Burger Archive

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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...

Sunday, August 26, 2012

LBI, NJ - Sausage & Pepperoni Breads

Where: LBI, NJ
What: Sausage & Pepperoni Breads
Build: Pizza dough, mozzerella, pepperoni, sausage.
Comment:  I rarely post homemade dishes but once in a while when I come across a homemade dish that is outstanding I just have to share. My cousin Nichole's homemade breads are to die for and not because of any "special" ingredient or cooking method; in fact quite the opposite, they are made simply and with simple basic ingredients which proves (as with many great dishes) that less is more. I didn't get to taking photos until after the initial feeding frenzy subsided so there are no glamour shots here, just photos of great food and what just might classify as my first posting of food porn. It's really tough to explain just what makes these breads so good, but what I can tell you is that Nichole's ratio of cheese-to-bread-to-meat is absolutely perfect and she does it effortlessly - everytime.  Bones Nick...  10/10

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bucu Burgers & Cupcakes: Double Cheeseburger

Bucu Burgers & Cupcakes, Paramus, NJ


2 - 40z 100% black angus beef patties, American cheese, red onion slices, dill pickle slices, lettuce, potato bun, mayo.

I tried Bucu just last week and opted for the ciabatta roll instead of the potato bun and it had been buggin' me ever since. Today, I had the opportunity to grab lunch there again so I jumped at it. I brought a fellow burger lover along and proceeded to fine-tune my toppings to my liking. It was his first time and he opted for the double-cheese on ciabatta (against my recommendation). As with my first outing, he was blown away by the fantastic old-fashioned burger flavor and has conceeded to order the potato bun next time. I on the other hand, enjoyed a burger that is now in my top 5 of all time. There is not much more to say except WOW... the flavor, the juiciness, the burger/bun ratio, the eat-ability, just everything about this burger is awesome. 10/10. **Check my original review of Bucu from Aug 16th...

*note: the photos just don't do these burgers justice.....

Saturday, August 18, 2012

25 Burgers: Classic Cheeseburger

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Where: 25  Burgers, Fairfield, NJ
What: Classic Cheeseburger
Build: 70z patty, American cheese, raw onion, dill pickle slices, egg bun.
Comment: I've been a fan of 25 Burgers since my brother-in-law took me for my first one at the Branchburg, NJ location - what a dirty joint that is. Looks like they got close to finishing renovating an old diner and either ran out of money or interest (or both) and just started serving burgers. Don't get me wrong, the burgers at the Branchburg location were nothing shy of greatness, and I don't give a damn what the place looks like; I was just a bit surprised to see the poor condition of a burger joint that had "just opened". Also, it's funny to see how these franchise's vary in size. Branchburg is fairly small, the new one in Fairfield is tiny, yet the one in Flemington is huge (I think it used to be a BK).  Anyhow, back to the Fairfield location: When I found out this one opened just a few miles from my home in Wayne, I was all over it. They have been open for about 2 weeks now and the grill is seasoned and workers are all in step with each other like they've been doing it for years. I got the Classic Burger with my usual cheese, onion and pickle, and of course, NFK. It was spectacular and I am already planning on getting back there soon. One thing I love about 25, is that the burgers are my all-time favorite size, yes, size matters with burgers...  They are a perfect 7oz patty which in my opinion should be the universal size for all burgers. The bun was fresh and soft, the burgers juicy as hell and delicious with that old-fashioned crispy burger taste we all long for. I seriously hope they maintain these franchise's well because if the business end of this burger joint stays strong, they will be a serious contender in the "slow food" arena. You NEED to get to a 25 burgers, you will not be disappointed. PS... the fries are some of the best I've had in years... and I promise better photos the next time I visit...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bucu Burgers and Cupcakes: Double Cheeseburger


Bucu Burgers & Cupcakes, Paramus, NJ


 2 - 40z 100% black angus beef patties, American cheese, red onion slices, dill pickle slices, ciabatta roll, mayo.

Note: I did not eat a cupcake, so I cannot comment on them other than they looked amazing - so did the cookies. I've been hearing about Bucu for a while now and I think I've been hesitant to visit because I thought it was going to be like Zin Burger in Clifton, NJ which really didn't ring my bell (sorry to all you Zin lovers, although I owe it a second chance). I didn't want that same "modern" burger joint with the contemporary furniture and lighting where your servers know nothing about the food they are serving. Even though I've said I don't give a darn about decor or a server's "friendliness", I do like a burger joint that I feel comfortable in as soon as I open the door, and I'm happy to say I was very pleasantly surprised at Bucu. Ordering is done at a walk-up register and after you order your burger (however you like it), you get a number for your table the same as you would at Smashburger. The burgers are then delivered to your table. Now for the good stuff... this burger was good, no, no, no, it was really, really, good. *Bucu ordering Tip*: if you opt for the ciabatta roll like I did, you will have to order the double patty or your burger will be lost in breadsville. The burgers were fresh from the griddle with cheese melted perfectly and my raw onion and pickle were more than ample yet not overdone. The burger was served a very juicy well-done (5 Guys style) and I could not have been happier with the flavor. My only complaint was the ciabatta roll. Even with the double burger, it was still too big and threw off the burger/bun ratio. This was my-bad though, I should have known better... never EVER pass up a potato roll. Back to the burger... it reminded me of that old-fashioned burger flavor that is what I look for in every burger joint I visit. I was lucky enough to find it at Charlie's Hamburgers in Folsom PA as well as a few other places, and now again at Bucu. Who'd-a-thought? And what more could you ask for?....great burgers.... 10/10
PS - I very uncharacteristically ordered chips on the side... they were homemade with rosemary and Parmesan... very nice.

