Hot!The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die

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fattybomatty
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2008/06/10 15:27:11 (permalink)
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
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tommyeats
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2008/06/10 19:15:55 (permalink)
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.
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fattybomatty
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2008/06/11 06:52:40 (permalink)
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
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tommyeats
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2008/06/11 08:19:11 (permalink)
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.
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ScreenBear
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2008/06/11 09:18:21 (permalink)
The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die?

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

The Bear
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angeltearsmc
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2008/06/11 15:01:51 (permalink)
I can't believe Litton's in Knoxville didn't make that list... granted, it's from 3 years ago.
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ellen4641
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2008/06/22 14:00:52 (permalink)
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.
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Baah Ben
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2008/06/22 15:19:45 (permalink)
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.






#98
swirsk53
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2008/06/22 17:05:28 (permalink)
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).
#99
yamahafjr
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2008/06/27 10:33:34 (permalink)
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 2008/07/08 21:48:08 (permalink)
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 2008/07/16 13:57:39 (permalink)
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 2008/07/16 14:00:14 (permalink)
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 2008/07/16 23:54:35 (permalink)
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 2008/07/17 10:39:29 (permalink)
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 2008/07/17 11:38:15 (permalink)
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
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The Travelin Man
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2013/05/28 10:58:13 (permalink)
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 2013/05/28 15:08:41 (permalink)
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 2013/05/28 16:08:04 (permalink)
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 2013/05/28 16:59:18 (permalink)
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 2013/05/29 12:00:38 (permalink)
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 2013/05/29 12:13:06 (permalink)
It looks like a delicious, juicy hung of meat to me.  Your choices are exactly what I would choose.
 
Paul E. smith
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buffetbuster
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2013/05/29 12:34:48 (permalink)
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 2013/08/20 12:40:32 (permalink)
#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 2013/08/20 13:40:11 (permalink)
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 2013/08/20 13:54:31 (permalink)
... 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 2013/08/20 13:55:39 (permalink)
At least my fingernails were clean. 
 
Tough crowd.
buffetbuster
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2013/08/21 07:41:03 (permalink)
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?
post edited by buffetbuster - 2013/08/21 07:42:10
The Travelin Man
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RE: The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die 2013/08/21 09:15:01 (permalink)
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 2013/08/21 10:27:18 (permalink)
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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