Best Burger Showdown!

Results Finalized in TMJ Meat-Goliath Contest

Trevor Phipps

Well, it’s official: The results for TMJ’s annual best burger contest are in! Online voting has been available for the last month and we received thousands of votes for the contest.

This year instead of just doing the normal burger contest in which total tallies determined the winner, we offered a little more diversity and included several different categories. This year readers could vote for the Best Burger, the Best Cripple Creek Casino Burger, the area’s most Unique Burger, and the high country’s Best French Fries. We appreciate the many people who participated in this year’s contest, as competition was quite intense.

Best Burger

This year it was no surprise that things proceeded along the same path as a year ago. This year’s winner has touted the fact that they have won the best burger in TMJ’s Best Of contest for the last several years in a row.

1st Place: Russ’ Place

Russ’ Place in Divide has been the reigning champion for the area’s best burger for the last few years. The eatery buys their beef from the Woodland Butcher Block and makes their buns in house. They have a variety of different burgers to choose from and the people have spoken to the fact that they are all very delicious.

2nd Place: McGinty’s Wood Oven Pub

This year the first place winner for best burger seemed to be just as close of a contest as last year. The race was close and McGinty’s fell second by just a few votes. The burgers at McGinty’s are made from locally raised beef at the Double Eagle ranch right across the highway from the restaurant in Divide. Many people think that the fact they use local beef makes them have one of the best burgers in the high country.

3rd Place: Iron Tree Restaurant and Funky Town Brewery

During this year’s contest a new eatery made the list in more than one category. The Iron Tree in Florissant describes itself as a “scratch kitchen” because everything is made in house including their bread and beer. They have a variety of burgers many of which are made with a unique twist.

Most Unique Burger

This was a new category added to our showdown this year, and needless to say, local eateries are not shy about featuring some unique  meat displays.

1st Place: Iron Tree Restaurant and Funky Town Brewery

Even though Iron Tree didn’t take first place for having the best burger, they were named the champs for having the most unique in the high country. Their house-baked bread combined with delicious hand- pattied burgers could have been the combination that made them the big winner. Many of the burgers on their menu come with ingredients like beer cheese and other items you don’t see offered on a burger every day.

2nd Place: Russ’ Place/McGinty’s Wood Oven Pub

The runner-up spot was just too close to call, so it’s another victory for the great eateries in Divide, “Center of the Known Universe.” Russ’  uses bread that they bake themselves and one perk is that their toppings are loaded on their burgers in massive quantities. People have the choice of ordering unique burgers such as one with peanut butter and bacon or one with macaroni and cheese deep fried in corn flakes and doused in barbecue sauce. McGinty’s sports the best names and combinations for burgers, making these choices quite unique.

3rd Place: The Historic Ute Inn

Another eatery that is famous for its hamburgers also made the list for the most unique burger. The Historic Ute Inn in Woodland Park also prides themselves in making half pound, hand-pattied burgers that are never frozen. The restaurant has daily specials that sometimes include a cranberry and brie burger.

Best Casino Burger

1st Place: Joe’s Diner (Wildwood Hotel & Casino)

Joe’s Diner this year took the top spot for having the best Cripple Creek Casino Burger. Joe’s has a lengthy list of several different kinds of burgers to choose from. The eatery is a good place to stop while gambling and the voters happen to think it is the best.

2nd Place: Pint & Platter (McGills Hotel & Casino)

Another local favorite eatery in the McGills Casino also earned many votes. The Pint & Platter, Cripple Creek’s sole Irish fare pub, offers a variety of delicious dishes and a decent selection of draft beers. A factor that makes this eatery unique is the fact that it has video poker inside the bar so patrons can enjoy a burger while trying to strike it rich. In the annual Best of Cripple Creek contest, Pint & Platter has reigned as one of the top casino bar hangouts and restaurants.

3rd Place: Bronco Billy’s Home Café

Coming in third was another popular Cripple Creek restaurant that’s inside Bronco Billy’s casino. Most of their food is quite good and the voters seemed to really like their hamburgers. It’s probably safe to say that the Home Café is one of the fastest restaurants around so visitors will not be waiting a long time for their burger.


Best French Fries

1st Place: Peak View BBQ and Tap Room

One of the region’s newest spots made the list this year but not for their burgers. In fact, Peak View won the title of having the best fries by quite a landslide. Patrons can order their tasty French fries while mowing down on a burger or one of their specialty-barbecue sandwiches.

2nd Place:  Shining Mountain

The infamous 19th hole at the Shining Mountain golf course is infamous for appetizers, great food and stories. It is not surprising they grabbed the runner-up spot in this category for their enticing fries. After trying to survive the links, SM patrons needs a hearty beer and fries for the sake of golf ethics.

3rd Place:  Blue Moose

How can you not indulge in fries inside the prime tavern of Green Mountain Falls, and a prime meeting spot for TMJ staff?