By Mike Thayer
I'm traveling around the Wichita Metro, sampling the burger offerings from any joint that has burgers on the menu, local, regional, national chain, it doesn't matter. In order to determine a true champion of burgers in the metro, I'll have to sample them all in the name of "burger science" (cough). For the burger criteria, click here.
For today's Burger Challenge lunch, I headed over to Burger Central. Here's the 'About Us' description from the Burger Central website: If you're looking for a good burger in Wichita, Kansas then look no further. Come to Burger Central where we serve Bacon Cheeseburger, Fireburger, Chicken Fried Steak, and more. We also serve Hot dogs, Corn Dogs and Grilled Cheese. Find us at the corner of Central Avenue and Zoo Blvd. We're not far from the Sedgwick County Zoo and Botanica. Order online for carryout!
As is my Burger Challenge habit in skipping breakfast, I walked into Burger Central at about 11:15am to enjoy my first meal of the day. I was greeted nicely by the two guys working the place and placed my order for a fully loaded Bacon Cheeseburger, tater tots and a drink. Featuring a 1/4 pound freshly ground all beef patty, the bacon cheeseburger requested comes topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, mustard and ketchup. I was asked if I wanted grilled or raw onion which I thought was a nice touch and in the mood for raw, that's where I went. Receiving my drink cup, I poured myself a Dr. Pepper and found a seat.
Squeeze bottles of ketchup and mustard were brought to my table as my meal was being prepared and an episode of Friends was on TV in the seating area, love that show! With some great aromas coming from the kitchen, my burger was crafted in little time and along with fries fresh out of the fryer was delivered to my table. As soon as the great looking burger and fry basket was set in front of me, the guy delivering it said, "You ordered tater tots didn't you?"
"Yes actually, but these fries look great!" I responded.
"Enjoy those, I'll get your tater tots" and off the guy went to the kitchen.
Giving him a very appreciative thank you, that was some stellar customer service right there. Some places wouldn't correct the wrong like that if they get an inkling you're OK with what was provided, in this case the fries, in error. And these were great looking fries, I seriously would have been fine with foregoing the tots, but Burger Central made it right.
The fries were good, but the star of the show was that burger! All the fundamentals were nailed in the preparation of the burger. The patty was seasoned well, packed with flavor and super juicy, one of the juicier burgers of the Challenge. The bacon was crispy and there was bacon in every bite. The cheese was melted nicely and the veggies were generously portioned, fresh and on point in complimenting the savory beef and bacon notes. Wrapping it all up nicely was a butter toasted bun kicking up the flavor element another notch and it more than stood up to all the juices from the burger and moisture from the fresh veggies.
Side Note: I love a good french fry, but I'm a tater tot guy (see what I did there? Poet and didn't know it, give me a dime for my rhyme...). When tots are on the menu, I'll take those over fries. I thankfully got to sample both at Burger Central and they're both excellent. The fries are hand cut, they were perfectly fried providing that slightly crispy exterior and fluffy potato interior. I did have to add a touch of salt. I like tots and the greater crunch factor they provide along with the soft spud interior, it's kind of like KFC Extra Crispy Chicken - potato version. Burger Central fried the tots up perfectly, delivered them to my table seconds after coming out of the fryer.
Costing me $8.59 for the burger, side and a drink, the Burger Central Bacon Cheeseburger scored 58 points out of a possible 63, earning it 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars. The burger was flavorful, juicy, stacked well and very balanced. Burger Central crafts a top notch classic bacon cheeseburger and it's Bachelor on the Cheap wallet friendly at only $8.59 for the basket. This is a repeat buy, a burger I would order again, and again, and again.
Located at 3302 W Central Ave, Wichita, KS 67203, Burger Central should be on everybody's burger joint list if it isn't already. The guys working there are great, the service was super friendly, attentive, fast. I'm looking forward to a repeat visit and perhaps sampling that good looking chicken fried steak!
$pend Wisely My Friends...
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