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No Bull Burger Purist - Born and raised in NJ, the heart of the tri-state area and home to the oldest (and best) burger joints in the country. I don't need all the frilly toppings, happy servers or trendy decor, just a good burger...

The Crew

The Crew

Thursday, January 5, 2017

KIMCHI SMOKE BARBECUE



Where:
Kimchi Smoke Barbecue
301 Center Ave, Westwood, NJ 0767
(201) 497-6333

What:
Chonut 2.1 (100% Ridiculousness)
Smoked Brisket, Smoked Kimchi, Fatboy BCS (Bourbon Chipotle Sauce), Cheese, Bacon, and Scallions on a glazed DONUT! (Fridays and Saturdays)

K Town Dog
2 Beef Hot Dogs topped with Fatboy BCS, Smoked Kimchi Chili, Cheese and Scallions on 2 Rolls.


Comments:

The Chonut 2.1 can best be described as Generation Z's South Korean version of the Luther Burger (Google it); talk about food-culture fusion.

I was first introduced to the stark contrast of sweet and savory about 15 years ago when I heard of a burger that defied all common sense. Salty, savory grilled hamburger meat on a collision course with a fresh baked sugary donut - it was nothing shy of palatal suicide.

Who would dare subject their taste buds to coordinate flavors from opposite sides of the flavor spectrum simultaneously? None other than legendary singer-songwriter, Luther Vandross, that's who. Although there are varied opinions on the origin of the donut-burger combination, the Luther burger was the first name I heard put to this sandwich over 10 years ago, so I'm sticking with it.

Piquancy meet Nectarous, 

Decadence meet Gratifying. 

For those of you who respond to the thought of the "meat and sweet meet" combination with a scrunched up face and an exclamation of "eeew", I'm here to tell you, it works. In fact, it works so well that you'll find yourself addicted almost instantly.

Back to Kimchi Smoke and what owner\operater\chef, Robert Cho is doing with Southern Korean Barbecue. Chef Cho opened up the Luther burger concept to a whole new dimension by single handedly creating one of the most addictive sandwiches I've ever eaten. His kimchi (lightly smoked fermented cabbage), on top of his fork-cut tender smoked brisket is nothing shy of outstanding. This sandwich had my mouth reeling with flavors which contrast and blend all in the same bite.  With each bite the sauce, bacon, cheese and scallions took turns coming to the surface. It was exciting wondering what flavor I'd bite into next. 

Back to the Cho -
As for the K Town Dog, be prepared for some of the same great flavors as the Chonut 2.1. These dogs (yes that's plural) are topped with the same toppings as the Chonut, minus bacon, which makes them stupid-good stellar dogs. I can't wait to get back to  Kimchi Smoke, thanks very much Chef Cho.

And a special thanks to Steve Spencer, owner, operator and Pitmaster of Smokin' Yankee Barbecue based out of North Jersey. Steve accompanied me for lunch this day, and he's glad he did. 
BTW, Steve's smoked meats are the real deal, so if you're having a party, small or large, give him a call.

Check out Smokin' Yankee BBQ here:
https://twitter.com/smokinyankee  
and here:

https://www.facebook.com/smokinyankee/

The Chonut 2.1 gets a 10\10 + on the BC rating scale. 



































Friendly service










The lines move fast...













The rub on Cho's brisket is magical...


Pitmaster Steve's love of smoked meats and his commitment to his craft are second to none. Needless to say, he and Chef Cho had lots to talk about...











The K Town dogs are as good as they look...






- Dream Team -
Pitmaster Steve Spencer and Chef Robert Cho
(would love to see an "East meets West" collaboration)

Monday, November 7, 2016

Tiff's Burger & Beer Garden, Wayne, NJ

Where:
Tiff's Burger & Beer Garden23 Rt. 23 South, Pequannock, NJ 07444
973-686-6040
http://www.tiffs23.com/

What:
Juicy Lucy

Build:
Grass-fed, Angus beef blend made in-house daily. grilled brioche style bun stuffed with Vermont cheddar cheese. Topped with caramelized onions, romaine lettuce, tomato, pickles, and house-made sriracha ketchup.

Comments:

I haven't had a burger this good in a long time. Wow, wow, wow. I wanted to stand up and shout "holy sh*t!" – It was that good. It's so hard to review a burger when you find one that hits on all cylinders. From the bun, the toppings, the cheese and sauce, this burger is da bomb. Sorry for the lousy photos but I only had my iPhone with me... I'll take better ones the next time I go (which will be in the very near future).

Tiff's burger gets a 10\10 on the BC rating scale.





















 






























Monday, October 31, 2016

The Habit Grill, Fair Lawn, NJ

Where
The Habit Burger Grill, 3101 Promenade Blvd, Fair Lawn, NJ
http://www.habitburger.com
(201) 475-3800


What
Golden Chicken Sandwich


Build:
Hand-breaded chicken breast filet, house-made seasoned flour and buttermilk, spiced red pepper sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles on a toasted bun.

Comments:
Today's excursion to Habit was with my boss and fellow burger aficionado Steve, whose comments were spot-on, especially when it came to the chicken sandwich which he unequivocally states "is better than Shake Shack's."
I too enjoyed the not-too-overly-thick cutlet that Habit serves. Its seasonings create a wonderful depth of flavor and the breading is light, not heavy… it's so light in fact, it tastes like it could be a 50\50 blend of bread crumbs and eggs. Habit purports the chicken to be hand-breaded, and it tastes like it.

I would love to have my lettuce and tomato toppings on the "top" where they belong. I've still no idea why the trend is moving toward toppings on the bottom. I also would have liked a bit more of the red pepper sauce (you can see the lack of sauce in my photo).

All in all this is a great chicken sandwich that I highly recommend. Keep up the good work Habit!!

Our host, Jeffery, couldn't be more friendly....






























Where
The Habit Burger Grill, 3101 Promenade Blvd, Fair Lawn, NJ
http://www.habitburger.com
(201) 475-3800


What
The Double Charburger



Build:
Two burger patties (3.2 ounces each), pickle, and raw red onions on a toasted sesame seed bun.

Comments:
Habit is one of the only fast casual restaurants that’s in a hurry to put fast food chains out of business, and they're doing it with their value as well as their quality. A Double Charburger for only $4.45! And get this, the single Charburger with all the trimmings is only $3.45! You get fresh, never frozen burgers at fast food prices! Why would any mother bring their kid(s) to McDonalds? The burgers we ordered were fresh and delicious, and even though Habit's policy is to cook their burgers medium well, they are still juicy and tender. They were every bit as good as the photos show them to be.

This burger scored a 9.2\10 on the BC rating scale...

My soap box...
I believe Habit can beef up their competition with the FF chains by offering a Kids’ Meal (with toy of course). After all, they know how much this seemingly insignificant gesture of generosity pulls tons and tons of weight when it comes to the "where do you want to eat lunch" decision. And with prices where they are, and the food quality where it is, I believe habit has a shot at putting a dent in Ol' Mickey D's sales (among others) regardless of how strong their current brand may be.

Happy meals with toys override nutritional values more often than not. Do it.












Terrible photo of a great tasting burger... tastes much different (better) than it looks here...