Meet The Meat: Burger Review

The search for the perfect burger.

Jack Baldner, Staff Reporter

Tim Baxter
One point on this scale is represented by half of a cheeseburger. The four places used for scientific purposes have been In-N-Out, Costco, Habit Burger and Five Guys.

One man. Four Burgers.  One mission. The search for the perfect burger. The balance between the cheese, the meat, the bun, the lettuce and the tomato.

Before we get started, I do have to mention I am an employee at In-N-Out, so I might be slightly biased in favor of In-N-Out. However, I did my best to maintain an unbiased mind.

To rate my burgers, I am using the official burger scale developed by me, that takes in the taste of the meat, bun and all the toppings.

Jack Baldner
A juicy cheeseburger from Costco. The burger had a spread, lettuce, tomatoes and cheese.


The first burger I tried was at Costco in Carlsbad. Starting at $4.99, it comes with two meat, one cheese, a nice zesty spread, lettuce and tomato. Let me tell you, I did not have high expectations for this cheeseburger. However, I was pleasantly surprised. The overall taste reminded me of a very high-end resort burger. The spread they use added a nice pop, which really made the burger. The biggest downside to this burger is the price, coming in it at $4.99, it is definitely not a great value like the rest of Costco’s menu. That was the main issue I had with this burger, it was pretty good, but is it worth the $4.99? I don’t think so. Maybe, if it came with fries, I would consider it an option, but considering you can get a hot dog for $1.50 and a slice of pizza for $1.99, the burger is not the best option in terms of value. Overall, I would give this burger a seven out of ten burgers on the burger scale, taking into consideration the taste and value of the burger.

Jack Baldner
A classic double-double from In-N-Out. This burger comes with two meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato and spread.


The second burger I had was at In-N-Out. The first thing you will notice about In-N-Out is the cheap prices. It is the best value for a burger by far. I went for a classic double-double with lettuce, tomato and spread. The burger tastes outstanding, including the toppings and meat. It tastes very real. The toasted bun tastes much better than any other burger I had. The toppings at In-N-Out taste fresh, and they are definitely better than any other burger I ate. The quality of this burger is on par with Five Guys, but the price is a much better value, which is why I am giving it a nine out of ten, one point higher than Five Guys.  

Jack Baldner
A delicious cheeseburger from Five Guys. Comes with two meat, lettuce, tomato and cheese.

Five Guys

The third burger I tasted was at Five Guys. I had very high expectations, considering most people think one of the best, if not the best, burger chain. I walked in and was immediately shocked by the prices. It is $8.39 for just a cheeseburger, which is almost more than the Habit Double Charburger meal and it is more than an In-N-Out double-double meal. They do have free peanuts, which is a benefit if you like peanuts. On my cheeseburger, I got lettuce, tomato, and pickles. The meat part of the cheeseburger was excellent, however, the toppings were subpar. The meat tasted real, and I was very impressed with how it tasted. The cheese was not fully melted, which is a negative in my opinion. Overall, I really enjoyed this burger, and I can see why so many people believe it is the best burger. Unfortunately, the price is too high for me, which is what brings down the score. I give Five Guys an eight out of ten burgers.

Jack Baldner
A unique double charburger from The Habit. This burger comes with two meat, lettuce, tomato, cheese, pickles and grilled onion.

The Habit

The Habit is a relatively unknown burger place in my opinion. With a price of $4.45 for a double charburger, as they call it, it really is a great value. The burgers are cooked on a steel charbroiler, giving it a unique taste. The burger comes with the standard lettuce and tomato, but it also includes grilled onions and pickles. This burger was pretty good. The big issue I had was the fact that the burger just did not taste very fresh. The vegetables were not as fresh as some of the other places I had, and overall it was very salty. I still really enjoyed this burger and I will definitely be making some trips back. I give this burger an eight out of ten burgers.

Bottom line— you really can’t go wrong with any of these places, and even though I had to eat an unhealthy amount of burgers to write this, I still enjoyed every burger I ate.