After polling our extensive network of Aggie alums for food recommendations, two places kept emerging to the top of the heap: Koppe Bridge Bar & Grill and Chicken Oil Company.During my exhaustive pre screening process on both places, the consensus opinion was that Chicken Oil was a College Station institution while the upstart KoppeBridge had the better pure burger.

I decided to settle this the way I always do when faced with such a difficult dilemma: eat at both of them.

Saturday night following the Baylor game, we braved the inevitable line at KoppeBridge for a well earned post game feast.The 30 minute wait passed quickly as I chatted up an old timer in line behind me.An Aggie alum of ’56, he proudly boasted a flock of children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and neighbors that all followed his trail to A&M. To say that Aggies are generational would be an understatement.

The burger itself was well worth the wait.Thick, well seasoned and rather hefty, the burgers at KoppeBridge will certainly satisfy your appetite.Their fries are legitimate as well.Homemade, thinly cut and crispy, they are a perfect pairing with the Koppe burger.The only drawback I can report is that despite the liberal piling of cheese and bacon on my burger, it was a bit on the dry side.It took a few pulls off my Shiner bottle to wash the whole thing down, but certainly understandable given the post game volume influx.Make no mistake however, KoppeBridge puts out a solid burger.

The second stop of our burger duel came on Sunday afternoon for a light bite before our three hour jaunt back to Dallas.As I stated in my invite below, Chicken Oil Company is a College Station institution, slinging burgers since 1977.In addition to serving hungry Aggies, Chicken Oil Company used to be a full service gas station (hence the name), but unfortunately they shut down the fuel pumps some years ago.The eclectic décor remains, however, and Chicken Oil is a veritable showcase of old gas stations signs, saddles and assorted other folksy trinkets.They also sport a rather impressive collection of taxidermy adorning the walls, which, as any reasonable individual can surmise, is the hallmark any fine dining establishment.

The burgers here are worthy of the atmosphere.On Allison’s recommendation, I promptly ordered up my Snuffy Burger (1/2 pounder) and opted for the obligatory bacon and cheese….for comparison sake of course.The burgers are thick, juicy and served between a hearty bun that doesn’t lose its integrity under the heft of the filling. The only drawbacks to report here were the fries, which just rolled off the Oreida truck, and the milkshake which was made with soft serve ice cream product (blasphemy).But the burgers are what count, and Chicken Oil serves up a great one.

The Verdict: For me the verdict was far simpler than I thought it would be.Chicken Oil is the runaway winner in unique atmosphere, and oh by the way….their burgers are better too.While the fare at Koppe Bridge is still excellent and certainly worth a visit, if you had stomach space for only one burger joint in College Station – Chicken Oil is your horse.

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