Best burgers in the 205

By on April 24, 2013
Becky's South makes the best burgers in town according to the majority of Birmingham. Luke Meadows /Staff Writer

Becky’s South makes the best burgers in town according to the majority of Birmingham. Luke Meadows /Staff Writer

For centuries, people have been eating steaks formed from ground beef with rolls on the side. These hamburger steaks were the precursor to the modern hamburger that is so iconic today. Part of the controversy behind the creation of the hamburger is the fact that the steaks have been eaten with bread for centuries, and that the combining of these two elements was never definitively documented.

Although the exact origins of the modern hamburger sandwich are unclear, there is no denying that Becky’s South has perfected the recipe. I had already heard of Becky’s on Yelp, and I was interested in eating there, and it wasn’t until I was heading over to Redemptive Cycles, a local bike cooperative in Avondale, that I decided to head in there and try their fare.

I have a certain affinity for good cheeseburgers, and I would even go as far as to say that they are the only thing I like to eat, so I had to give it a whirl. Because I have such a love for a good old fashion hunk of sloppy, greasy, meaty burgers, I was ecstatic when Becky’s South delivered. They definitely let you have a burger and love it all night long.

They do have other burgers there though I steered clear from these because, a good burger consists of a bun, a patty, maybe cheddar cheese, and if you’re feeling especially adventurous, a few strips of bacon. These components and these components only are acceptable when assembling the perfect burger. To add sauted mushrooms, or chili to it is very nearly a perversion of the classic hamburger formula.

People in the restaurant industry know that by adding a laundry list of toppings to a burger, you can hide the fact that the bun is best suited for sponging up a kitchen mess and that the patty is more suited to functioning as a doorstop to keep customers flowing into the venue unhindered. Also, there is this idea that altering the components of a classic favorite, you can somehow revive it and freshen it into a better version of the original. I may be stepping on a few toes by saying this, but making your meatloaf with ground duck instead of ground beef and other analogous heretical acts in the kitchen are simply wrong.

Although Becky’s will make you a Smokehouse burger or a mushroom swiss burger if you ask them to, their standard unadulterated burger is excellent. Furthermore, there is no low carb option, no low fat option, and they give you your food so forcefully, that it’s pretty difficult to ask for anything different. I like that about Becky’s. They don’t even seem to like customers all that much either which to me, is a good sign. They don’t seem to even really want your business or have a business sense. From working in the restaurant business, I can tell you that their prices are way too cheap. And for some reason, I really like that attitude. I like that they will be livid to hear that you want one of their burgers, however, they will make you the best burger that you can get anywhere in the 205.

It was hard for me to see Becky’s making so many frivolous additions to their burger because from a culinary perspective, it’s hard to see someone create something special and delicious and truly master that craft only to turn around on all of that work and ruin all of their work. Even if these blasphemous burgers taste good, which I’m sure they do, I still feel that they are violating a higher principle by making and serving them. To me, if you can figure out how to do something well, especially in the culinary industry, you should just stick to that thing. Even with these considerations though, Becky’s is the place to go to get your umami high.

Luke Meadows
Staff Writer
lukem@uab.edu

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