Burger review of the month: Hurricane Grill and Wings in Cary
Posted May 16, 2012
Updated May 17, 2012
In burgiatry school, we’re trained to be wary of burgers purveyed at joints specializing in something else (e.g., avoid the patty melt at Sushi Thai). Sure, you’ll occasionally stumble upon a great non-burger-joint burger like the one at Bonefish Grill (TSB rating = 4.42), which would move even the stodgiest classical burgiatrist to stand up and say “yum.” But that’s rare.
Well, it happened again – this time in grand fashion.
Hurricane Grill and Wings, a chain restaurant out of Florida that specializes in wings out the wazoo, has opened one other location in the southeastern United States – and our fair Cary, North Carolina, wins big.
I’ll mention but not dwell on how good the wings were. My goodness they were good. My goodness.
For it was the Hurricane’s burger – a humble, traditional, flat-grill beauty with a quality, flavorful patty and a bun that knows when to stay out of the way – that’s the cause for a strong southeasterly gale around TSB headquarters. Hearkening us back to the pure, undiluted burger power of Mojoe’s and Johnson’s, two TSB favorites, Hurricane Wings and Grill offers one non-burger-joint burger that made these burgiatrists stand up and say, with no hint of shame, “yum.”
Scott’s Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0
Though I could have guessed it by the formulaic beach-life tchotchke décor (which actually suits this surf bum quite well), the fact that Hurricane Wings and Grill was a chain was revealed to me only after the burger was consumed. The knowledge that it was a chain would not have dimmed my expectations (my maxim has always been “burger bliss is where you find it”); the fact that it was a non-burger-centric chain might have.
But that would have been unfair. Burgers are not the marquee item on Hurricane’s menu, but they should be – or perhaps at least share twin billing with the blockbuster wings.
Hurricane offers a very flavorful chuck patty cooked (in my case) a light medium, on a soft bun, with gooey melted American cheese. While my tomato was a little thin and crystalline, Hurricane got one major thing right with the veggies…drum roll, please…shredded iceberg lettuce! The only area where Hurricane went awry here was the order of the build, with the veggies on the bottom, the tomato longing to be in its rightful place next to the mayo. I pushed that frustration aside and opened my heart to this burger, and it filled me with warm, burger bliss.
John’s Rating: It’s a solid 4.5, folks.
Thirty. Two. Wing. Sauces. Thirty-two. Any of them can be added to a burger – or anything else between bread. If our oft-imagined fictional sister site thestraightwing.com actually existed, we’d discuss it there. Until then, you’ll just have to try them yourself. On to the burger. I ordered the bacon cheeseburger with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles – and the Thai ginger and garlic sauce.
The juicy patty was mildly seasoned and fully covered with cheese. The order of the build, however, was perplexing. The shredded lettuce, average tomato, and pickles were beneath the patty. Mind-boggling. Also, the bacon was tasteless and limp. It tasted like it was cooked in the microwave, or sitting in a warmer for awhile. The ginger glaze, though, elevated the overall burger experience. The soft, top-notch bun held everything together.
Overall, it was a great burger, but the unorthodox build and sub-par bacon keep me from rating it higher than a 4.
Michael’s Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0
Final note: Hurricane’s overall score (4.33) makes its burger a close second to our top-rated Cary burger, Barry’s Café (4.50) – but just barely.
Scott, Michael and John are The Straight Beef, a group of professional burgiatrists who review, rate and rank Triangle-area burgers on their award-winning blog. You can read more about The Straight Beef, including their education and scholarship, ratings system, and burger categorization method here