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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

Monday, April 20, 2015

Bahama Breeze, a Pleasant Surprise at a Restaurant Chain...

Where: 
Bahama Breeze
101 State Rt. 23 
Wayne, NJ 07470
973-237-0412
https://www.bahamabreeze.com/

What: 
Build-Your-Own-Burger

Build:
I'm guessing the burger patty size to be around 6-0z., bib lettuce, tomato, Portobello mushroom cap, two slices American cheese, cooked white onion, and dill pickle slices on a toasted brioche bun

Comments:
Let me start by saying, it's very difficult for me to have even a slightly elevated expectation that my food from a chain restaurant might be tasty, fresh, have low sodium, and not come from a plastic bag or a freezer. For these reasons, I lower my expectation bar the minute I enter a chain restaurant. I think to myself, "The burger will be just okay, so I'll deal with it.” After all, I was only here because my wife loves the chicken tortilla soup. Which by the way, was excellent. With that said...

I ordered a build-your-own-burger and in hindsight, I should have ordered one of their specialty wood-grilled burgers. What was I thinking? However, I was pleasantly surprised to be served a very decent burger. I'm sure this was a pre-made patty of some mass produced Black Angus variety supplied by Cisco, US Foods, or some other food supply conglomerate.
But I have to tell you, it was good. And they cook to order which is the way it should be. 

My burger was served with the cheese not completely melted, but by the time I finished with photos the cheese had melted thoroughly – and unfortunately my burger went from medium to medium well (this is my biggest complaint about blogging). 

Although the meat cooked a bit too far from sitting, it was still juicy and had lots of good flavor. The mushroom and other toppings were very fresh and also flavorful, and the brioche bun was not too sweet as some can be, so I was a happy camper. 

Although this burger was very good, and although its quality ranking among some of the latest QSR's would most likely take it out of the running completely, I really did not expect to eat a burger this tasty from a place called "Bahama Breeze.”

"A" for effort and execution BB.  


This burger gets a 8.0/10 on the BC rating scale.





















































Monday, April 13, 2015

The Brass Ring Pub - North Palm Beach, Florida

Where: 
The Brass Ring Pub
200 US Highway #1
North Palm Beach, Florida
561-848-4748

What: 
The Mushroom Burger

Build: 
1/2 lb. burger, mushrooms, lots of American cheese, sesame seed bun.


Comments:
A fantastic burger at a great local pub in North Palm Beach. The Brass Ring is a local joint you can walk into and smell the grilled meat cooking right away. Three steps further in and you know you picked a great place to eat, and by the time you're seated, you feel like you belong.

I can't say enough good about the burgers here. The patties are consistently high quality meat and always cooked perfectly to order. The toppings are fresh and serving sizes are ample. The buns are lightly toasted which also adds flavor to this great burger.

This Brass Ring burger gets a 10/10 on the BC rating scale.






Click on photos to enlarge...






























A little side that my father-in-law and I split. 
A smoked tavern ham sandwich - awesome!














Brass Ring burgers are Uncle Tony approved.











Monday, April 6, 2015

Nellie's Pizza - A great thin crust pie...

Where: 
Nellie's Place
9 Franklin Turnpike
Waldwick, NJ
201-652-8626

What: 
The 14 inch bar pie.

Build: 
Plain Bar Pie


Comments: 
Nellie's is definitively a contender in the thin crust pizza competition in northern NJ. Nellie's holds her own in the face of her rivals, i.e. seasoned greats such as Kinchley's, Star Tavern, and Lombardi's, just to name a few.

One thing is for sure – I'd rather review burgers than pizza. Burger people are a proud lot, but pizza people are bat sh*t crazy. They will actually get into a fight over who's got the best pie. I'm cringing just thinking of all the people I'm about to piss off. 

I like my bar pie to be orange in color indicating that the sauce and cheese have joined together in perfect proportions. 
This for me is a great bar pie – when the cheese is smooth and creamy and you're not sure where the cheese ends and the sauce begins. But hey, it's all a matter of personal taste.

