The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die

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ellen4641
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2005/08/20 21:20:13 (permalink)
hi Al-the-Mayor (an "official" hi, as I've been enjoying reading your posts for these last bunch of months)

I appreciate hearing about your brother-in-laws' stint with Western
(then merging into Delta)

I'm 46, (a very young 46, I might add), and my first airline stint was from 1987-91 at LAS vegas with the fairly new America West Airlines

(they started operations in 84) . I was a ramp agent, just like when I made it later into the "majors" (United Airlines) . When I started in 87, I remember that Western had pretty much just done the merge, (and they were even calling themselves "Delta-Western" in their timetables, etc. ) And that was about the last year for Eastern Airlines altogether. Cause I remember my first year driving around all over the ramp on the pushtugs, and I would casually chat with one of the Eastern "ramp men" driving around. And he was always laughing all the way to the bank, while he claimed to be making some exhuberant $$ for overtime (that he knew was tons more than the $6.39 an hour I was making!!(.......then , alas, Eastern was no longer there, and either was he...

Most of the fellow ramp workers at America West were quite young, some were even college students at UNLV. Touching on the roadfood topic a bit (before you and I start getting referred to the "flyertalk.com" website!!), it was common knowledge that some of our airline rampers were so broke they would fly cross country in first class on their days off just to get the meals!! we were non-union. I got laid off after the AWA bankruptcy (it was okay, cause I was already dealing poker at the casino on the side, and loved that job, too)

Years later, in 1999, I fell into the airline field again . I had moved to LA to deal poker, but I saw a banner hanging by the United Airline company offices on Century Blvd......."RAMP AGENTS needed"
heck, I knew I had the experience, and being a female (the ramp "minority"), I liked my chances....I heard my calling !

and with United , it was a UNION job on the ramp..........now I was working with a lot of guys who had been there 10, 20, and even 30 years.........I had a lot of respect for them, and was always treated good......and I worked with about 90% males.

Was making about $9.00 an hour there, but most of those guys were making their top pay, $22.00 an hour, well deserved (putting up with all the hernias and back injuries that come with the territory)
But at least the bags don't talk back , we would say....! (compared to working ticket counter, which I did try for a few months or so in LAS)

Now, Al , switching the subject entirely, that Victoria Station in Hawthorne/Torrance, CA area is not there anymore....I don't know when it closed exactly, but it was'nt there when I moved back to LA in 1999. I'm real curious what's in it's place...........I believe they are still operating their location high on the hill at Universal Studios.

Al, and all else who made it this far, thanks for listening !

Ellen in NJ
#61
mayor al
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2005/08/20 22:46:25 (permalink)

Ellen, Send me an email address via the site's email system. I tried to send you one but the yahoo address 'failed'. We can carry on this conversation without tying up the thread.
AL
#62
Jimeats
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2005/08/21 11:45:13 (permalink)
Just found out the 2 Fuddruckers in the Boston area are independetly owned and operated and you can order a burger Meium rare thats rare in i'ts self. When I go to N.H. I can ride my soft tail with out a helment but can't get a burger rare or medium rare. That's the Live Free Or Die state. I guess steak tar tar is out. Chow Jim
#63
The Travelin Man
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2005/08/21 12:27:14 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Jimeats

Just found out the 2 Fuddruckers in the Boston area are independetly owned and operated and you can order a burger Meium rare thats rare in i'ts self. When I go to N.H. I can ride my soft tail with out a helment but can't get a burger rare or medium rare. That's the Live Free Or Die state. I guess steak tar tar is out. Chow Jim


They may be independently owned, but they are hardly independently operated. They are part of a franchise, which means that they have a list of corporate rules that they must follow -- including, but not limited to, the minimum average income of the people who live within a 10-mile radius -- probably in the neighborhood of $50k; the net worth of the "owner" (which I am willing to guess is a lot more than that of your average 'locally owned and operated' business); the percentage of their business that is funnelled out of your community to corporate interest, etc.
#64
CoastFan
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2005/08/21 19:35:57 (permalink)
Mr. Chip's mentions Stanich's in Portland. The Stanich burger is a thing of legend, certainly. The McMenamin brothers (Mike and Brian) of the brewpub empire fame, rightly credit the Stanich burger (a bacon cheeseburger with a fried egg on top), as the inspiration for their version, often called the Wilbur's jumbo delux burger at many of the McMenamin locations.

In-and-Out is a SoCal legend. I wish we had them here in the PNW. I miss that part of living in SoCal. Another small LA chain which has a loyal following, but for whose burgers I never developed a particular fondness, is Tommies.

