THEME: Punch for Punch
One, a small dedicated burger joint founded by two Indiana guys who just wanted to get a quality burger at a great price. The other, a national chain of entertainment restaurants filled with everything from bowling to ping pong to darts. Can the little guys take on the big fancy establishment when it comes down to one of the most essential things needed to sustain life – a good burger?
Hometown: Punch Burger – 137 E. Ohio Street
Weight: 245 grams
A simple buttered bun with slight toast markings on the inside. Given how thin the bottom bun was however, we were impressed that the juices and BBQ sauce from the burger didn’t seep through.
The burgers used at Punch Burger are 100% Angus grass fed beef. The patty was well seasoned and juicy, although it was slightly greasy like a fast food patty.That being said though, fast food burgers are still pretty delicious (if you don’t think about things like preservatives) so we still enjoyed this tasty burger.
Grilled onions. Cheddar cheese. Barbecue sauce. That’s all. No-nonsense toppings that get to the point.
There’s not much of a ratio to talk about since the only other toppings are the grilled onions but they do go well with the burger. Since the entire burger isn’t very big, it’s easy to get everything in a single bite and really taste the mix between the meat, BBQ sauce, and onions. A little bit of green would’ve been nice to offset the strong flavors of the beef and the sweetness of the barbecue sauce though.
In a sentence:
A misnomer in size, but a winner in taste and ingredients.
Name: Knockoff Burger
Hometown: Punch Bowl Social – 120 S. Meridian Street
Weight: 284 grams
A slight change of pace with the sesame seed bun rather than the brioche ones we’ve seen thus far. That being said, based on the taste and texture of this bun, we could tell this was something that was likely taken straight out of a bag and plated. No grill marks or love put into the bread here.
This burger comes equipped with not one, but two ground beef patties that were cooked medium well. That being said, don’t let that fool you – the patties are small and thin and reminiscent of a fast food patty. The meat tasted fine but could’ve used a hair more seasoning. Other than that, pretty ordinary patties.
The Knockoff burger had an interesting ingredient to it that we felt the need to mention – the pickled onions. Contrast to the more traditional toppings, it gave it a little bit of a zing (almost like ginger) which was definitely unique, but slightly out of place. As far as the ‘comeback sauce’, we couldn’t actually taste it until we literally just licked the roof of the bun. The sauce was pretty good (tasted like Big Mac sauce) and would’ve been nice to have more of but was lost amongst the meat and pickled onions.
Although the height to width ratio in the pictures above might have you believing this is a large burger, it was fairly compact and able to be eaten without all the ingredients spilling out on the sides. There is a good deal of meat in the ratio but the slices of cheese helped add some flavor to the all the meat inside as well as the pickled onions.
In a sentence:
A fancy double cheeseburger, but not too fancy.
This week’s decision was another close call, but for slightly different reasons. It really came down to the idea that sometimes, less is more. The Texan, although extraordinarily simple, knew what it was about and didn’t try to be anything else. Sure they could have done more for a burger named the Texan but as far as having a tasty burger where all the ingredients felt like they belonged together, we had no complaints. The Knockoff Burger on the other hand, seemed to have a slight identity crisis. The fact that this establishment only had this one burger on its list (that wasn’t vegetarian) meant that they should’ve either tried to make it a staple, safe burger, or something very unique to the restaurant’s brand. You start with a double patty with melted cheese in between each and you immediately think of a traditional double cheeseburger. You even have the sesame seed bun to give it that traditional American feel to it – suddenly however, you bite into pickled onion. Your stomach’s GPS is suddenly re-calibrating as it tries to identify these ingredients and where in the world this burger is going. Don’t get us wrong, it’s a good burger – but you do feel like it would’ve been more wholesome if you decided to stick completely to one theme.
And finally, although we hate to bring money into the equation, for a burger as non-unique as the Knockoff burger (was the name meant to be ironic?), we do not see it being worth $13 ($14+ after tax). We do understand that pricing works differently since there are other premiums for entertainment that Punch Bowl Social offers but when we ordered a $13 dollar burger, there were some expectations that came with it. Sadly, those expectations were not met.
As you can see below, this week’s burgers are both the most and least expensive burgers we’ve tried based on their cost:weight ratio
|Restaurant||Burger||Weight (g)||Price ($)||Gram / Dollar|
|Punch Bowl Social||Knockoff Burger||284||$13.00||21.85|
As far as sides, the Knockoff Burger came with fries while the Texan did not. If you ARE in the mood for fries though, we highly recommend ordering a side of waffle fries from Punch Burger. Crispy and delicious!