Welcome back to the Telegraph, friends. So glad you could join us once again.
To me, there’s nothing better in this world than a really good hamburger. This quintessentially American dish is thought to have originated from the late 1800s when German immigrants started to put their hamburger steaks between two pieces of bread for the sake of time and convenience here in the new country, though the origins of ground beef go all the way back to the Romans.
Regardless, the hamburger, or cheeseburger, is a cultural icon and has been mentioned in song, literature and many other things over the years. I feel that we are very fortunate here in the home county to have so many superb burgers to choose from and I’d like to share some of my favorites with you today. The following list is in order and it also includes a couple of honorable mentions and an In Memoriam as well. With apologies to any I may have missed, here we go.
5. Hardee’s: Yeah, I can already hear the peanut gallery chirping on this one. A chain? A fast-food joint? Well, yes. I apologize to no one. Their thick burgers - their “real-deal” burgers - are great. Good-sized portions, great flavor, cooked well. They’re hard to beat in my opinion. I’m a big fan of the Frisco burger in particular.
4. Wayback Burgers: Certainly this crew would be considered the new kid on the block as they just opened a month or so ago over on Alcovy Road. I’d seen several rave reviews so I made a point to get over there the other day. And folks, I’m here to tell you - I was very impressed. A large assortment of different signature burgers to choose from and you can also make up your own. The full experience of this burger was very impressive. The quality of the bun, the freshness of the toppings and the melding of the flavors of the burger itself were all very good. I’m a fan and have been back again and will be back again many times in the future.
3. Amici: Again, I feel as if I may lose a few folks on this one, but I don’t care. And I get it, an Italian joint? What can I say? And I know I’m not the only one. This is truly a great burger. Not unlike Wayback, it’s the full package - the bun, the add-ons, the taste and texture of the burger. It’s hard to beat. Am I little biased because it’s Amici? Maybe. Does having it served with those tasty fries and that fabulous ranch dressing play a role. Maybe…
2. Tava’s: I actually thought about having two first place finishers as a tie but I felt like some folks would have thought I was guilty of copping out. The burgers at Tava’s are simply divine. The true heir to Mr. Hester’s hamburger magic that I remembered as a young boy and have enjoyed most of my life, just like many of you. There’s just something about those burgers! The key is obviously the recipe. That blend of spices is just right, but there’s also something about the way they cook those jokers, too. Regardless, it is spectacular. And talking about fries? Man, they are some of the best I’ve ever had.
1. The Town House Café: A Covington institution since 1964, this place is on a different level for so many reasons. First off, it’s the people. The owners of this fine establishment - the Hamm family - are some of the best folks I’ve ever come across in my days, and ditto for old classmate, Christopher D. Williams. The Town House Cafe is good for the soul, and I always leave that place better than when I came in. Getting that good food is just a part of it; it’s the conversation and fellowship that provides the most nourishment. And those burgers, man. It's truly the best around. The taste, the texture, everything. I get mine deluxe style, and sometimes I’ll even get a double. I recommend the seasoned fries and get ya’ an Orange Crush to go with it.
Honorable mentions: Longhorn, Mystic, Irish Bred, Tubby Tom's, Lucy's and most definitely Plain Nuts would be in any self-respecting burger aficionado's list. And the In Memoriam I mentioned? The Bess's Burger at Bess's Place. It would've definitely cracked the top 3.