Back to Portland. There's a place (I hope it's still there) called the Helvetia Tavern outside of town, near Hillsboro. It's a "local color" establishment with a huge burger on the menu which has a very loyal cadre of devotees. The sign by the cash register captures the ambiance perfectly. It said:

This ain't Burger King. You ain't going to have it your way. Your going to have it our way, or you ain't going to have the s-- of a b-----!

#65
MOC
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2005/08/25 21:06:43 (permalink)
Glad you got to Donovan's, their burger doesn't get the respect it deserves!!!
And unlike most NYC restaturants, the waitstaff actually is freindly and respectful towards the customers. I agree it's the whole package that makes it great - the burger bun and cheese "become one" And they pour a great guiness as well
[
quote]Originally posted by GB944

Went to Donovan's Pub in Woodside, Queens, NY on Friday (happened to be in the area, so made the trek) and was completely blown away by the quality of the burger, its perfect mating with the soft bun, and the hand cut fries... It's one of those burgers that is worth driving 50 miles for. There's not many in my book that are worth that kind of drive... May be even the best burger I've ever had.

It's rated as the top burger in NYC, and I agree...

gb
#66
Bluemaxx
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2005/08/25 23:02:11 (permalink)
Ummm....how about Kincaid's in Ft. Worth, TX? That is my favorite so far
#67
kb612
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2005/08/26 00:03:39 (permalink)
The best hamburgers? I don't know, but I'm happy I didn't die before eating burgers at Little Jocko's in Nipomo, Calif., and The Spot in Carpinteria, Calif. And I fondly recall a small, Philadelphia-based chain called H.A. Winston's...
#68
wrfc5
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2005/09/13 21:41:14 (permalink)
The best burger I've had in years was at Jeffrey's Hamburgers in downtown San Mateo, California. There's a line out the door at lunchtime; everything is fresh and well made. Its the type of place where the owner/chef (in this case, Jeffrey) walks around and makes sure that everyone is happy with their meal. I like In n Out burgers, and Five Guys back her in Virginia, but Jeffrey's is better than both.
#69
Lone Star
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2005/09/15 09:35:30 (permalink)
I would have to add the Lankford Grocery burger in Houston to the list.
#70
The Travelin Man
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2005/09/30 00:04:34 (permalink)
Well...this list may well be full of hooey, but they are dead on for the Luger Burger at Peter Luger's.

This was undeniably one of the best burgers I have had the pleasure of consuming. For one thing, I am not big on condiments. At most places, a good burger means slathering on secret sauce and "dragging it through the garden." Not at Luger's.

For $7.95, you get a half-pound burger (they describe it is "at least" a half-pound). The burger comes meat on a bun. If you want something else, you had better ask -- and likely be prepared to pay. You can add on cheese for $1.50, bacon for $2.50, and a side of their famous steak fries for $1.50. I added the bacon and the fries, and asked for them to add one of their thick slices of fresh tomato. I also added just a taste of Luger sauce -- enough to add a hint of sweetness to the burger, not enough to overpower.

The key to this burger is definitely in the taste of the meat -- as there is nothing else to interfere. The beef was flavorful, cooked to perfect temparature -- juices dripping into the fresh, sesame-seeded, doughy bun.

I thought that the fries were overrated and a little skimpy for $1.50. They are thick cut steak fries, but mine seemed a little underdone for my taste. I would probably order them again, as I can't imagine a burger without fries -- but, I might ask them to cook them well-done and see how that turns out.

The bacon didn't seem as thick as what they serve for dinner, but was just as flavorful. I am pretty sure that I could go there and eat myself a meal from their breadbasket and an order of bacon.

My next few weeks will include some fine burger opportunities -- I hope to get to Louis Lunch tomorrow on my way up to New London; next weekend I will be in Portland and hope to get to Stanich's; the week of October 10, I will be in Houston, and will surely give Lankford Grocery a taste.

Steve
#71
The Travelin Man
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2005/10/07 20:28:04 (permalink)
When we last left our burger-eating traveler, he was on his way up to New London....passing within mere yards of the legendary Louis Lunch. Did our hero have time for a stop???

Heck yeah....and I found a pretty unique (and don't think I am using that word as a replacement for delicious) burger. These are not the mammoth burgers that some conjure up -- I am not sure that it is more than 1/4-1/3 lb of beef, but it is still just about the right size.

It is a spartan burger, to see the very least. This is not some place that tries to doll up their otherwise bland beef with topping after topping -- no, there are only but a few choices -- with or without cheese; without or without grilled onion; and with or without tomato. That's about it. That's all they need. The flavor is in the beef. Burgers are also about all they have there -- there entire menu could fit on a 9"x13" chalkboard -- and that includes their collection of bottled drinks and desert pies.

