And go figure, it was that corn chip crunch that wowed judges (including yours truly) in the 2016 Burger Brawl on Saturday at Eastern Market.
The charred, 100 percent Halal beef patty came topped with lettuce, tomato, mayo, beef bacon, and grilled onions, plus all that cheese, and those Doritos (an ingredient that's so appropriate for a gas station convenience store). The result, a well-rounded burger with the right balance of creamy, crunchy, and spicy.
Taystee's is a family-run business at 10419 Ford Road in Dearborn, across the street from Ford-Wyoming drive-in.
The Burger Brawl returned after a two-year break. Sponsored by Dine Drink Detroit, Fairway Packing, and Low Frequency, the event featured about 15 restaurants, all vying for the title of best burger.
Some spots went far wacky (The Spot Bar and Grill from Roseville featured one with PB&J and a doughnut, while Ale Mary's used fried mac 'n cheese in place of a bun), while others stuck to old standbys (like the 1936 Classic Double Deck Cheeseburger).
Ticketed guests were asked to try sample sized portions from each contestant and then vote for their favorites. The top four vote-getters were Taystee's, Townhouse Detroit, Brome Burger, and a newcomer, Rusted Crow.
The finalists held back nothing to please the contest's four judges.
The crew from Townhouse (a previous Burger Brawl winner) impressed with their use of Leelanau Cheese Company Raclette cheese, which they melted on the stage and sliced melted mounds onto each burger.
(See our review of Townhouse Detroit here)
Brome Burgers & Shakes (Dearborn) had a nicely outfitted patty, topped with smoked brisket and onions, fried shallots, and micro greens.
(Check out our Brome review)
The Rusted Crow won points for creativity with its Mediterranean-style burger with two layers of falafel, feta, pickled relish, garlic hummus, and sandwiched in pita bread.
(Read our first take of Rusted Crow)
Still, it was the unabashed outrageousness of its popular Notch-Yo-Burger that won over judges. In addition to taking home a shiny gold cup, the winners also get a custom meat blend prepared by Fairway Packing.
You read that right. The Ali's Notch-Yo-Burger at the gas station eatery Taystee's Burger comes loaded with nacho cheese, jalapeño, American, Swiss, pepper jack, and (gasp!) Doritos nacho cheese flavored tortilla chips.