My year in Roadfood (2010)

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buffetbuster
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2010/12/10 13:55:10 (permalink)

My year in Roadfood (2010)

For those of you who think the holiday season shouldn't start before Thanksgiving, more bad news.  I am starting my year end review early.  Since I only have one more trip planned this year (to Memphis & Arkansas for bbq and pie, but definitely not in that order) it seems my best burgers list should be done.
 
BEST BURGERS
 
10. Solly's Grille - Milwaukee, WI 

The butter burger they serve at Solly's is not for everyone.  I have been here with several different people and many of them thought the amount of butter on the burger was overwhelming.  Not me.  I love every butter drenched bite.  Actually, on the four visits I've made to Solly's over the years, this one undoubtedly had the least amount of butter.  
 
9. Matt's Bar - Minneapolis, MN

Sorry to post a photo of food that already has been bitten into, but with the Jucy Lucy, you need to see the inside of the burger to know what all the fuss is about.  Matt's is a wildly popular tavern that specializes in these cheese stuffed burgers.  We visited Matt's main competition, the The 5-8 Club a few days earlier and we found Matt's to be significantly better. 
 
8. Powers Hamburgers - Fort Wayne, IN

Powers Hamburgers is a tiny art deco building in downtown Fort Wayne that serves excellent sliders.  They give you so many fried onions on your burgers, that we heard several regulars come in and ask for "light on the onions".  I say, the more the better!
 
7. Wedl's Hamburger Stand - Jefferson, WI

No surprise that a great hamburger state like Wisconsin is well represented on this list.  This place is odd in that they have a seperate little building next to the street where they fry up the delicious burgers, while the main building just a few feet away has the rest of the menu, including the indoor seating.  The burgers are small and a double gives you the desired meat-to-bun ratio.  Just a great combination of lots of cheese, fried onions and high quality meat.
 
6. Redamak's - New Buffalo, MI

This one might be for sentimental reasons.  Immediately after eating this juicy double, with Velveeta cheese on it, I texted my brother and told him I found a burger that tastes just like the great cheeseburgers our now deceased father used to make. 
 
5. Le Tub - Hollywood, FL

One of the strangest decorated restaurants I have ever seen (there are toilets sitting around with flowers planted in them), Le Tub once was named best burger in the country by GQ magazine.  I'm not ready to go that far, but this was a terrific burger.  They obviously use very high quality meat and then grilled to the perfect temperature.  They are infamous for taking an hour or more to deliver your burger, but we had ours in a very reasonable amount of time. 
 
4. Port of Call - New Orleans, LA

In one of the darkest bars imaginable, I was lucky to get a seat next to the far backroom window to be able to take a decent photo.  This tall burger delivers excellent beefy flavor, but what really made it for me is the mushrooms sauteed in wine, butter and garlic.  It felt strange to be eating a burger in New Orleans, but I was over that after the first bite.  
 
3. Lankford Grocery - Houston, TX

My first visit here and I absolutely loved my big, messy, ultra-juicy double cheeseburger.  This is what a burger is supposed to taste like.  Great atmosphere, including our wonderful waitress who looks just like Granny Clampett, gets Lankford Grocery bonus points.  
 
2. Buckhorn Tavern - San Antonio, NM

Despite all of the fame this small place has received in the past few years, they still deliver one outstanding green chile cheeseburger.  Some people on the 2010 Roadfood bus tour even named this the best GCC we had on the tour.  
 
1. Bobcat Bite - Santa Fe, NM

To be honest, this competition was over the day the Roadfood powers that be announced that we were going to New Mexico for the 2010 Roadfood bus tour.  Spectacularly good burger that is the perfect combination of bun, high quality juicy beef, cheese and green chiles.  The fact that they have the friendliest staff in the world just adds to it.  The green chile cheeseburger here would be my death row meal. 
 
Honorable mention:
Paradise Pup - Des Plaines, IL
Northgate Soda Shop - Greenville, SC
Clamp's Hamburger Stand - New Milford, CT
Anchor Bar - Superior, WI
Hodad's - Ocean Beach, CA
post edited by buffetbuster - 2011/01/02 21:22:39
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    txtwister
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    Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/10 14:08:25 (permalink)
    I lived in New Milford for years and never had a hamburger at Clamps, only their excellent chili dogs - another case of youth definitely being wasted on the young!
     