Alas, I didn't get that with Nellie's, which as I said, is a good bar pie with one of the best pub atmospheres you will ever get. And the wait staff is nothing shy of awesome.






Click on photos to Enlarge...























Remember the pizza freaks I was talking about?















































Great Staff at Nellie's!


















Friday, April 3, 2015

Mustache Bill's Burger - LBI

Where: 
Mustache Bill's Diner
8th Street, Barnegat Light, NJ 08006
(609) 494-0155

What: 
The Bacon Blue Cheeseburger

Build:
Fresh burger patty, tons of blue cheese, bacon, dill pickle, on a plain hamburger bun.

Comments: 
If you're ever near Long Beach Island on the Jersey shore, you need to stop by Mustache Bill's…but get there before the peak summer season like we did or you'll be waiting in the parking lot for a seat. Mustache Bill's was brought into the TV spotlight for his pancake artistry by Guy Fieri on an episode of Triple D, but I'm here to tell you, there are a host of other menu items that were overlooked – the Bacon Blue Cheeseburger is one of them.

The fresh ground meat was cooked to a perfect medium-rare (while I was taking photos it continued to cook until the temperature was medium - bummer ). The blue cheese was a few steps beyond ample and the bacon freshly cooked hot and crisp, something you really don't see in a Jersey diner anymore. I topped mine off with old-fashioned thinly sliced dill pickles that came with the platter. The pickles provided a perfectly sharp contrast to the richness of the blue cheese, and whether they were put on my plate for that reason, or just because they are a staple with any cheeseburger, I have to tell you, it was an absolutely delicious combination of flavors.

The shoestring fries (or string fries as Bill's staff calls them) are cut on premises and are quite good. I'm not a big fan of fries so I'm usually pretty hard on them when it comes to taste tests, but these were very good, especially when dipping them in all the blue cheese that was dripping off my burger. Nice.

This beauty gets a 9.4/10 on the BC rating scale.





Click on any photo to enlarge...































































Thursday, April 2, 2015

King Bobby's Burger Palace in the Kingdom of Paramus

Where: 
Bobby's Burger Palace
610 Bergen Town Center
Paramus, NJ 07652
(201) 368-7001

What: 
The Miami Burger

Build: 
Bobby's burger topped with pressed ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard and mayonnaise on a panini-pressed sesame seed bun (if you look closely you'll see that the bun is served upside down to better show off the panini grill hash marks).

Comments: 
My first review of Bobby's ended with me bashing him a bit on the actual value of the burgers. I felt they were overpriced for what you get, and I still feel this way – the price point is quite high for a QSR but I gotta tell you, the freakin' burgers are so consistently awesome that I can't stay away too long because I start jonesin’ for them. 

And here’s proof that I’m not the only one... the cash register system went down just after we ordered lunch and it stayed down for a solid 15 minutes before they were able to take an order or even charge people in the pick-up line as they watched their food getting cold. I waited and waited to see how long it would be before the people in the order line left because their lunch hour was dwindling, but not one person left. Not one. That spoke volumes.

Today I stepped out of character and ordered what I consider to be an “over-populated toppings” burger. 

Glad I did. It was amazing. 

The flavors of this burger were spot-on and it was done a perfect medium-rare. Everything was perfect – the queso, the pickles, the mayo-mustard combo, the chips that provided crunchification, and finally, the ham – that tender, smokey, glorious ham! This is the burger you always hope for but rarely get. Now that I found it, I'll be back. 

Although lunch for one will cost you the better part of $20 – fair value or not – I can't stay away for long, and apparently neither can anyone else during the daily line-out-the-door lunch hour.

This burger easily slides into home with a 10/10 on the BC rating scale.






Click on any photo to enlarge it...








































As mentioned in my last review, the sauces are all good to taste test however, there is the mysterious "Burger Sauce" which for me tastes horrible and I can't for the life of me pinpoint any one ingredient...strange. 




 This is the Brunch Burger - it's topped with a fried egg, smokey bacon and American cheese and it's crunchified, of course. My friend ate it and he's still raving about it. 





The onion rings are hot, fat, salted and delicious.