Charlie's Hamburgers, Folsom, PA


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, January 30, 2015

Velveeta Cheese Burgers at Nick's Old Fashioned Hamburger House,

Nick's Old Fashioned Hamburger House
6999 Old US Highway 52
Lexington, NC 27295

Double Cheeseburger w/bacon

Double beef patties, lettuce, tomato, bacon, Velveeta cheese

My brother Phil has been scouting out some killer burger joints for me in his home state of North Carolina. He emailed me pictures the day after he ate at Nick's and said the burgers were so good, he was still experiencing a burger hangover.  If you look through the storefront glass you will see my sister-in-law MaryLou towards the back right in a blue shirt sitting waiting for her
Patty Melt. 

The Patty Melt consists of grilled diced onions on
toasted white bread with a crap ton of Velveeta. It's a shame the pictures were taken with a phone, but you can still see Nick's burger goodness shining through. Phil said, "It's hard for me to describe how the Velveeta works its way into the meat, but wow! The crispy edges of the meat and the toasted roll got me again!!".

Velveeta may not be real cheese in the traditional sense, but I'm tipping my hat to Nick's because using Velveeta on a burger is nothing shy of genius. This is definitely going to be a roadtrip...

See my review of another great NC burger joint, Doss', from May 2012 here:

Six 14 year old's ordered these Quads. Four of them finished.

Brandon at the grill... I've got to meet the man behind the Velveeta burgers...

Hmmm, what do we have here, two burgers and two patty melts with some chili cheese fries and onion rings? 
Um um um.

Seriously, this patty melt looks awesome and just the thought of it dripping with Velvetta has me drooling. My hats off to Aunt Marylou for this menu selection...

Nice autopsy shot Bro, looks like a killer burger...

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Is Chick-Fil-A really as good as everyone says?

2065 Paramus Park Mall, 
Paramus, NJ 07652
(201) 967-9494

Chicken Deluxe Sandwich

Chicken on a toasted, buttered bun with dill pickle chips, lettuce, tomato and American cheese

I've wanted to try Chick-fil-A for quite a few years now, and I finally got there a few weeks ago. 

I'm not going to drag this out; the sandwich was okay – just okay. I'm really not sure what all the hype is about. My sandwich was kind of thrown together. The cheese was not melted and the toppings were on the bottom. Overall, for a quick service restaurant (QSR for you novices) this is a very tasty chicken sandwich, although the chicken does have that slight resistance to the bite that chicken gets when the meat is tightened up by marinating (I'm not saying it is prepared from a plastic Cryobag, but I kept picturing it being prepared that way).

It’s a good sandwich, but does not live up to its reputation…and it's definitely overpriced.

This is Chick-fil-A's menu photo showing toppings on top where they belong...

This is what I was served...

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Pompton Queen Diner Misses the Mark with a New Menu Item...

Pompton Queen Diner
710 State Route 23
Pompton Plains, NJ 07444 

Waffle Fry Sliders

Slider beef patty, red onion, American cheese, waffle fries, Texas petal sauce, half-sour pickle, coleslaw

The Pompton Queen Diner will likely remain one of the best diners in NJ as long as they continue to experiment with new items on the menu. I was recently at the PQD for lunch when I picked up the menu and saw a little quote cloud with the word "new" next to "Waffle Fry Sliders" which immediately caught my attention.

In a nutshell: Sliders and waffle fries have been sitting next to each other on diner dishes for years; it's about time someone thought to marry the two. While the concept is great, these were poorly executed. Had the burgers not been cooked to oblivion, this would have been a solid meal with a novelty twist.

5/10 on the BC rating scale (boring)

Friday, January 23, 2015

THE COUNTER (don't think they'll be around very long)

The Counter
374 Route 3 West

Clifton NJ 07014

Build Your Own Burger

I chose the half pound beef burger with smoked Gouda, Thousand Island dressing, scallions, dill pickle chips, on the Hawaiian bun.

I've been wanting to try The Counter for quite a long time now, and a few weekends ago on a rare occasion when my wife was in the mood for a burger, we tried it out. 
Our first impression walking into The Counter was that it had a very ZinBurger-esque feel to it. So much so in fact that it looks as though there could be an affiliation between the two. Both have trendy fixtures and finishes, both serve alcohol, both have a very young wait staff and both have burgers that are "just okay". 

Once seated and perusing the menu I asked my wife what was missing in this place. She looked around and then asked me "what"? I said "the absolute absence of any food aroma whatsoever" - she agreed.  I told her that if we were to close our eyes we wouldn't be able to tell if we were in a burger joint or a department store. Strange.

If you turned your nose up at what I chose for toppings on my burger, it's what I felt like eating, so deal. And after our waitress's suggestion for me to choose the Hawaiian bun, my anticipation was growing thinking the sweetness of the bun would contrast with the smoked Gouda nicely. However, a few minutes later our waitress returned to our table and apologized to me saying that they were out of the Hawaiian buns - Strike one.

I ordered my burger medium using the cool chalk drawings on the blackboard which depicted burger temperatures by using cows colored from red to pink to black. Our food took a solid 30 minutes to serve which was very annoying - Strike two. When I cut my burger in half for an autopsy photo, it was quite well done. I tried it, took 2 bites, but had to send it back - that was Strike three (and I hadn't eaten yet).

 They brought me another burger a few minutes later (I guess they really can cook a burger in 5 minutes instead of 30). This time the temperature was okay, just okay. The burger was mostly pink inside, (see photos) but strangely, there was an unevenness to the meat. The edges were more pink than the middle. In any event, the meat had a mushy texture which is repulsive to me, it was as if it were frozen then undercooked on a luke warm grill.

I just don't get it, all this designing, building, style, hype, advertising, for what? So you can make a mediocre burger? I'm sorry, but if you're jumping into today's incredibly tough burger market, you've got to be doing something different and better than everyone else. There has to be at least one stand-out feature that no one else is doing. The Counter will not be around long in NJ.  

This burger gets a 6/10 on the BC rating scale.

Some of the photos below are of my wife's sandwich, "The Melt Down" which was actually very very good. They'd do better as a sandwich joint that also serves burgers rather than vice versa. 

And don't let my photos of the french fries fool you, they were served cold.

The Melt Down was actually very good.

These would have been great if they were hot...

Second Attempt...

Temperature was better, but the meat had a very mushy texture, almost tasted waterlogged.