It is definitely not the best burger I have ever eaten....and considering I had just been to Peter Luger's the day before, it wasn't even the best burger I had that week -- but, it is pretty darn good -- and it is definitely a whole package deal -- the history, the ambiance, etc.

The staff (one server and one cook) were great, too. I don't know why I had the impression going there that this was more of a NYC-"you better know what you want and how you want it NOW" kind of a place, so I was expecting more gruff service. It was nothing of the sort. The folks were down right chatty and very pleasant.

I would heartily recommend if you are in the New Haven area -- or even driving by on I-95 to stop at the (sometimes disputed) originator of the hamburger.

Two thumbs up.

Steve
#72
ZekeTheCat
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2005/10/10 10:25:18 (permalink)
This place is worth a side trip off of I-70 in southern Illinos - featured on CBS a few years ago :

http://www.clarkcountyil.org/Communities/moonshine.htm
#73
BuddyRoadhouse
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2005/10/10 19:54:49 (permalink)
The Chicago Tribune Tempo Section did a feature on them about two months ago. Sounds like a roadtrip is in order!
#74
phatphil
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2005/10/21 20:11:00 (permalink)
le tub is on a1a just south of hollywood boulevard in hollywood florida 5 minutes off of eye ninety five and well worth the trip if around
#75
Poverty Pete
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2005/10/21 22:36:14 (permalink)
The Victoria Station in San Diego used to serve AYCE beef ribs for some ridiculously low price. They would have been better off just paying me to eat elsewhere.
#76
joanie41
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2005/10/21 23:00:42 (permalink)
Speaking of burgers...is the Five Guys at the Inner Harbour in Baltimore all that and a bag of chips? I know the one in Alexandria has a lot of fans, but sometimes when restaurants branch out, the quality is lacking. Let me know if I should give it a try...I'm often in that area.
#77
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2005/10/24 11:03:19 (permalink)
Each of the Five Guys I've been to were great.

Can't speak of the Inner Harbor, as I usally eat in Fells Point where my friends live, but I've been to a couple different ones and they were all good.

I am getting nervous at how quickly they are starting to expand. It's basically gone corporate...and that's not usually a good sign.
But I'd give the Inner Harbor location a try. Why not?

#78
The Travelin Man
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2005/10/27 15:40:11 (permalink)
I hate to admit this, but the GQ list is gaining credibility with me. I made a trip to my third location on the list last night, Burger Joint in Le Parker Meridien Hotel in NYC. It was the third bona fide hit. I would heartily endorse Burger Joint both for the good burger and the experience of getting there.

To say this place is hard to find is an absolute understatement. First of all, the hotel has an entrance on both 56th and 57th Streets. There is not much of anything that looks like a hotel entrance on 57th. It is a little hidden. When you enter, you realize that you are in a pretty high-style hotel -- likely in the neighborhood of $400/night this time of year. To give you a better example, to use the bathroom in the lobby of the hotel (which you would need to do, as a patron of Burger Joint), you need to get a key pass from the concierge.

There is no outward appearance of any place that would serve a great burger by standing in the middle of the lobby. There are no signs for Burger Joint. There is a clear entrance to another hotel restaurant, which is not what you are looking for. On one side of the hotel check-in is a curtain, behind which you will find one of the best burgers in NYC.

There is a neon hamburger outside a room as the only indication that there might even be any food inside. Once you step inside, you will realize that you have, in fact, found a true "roadfood" experience. You order your burger at the counter and can watch as it is cooked to your specs. Banter with the employees seems to be encouraged, as these guys will dole it out as well as they take it -- truly New York. They offer three combos -- a burger and fries with your choice of a soda, beer, or a milkshake. I got beer (Sam on draught is the only choice) with mine, but the milkshakes looked absolutely divine.

My burger was cooked to a perfect medium (including proper pink and juice). The fries were reminiscent of McDonald's -- truthfully, though, they were not bad. I would have preferred steak fries, but I am not going to nitpick. If you order your burger "all the way", it comes with a ton of stuff on it -- lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, ketchup, mayo, and mustard. The burger itself was not one of those weighty 12 oz+ jobs, but rather no more than 1/3-1/2 lb of great ground beef.

The Burger Joint is not cheap by normal standards, but is not expensive by NYC standards. My combo meal was about $12 with tax. They have a limited number of a la carte items, and a sign on the bottom of their menu that reads "If you don't see the it listed above, we don't have it."

If you want to grab a burger in NYC, this is a worthy stop. Seating is limited -- and I am not sure how receptive the hotel is to folks hanging out eating burgers in the lobby (which is not to say that they are opposed -- I just never asked). Tables do turnover pretty quickly, or prepare to take your meal to go. Everything is packed to go anyway -- burgers wrapped in white butcher paper, fries in brown paper bags, beer in plastic cups, sodas and shakes in paper to go cups.

