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 - Sat, 08/20/05 9:20 PM
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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

mayor al
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Sat, 08/20/05 10:46 PM
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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

Jimeats
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Sun, 08/21/05 11:45 AM
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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

The Travelin Man
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Sun, 08/21/05 12:27 PM
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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.

CoastFan
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Sun, 08/21/05 7:35 PM
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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-----!


MOC
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Thu, 08/25/05 9:06 PM
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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

Bluemaxx
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Thu, 08/25/05 11:02 PM
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Ummm....how about Kincaid's in Ft. Worth, TX? That is my favorite so far

kb612
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Fri, 08/26/05 12:03 AM
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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...

wrfc5
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Tue, 09/13/05 9:41 PM
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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.

Lone Star
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Thu, 09/15/05 9:35 AM
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I would have to add the Lankford Grocery burger in Houston to the list.

The Travelin Man
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Fri, 09/30/05 12:04 AM
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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

The Travelin Man
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Fri, 10/7/05 8:28 PM
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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

ZekeTheCat
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Mon, 10/10/05 10:25 AM
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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

BuddyRoadhouse
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Mon, 10/10/05 7:54 PM
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The Chicago Tribune Tempo Section did a feature on them about two months ago. Sounds like a roadtrip is in order!

phatphil
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Fri, 10/21/05 8:11 PM
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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

Poverty Pete
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Fri, 10/21/05 10:36 PM
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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.

joanie41
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Fri, 10/21/05 11:00 PM
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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.

Scorereader
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Mon, 10/24/05 11:03 AM
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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?


The Travelin Man
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Thu, 10/27/05 3:40 PM
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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

strickda
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Mon, 03/20/06 8:04 AM
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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.

strickda
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Mon, 03/20/06 8:12 AM
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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!!!!

JBarry713
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Tue, 03/28/06 8:10 PM
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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.

Phildelmar
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Tue, 03/28/06 8:52 PM
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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.

shivashakti
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Wed, 04/5/06 7:52 AM
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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.


V960
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Fri, 04/7/06 8:35 AM
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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.

københavner
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Mon, 06/5/06 4:22 AM
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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.

danimal15
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Mon, 06/5/06 2:27 PM
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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.

pinkie
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Sun, 06/11/06 9:51 PM
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my vote for best burger is Barney's Gourmet in San Francisco-fabulous-I also like Phylis's giant Burger in San Rafael, CA.

hrogers
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Thu, 06/15/06 12:31 AM
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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!

Princesspooh
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Tue, 06/10/08 2:44 PM
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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.

fattybomatty
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Tue, 06/10/08 3:27 PM
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I would vote for Stage Left in New Brunswick, NJ that at one point was voted best NYC burger when it entered a competition some years back

tommyeats
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Tue, 06/10/08 7:15 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by fattybomatty

I would vote for Stage Left in New Brunswick, NJ that at one point was voted best NYC burger when it entered a competition some years back

i have been trying to try it before i die (and with any luck I have some more time), but they tell me it's served only at lunch. and lunch is served only on Friday. it just can't be worth missing a day of work.

fattybomatty
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Wed, 06/11/08 6:52 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by tommyeats

quote:
Originally posted by fattybomatty

I would vote for Stage Left in New Brunswick, NJ that at one point was voted best NYC burger when it entered a competition some years back

i have been trying to try it before i die (and with any luck I have some more time), but they tell me it's served only at lunch. and lunch is served only on Friday. it just can't be worth missing a day of work.


Tommy I thought the burger was on the bar menu that you can get at night as well? Unfortunately the website is blocked at my job, but here it is. See what it says. www.stageleft.com

tommyeats
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Wed, 06/11/08 8:19 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by fattybomatty

quote:
Originally posted by tommyeats

quote:
Originally posted by fattybomatty

I would vote for Stage Left in New Brunswick, NJ that at one point was voted best NYC burger when it entered a competition some years back

i have been trying to try it before i die (and with any luck I have some more time), but they tell me it's served only at lunch. and lunch is served only on Friday. it just can't be worth missing a day of work.


Tommy I thought the burger was on the bar menu that you can get at night as well? Unfortunately the website is blocked at my job, but here it is. See what it says. www.stageleft.com

excellent suggestion. i don't see a bar menu, but it would make sense to serve the "world's greatest burger" more than just during a two hour window when most people are at work. if that's the case they should include that info on their website. between a phone call i made to the restaurant and various times perusing their website, that was never made clear.

ScreenBear
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Wed, 06/11/08 9:18 AM
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The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die?

Let me know when they invent the burger that keeps you from dying.

The Bear

angeltearsmc
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Wed, 06/11/08 3:01 PM
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I can't believe Litton's in Knoxville didn't make that list... granted, it's from 3 years ago.

ellen4641
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Sun, 06/22/08 2:00 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by Jack Barry

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. But I will add that the experince of dining right on the intercoastal in Hollywood, FL was awesome - despite the poor service.

