The Bachelor on the Cheap Burger Challenge 2022: Who makes the best burger in Wichita? Is it The Anchor?
By Mike Thayer
After eating at Fatburger on their opening day Wednesday and receiving some reader feedback, I decided to embark on another Bachelor on the Cheap Challenge: Who makes the best burger in Wichita?
I've never completed a best burger challenge (started one for local joints in 2020 but then COVID hit) let alone a contest this comprehensive, evaluating ALL contenders for Best Burger, be they a local, regional or national establishment.
During the course of this challenge I'll be sampling classic cheeseburgers, OK, it MAY have some bacon on it, but otherwise straight forward beef and cheese goodness with the typical toppings. The way I see it, if you can't put together a classic bacon cheeseburger and do it well, then there's no reason to sample a burger joint's other burger options. So there will be no BBQ & onion strings, no on habenero & mango, no on avocado & cucumber, etc., versions of burgers.
As a former Certified Competition BBQ Judge, I've taken that scoring system and tweaked it to judging burgers. Being evaluated on a point system scorecard will be a plethora of categories that includes but is not limited to the appearance, meat, bun, meat to bun ratio, the cheese, how the burger is dressed (that means the assortment of veggies, sauce and/or condiments for those of you who live in Haysville), price and more. Weighing most heavily in the score of course, is TASTE and depending on the size of the patty, I could be sampling a single or a double, there's a quarter pound minimum. After scoring the burger, I'll post a review for the respective burger joint, compiling all that data as I go from restaurant to restaurant and I'll post all the numbers for each burger sampled in a final report.
Today, I sampled a burger from The Anchor in downtown Wichita.
An award winning bar & grill known for its craft beers, The Anchor is a hotspot for both lunch and dinner where you can enjoy cold beer, craft cocktails and a fine meal in a great atmosphere. They have 59 beers to choose from and a stellar food menu, 'jus say'n...
I went with the House burger for lunch, an in-house ground Black Angus beef patty that's lightly seasoned, served on a butter toasted bun along with lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle. I added a slice of cheddar and bacon to top the burger.
After ordering I passed the time sipping on a Warbeard Irish Red Ale while posting my 'event' on Facebook. My burger arrived in about 10 minutes and it had a mouthwatering visual!
After dressing it with a bit of mustard, ketchup and mayo, I took that first bite. Cooked to medium, the patty had a touch of pink and was juicy, as in, the bartender gave me an extra napkin for a reason, juicy. I got the buttery notes from the toasted bun, the light smokiness from the bacon and the cheese was melted nicely. The red onion was assertive yet sweet with a light crunch, I got the tart from the pickle and the loose leaf lettuce provided a freshness, balancing things out. The tomato was a bit of a downer though, red on the edges, but a bit green and hard towards the middle.
Side Note: The fries were stellar, perfectly fried and seasoned well.
Overall, The Anchor cranks out a very good burger, but I did find it to be a bit under seasoned and the tomatoes not the best. On the spreadsheet, The Anchor House Burger scored a 55 out of a possible 63 points, earning it 4 stars. A little more seasoning and char on the flipside of the burger and better tomatoes would have made this a 5 star burger. Costing me a little over $14 (includes tax) for the burger and fries, it's reasonably priced and worthy of a repeat buy.
The Anchor is located at 1109 E Douglas Ave, Wichita, KS 67211. The burger and fries made for a nicely satisfying meal, the price was reasonable and the service was top notch! Thank you Anchor!
$pend Wisely My Friends...
Related: A first taste of Fatburger Wichita
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