Helen’s Corral Drive-In serves a jawstretcher burger, called the Hateful Burger.
You can find your way across this country using burger joints the way a navigator uses stars,” news anchor Charles Kuralt once said, and we’ve taken his words to heart. No, we haven’t stopped for every hamburger from Alpine, Wyo., to Fort Peck, Mont., but between the two of us—a ranch gal and an avid sportswoman—we’ve forged strong opinions about where to taste heaven.
Blu Kitchen Jackson, Wyo. Burgers aren’t meant to be cut, but there’s no other way to handle this eatery’s patty of grass-fed beef topped with Vermont cheddar, Wyomato slices, and Berkshire bacon. What keeps the juices off your lap? A ciabatta bun. 155 N. Glenwood St., (307) 734-1633, blu-kitchen.com.
- The Cheeseburger Factory Alpine, Wyo. Tired of herding cattle, Tim Murphy decided he’d griddle them< instead. His burgers are hand-patted chuck seasoned every morning with a special herb blend. Also griddled: cornmeal-dusted buns. 160 Hwy. 89, (307) 654-3663.
- Gannett Grill Lander, Wyo. Three magic words: grass-fed beef. That special quality you don’t recognize? Maybe it’s the freshness; the meat processor, who also raises the beef, is 10 minutes away. 126 Main St., (307) 332-8228, landerbar.com.
- Helen’s Corral Drive-In Gardiner, Mont. The uno≈cially named Hateful Burger comes in beef, bison, or elk. The handformed elk patty bursts with flavor, lapping over the edges of its toasted five-inch bun. 711 Scott St. W., (406) 848-7627.
- Oxen Yoke Inn Utica, Mont. big burgers says a sign on the log facade, but that’s an understatement. The hand-shaped cheeseburger is three-fourths of a pound and so juicy you’ll want a towel. 11532 Hwy. 541, (406) 423-5560.
- Park Grove Bar and Cafe Fort Peck, Mont. Fritzie’s Dam Burger is a half pound of ground beef from a butcher 14 miles away. Highway 117, on the Dredge Cuts, (406) 526-3252.
Photography by Lynn Donaldson
This article was first published in Sepember 2010. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.