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...

Friday, November 21, 2014

Culver's "Fresh, never frozen beef, cooked to order "

Culver's, 10050 University Plaza Drive, Fort Myers, FL 33913

ButterBurger Cheese and the Sourdough Melt.

ButterBurger Cheese Build: 
Fresh (never frozen) beef topped with Wisconsin American cheese, served on a lightly buttered toasted bun with onions, pickle, and lettuce.

Sourdough Melt Build: 
Fresh (never frozen) beef cooked to order with grilled red onions pressed into the patty, and melted natural-aged Wisconsin cheddar on lightly buttered, toasted sourdough bread.

I finally made it to a Culver's while on vacation in Florida. I couldn't wait to try their ButterBurger, but before I go any further, I must tell you that this review is going to be open-ended because I was not able to give this burger a proper review.  

I was pressed for time, so rather than eat-in I ordered from Culver's drive-thru (first mistake), and then got lost for a few miles on my way back to my hotel room which made for a cold burger experience. With that said, let me say that judging from the now cold sandwich, the off-the-grill version of this burger has great potential. From the fat content to the mild butter flavor to the fresh toppings, I will try to get back to Culver's as soon as possible for a proper feeding and review. 

My one pet-peeve was the placement of the "toppings" which were on the bottom of the burger (which I hate) and unfortunately, it's something we are seeing more and more these days. I want my lettuce, pickles and onions on the top, where they belong. 

A point to note was that the voice over the loudspeaker at the drive-thru told me that each burger is handcrafted, made fresh to order – don't know about you, but I love hearing that. 

The Sourdough Melt also had huge potential, but I need to hit this place again before I can give it a proper review rating.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Moustache Bill's, The Quintessential Jersey Diner...

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

Fisherman's Special

Three eggs scrambled (wet), two hot cakes, two sausage patties, rye toast, butter (lots of butter)

If you're like me, you can usually tell whether or not you're going to like the food at a particular eatery within moments of stepping foot in the door.  Glancing at dishes being transported by speedy waitresses, listening to the comments by those fortunate enough to have already been seated, and of course, inhaling the aromas. These sensory stimulants were all coalescing in my head and in a fraction of a second I was forming an opinion on whether or not I'd be served really great food or something less. 

That's when it happened...the hostess opened the door to the waiting area and called, "Bill!? Party of four!?”, and when my feet crossed Mustache Bill's threshold, I knew in an instant that I had found the Pancake Promised land.

Now, before I go further I will say I feel sorry for those who are unfamiliar with the concept of the diner, especially New Jersey diners because in my opinion they set the bar. Jersey diners are what other pseudo-diners, eateries and luncheonettes aspire to be, but aren't. These shiny stainless steel clad facades are unrivaled; where else can you get a diverse and seemingly unlimited selection of options 24/7, 365? A turkey dinner with all the trimmings? Check. An omelet made to order? Check. How about some falafel, or barbecue? Check. Not to mention their dessert selection. Whether you arrive at dinnertime or 3AM, the food is always fresh and with hundreds of items accompanied by daily specials, you won’t leave hungry. 

Mustache Bill's diner is the quintessential "Jersey" diner in all aspects of sights, sounds and smells. Hell, it even has a view of Old Barney, the lighthouse on Long Beach Island which has a view of Island Beach State Park across the inlet to the north. You just can't get more Jersey than that. Bill's diner has that time capsule effect that transports you to the past as soon as you enter. There are not many eateries left that have this unique power.

I was happy to find out Mustache Bill's is a favorite of Guy Fieri’s "after" I visited. 
I'm not one of those who visits every spot Guy Fieri has been to, in fact I’m quite the opposite. I'd much rather find great places to eat that he hasn't found yet and believe me, there are hundreds, and that's just in Jersey.

Ok, onto the food.  My eggs were cooked perfectly. The scrambled eggs were moist as hell without any browning.  Far too often a breakfast cook will have the flame on the flat grill blazing and the instant an egg is cracked or poured, it begins to bubble wildly. That is way too hot for breakfast cooking.  Mustache Bill’s does it right; slowly, easy and buttery.

The hot cakes are Bill's shining star on the menu and they did not disappoint. They were light and fluffy with a taste to die for. The toast was done perfectly as was the Raisin Bread French Toast. My wife's omelet was the only thing I didn't care for. It was scrambled eggs poured on the flat grill and then rolled into an omelet. This usually makes for very thin layers of egg forming the omelet which has a rubbery texture that kinda sucks. No, not kinda, it sucks.  Also, the cheese and veggie filling was lacking in quantity. But, everything can’t be perfect! All in all, this place is a great throwback from atmosphere, to friendliness, to the food. Awesome!

I'd be quite remiss if I didn't mention my hometown diner, The Pompton Queen. 
On a cold winter's day there is nothing like their pot roast sandwich with a slab of English Cheddar and fried onions topped with hot brown mushroom gravy on a Kaiser roll.  (The Pompton Queen Diner is on Rt. 23 N in Pompton Plains, NJ)

Click on the photos to enlarge