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Cornucopia ... One of our BEST customers!

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Best of . . .

Best beef puts us in hamburger heaven

Cornucopia best burger
Cornucopia's bacon cheeseburger is made with half a pound of ground beef
from the Knee Deep Cattle Company.

BEST BURGER
Cornucopia
How much: $7.95 with fries and a pickle
Where: 295 W. 17th Ave.
Hours: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
seven days a week
Burger special: A burger and a beer are
$9.99 on Mondays
Phone: 485-2300
Also: For more on Knee Deep Cattle Company,
call 345-0685 or go to kneedeepcattlecompany.com

Cornucopia choice of
connoisseur ground
meat gives its burgers
flavor that is knee deep

Best burger is a category we've been putting off for a while. Not because there aren't enough nominees, but because there are so many.

From the $11.75 pseudo Kobe Beef burger at the Eugene City Brewery to the $6.95 slider plate at the Villard Street Pub, there are simply a lot of great burgers to choose from.

Also, this is a category we take very seriously. To say that we like grilled ground beef patties between two pieces of bread is like saying B.A. Baracus had a thing for gold chains.

We're so in love with hamburger, we want to take it up to Moon Mountain and make out with it. Hamburger, will you marry us?

Given our affection for burger, you'd think our job would be easy. But this delicacy can fall into any number of categories.

When it comes to burger deals, no one beats the Sixth Street Grill's Tuesday nigh special — a fully loaded burger and a microbrew for $6. Although it's not the best burger, we like the story behind the Monster Burger at the Vida Cafe (Bill Bixby, TV's "The Incredible Hulk," was known to eat them).

If you're looking for a great, no-frills burger in a funky place, we love the Lorane General Store. But if you want upscale, don't miss Marché, which tops its version with grilled onions, blue cheese and aioli.

While Marché's burger was highly refined, we found it to be a little too perfect. We wanted the kind of burger you could drop on a dirty floor, then pick it up and continue eating and still feel good about yourself.

We found what we were looking for at Cornucopia.

The burgers there are thick and delicious, and if a half-pound is too wimpy, you can always order the one-pound double Blonde Bomb Burger. Lightly seasoned and grilled over an open flame, the patties are slapped on a fresh-baked kaiser roll and finished with standard issue condiments.

When you sit down to your burger, it doesn't hurt that your table is flanked by 10 draft handles and 100 bottled beers in coolers.

“Cornucopia's burgers were not always this good. Two years ago, after some burger taste testing, the restaurant switched to the locally based Knee Deep Cattle Company. Customers noticed the difference, and on a good day, the restaurant now sells upwards of 80 burgers.

Knee Deep supplies Long's Meat Market, which supplies everyone from the Indigo District to the Eugene Country Club. The five-year-old outfit deserves a good deal of the credit for making these burgers taste so good.

We sampled burgers all over town. The best ones originated at Knee Deep, which raises free range cattle whose four stomachs never touch a single piece of synthetic cereal grain.

Picking the right cattle stock and letting them graze on the grass and clover the Willamette Valley is famous for are some of the reasons these burgers are great. And if you believe co-owner Alvina Butti, there's more than on "best burger" in town.

"Unless you cook it wrong," she says of her ranch's beef, "you can't hardly wreck it."

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