Charlie's Hamburgers, Folsom, PA
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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...

Friday, April 20, 2018

Jose Tejas, Fairfield, NJ

Where:
Jose Tejas
647 US Highway 46
Fairfield, NJ
https://www.bordercafe.com/

What:
Cajun Burger

Build:
A mesquite broiled hamburger rubbed in Cajun spices and covered with poblano jack cheese, served with shoestring fries.

Comments:
I visited Jose's with my wife and family knowing we'd be eating good Mexican comfort food, but I never saw this burger coming. The freshness and subtle seasonings blew me away.

Although not listed as a topping on the menu, the burger came with Cajun spiced deep-fried straw onions, which was a huge added bonus. I'm always afraid "seasoned" burgers such as cajun, Mexican or blackened are going to be seasoned to infinity and beyond, but again, the seasonings on this burger were so subtle and understated I couldn't get enough of it, and this meaty beauty weighs every bit of a half-pound.

Jose's menu has the usual chain restaurant disclaimer stating, "All prepared meat must be cooked medium.” I ordered my burger medium rare anyway, and that's what I got. Perfect. All of the flavors of the toppings, toasted bun and fresh Angus chuck were singing in perfect harmony. The diced chunks of poblano pepper throughout the cheese were crunchy, adding another layer of taste and texture. At $6.87 for this delicious, fresh, burger served with enough crispy shoestring fries for two people, you’d be hard-pressed to find a value like this anywhere else.

This burger receives a 9.3 / 10 on the BC rating scale.

Criteria & ratings for Jose's Cajun Burger:

Meat flavor 9
Juiciness 9
Size 10
Freshness 9
Burger-to-bun ratio 10
Bun type 8
Overall taste with selected condiments 10
Eatibility 9
Temperature 10




This is a review where the photos just don't do the food justice.







































Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Maggie's Town Tavern - Wayne, NJ

Where:
Maggie's Town Tavern
1082 Hamburg Turnpike
Wayne, NJ 07470
https://www.maggiestowntavern.com/location/wayne/

What:
Town Tavern Burger (no egg)

Build:
8 ounce burger patty, American cheese, Taylor Ham, Kaiser roll.

Comments:
Great burger! The french onion soup, not so much. The burger was excellent, cooked to a perfect medium rare and the Taylor ham had just enough salt and New Jersey ham goodness to accentuate the burger. The burger is every bit of a half pound and it's a loose, coarse-ground patty that cooked up as juicy as could be.

Maggie's is geared toward a younger crowd with a large welcoming bar area, music and TV's abound. It's got all the makings of becoming a very popular watering hole in Wayne. 

However, if you're thinking of enjoying a nice quiet dinner, this may not be the place for you. The music in the bar area is loud enough to spill over into the dinning areas so it will be a bit annoying if that's not your cup of tea. There are large wall-mounted flat screen TV's in the dinning area also, which for me, takes away from the whole dinning experience. But the young crowd seems to be what Maggie's is capitalizing on as there were mostly college-aged kids drinking and eating and having a good time. 

On to the soup. I was stoked on trying the French onion soup as I've heard so many great reviews of the soup from Maggie's Little Falls, NJ location. But, alas, as the soup was being placed down on the table by our server, there was an overpowering, unmistakable aroma of Maggi sauce. This sodium-laden soy based sauce which is a staple at many steakhouses has no business in French onion soup. Maggi sauce is delicious when used in the right recipes and correct amounts, but when paired with beef bouillon, the sodium content alone is overpowering enough to be inedible. Also, actual onions in the soup were almost non-existent. We both pushed it to the side. 

But this isn't a soup blog...

As for the burger, I'd stop by Maggie's anytime for their burger and a beer. It was excellent. When the burger was served, I thought, "oh no, the Kaiser roll is way too big for this burger", but it was so fresh and cottony soft and the burger so full of juices that it compressed down to a manageable delicious sandwich. 


This burger receives a 9.1 / 10 on the BC rating scale.

Criteria & ratings for Maggie's Tavern Burger:

Meat flavor 8
Juiciness 9
Size 9
Freshness 8
Burger-to-bun ratio 10
Bun type 10
Overall taste with selected condiments 8
Eatibility 10
Temperature 10





















































Friday, February 16, 2018

Zinburger




Where:
Zinburger
850 NJ-3 #105
Clifton, NJ 07012
http://zinburger.com/

What:
The Double Burger

Build:
Two 3.5 oz. patties, double American cheese, minced onion, lettuce, ketchup, and mayo

Comments:
This is not my first review of Zinburger, but it's certainly my last. This was the third visit and for me, and for varying reasons, these burgers consistently miss the high note. I'm not saying they don't have potential, they do, but they just keep falling short of retaining anything noteworthy in my memory.

For instance, I ordered The Double Burger because I'm a chubby guy that loves a good burger and I was hungry (borderline hangry), so I ordered The Double and the "loaded fries" appy to share with my wife.

