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...

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Preview Bar, Bally's Resort, Atlantic City, NJ

Where: The Preview Bar, Bally's Resort, Atlantic City, NJ
What: The Standard Burger
Build: 10 ounce Kobe Beef Burger, American cheese, lettuce, shaved red onion, hot house tomatoes.
Comment: My apologies for the poor photo quality, I left my camera in the hotel room and had to use my wife's iphone.  
When we first walked up to this bar for a dinner pregame drink, we never expected such a great burger from this place.  We stumbled onto it's menu full of Kobe beef burgers after a suggestion from the bar maid downstairs in the Jim Beam Wild West Bar.  Thank you Barbara!  (Jim Beam and burgers, somebody pinch me).  The burger was a 10/10 on all points. It was cooked a perfect medium/rare with a thick layer of cheese which melted like American cheese but had the sharpness of a mild Cheddar - awesome. The lettuce was fresh as was the onion (although not completely shaved) and the photo of the roll speaks for itself. That rich Kobe flavor was in every bite which made me savor the moment. I know it's a great burger when I find myself eating slower and slower with each bite....  

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Kirker's Inn, Hawthorne, NJ

Kirker's on Urbanspoon

Where: Kirker's Inn, Hawthorne, NJ
What: The Vienna Burger  &  The Turkey Red Reuben plus some other goodies...
Build: The Vienna Burger:  1/2lb. Burger on Toasted Pretzel Brioche Roll topped with Swiss cheese and Crispy Bacon served with warm Potato Salad
Turkey Red Reuben: Black peppered Smoked Turkey piled on grilled Rye with Red Cabbage, Russian Dressing and melted Swiss cheese.
Comment: I've been dying for good German food ever since the Triangle Hofbraü closed.

The Triangle Hofbraü in Pequannock, NJ closed in November of 2007

The Hofbraü was my go-to place for all foods German. In fact, I found Kirker's one night out of sheer desperation and Wiener Schnitzel deprivation. Kirker's is a family owned bar/restaurant that is as welcoming as it is quaint. Seriously, this place is comfort food central, and at the risk of sounding corny, I love eating here while it's snowing outside. You can order anything from authentic German food to a bar pizza and you'll be satisfied with just about everything. The short list of foods below offers a sample of goodies, but I am partial to the Vienna Burger.... my son did not enjoy the burger as much as I did, but I could not find a thing wrong with it. Fresh made 1/2lb. burger with ample amounts of cheese and bacon and that roll.... holy sh*t, that pretzel roll was not only fresh, it was the perfect compliment to the  rest of the flavors. I'm giving this beauty a 10/10. Next time I'll be trying either the Kirker Burger or the Old English Burger...  check em' out here:

The Turkey Red Reuben was another incredible sandwich which you need to taste to appreciate because any description I write would not cover the delicious original flavor pairings Kirkers has managed with this sandwich. A case of simple ingredients paired in a way you've never tried. Delicious.10/10 

I cannot comment on the chicken sandwich because I did not try it, however my daughter-in-law did say that it was very tasty even though the meat was a bit dry. 

While eating the potato dumpling smothered in Sauerbraten gravy I heard angels singing... yeah, it's that good. 10/10.

And finally, the onion rings......excuse me, the HAND-BREADED with HOME-MADE BATTER onion rings that tasted like a perfect merger of beer batter and funnel cake batter. I didn't know whether to salt them or sprinkle powdered sugar on them. Did I mention they are made-to-order?  Awesome -absolutely Awesome - the very best onion rings I have ever tasted.  10/10.

The Vienna Burger..... 
These two photos are the only decent shots I took of this beauty because my son "housed" the burger before I could get anymore.

That's warm potato salad on the side. 

The Turkey Red Reuben...

Herb Chicken Sandwich
Marinated in E.V.O.O and herbs then grilled and topped with bacon and swiss on a toasted roll. 


Potato Dumpling with Sauerbraten gravy.
 Dumplings come and dumplings go - this thing was awesome...

Beer battered onion rings
Made To Order, Beer Battered and fried to a golden brown, these babies tasted like a cross between beer batter and funnel cake... they were amazing and were worth the trip by themselves.

This was a Schnitzel, which one, I cannot remember, but it was such a good comfort food, I was wishing it was snowing outside...

Friday, April 19, 2013

Puzo's Pizzeria & Restorante, Fairfield, NJ

Puzo's Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Where: Puzo's Pizzeria & Restorante, Fairfield, NJ
What: The Great Grandma Pie
Build: Tomato sauce, Fresh Mozzarella (along with low moisture Mozz), spices, Peppadew Peppers.
Comment: No, you do not have to travel to New York City to get a really great pizza.
I'm going to start by defining what a Peppadew pepper is because it represents the "magic" ingredient in the Great Grandma Pie.

 Here is the WiKi definition...


This type of piquante pepper was first discovered in early 1993[1] and introduced to market later that same decade. The name is derived from "Pepper" and "dew".
Although the pepper is sometimes described as a cross between a pepper and a tomato, this description is not botanically accurate, and refers only to the resemblance in color and size between Peppadew and cherry tomatoes.
Applications have been made by the various owners of the brand to secure international breeders right by application to the UPOV.[2][3]
In 2000 the South African mushroom producer, Denny Mushrooms, acquired the Peppadew brand and business.[4][5] Denny has in turn since been acquired by AVI.[6]


The fruit is processed for removal of the seeds and reduction of the heat of the pepper to more pleasant levels. It is then pickled and bottled.