    All of these look fantastic, great roundup!!
    #2
    wanderingjew
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    Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/10 14:08:53 (permalink)
    Buffetbuster
     
    I just knew that Bobcat Bite was going to be your # 1- I just new it before I even looked at #10 on your list
     
    Great start so far...
     
    As we discussed, I need to get crackin' on mine!
    #3
    buffetbuster
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    Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/10 14:13:59 (permalink)
    txtwister

    I lived in New Milford for years and never had a hamburger at Clamps, only their excellent chili dogs
    Interesting, in that I don't think that we tried the chili dogs.  Did we Chris?  Will do that next time for sure! 

    #4
    TJ Jackson
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    Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/10 14:22:36 (permalink)
    Something I have always wanted to know about the green chiles in these NM cheeseburgers - how hot (as in spice heat) are they? 
     
    Is someone with a limited tolerance for spice heat (like myself) even going to be able to eat one of these?
    #5
    buffetbuster
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    Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/10 14:44:33 (permalink)
    TJ- Each place is different.  But, I'm not someone who has a high tolerance for spicy foods and I've never found a GCC yet that was a problem.  I'm guessing you would be just fine.
    #6
    TJ Jackson
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    Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/10 14:57:13 (permalink)
    so are these sweet/mild like bell peppers, then?
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    buffetbuster
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    Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/10 15:00:32 (permalink)
    No, the chiles definitely gives some heat (and way more flavor), but just enough to tingle a little bit.  Nothing to really make you sweat.  I shouldn't assume that you would have no problem with them, because everyone's tolerance is different.  My girlfriend makes fun of me because I can't handle much heat.
    #8
    Ralph Melton
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    Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/10 15:03:07 (permalink)
    They aren't capsaicin-free like bell peppers, but they aren't very spicy. I noticed a bit of a bite at Buckhorn Tavern, but I only noticed a slight glow at Bobcat Bite.
    #9
    buffetbuster
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    Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/10 15:14:29 (permalink)
    wanderingjew-
    I'm still disappointed we didn't get to Stanley's Famous Hamburgers when we we visited Rhode Island.
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    wanderingjew
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    Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/10 15:33:38 (permalink)
    buffetbuster

    wanderingjew-
    I'm still disappointed we didn't get to Stanley's Famous Hamburgers when we we visited Rhode Island.


    There's always next year.
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    mar52
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    Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/10 15:46:22 (permalink)
    Hodad's always seems to get good ratings.
    I was there earlier this year and found the only thing interesting about the burger was the hype.
     
    It was just okay.  Greasy and okay.
     
    However they have the absolute best chocolate malt I've ever had which would bring that burger up in ratings.
     
     
    #12
    TJ Jackson
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    Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/10 15:54:02 (permalink)
    are these the anaheim peppers described in the link below as roughly equivalent heat-wise to tabasco sauce?
     
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scoville_scale
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    buffetbuster
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    Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/10 16:01:57 (permalink)
    mar52
    Hodad's always seems to get good ratings.
    However they have the absolute best chocolate malt I've ever had which would bring that burger up in ratings.

    What, this little ol' thing?

    It took three of us to eat it.  BTW, I wouldn't call Hodad's a great burger, but I still think it is very good.  The atmosphere really is wonderful, though.
    post edited by buffetbuster - 2010/12/10 16:03:04
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    mar52
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    Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/10 16:09:28 (permalink)
    Terrific atmosphere!
     
    They took my malt away from my table before I really got in to it. I still don't forgive them for it.   I could have finished it on my own.
    #15
    JRPfeff
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    Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/10 16:22:49 (permalink)
    What the heck?  How did Pat's Drive-in miss this list?
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    mayor al
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    Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/10 16:29:13 (permalink)
    TJ,
    IMHO the green chili's can be boosted in heat for those who want it by adding other peppers to the mixture, but served as the Chili-Verde that I have had, they compare to the large Anaheims used to make Chili-Rellanos and other large stuffed Mex Pepper dishes.  They have a LOT more flavor that the typical stuffed Bell or other type of 'Sweet Pepper'.
    #17
    ayersian
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    Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/10 16:45:05 (permalink)
    buffetbuster
    Interesting, in that I don't think that we tried the chili dogs.  Did we Chris?  Will do that next time for sure! 

