Real Food Photos - Never Food Snobbery - My goal is for you to taste exactly what you read about here when you order your food. I make a constant effort to publish non-biased, honest comments. All too often I've read reviews from "burger experts" praising a gourmet burger only to be disappointed come judgment day. For this reason, I do not go into a burger establishment with cameras blaring, announcing who I am... maybe that's the difference, you decide...
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...
4oz. Creekstone Farms burger (chuck-hanger-short rib blend), American cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle and ECB secret sauce.
I hear people say, and I read in reviews that ECB has great burgers but they are too small. Not sure why this is.. it's a 4+oz burger that's under $5 and if you double it to a 1/2lb of goodness it's only 2 bucks more making a really great burger at $6 and change. It's a no-brainer.
I took Chris and Matt (my mailroom staff), to ECB for lunch on a recommendation I received from one of my blog readers. (thanks Roger - good call). I read the menu and saw things like, clams, lobster, tuna and hot dogs and I started thinking maybe the burger thing was just a clever ploy to lure you into the place and then hook you into a lobster roll. Not so - this place was legit.
After I ordered my burger I discretely walked to the far side of the kitchen to take a few quick photos and while grabbing a shot of the kitchen, (and unbeknownst to me), the proprietor, "Mark" was sitting at the counter and promptly asked what I was taking pictures of. (This is the first time I've ever been caught) As my mission statement says: I don't go in with cameras blaring, (at least not until after I'm served). But my burger was well on it's way to being plated so my worries of the camera influencing the chef faded with a sigh of relief.
Mr. Mark (didn't get his last name) is a very cool guy and very proud of his products. Rightfully so. The burgers were excellent. The Creekstone Farms meat was great. I had their standard East Coast Burger which was done perfectly as the photos show with very fresh toppings. The tenderness of the baby bib lettuce was an excellent choice.
Another burger at the table was the Maytag & Apple Smoked Bacon Burger with that same baby bib lettuce and plum tomato which looked awesome, and finally, the double bacon CB. Equally awesome. The yummy noises at the table elevated to "feeding time at the zoo" status but silence came quickly as the feeding frenzy lasted less than 3 minutes.
It's so darn easy to inhale a burger that's this good. We were discussing all the great flavors we had just devoured when Mr. Mark brought over a sample "Secret" burger and set it on the table for all of us to enjoy. Thanks again, Mr. Mark... very generous. It was a burger served over fresh avocado and what I believe was chipotle sauce this was also topped with sauteed onions and a roasted Chile pepper (hope I didn't leave anything out) - Whoa - The creaminess of the avocado kept the fire of the Chile pepper from blazing out of control. It was a great blend of flavors and textures and at the same time it was a great contrast of flavors and textures. Or am I saying the same thing? Either way, Mr. Mark is on to something here. And as for the complaints on burger size - and this is only my opinion, (and we all know what opinions are like), but I think Mr. Mark could skirt around all those Haters who complain about burger size by simply making nothing-but double burgers - (kinda like that other burger joint does). If a customer wants a single, they have to ask for it which means no more complaints. You wanted a smaller burger, you got it. Might be better to WOW the customer right off the bat rather than start small and work your way up. Again, I'm just sayin'.
The temperature of my staff's burgers were med/well and well, but hey, this is about my burger and my burger was a perfect med/rare(although the lighting made mine look med in the photo). I'm giving this baby a 10/10 - Darn good burger, keep up the good work.. I'll be back soon.