Excellent summary ! I felt the same way ! Good, but not great, and YES, it was a bit DRY!!

The views of the boaters going by defintely helped add to the experience.. I was luckier to have some better service than you did..
but I agree: overrated !!

And what, no pickles?!?
Le Tub Burger, Hollywood, CA , Dec. 2007

I was'nt really crazy about that kind of roll, and I prefer onions sliced thinner. Just my personal tastes.

Baah Ben
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Sun, 06/22/08 3:19 PM
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For whatever it's worth (a lot to me) JG Mellons is Bobby Flay's favorite NYC burger. I'm down with Bobby Flay...Love him!

Anyway, I'd like to add to this very, very strange list Tessarro's wood fire cooked burger in Pittsburgh, the Roaring Fork's incredible 12 oz char broiled burger in Scottsdale, and the best burger in this country IMHO...The Bob Cat Bite's grilled 10 oz green chili cheeseburger in Santa Fe, NM. Pure heaven.







swirsk53
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Sun, 06/22/08 5:05 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by V960

Nick's on Broadway in NYC didn't make it? BS

Nick's IS Burger Joint (at least it was when I lived across the street at 75th and Bradway-that was when Nick also ran Pizza Joint on the same block).

yamahafjr
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Fri, 06/27/08 10:33 AM
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Taylor's Refresher in St Helena CA (Napa Valley) is the ultimate gourmet drive-in experience-- the burgers are sublime!

Locster
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Tue, 07/8/08 9:48 PM
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Yeah, what is that sauce that they put on it anyways? Is it cucumber sauce like you'd find on a gyro?
quote:
Originally posted by azure

I'd like to submit one...a Plaza Burger at the Plaza (the Za, for those in the know) in Madison. Wisconsin.

fabulousoyster
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Wed, 07/16/08 1:57 PM
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Bobby Flays "Bobby's Burger Palace", Bobby's only hamburger restaurant,opens in Lake Grove SmithHaven Mall this week, Suffolk County Long Island. I'll be visiting soon.

susanll
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Wed, 07/16/08 2:00 PM
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I read Bobby Flay's place has a Chip Burger....CheeseBurger with potato chips on it. Sounds good and very simple.

pimple2
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Wed, 07/16/08 11:54 PM
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We should make a couple or three categories:

1.a) Standard beef patty, CHAR-GRILLED, i.e. open flame, toasted bun, ketchup, any other dressing with or without [e.g. mayo, like Whopper], toppings: onion, lettuce, tomato, pickles all:(with, w/o)
b) above with cheese, bacon, fried onion, anything unusual etc.

2. a) Standard beef patty, griddled, as above
b) with cheese, etc.

3. Slider style: griddled beef with onions and fat, pressed with spatula while cooking, specific style of buns

4. Other beef patties : e.g. steamed, unuual toppings, sauce, styles etc.

Then we are a bit closer towards comparing apples to apples. There are people who are sticklers for category 1a, me, for example, for whom a griddle-fried burger/cheeseburger automaticaly takes it out of the personal "best" ranking. Ditto a slider or steamed burger, while there are those who dream about these tastes.

In today's NY Time I read about burgers with foie gras and black truffles, pine nuts and dried tomatoes, fresh thyme. 'Burgers" of squid and shrimp. I love both, but not here. And I want to know if any of the "best burgers" suggested by NYT, such as Daniel Boulud's which has those fancy things, so I can stay away!!!!!! Not that they will ever let me in, nor will I ever have $56 to spend for a burger. So I am safe, for now! You never know, Bubba might take to adding gourmet touches, he watches Food TV too, and porcini mushrooms are a mere $17.50/lb [real potent dry stuff]!!

BTW, has anyone eaten Peter Luger's chopped steak which is a charbroiled burger, at the original Brookyn location? It is served only at lunch, used to be about $9/8oz, made of the trimmings from Luger's fmous steaks. Cash only. Try it.

The Travelin Man
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Thu, 07/17/08 10:39 AM
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pimple2 -

While your comparison points are valid, the original article (as mentioned in the first post) doesn't claim to offer the 20 "Best" burgers - just the 20 that you should eat before you die. I believe that they purposefully didn't make a list with all 20 charbroiled burgers cooked exactly the same way.

In my trip reports, you will often find that I do order my burgers the same way - and it does help for the sake of comparison - but, mostly, it is because that is the way that I like a burger. I don't expect that everyone else should like a burger the same way that I do.

I did a write-up on Luger's and a few of the other places on Page 3 of this thread. I will only say that for everyone who had corrections/additions to this list, or their own ideas as to what burgers should be on the list - that I have not yet been steered wrong by this list once. A small sample size to be sure, but not once.