    Cliff, obviously we had our burger goggles strapped on too tightly...yes, next time it's chili dogs!    Chris
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    ayersian
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    Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/10 16:49:40 (permalink)
    mar52
    They took my malt away from my table before I really got in to it. I still don't forgive them for it.   I could have finished it on my own.

    What?!?  Maybe they were trying to turn tables too quickly.  We were there last summer, and though there was a line, no one pushed us to leave.  But I do agree with Cliff about the burger: not a Top 10 pick -- what with such a stellar list assembled here -- but certainly delicious.    Chris
     
    P.S.  Mar, you around the week of Xmas for some RF? 
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    Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle
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    Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/10 17:45:45 (permalink)
    The GCCB at Horseman's Haven, however, is a scorcher.
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    mar52
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    Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/10 19:13:58 (permalink)
    Hey Chris,
     
    I'l be here.  Let me know when!
    #21
    CLVdog
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    Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/10 21:25:52 (permalink)
    If in the Lehigh Valley area of Pa you gotta try Bubba's Potbelly Stove in Cooperstown/Center Valley(Rte 309), Werts Cafe in Allentown on Liberty ST, between 17th and 18th and Sammuel Owens in Coplay at 2nd and Chestnut St. . All are great.
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    Foodbme
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    Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/11 03:07:08 (permalink)
    Buffetbuster-
    Have you had a Burger at Rotier's in Nashville, TN? If so, what's your opinion?
    http://www.rotiers.com/
    #23
    buffetbuster
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    Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/11 07:02:45 (permalink)
    Foodbme-
    Yes, I have been to Rotier's and although it being served on French bread is a little strange, it was very good.
     
    CLVdog-
    Thanks for the tips.  Will definitely check them out the next time in the other end of the state.  I think Wert's Cafe is already reviewed here on Roadfood.
     
    JRPfeff-
    I don't think Pat's would have made my top 100 burgers of the year!  Although, I do wonder if it was really that bad or just paled in comparison to the other great places we ate earlier in the day.
    #24
    ann peeples
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    Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/11 07:10:39 (permalink)
    What a fun list!Great to see Solly's on it...I never tire of the butter on their burgers. And the rest of your recommendations are on my must eat list should I ever get to those areas in the country.Thanks, BB!
    #25
    Sundancer7
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    Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/11 09:01:30 (permalink)
    I stopped at Solly's several years ago.  A very nice place and since their butter burger was listed and talked about on Roadfood, I definately got it along with a nice vanilla milkshake.
     
    No doubt about why the butter burger is called that.  It was delicious but soaked in butter.  Very goody and messy but very good.
     
    The place was very attractive at that time.
     
    Paul E. Smith
    KNoxville, TN
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    stanpnepa
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    Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/11 10:16:22 (permalink)
    I bow!!
     
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    Nancypalooza
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    Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/11 11:13:20 (permalink)
    Yay Cliff!  Great photos and description.  When I was in New Orleans back in October I taught a class to a small group that included a local, and on break I thoroughly debriefed her about where she goes within long-walking distance of the hotel, and Port of Call was one of the three or four places she strongly recommended, and in part with the always-a-good-thing 'the cops go there.'  I didn't make it that visit but I won't make that mistake again.
     
    And in more good news, a cute little place in Columbia we like to visit, Davis' on Rosewood, started featuring a pimento cheese Juicy Lucy as a special, and we had it the other night, and it was scrumptious.  I love it when regional specialties travel well.
    #28
    Nancypalooza
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    Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/11 11:14:14 (permalink)
    PS.  I would have liked your dad's burger too!
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    ann peeples
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    Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/11 11:27:42 (permalink)
    Oh, Lord, Nancy-I would have loved the pimento cheese Juicy Lucy. I am a southerner at heart living in the north, but my N.C. cousins claim I make a darn good pimento cheese.Will have to try that at home since I am SURE we cannot get that here in Wisconsin!
    #30
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