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Columbia Missourian

FROM READERS: Columbia duo sets out to find the best burger in town

February 21, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CST
Mad Cow's bacon cheeseburger features two burger patties, bacon, cheese and lettuce.

Mark Dahl and Richard Hauschild love burgers. They are on a treasure hunt to find the best made-to-order burger in the Columbia area (or anywhere else they happen to be if they're traveling). For several years, Mark and Richard have been meeting every Friday at noon to enjoy their favorite foods: burgers and fries. They have been to 80+ different area restaurants over the years, and began comparing burgers early in the first year and eventually decided to create this blog, Show Me Burgers, to share thoughts and ratings with other interested burger lovers.

Up to 100 points are awarded in each review, rating the burger (50 points), sides (10 points), service (20 points), ambiance (10 points) and location (10 points). Here is their review of Mad Cow

Mad Cow

503 E Nifong (in Rockbridge Shopping Center)

Columbia, MO 65201

Interesting name for a burger joint, isn't it? Mad Cow 'feels' very much like a Five Guys to me (but it appears to me you don't get as many fries here as you do at Five Guys).

Mad Cow offers FREE FRIES on Monday and Friday from 4-9 p.m with a burger and drink order.

NOTE: they now offer chicken tenders and the person behind the counter I spoke with did not know if the fingers were battered or not, what they were battered in, etc., so THE FRIES MAY NOT BE GLUTEN FREE DUE TO CROSS CONTAMINATION.

Richard orders the bacon cheeseburger ($6.39) with fries ($2.50 for regular size order) and says "It's a tasty burger; that may be because of all the 'stuff' I had them put on the burger" - a nice array of burger toppings is offered - "but the downside of all the added 'stuff' is that my bun is falling apart as I eat my burger." 40/50

I order the bacon cheeseburger (two patties, bacon, cheese, etc.) with no side because I am not sure the fries are gluten free. I brought my own gf bun. I think the burger is fine. 40/50

Both Richard and I prefer our burgers medium rare, and these are closer to well done. The 'rules' dictated by the city govt and the thin patties make it tough to prepare them medium rare.

RH says the fries are "very good, crispy on the outside, tender on the inside and there is a 'generous' amount." 9/10

Because we order from a menu board and wait 'til our name is called it's tough to rate service, since it is so minimal. On the other hand, we got our burgers pretty quickly and we did not have to wait in line very long to place our order.

Ambiance gets a 7/10 from Richard. "Every time the door opens it gets cold in here" he says. I agree. Mad Cow is not what one might call a 'romantic location' but it's fine for what it is. I score it 7/10 also.

Located in the Rockbridge Shopping Center, there is plenty of free parking. Richard scores location 9/10 and I give it 8/10 since Mad Cow is on the far south side and I live on the far north side.

This is a good burger, but not, in our opinion, the best burger in Columbia.

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising Editor Joy Mayer.