I love the "Humane Animal Handling Practices" line below... I guess they mean that they are humane right up until 2 men place a tree cutting saw face up under good ole' Elsie's neck and take her to the next level pasture.  Or maybe they just say something like: "Elsie Honey, this is gonna hurt us more than it's going to hurt you" yeah, I guess talking "nice" constitutes humane treatment, but I'm guessing Elsie's lights were put out with the former, not the latter....

Monday, August 13, 2012

The White House Sub Shop: The Special

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The White House Sub Shop, Atlantic City, NJ

Submarine Sandwiches - Lots of them...


Ham, Salami, Capicola, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, hot peppers, white onion, Italian bread.

If you live in or have visited the NY, NJ tri-state area chances are you've tried dozens or even hundreds of types of sub sandwiches. Yes, it's called a sub sandwich, named after the navy's submarines of the 1950's. Anyway, we New Jerseyan's don't call them grinders, hoagies, heros, torpedos, zeppelins, blimpies, or bombers... it's a sub sandwich - period. And you can have yours made to order at your favorite sub shop with all your favorite toppings and spices and go home a happy camper. But, there are few sub shops that serve their subs from a strict, short menu with few variations and can still please the masses. 

The White House Sub Shop delivers, and in a very big way. I haven't been here in almost 8yrs and the subs I had today taste exactly as they did 8yrs ago. BTW, they do not use vinegar (thank God, too many sub shops overuse it). Back to the sandwich... I'm not sure how to review these, they are perfect in every way, just look at the photos... you'll also see a cheesesteak sub and a turkey provolone sub there... we opted for the variety rather then just ordering 4 specials (the special is the same as the regular Italian sub but with more meat). 

 Many thanks to Gaetano and Dom for the road trip! These are what you call: Stupid good. 10/10

The Beach Haven Fishery: Surf and Turf Sandwich

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Where: Beach Haven Fishery, Long Beach Island, NJ
What: The Surf & Turf Burger
Build: 1/2 pound Black Angus Beef, 2 slices American cheese, 1 slice tomato, 1/4lb fresh lobster claw meat sauteed in butter, mixed baby greens, butter toasted roll.
Comment: Chef Pat's special burger was outstanding. I'm not one to mix surf and turf because it is seldom done right, there is always one ingredient which always seems to steal the show from the other - Not with this beauty. There was a perfect balance of flavor and textures going on here, the buttery lobster meat permeated the burger meat and the greens and tomato were all spot on. Kudos Chef Pat!  10/10.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Beach Haven Fishery: The Picnic Dog

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Where: Beach Haven Fishery, Long Beach Island, NJ
What: The Picnic Dog
Build: 1/4 lb Schickhaus griddle frank, white cheddar cheese, 6 slices bologna, fried white onion, sliced tomato, mayo, mustard, fried pickles, toasted potato roll.
Comment: My weekly trip to the BHF was again, a culinary fiesta. It's been a while since the lunch special sandwich came from the culinary genius of Chef Jude and today he delivered in a big way. This hot dog is called the "picnic dog' because it delivers all the best flavors of a picnic in one sandwich. I can't put my finger on which ingredient was best, or most predominant, but there was nothing overpowering and at the same time, none of the flavors were in the background, they were all just there at the same time making my taste buds go nuts all at once. This is one of those sandwiches that has just the right ingredients and consequently makes the sandwich take on an entirely different flavor than you'd expect.  It all started with splitting the dog down the middle without cutting all the way through, creating a pocket for the cheese. Then the dog was wrapped Texas Tommy style, only instead of using bacon, Chef Jude used bologna. Genius. After careful wrapping with toothpicks to hold it all together, this tubular meat rocket resembling something in need of a circumcision, was thrust into the deep fryer (of course). While the dog was cooking, a large potato hot dog roll was toasted, then lathered with mayo and 3 slices of fresh tomato and some fried white onion. The dog was placed on top and covered with fried pickles that Chef Jude diced. The top got a traditional squirt of mustard and the rest was history. Hands down a 10/10. One bite and the cheese seemed to ooze from everywhere. The fried onion contrasted with the fresh tomato and mayo on the bottom of the roll yet they complimented each other perfectly and while the meat took on a creaminess from the cheese, the fried bologna was crispy and full of flavor. The deep fried battered pickles tasted like some crazy crouton relish and all these flavors were hitting me at the same time.... sensory overload my friends.... again, you need to get to the BHF. There is amazing stuff going on there.  Tomorrow's special is a surf and turf burger... that's all chef Pat would tell me about it....  

Rare photo of the elusive Chef Jude.... and that's Chef "Magic Mike" in the background...