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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...

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Spray Beach Bagel and Deli

Where: 
Spray Beach Bagel and Deli 2611 Long Beach Blvd Beach Haven, New Jersey
(609) 492-6800

What: 
The Cheese Steak Bagel 
Build:  
Grilled Rib Eye Steak, sauteed onions, American cheese, Swiss bagel. NFK.
Comments: 
What can I say, awesome, awesome, awesome. 
It's not easy to find a cheese steak sandwich that's not disappointing in some way. That's why I am always a bit apprehensive about ordering one, especially in a resort area (Long Beach Island) where the majority of the businesses are seasonal and as a result it's usually hard to find really good food. (Let's face it, when most of us are on vacation, we seldom count our change, that's why we are on vacation in the first place, to enjoy a different atmosphere and spend and enjoy). 

Having said that, we sometimes encounter food establishments that are geared to serve mediocre food, charge a premium, then say: "thank you, we'll see you next year" as they are patting you on the ass and ushering you out the door.

This is not the case at SBB&D. They seem to actually care about the food they are handing you over the counter. I was eyeing the dozen-plus variety of bagels behind the counter and came across a bagel with Swiss cheese baked into the top of it. Done. I was just about to ask for a bacon, egg and cheese on that thing when my father-in-law suggested getting a cheese steak instead - this idea was genius I tell you, pure unadulterated genius. 

I promptly ordered one, poured myself a coffee and sat down outside with all the anticipation I had as a child on Christmas eve. I was surprised to see the proprietor, Mr. Russ, walking toward our table with our order. How nice was that? - the proprietor served us, talk about customer care.

Okay, that may have been way too much preamble, but I needed to set the stage for this nugget of goodness - now on to the sandwich. 


It was a stormy night in Maine, the waves were crashing on the rocks and after that third and final thunder clap shook the house I knew we were in trouble - oh, sorry, wrong story... on to the review...
Now scroll down and look at some of the close-ups of this beauty...

The steak was a chopped rib eye, with a texture much like you get at any sandwich shop, HOWEVER, it was of a high quality and loaded with steak flavor. The onions were plenty, the way it should be with a cheese steak, but best of all, the cheese, the glorious creamy white American cheese - the ratio of cheese-to-steak was near 50/50 which in my book brings any ordinary cheese steak to epic proportions. And finally, the crispy Swiss cheese baked onto the top of the bagel hit this would-be single out of the park. This baby gets a solid 10/10 on the BC rating scale.

As usual, whenever I encounter a sandwich this good I stop back as soon as I can to check for consistency (all too often the second attempt is disappointing) but given the family run, caring aspect of this establishment, I'm sure the second will be every bit as good as the first.  






































































Sunday, July 20, 2014

Good Food and Good Memories Still Served Up at Maggie's Town Tavern in Little Falls, NJ...

Where: 
Maggie's Town Tavern, 10 Van Ness Ave, Little Falls, NJ 07424
(973) 256-7708 http://maggiestowntavern.com/

What: 
The Town Burger

Build:  
Half pound old fashioned "chop style" burger patty (?) served on a Kaiser roll with lettuce, tomato, onion, American cheese and Taylor ham.
Comments: 
This burger had the potential to blow my doors off, but alas, is fell short. As with most restaurants, finding consistency in food quality, presentation and service is never easy.

Just a little more care in preparing this burger and it would have rated a 10/10. The meat was very fresh but it was a bit bland - it tasted like there were no seasonings added to the meat at all.  A little salt and pepper added before cooking goes a long way when I'm cooking, just sayin'.


Also, a pet peeve of mine - red onion. I don't like them - so when I read the description of the "Legendary" half pound burgers, I was very happy to see the printed words, "white onion".  I thought, "wow these people know a burger is better with a nice thick slice of a sweet Vidalia".  Love it. 
On the lighter side, my roll and toppings were all very fresh and tasty. They could have and should have served this burger with 4 slices of Taylor ham instead of two which would really make this a stand-out burger, but now I'm really asking for too much. 
And this is not a dig on Maggie's, but what's with the green leafy lettuce replacing good old crunchy iceberg lettuce? They say Iceberg lettuce doesn't have all the nutrients that the leafy stuff does, so what? It's ten times better on any sandwich - and it's cheaper! The majority of people paying for meals nowadays grew up on Iceberg lettuce - give it to us!
Overall a good meal, I'll def be back. This beauty gets a 9/10. (yeah, I went off on the onion, but it was only an onion and the tables salt and pepper shakers helped the burger meat).
Lastly, I have no idea what an old fashioned "chop style" burger patty is.

But no - no, no, no white onion, my burger was served with red onion. Now I ask you, why in the hell would you go out of your way to print on your menu, "WHITE ONION" when you could have just advertised "ONION"? My guess would be you're pretty serious about insisting on serving your "legendary burgers" with white onion - for whatever reason.  No matter how small an issue this is, the point is that I was told I was being sold one thing, but I was served another. It's ten minutes to three in the morning, I'm too upset to go on with this onion rant. 



















My friend's crabcakes - she said they were good.





My wife's tenderloin - not so good. It was basically pot roast and she asked for a baked potato. 































Definitely a cozy joint...