BurgerRodeo

just a kid writing about burgers

Is it blasphemy to say In-N-Out is a religious experience?

According to this article on Buzzfeed, In-N-Out is a religious experience.

27 Reasons In-N-Out Is Actually Heaven On Earth

This must be the “Cheeseburger in Paradise” Jimmy Buffett was singing about.

In-N-Out

1. First of all, the burgers, which are handmade by angels.

2. Also, the heavenly, freshly cut-to-order, divine fries.

3. When the burger and fries come together on a tray, you can hear a choir of angels singing in the distance.

more…

But like the article says, “If you’re not in California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, or Texas, you’re out of luck.”

Hmmm… I wonder where I’m going to take my summer vacation this year? Hint: Probably somewhere with In-N-Out.

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No hipsters were harmed during the eating of this burger

It was a cold but sunny day (no snow, for a change!) and we took a road trip to Burger Bros. in Towson, MD. It’s located on Allegheny Avenue and you can easily walk there from Trader Joe’s or Barnes & Noble. Yeah… we went to Trader Joe’s, but the main reason we were in Towson was for the burgers.

Burger Bros., 14 Allegheny Avenue, Towson, MD.

I ordered a cheeseburger (I chose pepperjack cheese) with basic lettuce & tomato fixins’. The burger patties are 6 oz Angus beef, char grilled to order. They have a lot of flavor and good meaty juices. It was one of the best burger patties I have tasted in a while.

Cheeseburger (pepperjack cheese) from Burger Bros., Towson, MD.

I also ordered a large fries. These were hand cut, freshly fried, “Broadwalk style” fries. They were delicious and you should definitely get an order.The large was big enough to share with Mom & Dad. They also have a “Monster Bucket” size which looked like it was served in a giant popcorn bucket. I think those would last all day. Dad ordered his usual cheeseburger (cheddar) with raw onions and mustard. The raw onions make his breath smell and they give him indigestion. Listening to him hiccup is funny for the first 2 minutes, but then it starts to get boring. I wish he would stop ordering raw onions. Mom should start making him eat salads again. No more burgers for you! A nice bowl of lettuce will stop those hiccups :) Mom had a cheeseburger with A1 sauce. I washed down my burger with a delicious strawberry milkshake. It was made to order and it tasted pretty good. They also sell Boylon’s bottled sodas and I guess that makes the hipsters happy. (There wasn’t one hipster beard in the place while we were there. I was disappointed. Trader Joes was full of hipster beards. Maybe it’s wasn’t hip to eat burgers on that day. Maybe they should put an “artisan burger” on the menu to attract hipsters.)

Strawberry milkshake from Burger Bros., Towson, MD.

Burger Bros. is a family business (run by brothers!) and they seem to be proud that they’re not another Five Guys franchise. You can ever buy a t-shirt.

4 Out of 5 Guys Choose Burger Bros.

I award my burger a score of 8 out 10. It was a good, juicy burger. If you are visiting Towson, and whether you have an official Trader Joe’s hipster beard or not, then you should pay Burger Bros. a visit.

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Eatin’ hamburgers in Iran

Maybe we can avoid wars by eating burgers together?

Tehran foodies flock to American-style burger joints

TEHRAN — At the Garage Grill in an upscale Tehran neighborhood, classic rock plays from the speakers, and photos of Paul Newman, James Dean and hot rods line the walls. It could be an old-time American diner, except that its hamburger prices reflect a wealthier target market here.

Right next door, Dukkan Burger serves its fare on butcher paper, with plenty of Heinz ketchup and French’s mustard supplied on request. The clientele includes young women clutching designer purses, arriving with their dates in European luxury cars.

Greasy burger joints have been part of Tehran’s fast-food landscape for decades, even in the years just after the 1979 Islamic revolution, when any symbol of U.S. culture was denounced as an example of “Westoxification.” Those eateries were mostly in downtown working-class neighborhoods, serving laborers in need of a blast of calories or students watching their budgets.

Now, though, high-end burger restaurants are suddenly popping up across the city, making the gut-busting American institution — and the quest for the best burger — the latest trend in Tehran dining.

Facebook pages dedicated to local hamburger outlets debate their relative merits, comparing them to McDonald’s, In-N-Out, Burger King and other U.S. chains. That fascination with brands has resulted in such blatant rip-offs as McAli’s, Superstar — conspicuously similar in appearance to Carl’s Jr. — and even a place calling itself Five Guys.

After a string of restaurants catering to Tehran’s rich opened and closed in recent years, observers of the capital’s culinary scene say the rise of the quality burger is not surprising, especially given Iranians’ love of grilled meat.

“Burgers are very simple. It’s a promise that’s easy to deliver on,” said Payam Kashani-Nejad, the founder of Gumboo Guide, a Web site devoted to reviews of Tehran restaurants. “And it’s a big market.”

