I too enjoyed my burger immensely, but next time I'll go with a 1/2 pounder instead of a 1/4 pounder: medium-rare tends to fare better in the larger burgers, I think. (There's more of it, thus more medium-rare flavor!) The apps were delicious, too, especially the deep-fried mushrooms (though I admit to being a devotee of the deep-fried mushroom in general).
Right you are quijote! The 1/2 pounders definitely provide a better opportunity for getting your burger cooked to your preferred done-ness. As for the apps, you guys missed a great bet by not ordering the fried mac & cheese. Gee whllikers, I guess we'll need to schedule another play date at Fred's to make up for the oversight.
It looks like Burlington has a few other places worth exploring--I didn't get to Adrian's Custard, but have it on good authority that it's worth trying. Next time!
One place to avoid, IMHO, is Chris' Bar just up Route 36 from Fred's. This place was touted by one of the locals as having better burgers than Fred's. As I was doing demos at Gooseberries Market that weekend, two days straight, I went there one night after my maiden voyage to Fred's. Chris' burgers do not even belong in the same league as Fred's. They were dried out and ordinary with none of the signature seasoning or distinct beefy flavor that Fred's has.
On the other hand, since it was Friday, Chris' was having their weekly fish-fry which looked outstanding. An old grandmotherly type was standing in the kitchen ( I had a clear view from my position at the bar) hand dipping piece after piece of beautiful fish and lovingly dropping it into the deep fryer, just barely keeping up with the pace of orders coming in. Maybe Chris' is worth a visit for the fish, but Fred's owns this town when it comes to burgers.
Also, the Sci-Fi Cafe, despite the gimmicky theme, looks like it has a very interesting menu, featuring some native American dishes and numerous choices made with locally grown ingredients.
I wish I could make the South Chicago tour and the Bratfest, but I'm hoping to join up with y'all again in fall. Maybe a Madison or Milwaukee event? Or even a tour of a Chicago neighborhood? Lots of good possibilities to consider.
Truly sorry you will miss the South Side Tour and Bratfest. We would definitely go in for a Madison/southwest Wisconsin event. In fact, I got me a hankerin' for a Limburger and onion sandwich from Baumgartner's in Monroe. We've made that trip as a group before; maybe another run in the fall. Milwaukee events are always welcome too. Grab the bull by the horns, pick some good spots, and make an announcement. If you post it, they will come.
As for Chicago events, I'm always happy to oblige. But we've done so many recently, I kinda feel bad making my Milwaukee brethren drive all that way, paying the tolls to boot. I'd feel better if someone put together something up there and we could even out the score. Of course, if you insist
on doing another Chicago run, I suppose either I or ChiTownDiner could come up something
to give you all a reason to make the trip down here.
I reckon I'll chirp in here regarding the names for our group. "Third Coast Mafia" does roll off the tongue nicely. "ChiWaukee" coupled with some other descriptive has possibilities too. I'd prefer any group name to leave my name out of it, not because I wouldn't be proud to have my name associated with this group or its activities, but because we really are about the group and I don't think any one poster's name should define us.
In the end, I agree with some of the others regarding the idea of actually picking a name as opposed to just coming up with new possibilities. Maybe we just mull this over for a bit, talk it over at one of our upcoming events and see what comes naturally without forcing the issue. Still, I love some of the names we've come up with, so keep spitting them out.
<message edited by BuddyRoadhouse on Tue, 08/18/09 4:41 PM>