Sundancer7
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Thu, 07/17/08 11:38 AM
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I am sorta like TM as I order my burger the same everywhere I go because that is the way I like it and then I can form an opinion. I am not good about making a list like WJ, TM and Buffetbuster but I remember what I like. I order my burger with lettuce, tomato, mayo X2, onion and cheddar.

The next time I get a chance, I will try Bobby Flay's new concept.

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN

The Travelin Man
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Tue, 05/28/13 10:58 AM
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I am slowly making my way through this list. Eight years after the article was first published, I am now through nine of the 20 restaurants, after having dined at Rouge in Philadelphia for lunch on Sunday. I knew it was a high end burger, but was still surprised that the final price, including tax and tip approached $25. 
 
Rouge was #4 on Richman's list, which can be found here, purely as a list without commentary.
 
However, I found Richman's commentary spot on, right down to noting the gentleman seated at the table across from us was sporting a country club sweater over his shoulders, a la Winthorpe going to the Club in 'Trading Places,' nearly 30 years ago.
 

The clientele appears to consist primarily of aging men of means, each one accompanied by an Eastern European model/actress. (Who knew that white slavery lived on in stuffy old Philadelphia?) Do these people care that they’re eating the best cheeseburger in America? Rouge is so chic I’m surprised that anybody pays attention to the food. I’m sure they admire the staff, all in black. They probably enjoy sitting outside, right on Rittenhouse Square. Back when I was growing up in the city, outdoor dining didn’t exist.

 

How is a simple, plump cheeseburger able to compete with all this stylishness? The Rouge Burger does just fine. The aged Gruyère cheese is strong, nutty, and pungent. The caramelized onion is judiciously applied. The bread is toasted brioche. The fries are good. The well-salted sirloin is very lean, so it’s best ordered rare. I could swear the hostess, to stand out from her minions, was wearing pink pajamas, but maybe I was dizzy with pleasure from dining at Rouge and encountering a Philadelphia I never knew.

 
The burger? Well....it was a winner, as has every burger I have tried from this list (1, 2, 4, 9, 10, 14, 15, 17, 20).
 
I added bacon....because, well....bacon.
 
At first, I thought that my medium-rare might be a little too on the rare side for me, but this was a PERFECT medium-rare and the medium-rare to which all other medium-rares should aspire.
 

 
This was a four-star burger, given that, in my world, the Peter Luger burger (five star) is still where my bar is set. This ranks up there with some of my other favorites, though.

buffetbuster
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Tue, 05/28/13 3:08 PM
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So, was your hostess wearing pink pajamas, too?
 
That is one gorgeous burger and it certainly looks worthy of inclusion on the list.  I love gruyere cheese but have never tasted it on a burger.  And that looks like some high quality, thick bacon.

The Travelin Man
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Tue, 05/28/13 4:08 PM
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No pink pajamas. But, one of my dining companions was focused on the hostess' appearance.
 
All of the ingredients are top notch. I am sure that they could recite the specific blend of ground beef, brisket, short rib and whatever else they put in there. The bun was substantial enough to hold up to the burger. 
 
I may need to bust out some more pictures from some of the other places I went from this list.

buffetbuster
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Tue, 05/28/13 4:59 PM
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Several of these places we have been to together.

The Travelin Man
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Wed, 05/29/13 12:00 PM
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Richman on his top choice establishment:
 

This is a dream of a dump, located on the site of a former Sunoco gas station. Outside there’s assorted porcelain—toilets, sinks, tubs. Most have plants in them, and a lot of the plants look dead. Inside is a pool table, a jukebox, and tables reminiscent of the ones at highway rest stops. The view is magnificent, the Intracoastal Waterway at its broadest and most dramatic. Le Tub doesn’t take credit cards, and it has signs everywhere reinforcing that rule. I’m surprised anybody who eats here qualifies for a credit card.

Le Tub, as they say, is what it is. It's a dump. It is also, easily, the best burger that I have ever had at a toilet-themed restaurant (which, is actually a quote from buffetbuster, but one with which I do not disagree). This is the style that is my favorite burger - hefty - a half-pound...plus. The key to this kind of burger is using a roll that can hold up to the dripping mess that is likely to ensue. Le Tub uses a very nice poppy-seeded roll which soaks juices well, but does not disintegrate.

 

 

It is simply adorned, with lettuce, tomato, onion and possibly cheese. Again, this suits me. I don't like a lot of crap on my burger, essentially hiding the taste of the meat. I'm not telling you how you should like your burgers, but this is how I like mine.

 

 

Cooking to temperature is also essential, and Le Tub delivered a very respectable medium-rare.

 

 

I don't think that this is best burger in the country, but it is very, very good. It is always hard to tell what the authors have in mind when they write these kinds of pieces. Looking back at the last photos from Rouge, one cannot imagine that the same writer would fancy both the setting at the she-she Rittenhouse Square address and the south Florida dive bar. Maybe he was going for variety? Beats me. But, regardless, this is another burger worthy of inclusion on this list.


