Burger tasting: What we thought of this popular Rochester Hills joint

The search for the best Metro Detroit burger continues

The next round of Local 4's Burger Breakdown covers Burgrz in Rochester Hills. We're on the hunt for the best burger in Metro Detroit, and we're bringing you along. (WDIV)

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. – We are on the hunt for the very best hamburger in Metro Detroit.

Like you, we’re sick of these “top 10 burgers” lists put out by every news organization and their mother. That’s why Carmichael Cruz and I, Cassidy Johncox, are putting our arteries at risk as we taste our way through the burgers of Southeast Michigan.

Together, we’re going to try every burger we possibly can to narrow down the best of the best of Metro Detroit. And we’re taking you along for the ride.

We’ve visited spots like Miller’s Bar, Redcoat Tavern, Shamrock Pub and more. Now, we’re stopping at Burgrz in Rochester Hills.

Next stop: Burgrz, Rochester Hills

We’ve heard some rumblings about Burgrz, located at 3204 Walton Blvd., having the best burgers in the Rochester Hills area. So, we thought we’d see for ourselves.

The fast-casual burger joint -- which also serves hot dogs, fries and salads -- looked a lot like a chain restaurant, both inside and out. But it isn’t; Rochester Hills is their only location.

Burgrz has a list of specialty burgers that they make, and also have a build-your-own option. To keep things consistent, we built our own burgers in a most classic way: Beef, lettuce, tomato, American cheese, onion, pickles, and mayo. The cost was $8.49 per cheeseburger, before tax.

We were served rather quickly in the quiet, well-lit space. We attached little microphones to our shirts so we could record our reactions while eating. To spare you from the gross chewing sounds, we’ve written out the conversation for you to read, instead.

Here’s how it went.

A traditional burger at Burgrz in Rochester Hills. (Cassidy Johncox/WDIV)

Chewing the fat

Carmichael: What a cute little burger! It looks like a Krabby Patty in real life.

A “Spongebob Squarepants” reference, for those who don’t know.

Cassidy: It so does! The bun looks like a little pillow. They definitely grilled the inside of the bun.

Cassidy: The meat ... looks interesting.

Carmichael: It does. It looks really smashed and crispy.

We’re ready to dive in. Bites are had.

Cassidy: That’s really greasy. Right away. It just poured out everywhere.

Carmichael: Yeah, it’s dripping.

We chew for a while, not yet sure how we feel.

Carmichael: It’s got a good saltiness to it. I’m definitely not craving any salt.

Cassidy: Me neither. Getting deeper in, it’s getting better. The mayo was a good call.

Carmichael: Yeah definitely keeps it moist. They actually put mayo on both buns. There’s a good amount.

Cassidy: It adds a kind of richness to it all.

Carmichael: I’m just realizing they didn’t ask how we wanted these cooked. They look a little pink, though.

More chewing. More considering.

Cassidy: Hmm.

Carmichael: I think it’s good. It’s not evoking anything. It’s not saying anything. But it could satisfy a classic burger craving.

Cassidy: Yeah I feel that. It’s good, but it’s not great.

Carmichael: The meat has a different flavor to it.

Cassidy: It does. There were a few pieces with a good char. I liked that. Takes small bite. The meat is plain on its own, without cheese.

Cassidy: I’m honestly not sure if I like this burger. It’s definitely way too greasy for me.

Carmichael: Same. It’s not ... missing anything, per se.

Cassidy: Yeah. It has all of the right ingredients, but they just aren’t working together the right way.

Carmichael: Actually, I am not too fond of the bun. I don’t know if it’s dry, but it reminds me of an elementary school bun you’d get with lunch.

Cassidy: Yes! Yes. Agreed.

Carmichael: Maybe it’s old? I don’t know.

Cassidy: It tastes fine, but it doesn’t add anything. The texture of it feels off.

Carmichael: This is a tough burger to rate because it’s overall not bad.

Cassidy: I agree. If I was super hungry, this would probably be fine. Especially if you aren’t someone closely analyzing every aspect, like we do.

Carmichael: All I taste is bun, though, which I don’t want. And it’s a little bitter.

Cassidy: I do think the bun is hurting it. It takes too long to chew.

Carmichael: Yes. Did you actually taste the cheese? I don’t think it’s very prominent. Even though the burger smelled cheesy when it came to the table.

Cassidy: Takes bite to double-check. Yeah, no. Not really, actually.

Carmichael: I do think it’s better than Miller’s Bar. But I wouldn’t drive up here just for this.

Cassidy: Agreed.

A traditional burger at Burgrz in Rochester Hills. (WDIV)

Overall rating

As we taste more and more burgers, our ratings may change in the future. Until our final results are published, all of our ratings will be considered preliminary. Still, we have established a baseline, and where the burgers fall on our grading scale is becoming clearer and clearer.

For Burgrz: Overall, we weren’t impressed with the burgers here. They weren’t bad, but we didn’t really enjoy them (and they were much too greasy for us). If you do go here, we’d suggest building a burger with more flavorful ingredients, or trying one of their specialty burgers. Those would probably make the experience more enjoyable. We do feel there are better burgers out there for the same price.

Our ratings are as follows (on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the best):

  • Carmichael’s rating: 6.2
  • Cassidy’s rating: 6

Find all Burger Breakdowns here

Why are we doing this?

After trying countless hamburgers in our lives, we are on the hunt for the very best burger Metro Detroit has to offer. We’re selecting restaurants from viewer submissions, the most common “top burger” lists, and from our own lists, and tasting them all to see which is really the greatest.

When asking viewers where the best Metro Detroit burger is, we received over 600 responses. While we can’t try 600 burgers (I don’t think we’d survive), we’re going to get through as many as we can.

In short, we’re on the hunt for the moment when we can say: “Now, that’s the best burger I’ve ever had,” and we’re reporting on what we find. We’re both huge lovers of food, cooking, and the social scene, and we’re frequently trying new food and places throughout Southeast Michigan.

This journey will take us to many different restaurants that cater to different budgets. While we can’t get to every Metro Detroit restaurant and burger, we aren’t excluding any specific type of establishment from our search -- save for chains that aren’t specifically local.

As we hunt for the very best burger around, we will stop in at some dives, some higher-end spots, and everything in between. Our criteria will be the same for everyone, and we won’t be rating the more expensive burgers higher for any reason -- they’ll be graded for their quality and value just the same.

Have a spot you think we absolutely have to try? Let us know in an email or in the comments below, and we may add it to our list! Again, we’re avoiding chains, unless they’re local.

About the Authors

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.

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