hearts, avocado and goat cheese. i can’t think of anything better to put on a burger (except maybe goat cheese croquettes!) At this point I was getting so full, but it didn’t stop me from finishing my quarter of the burger. Along with a healthy portion of the curry fries. So good. After we were done, it was time to deliberate and make our decision.
We each wrote down in order our favorites and once we all finished we compared. The winner…Over the Tapas beef sliders with Brewsker’s coming in second unanimously. I was surprised that we all picked the exact same because throughout the night we all had varied opinions. We left that evening very, very full, making promises to do it again because there are other places we know have amazing burgers. There is just only so much time in one night (and enough room in ones stomach). There’s also talks of doing the same thing with other foods…pizza and tacos topping the list. And, ice cream! That’s a perfect summer one. Yes, I do believe we have a fun thing going on here. Good food, great company and supporting our favorite Bozeman places. Win, win, win.
Angela Jamison is a native Montanan and she grew up in beautiful Bozeman. I'm the mother of two girls and write a blog about our life here and taking i
n the simple pleasures of family and food.