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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...

Drinkin' Buddies

Drinkin' Buddies

Monday, September 15, 2014

3 DisneyWorld Food Fare Burger Reviews!

Disney Burger #1

Where:
Gasparilla Island Grill at The Grand Floridian Resort, Disney World, Orlando, Florida
What:
Angus Bacon Cheeseburger
Build:
Lettuce, tomato, red onion, bacon, American cheese, artisan bun
Comments:
I had high hopes for the Gasparilla Island Grill's burger…after all, I was staying at The Grand Floridian (which is just about as nice as it gets at Disney), and with fond memories of the great burgers at the Beaches and Cream Soda Shop at Disney's Beach Club Resort, I couldn't wait to sample another Disney burger. Even with Disney bowing down to the political correctness of serving more healthful choices on their menus (sickens me), I was amped up; the glamour photos on the menu had me hook, line, and sinker.

But, in a nutshell, the burger was an EPIC CRAP FAIL. Great bun, great toppings, (at least Disney still puts the toppings where they belong – on the TOP of the burger) but the burger patty was a mystery meat that I haven't had the displeasure of eating since the late 60's, when hard nodules and indescribable textures were common place. What a disappointment. 5/10 on the BC rating scale (and I'm being generous).  STRIKE 1














































Disney Burger #2


Where:
Pecos Bill Tell Tale Inn and Cafe, Disney World, Orlando, Florida
What:
Deluxe 1/3-pound Angus Cheeseburger
Build:
1/3 pound angus burger, bacon, onion rings, barbecue sauce, American cheese, sautéed onions and mushrooms, artisan roll, cheese sauce
Comments:
Holy Cow! Just look at this beauty.... NOT! The bun and toppings were awesome, but the burger was the same mystery meat patty I just had at the Gasparilla Grill. Awful, just awful. This burger wasn't even close to fast food standards. Really? Is Disney that hard up for money that they can't spring for a decent quality meat for their $95 a day admission to the park guests? Appalling, just appalling. Seriously, this burger tasted EXACTLY like the frozen Drive-Thru Burger* I recently reviewed. (Don't let my photos fool you, it was no where near as good as it looks).
5/10 on the BC rating scale (and I'm being kind for a second time).
STRIKE 2.










































Disney Burger #3


Where:
The Grand Floridian Cafe, The Grand Floridian Resort, Disney World, Orlando, Florida

What:
The Grand Floridian Burger

Build:
Angus chuck cheeseburger, butter poached lobster and red onion marmalade, with arugula on a brioche bun

Comments: Wow, finally, I was promised “the best burger in all of Disney” by Louise from Italy (or so her name tag says). Now wouldn't you believe that the Grand Floridian Burger is fantastic if it came from cast member and head server, Louise from ITALY? Yea, same here.

To make a very long story short, the fact of the matter is that this burger was a pre-formed collection of mystery meat with an oddly shaped perimeter (much like that of a frozen Bubba Burger). It's probably a Disney-contracted low quality, money-saving item for Cisco or US foods to produce for them. It was no more than a larger version of the mystery meat burgers I have previously reviewed so I ended up purchasing my third EPIC CRAP FAIL burger in as many days, only this time with an added posh-posh seafood topping.  Naturally the arugula was okay, but the onions were nauseatingly sweet. 

Louise told me that the chef allowed all the staff to sample these burgers before offering them as a regular menu item and everyone was thrilled at the "high" quality and flavor of them. 
Well, I'm here to tell you Louise, you need to stop eating dog food and try a human restaurant for a change, it'll do you good to see what humans eat.
BTW, while ordering, I was asked in a very professional manor, "how would you like your cheeseburger cooked?" I replied, “Medium-rare, will that be pink inside?” Answer: "Yes, very pink" - yeah, right, check out the photos*.

Oh, and did I mention this burger cost $18.49? REALLY DISNEY? Your chef at the Grand Floridian is proud to serve this? And at that price? (He must be eating dog food regularly too).

*Please click on photo #8 to enlarge it and you'll be able to visually see the meat quality - I think you'll agree, it's some kind of pre-formed pressurized mystery meat. Honestly Disney food people, if In-N-Out, Shake Shack, Smashburger, 5 Guys and the myriad of other fast-casual burger joints can do affordable, decent quality food, why can't you? 

