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...

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Tucker's Tavern, Long Beach Island, NJ

Tucker's Tavern
101 S. West Ave,Beach Haven, NJ 08008
Blistered shishito peppers with sea salt and white soy.

Roasted Lamb Tacos (2) Coriander emulsion, tomato confit, halloumi cheese.

Gulf White Shrimp Scampi 
Rustichella d'abruzzo linguine, zucchini noodles, cherry tomatoes.

I love lamb, but some cuts of meat can be quite sinewy at times, so although I love the flavor, I've grown to be very particular when it comes to my lamb.

That's why when my father-in-law suggested trying the lamb tacos at Tucker’s, my first thought was: "how good could it be?”

I wish I knew then what I know now; that my father-in-law had grossly understated these tacos. Of all of the types of food I've eaten over the last half century, these tacos are without a doubt among the very best things I've ever eaten. They are that good.

Now allow me to digress for a moment: I realize taste is an extremely diverse topic, and that people preferring the taste of some things over others carries with it as much individuality as fingerprints or snowflakes. Think about it – the variables that go in to just one bite of food are staggering. First, the visual appeal, then the aroma, then you take a bite and the first thing that hits you is texture followed lastly by taste. The odds that all of these aspects of food will appeal to you are astronomical.

But, on that rare occasion when all the planets align and you're enjoying every aspect of what you're eating, you'll know how I feel about Tucker's lamb tacos.

The lamb is finely minced, and it works. It's juicy to the point of being succulent. The coriander emulsion was delicious, and accompanied the meat perfectly. And if that weren't enough, it's also topped with a tomato confit which created layers of richness. So here you have succulent, rich lamb dressed with the fresh crisp flavor of the coriander emulsion, topped with the tomato confit, which carried its own contrasting flavors of slight acidity merged with the richness of rendered fat.

Now on to the shishito peppers. The simplicity of the ingredients (peppers, salt), along with the blistered-to-perfection peppers created a mouth-watering experience. It was the perfect complement to my meal.

Finally, the Shrimp Scampi.
Another perfectly executed dish. The pasta was cooked with a slight resistance to the bite, and it wasn’t overdone with oil or butter, nor did it ever become dry. Fresh shrimp, zucchini, tomato, grated cheese, some fresh thyme and basil, and you have a winner, winner.

I visited Tucker's years ago with my wife for the sole purpose of eating one menu item, The White Owl Burger. Also To-Die-For.
It consisted of a five to six-ounce burger cooked to medium rare perfection, topped with a house-made horseradish cheese – I have yet to taste a horseradish cheese better than this. The cheese was fresh and blended with horseradish that was so intense it was enough to make a Billy Goat sneeze. The portion of cheese on the burger was huge and oozed everywhere.
The final topping was two slices of crisp, thick-cut bacon, and if that doesn't have you salivating yet, it was all served on a large toasted, buttered English muffin. Again, To-Die-For.

Tucker's: Consider this is a public plea to bring back The White Owl Burger...

I'll be trying Tucker's Classic Burger on my next visit (with a side order of lamb tacos of course).


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