Even more than for the good food, I think it would be great to tell someone that you are taking them for dinner to Le Parker Meridien Hotel, have them get all dressed for a lovely evening on the town, and then take them to this back door faux "dump." It is definitely the kind of place that you could take someone if you wanted to look like a true NYC insider.

Enjoy,
Steve
#79
strickda
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2006/03/20 08:04:50 (permalink)
I think that the best hamburger is in Pontiac, Michigan on Huron St named Pete's. The cost is $1.85 each. They are also well known for their Hot Dogs. They have a large place in Clarkston, Michigan. So if you're ever in the area, check out Pete's.
#80
strickda
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2006/03/20 08:12:53 (permalink)
I had a chance to visit Le Tub which was rated # 1 burger joint in G Q magazine and also Gail King from Oprah went to check it out. Well, I think it is over rated. The waiter's attitude wasn't to nice. I waited 2 hrs for my hamburger on a saturday afternoon and the burger really wasn't all that. Will I go back? I don't think so!!!!
#81
JBarry713
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2006/03/28 20:10:57 (permalink)
I have have also been to Le Tub and found their hamburger to be very good but not great, as it was slightly on the dry side. Louis Lunch in New Haven makes a superior burger in my opinion, but I will add that the experince of dining right on the intercoastal in Hollywood, FL was awesome - despite the poor service.
#82
Phildelmar
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2006/03/28 20:52:50 (permalink)
Peter luger is unique.
It is as if, sometime in the misty past, they said "We know steak, can we bring that expertise to the humble burger?"
And they do
They understand the concept of "rare' and deliver, magnificently.
#83
shivashakti
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2006/04/05 07:52:04 (permalink)
I can't believe Ted's Steamed Cheeseburgers from Meriden, CT isn't on there.

Louis' Lunch is more interesting because of the history behind it. The old tiny buildings, the vintage sideways, gas-powered grills. It's a burger place from the 1890s. That it of itself is cool.

However, their burgers are just ok. Nothing special. Better than most places, sure. But Ted's is awesome. There are several places to get the "steamed cheeseburger" throughout central CT, but Ted's is the best.

#84
V960
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2006/04/07 08:35:13 (permalink)
Nothing in the original post but yankees and left coasters. By the way Flordia is considered yankee land in the south. No good burgers in Texas?...give me a break.

The center of meat production in the states...the midwest and Texas isn't even represented. A burger in South Dakota is to die for.
#85
københavner
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2006/06/05 04:22:22 (permalink)
When I moved to Copenhagen in 1994, I thought that the only hamburgers that I would see would come from Mc Donald's or Burger King. Suprisingly there is an excellent hamburger available at Chili, located in a short street named Vandkunsten near the center of the old city. I have been eating there for almost 15 years and the hamburgers are as good as ever. One nice touch is that witn your order you are given two containers, each holding 4 different condiments which you can add to your burger. If you are in Copenhagen I can assure you that you will not be sorry if you eat at Chili.
#86
danimal15
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2006/06/05 14:27:11 (permalink)
I used to love the charburgers at Gold Coast Dogs in Chicago but haven't had one for years. I can't vouch for their current quality, but I'd put the ones I used to have on that list.

I had a great burger at The Lantern in Lake Forest, Ill., yesterday.
#87
pinkie
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2006/06/11 21:51:01 (permalink)
my vote for best burger is Barney's Gourmet in San Francisco-fabulous-I also like Phylis's giant Burger in San Rafael, CA.
#88
hrogers
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2006/06/15 00:31:10 (permalink)
I vote for the Bun N' Burger in Stratford, CT. They were recently profiled in the CT Post as having one of the best burgers in the state. They're great, juicy and worth a visit. Yum!
#89
Princesspooh
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2008/06/10 14:44:49 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by NAAMikey

Thanks for the info Ellen...I worked at LAX, but don't remember "lick and split"..Where I lived (Redondo Beach). there were many great places that were only open for breakfast and lunch. Some that come to mind are Unky Roys ( the original,gone now, they biult a hotel there in King Harbor),"Joes" on PCH,Nancy's Food Cellar in Riviera Village, "The Cozy Cafe" on PCH. Also another one that is gone is "Vans". They served breakfast and lunch. Belgian waffles,crepes,Flemish sausage bread with cheese...mmmmm

Boy, do I ever miss Vans. I loved their specialty waffles and their Flemish sausage bread. I wish they had never lost their lease after so many years there. Altho, that being said, I moved from CA to WI in 1999, so even if they were still there, I'd only get my "fix" when I visit once a year to see family.
#90
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