Walt would never have sacrificed so much quality in order to boost his margins a little. 


DISNEY: This for me was three up, three down, STRIKE 3 – EPIC CRAP FAIL.
(And I thought the turkey legs were bad)











































Above is photo #8 - click to enlarge... 





































Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Double Charburger at The Habit Burger Grill in Fair Lawn, NJ

Where: The Habit Burger Grill, 3101 Promenade Blvd, Fair Lawn, NJ

What: The Double Charburger
Build: Approximately a 3 to 3.5 ounce burger, mayonnaise, pickle, fresh tomato, lettuce and caramelized onions on a toasted sesame seed bun

What: The Mushroom Swiss Charburger (I never made it to the Mushroom Swiss Charburger so I'll have to review it next time)
Build: Approximately a 3 to 3.5 ounce burger, sautéed mushrooms, melted Swiss cheese, mayonnaise, pickle, fresh tomato and lettuce on a toasted bun

Comments:
I would guess the weight of each burger patty to be 3 to 3.5 ounces. (The Double Charburger with toppings and bun weighed in at just a tad over 9 ounces). This, along with a side of tempura green beans had me so full I couldn't eat the Mushroom Swiss Charburger in this sitting.

If the food quality and (especially) the pricing remain aligned, The Habit folks will continue doing very good things in Fair Lawn New Jersey. If prices go up in a few months to a year, they'll be just another burger joint that I'll have to re-review because pricing changes the overall value, and people will then take you or leave you because now their proximity to your location begins to be a factor when deciding where to eat and how much they want to spend. Increased pricing shortly after opening is never a good thing no matter how you slice it, but New Jerseyans have unfortunately become accustomed to it (ahem! 5 Guys, Smashburger, etc...).

I found this place to be spotless (which it should be since it's brand new), and the staff to be helpful and nice. The meat, toppings and bread are all extremely fresh, and the burgers are not overly greasy by any means. Like most new fast-casual burger joints, you don't get your choice of temperature, but all in all they’ll satisfy any burger lover’s appetite.

I was very impressed with this place – not only was my burger very good, it was (get this) a full two (2) dollars cheaper than a 5 Guys cheeseburger! Yes, you get a Double Charburger with cheese for only $4.80 – WOW! A mystery meat McDonald's quarter pounder will cost you almost that!

Take a look at my photos and you'll see the freshness of the tomato and lettuce and the perfectly toasted ring around the top of the bun. All the makings of a great burger.

This type of fast-casual restaurant will have fast-food establishments folding up the tents in no time. It seems that the more f/c restaurants come down with their prices, the easier it is for them to put a hurtin' on f/f restaurants. Let's face it, better quality food always wins. On a side note, I predict Burger King will go down first simply because they have no game. McD's will go down second because the only thing still holding them up are those golden arches – yes, their brand is so well known it's still managing to hold them afloat. Lastly, Wendy's just might tread water…they still have a fresh, never-frozen patty and they are not yet out of control with their pricing. They aren’t cheap, but at least I can leave their restaurant feeling like I ate a decent quality burger at a decent value.

But I digress. The Habit Burger Grill is aptly named…from the mini hot pepper bar to the crispy tempura green beans (which are great even if you're not a fan of green beans), this place is worth coming back to.

Cons:
No choice of meat temperature.
The sodium in the Double Charburger is 1500mgs which you can taste. I'd love for them to back off on the salt, the burger meat seemed like it would be tasty enough without all of that sodium.

Pet Peeve:
The toppings... again, they were great, but I've got a real problem with their placement on the burger. They are "TOPPINGS" PEOPLE, HELLO! Why the hell are some burger joints doing this? Toppings on the bottom of the burger? Really? Bad enough some joints are substituting romaine and other green leafy lettuce for iceberg (kudos to Habit for staying with traditional iceberg). Furthermore, we've been eating burgers with toppings forever, so why the switch? Is it just to be different? To be trendy? Or is there a true culinary reason, like, "we want you to experience the meat flavor first, not the toppings." Who knows? Does anybody know? If you do, please let me know via a comment to this blog.


All in all, an excellent burger. 9.5/10 on the BC rating scale.




























































And the fast food restaurants just said: "ouch!"