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When we first set out to identify the best burger in our area, I want to tell you that I was dreading the process; just hating the lot in life that had brought me to such a low point as to have to drive city to city, repeatedly smashing my face into buns. But, honestly? I was psyched.

Of course I was.

For one thing, we'd finally have, if not the answer, an answer to one of life's more important questions. (And please believe that we considered simply printing "42" and calling it a day.)

Also, if I may say so myself, I was born for this task, what with an iron stomach, a gas-sipping econobox and an interest in and love of all things meat, be they bovine or other.

So when you dig into our delicious investigative reporting just know that it was carried out with thanks for the opportunity, hope that we could guide you in future dining decisions, and a significant desire to do terrible, horrible, medieval things to greasy, beef-related objects.

As for our cover porn, it's not the exact burger that we tasted from our eventual winner. But, I'll tell you: It's pretty damn delicious.

And the reason I know this? (That is, besides my having complete faith in this restaurant's ability to carry out any number of high-quality meals?)

I'm eating it right now.

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