The flavour of the Peppadew fruit is sweet, with mild heat of around 1,177 on the Scoville scale.[1

With that said, these peppers have to be tasted to be appreciated. They are a perfect blend of acidity and sweetness with a hint of heat, and the balance Puzo's capture's in this pie is absolute perfection. This is without a doubt my new favorite Pizza. Not much more to say about this, the pie is cooked perfectly, crisp homemade crust, fresh tomato's and a fantastic blend of cheeses. Check out my photos of Puzo's homemade goodness and tell me you're not hungry for one...  This is a solid 10/10. Thank you Great Grandma. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Steaks Unlimited, Seaside Heights, NJ

Steaks Unlimited on Urbanspoon
Where: Seaside Heights, NJ
What: Cheese Steak Sandwich & the Cheeseburger
Build: CHEESE STEAK: Steak, white American cheese, grilled onions, bell peppers & mushrooms, "Apizza" bread.
CHEESEBURGER: 1/2lb patty, white American cheese, raw onion, Kaiser roll.
Comment: The cheese steak is served on a unique bread known as "Apizza" bread or sometimes more commonly as "pizza bread". It is round and fairly flat and anywhere from 10 to 12 inches across with a hole in the middle. And unlike traditional Italian breads, it is soft. I personally haven't had a cheese steak on this type of bread in a long, long time. I was very glad I stopped at Steaks Unlimited. It's a great tasting sandwich and the simplicity of its ingredients are truly its strength. The steak is cooked on the flat grill (but not over-cooked) and the toppings are served piping hot and stuffed into the 1/2 loaf of Apizza bread. I quartered mine to share with a friend because I just had to try their cheeseburger also. Scroll down to the cheese steak photos and be sure to click to enlarge them (you'll almost taste them). The photos below the cheese steak are of the burger. The meat was fresh (never frozen) and it was very tasty with a good old-fashioned burger flavor although there were two downers for me;  1)the burgers doneness and 2)the burger-to-bun ratio. My burger came well-done, which is a shame given the nice fresh meat they started with. I'm speaking for all the grease freaks out there when I say, that's a huge no-no. As for the burger-to-bun ratio, it was so far off the charts it was in the upper stratosphere - just check out the photos below. Again, good burger, crazy huge roll. (IMHO), I'd rather have a standard hamburger bun or better yet, a potato bun with the meat hanging off around the edges than have too much bread. There's something to be said about properly emphasizing the size of your meat - I'm just sayin'. Overall, I have to give this cheese steak a 10/10 because I just don't have any complaints about it. My burger rating was largely based on meat flavor so I put it on the high side of "good" with an 8/10. (check my rating chart at the bottom of this page). If they'd cut down on the bun's real estate and serve a med/rare temperature burger they'd be on their way to a 10/10 in my book.  Last but not least, a review of Steaks Unlimited would not be complete without a tasting of their signature "cheese balls". We were on our way out chatting with the staff and they were nice enough to make us some samples. They consist of Cheddar cheese encrusted in a delicious coating. (I prefer my cheese more creamy than chewy, but hey, that's me). Try them for yourself and see - there's a reason they sell tons of them. 
I'm giving a shout-out to Chris and Elaine for their warm hospitality. Molte grazie. 
I hope to be back soon!

Yo! Chris and Elaine!

I told you! Roll too big and meat too done, but still tasty none the less. 
(I scooped the bread out of the top of the roll after taking this pic)

Cheese Balls!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

White Rose System, Roselle, NJ

White Rose System on Urbanspoon
Where: White Rose System, Roselle, NJ
What: The Double Double 
Builds: Double Cheeseburger, raw white onion, pickle slices, Kaiser roll.
Comment:  I've been to both the WRS in Linden and the WRS in Highland Park, NJ and now, finally, being here at the WRS in Roselle marked the end of my quest to conquer the WRS Trifecta. For the life of me I can't see how Guy Fieri gives so much praise to the White Manna in Hackensack and not the awesome old fashioned trio of White Rose System diners. All have unique flavors and all are an absolute treat for any burger lover. BTW, (and IMHO), the White Manna in Jersey City is much much better than the Hackensack location but neither can hold a candle to the flavors of any of the White Rose System Locations.  The Roselle location had unique burger sizes - when I asked: "what's the best burger to order", our server told me they have 4 sizes. There was a bit of a communication gap but this was what I took away from our conversation:
the small = 2oz
the medium = 3oz
the large = 4oz
and the Double Double = 8oz
Of course, I ordered the Double Double with my usual raw onion and pickle slices. It was magical... As soon as I picked it up I had to put it back down because it was too hot to handle. I grabbed it again, thinking, "you're not scarin' me!" held it firmly took a bite and was instantly scalded when the hot grease and juices ran down my hand and arm. AWESOME! Cheeese was oozing everywhere.

My son tells me I'm getting to "wordy" with my reviews so I'm going to wind this one down here because he may be correct, this is about the burgers, not me rambling on and on.

Please be sure to check the photos... you NEED to get to a WRS - and check the other 2 locations I've previously reviewed (I've listed them below for you). I believe all White Rose Systems have equally great burgers in there own way. Me, I'm partial to the Highland Park location where they smash diced onion right into the ground meat. But this location has an awesome old fashioned smashed flat-grill burger and when in the area, should not be driven past. Perhaps one day the media blitz will shy away from the now glamorous White Manna and get back into helping the great Ma & Pa joints of New Jersey that are so often missed, yet so very deserving.  Solid 10/10 for WRS, Roselle.

Also see...



Freddie - A man amungst men....

Does it get any better than this?

The Double Double

Can't you smell it?

2 small burgers "special"  
Although VERY tasty, the small burgers are a bit lost in the regular sized bun...



Now that's a beautiful sight...

Autopsy of the Double Double. It is perfection simplified....