The first thing I noticed when the burger arrived was size of the patties (3.5 ounces of beef before cooking). These small patties do not hold up well against a large, spongy brioche-ish bun. Obviously, the burger-to-bun ratio was heavily in favor of the bun. With that said, the burger did have a great flavor, but there wasn't enough of it to enjoy in any one bite. I kept thinking, $10.50 for a burger with two 3.5 ounce patties should be outstanding in all aspects. I could've had 2 burgers at a quality fast-casual burger restaurant for just a bit more money and they'd be satisfying as well as a better value for my money.

The fries were stunning to look at, but stone cold to eat. We were so disappointed. Believe me when I tell you, they were colder than the other side of the pillow. Served hot, they would have been killer.

On the plus side, I could've eaten my side of wasabi coleslaw all day long – it was "drop-the-mic" awesome.

I'm not sure why burger establishments feel the need to offer a "Kobe" beef burger. Why can't restaurants offering a Kobe burger be more up front about what the offering actually is? It's an "American Style" Kobe beef burger at Zin, so why bother with the whole Kobe facade? Why not just menu a better grade of beef or a special blend rather than the standard burger and advertise it as such? 
It's disheartening to think the people at Zinburger assume that their patrons are impressed by the use of the word Kobe on their menu when it's not that easy to find a restaurant serving real Kobe beef.

One more note about Zinburger - I'm not here to bash anyone or any establishment. If anything, I have to give them major props because much like Starbucks who figured out a way to get people to pay upwards of $5 for a cup of coffee, the folks at Zinburger have figured out a way to get their patrons to pay $10 to $15 for a burger. Again, I have to give them credit since most reviews are positive. Zin is just not my Zen.

Click here to see some of the best restaurants in Clifton, NJ
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurants-g46365-Clifton_New_Jersey.html

This burger receives a 5.8 / 10 on the BC rating scale.
Criteria & ratings for Zinburger's "The Double":
Meat flavor 8
Juiciness 6
Size 4
Freshness 7
Burger-to-bun ratio 3
Bun type 5
Overall taste with selected condiments 5
Eatibility 10
Temperature 4

































Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Johnny's Place


Where:
10 Leigh St
Clinton, NJ 08809
(908) 713-1300
What:
The Classic Cheeseburger - American cheese, fried onion.

The Italian Hot Dog - Triple hot dog on Italian bread with fried onions, peppers, potatoes, mustard & ketchup.

The Chili Dog - Deep fried hot dog, chili, chopped raw onion, shredded Cheddar cheese.


Comments:
Johnny's Place is as quaint and welcoming as you'd expect any eatery in Clinton, NJ to be. 

Okay I admit it, I broke my own golden rule by ordering a burger at a hot dog joint which is the equivalent of ordering fish at a steakhouse and vise versa. Don't get me wrong, the burger was good, but the Italian hot dog is the stand-out menu item at Johnny's Place so I had to order one after I finished the burger.

It's a trio of deep fried Sabrett hot dogs immersed in fried peppers, onions and potatoes. The condiments are both mustard and ketchup, a Jersey tradition on an Italian dog. The result is a symphony of flavors that will take any Jersey born native back to their childhood roots. 

I was also surprised to see a western New Jersey town serving good Italian bread. You usually won't find decent Italian bread very far from Jersey's eastern, more urban areas. 

One side note - the fried onions on my burger had bits of broccoli rabe in them. I thought this was an odd seasoning for onions on a burger but then realized the cook probably pulled them out of a different menu item to get the burger out faster. ???  In any event, I enjoyed it. Although the meat was fresh and cooked perfectly it was overshadowed by the big flavors of the Italian dog.

As for the hot dog, it was delicious. The peppers and onions still had a bit of crunch to them which I prefer to those which are overly cooked. The thin hand-cut potatoes added an earthy crispness to the sandwich and the dogs were perfectly juicy. With a well balanced bread-to-dog ratio, I was a very happy camper.

The chili dog was also close to perfection, not overdone with just the right amount of toppings making it manageable to eat right to the last bite.

If you're ever near scenic Clinton NJ, I highly recommend stopping at Johnny's Place.

I'll be sampling Johnny's meatball Parmesan sandwich the next time I visit.

You can see the top 10 hot dog establishments in Hunterdon County here: https://www.yelp.com/search?cflt=hotdog&find_loc=Hunterdon+County%2C+NJ

This burger gets an 8.2 on the BC rating scale.


BC Rating Scale:
Epic-Crap-Fail 1.0 - 2.9
Won't be back 3.0 - 5.9
Would try again if convenient. 6.0 - 7.9
I'll definitely be back 8.0 - 8.9
Keep 'em comin' 9.0 - 10



Ratings for Johnny's Cheeseburger:
Meat flavor 8
Juiciness 8
Size 8
Freshness 8
Burger-to-bun ratio 10
Bun type 6
Overall taste with selected condiments 7
Eatibility 10

Temperature 9



















Our crew...




































Uncle Jude - The man responsible for finding this gem of a hot dog joint.