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Best Burger

6118 E. Speedway Blvd.

READERS' PICK: Not only does Fuddrucker's make the best-tasting burgers in town, they help control the traffic problem over on the east side. See, vegetarians don't dare drive through the Speedway-Wilmot intersection for fear they'll get a whiff of those burgers and go over to the dark side. When the rest of us drive past, we drive nice and slow, savoring the aroma. Who are we kidding? We don't drive past, we stop in, satisfy our hunger for a great hamburger, then drive on, at peace with the world.

READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP--TIE: There's only one thing to remember about the Bob Burger at Bob Dobbs' Bar and Grill, 2501 E. Sixth St.: garlic. Lots and lots of bacteria-killing, vampire-slaying, better-than-Guinness-for-strength garlic. That, and Worcestershire sauce. These are the key ingredients in this half-pound, industrial strength patty. If that's too much for ya, there's always the Connie--lean ground beef and melted cheddar, on a toothsome sesame-seed bun.

Americans long ago figured out that automobiles and hamburgers were meant for each other. This time-tested combination still hits on all cylinders at Shari's Drive-In, 2650 N. First Ave. Crudely yet tantalizingly depicted on the sign above the small, '50s-style drive-in, the classic double cheeseburger at Shari's is clearly as God intended: the basic American staple from the basic American burger-joint, and the next best thing to having your own grease gun. Pure burger satisfaction. Don't forget to grab one of Shari's yummy thick shakes to complete the experience.

CLUE IN: The no-frills packaging lets the flavor of the meat do the talking with the top-sirloin burger on the menu at Grill, 100 E. Congress St. This large, thick, spiced patty drips meaty goodness while reminding you how handy those incisors have turned out to be. Served with a couple of slices of fresh Roma tomato and your favorite condiments, with shoestring fries or a garden salad with tarragon vinaigrette (for those trying to mitigate the damage). Special bonus: If you order your burger medium-rare, it'll actually be prepared medium-rare, so don't say it unless you mean it.

CLUE IN: Many a vegetarian, if you catch them in a weak moment, will admit to feeling the occasional pang of carnivorous uprising. If ever there were a burger worth falling off the wagon for, it may well be the beauty at The Third Stone, 500 N. Fourth Ave. The restaurant uses a mysterious mix of spices to flavor its succulent meat, which the wranglers behind the bar then grill to your specifications. A side of delectable potato-wedge fries doesn't hurt, either. If you can't resist the call of meat in your maw, belly up to the Third Stone and bow down.

Case History

1997 Winner: Fuddruckers
1996 Winner: Fuddruckers
1995 Winner: Fuddruckers

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