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Comparing the Basic Cheeseburger
By Bob Lassahn

When dining out in the Ocean Pines/Ocean City area there are numerous choices of where to go. There are places serving upscale dinners to basic comfort foods and everything in between. Judgments on the best eating place are almost always subjective. So how about doing a cost comparison on a comparable dish?

In searching for a common denominator the basic burger and fries meal probably represents the most readily comparable dish. The Courier takes a look at the cost of what you might call the "basic cheeseburger meal" at 10 popular restaurants in the area. Fast food and drive through combos have been avoided here. If individual preference tends toward this genre the cost will very likely be less than what is included in this sampling.

Do you want fries with that?

To keep things equal, since some burgers are offered at no charge for cheese or a side of fries, all of the samplings are priced out with the published optional add on for cheese and/or fries where applicable.

Disclaimers: Prices are always "subject to change." The prices quoted are from published menus and do not reflect specials such as "burger night." Tax and gratuity are not included.
Claims such as "Certified Angus" or flame grilled and whether the patty is fresh or frozen have been ignored. There has been no attempt to judge quality or who might serve the "best" burger. This comparison is based only on dollars and cents.

All restaurants except the OP Yacht Club and Woodlands specify an 8 ounce (1/2 pound) patty prior to cooking. This is included in the comparison only in the context of value for the dollar. Additional toppings may either be provided in the basic price or subject to an extra charge.

For eight of the establishments surveyed the total price for the cheeseburger and fries meal falls within a range of $1.04 from most to least expensive. Two stand out as considerably more expensive and actually skew the average price for the 10 establishments toward the high end. If the top two prices are ignored the average drops to $8 with a maximum variance of 55 cents.

Bon appétit!

The Cheeseburger and Fries Meal: (ranked from most to least expensive):

OP Yacht Club        (?) $8.95 (includes cheese) + $1 add on for fries  $9.95
Dr. Unk's            (8 oz) $7.99 (includes cheese) + $1.75 add for fries  $9.74
Woodlands        (1/3 lb) $7.49 (includes cheese) + $1 add for fries      $8.49
####################### Average $8.37 ###########################
Sunset Grille        (8 oz) $7.50 (add $.75 for cheese) includes fries        $8.25
DeNovo's           (8 oz) $7.50 (add $.55 for cheese) includes fries        $8.05
Marina Deck II   (8 oz) $7 (includes cheese) + $1 add for fries             $8
Steer Inn Tavern  (8 oz) $7.99 (includes cheese) includes fries               $7.99
Vinyards              (8 oz) $6.95 (includes cheese) +$1 add on for fries    $7.95
Bull/Beach           (8 oz) $7.35 (add $.50 for cheese) includes fries         $7.85
Taylor's               (8 oz) $6.95 (add $.50 for cheese) includes fries         $7.45

* The OP Yacht Club does not specify a patty weight on their menu.

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Uploaded: 12/12/2007