Sundancer7
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Wed, 05/29/13 12:13 PM
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It looks like a delicious, juicy hung of meat to me.  Your choices are exactly what I would choose.
 
Paul E. smith
Knoxville, TN 

buffetbuster
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Wed, 05/29/13 12:34 PM
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TTM-
Nicely done!  Le Tub also happens to be my favorite toilet themed restaurant with a dress code after 4pm.

The Travelin Man
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Tue, 08/20/13 12:40 PM
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#14 - J. G. Melon - New York, NY.
 
From Richman's article:
 
“The best burger is the one you want the minute your plane touches down after you’ve been in Europe for three months,” said a friend of mine, an Upper East Sider with the money to do exactly that. “For me, this is the one.”

Well, I don't know what it's like to be in Europe for three months, and I am not sure that if I ever was in Europe for three months that this would be the first place I would pick to have a burger upon arrival back in New York - let's face it, the Jackson Hole Diner is a stone's throw from LaGuardia. Why would I wait until I got back into Manhattan? ;-) If I arrived during the day (as many flights from Europe do), I could also make my way to Luger's in Great Neck more quickly than I could ever get to J.G. Melon's. But, still....this burger rocks.
 
I was just up in New York City recently and revisited one of my favorite burgers. The usual problems (overly crowded, Upper East Side snootiness, etc.) with Melon's were not apparent when we chose to go at an off hour, on a Friday afternoon, and sit at the bar.
 

This was my pre-game meal before heading out to Citi Field to watch the Mets, so I wanted to make sure that I didn't eat anything that would further induce Mets-related nausea.
 

 
My one main problem when ordering a burger is trying to determine other's definitions of descriptions like "medium," "medium-rare," etc. Here's how I like my burger - hot pink. Not brown, not grey, not red....and not particularly raw. By most "charts," what I like is medium-rare - or medium-minus. At the end of the day, though, I am usually not that particular about  a burger. A $30 steak? Yes...cook it the way I asked. A burger....ehhh....I'll be eating again in a few hours anyway.
 
I think that this is especially tough to make happen with a burger grilled over an open flame, like they are at Melon's. 
 

 
When I initially cut this burger open, much like my first impression at Rouge (above), I thought that the burger was a little undercooked. As I continued to eat, I realized that this maybe the exact way that I like my burgers cooked. The toasted bun soaked up the juices of the burger (personal burger pet peeve - using a bun that does not hold up to the burger), and excelled as a transporter for the meat, cheese and bacon trifecta.
 
I don't recall if I read on Yelp or Foursquare, but it was something to the effect of "many claim JG Melon's burger to be the best in NYC. It's not, but it is a worthy contender." That is about as fair an assessment as I've seen. Given the proximity to where I usually stay in the City, and their regular late-night hours, it is likely that I would hit J. G. Melon's just about every time I was in town. 

buffetbuster
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Tue, 08/20/13 1:40 PM
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Excellent photos and description TTM, but that doesn't mean I don't have a complaint.  That hand (which I assume is yours) is a little too hairy.  Any chance you could hire a hand model for future burger photos?

Michael Hoffman
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Tue, 08/20/13 1:54 PM
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... and have it hold a green chile cheeseburger.

The Travelin Man
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Tue, 08/20/13 1:55 PM
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At least my fingernails were clean. 
 
Tough crowd.

buffetbuster
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Wed, 08/21/13 7:41 AM
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Spent some time looking over the list again and with the inclusion of places like Bobcat Bite, Le Tub and Peter Luger's (plus TTM's photographic evidence), this really does appear to be a great list.  Seeing Keller's in Dallas was a bit of a surprise, because even though it is a fine burger, it certainly isn't in a league with the previously mentioned.
 
TTM-
No need to ask you which is your favorite, since you feel about Peter Luger's the way I feel about Bobcat Bite.  Would Le Tub be your number two right now?
<message edited by buffetbuster on Wed, 08/21/13 7:42 AM>

The Travelin Man
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Wed, 08/21/13 9:15 AM
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Hmm....that is a fine question. From this list, I think that J.G. Melon's and Rouge are both better than Le Tub. Red Mill might even be close.
 
I liked Le Tub, but I think that it was probably better before it got all of the publicity.
 
Off of this list, it is quite possible that Tessaro's may be my second favorite burger to Luger's. Of course, I have not been out to New Mexico to try the legendary green chile cheeseburgers.
 
Also, it is hard to believe that this thread is over eight years old now.

buffetbuster
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die - Wed, 08/21/13 10:27 AM
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You really don't hear much about Red Mill Burgers here on Roadfood, but they really put out a great product. 
 
Tessaro's #2?  Are you sure it isn't just the company?

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