David Yaghoobi, until recently creative director at a top Iranian advertising agency and now based in London, noted that the burger, while well-known here, is still somewhat exotic, boosting its appeal.

“In Iran, most things foreign are considered high-end, and as a burger is considered foreign, maybe there is some of that, too,” he said.

It is no coincidence, then, that most of the new hamburger restaurants are in the affluent neighborhoods of northern Tehran, in the foothills of the snowcapped Alborz Mountains — places such as Niavaran, where Garage Grill and Dukkan could dare to open side by side.

“Our concept is purely American,” said Arash Farhadpour-Shirazi, co-owner of Garage Grill. “Burgers and cars.”

The young male servers at Garage Grill wear T-shirts from a classic-car rally that the restaurant sponsored last year. A neon Route 66 sign hangs in the front door above the back half of a classic Austin Mini. The car’s front half and the front of an orange BMW 2002 double as the restaurant’s grills.

“It’s a short escape into a different environment,” Farhadpour-Shirazi said. “Iranians love the American style. The grass is greener in the U.S.”

In nearby Farmanieh, the most popular of Tehran’s new burger joints, Burgerland, was opened last year by the members of the Iranian underground band Barobax.

In 2010, Barobax produced the biggest domestic music hit in recent memory, the wedding staple “Soosan Khanoom.” But the group members say they started Burgerland because there is more money in the food business than in playing music.

Fans line up to take photos with them, but they deny that is the main reason Burgerland is perpetually packed.

“Maybe the first and second time people come it’s to see us, but if they didn’t like the food, they wouldn’t come again and again,” said Khashayar Moradi Haghgoo, who owns and runs the restaurant with his bandmates and cousins, Keivan Moradi Haghgoo and Hamid Forouzmand. He said Burgerland regularly sells 1,500 hamburgers a day, more than three times the output of most eateries included in this report.

Across town, in the western neighborhood of Shahrak-e Gharb, BurgerHouse sees itself as the pioneer of Tehran’s hamburger craze. In business for three years, owner Amir Javadi said no one else was selling quality burgers in the city when he opened, and then “this year, all of a sudden, burger joints started sprouting like mushrooms.”

BurgerHouse started as strictly takeout and delivery but accidentally became Tehran’s lone drive-in restaurant.

“We noticed that people would pick up their orders and then just sit in their cars and eat,” Javadi said. “There are extra costs for delivery, like the packaging, so we started giving the option of bringing trays to customers’ cars, and people got used to it.”

Every night, even during the freezing winter, the narrow street that is home to BurgerHouse is lined with cars of regulars waiting for their order numbers to appear on a screen above the tiny shop front.

To Javadi, the success of burgers in Tehran is unconnected to any particular cultural trends or preferences beyond the simple pleasures of the food itself.

“No one looks at a burger as something American or even foreign anymore,” Javadi said. “It’s one of the world’s favorite foods.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/tehran-foodies-flock-to-american-style-burger-joints/2014/01/04/7c984fbc-6986-11e3-997b-9213b17dac97_story.html

If you ask nicely they will make you last month’s “burger of the month” anyway

School was cancelled because of a “weather emergency” so I spent the morning at home studying for exams (only joking!) and tidying my room (seriously joking!). The ice storm turned into rain by midday so Dad drove me into Bel Air for a burger. We went to the Bel Air branch of Jake’s Wayback Burgers which I’ve been to several times before and enjoy very much.

I ordered the Brisket Burger which was last month’s (December 2013) “burger of the month.” If you ask really nicely then they’ll still make them for you. Dad says it doesn’t count as a secret menu. He says it’s just because they’re nice folks and I ask politely.

Jakes Brisket Burger

The Brisket Burger has two beef patties, American cheese, slices of smoked brisket, and Wayback Gold Sauce. The “gold sauce” tasted like a smokey mustard barbecue. It was a nice zesty topping. The slices of brisket were also smokey, like a barbecue brisket, not like the brisket my parents cook for Rosh Hashanah. (Dad just that’s a  braised brisket, not a BBQ brisket, so know we all know!) The burger patties were nice and juicy, just like you can always rely on at Jake’s.

I award this burger a score of 7.5 out of 10. It was an interesting taste combination and definitely above average (average score is 4-6 remember?) If you are at Jake’s when they have this as their burger of the month then you should try it. If you are at Jake’s and the month has already passed then you should just ask nicely :)

 

Smoke & Pepper Signature Burger was OK, but not that original

Mom & Dad took me to Red Robin so that I could try December’s Burger of the Month.

The ‘Smoke and Pepper Signature Burger’ is a regular Red Robin burger patty seasoned with “smoked sea salt” (I have no idea what that is) and topped with peppered bacon and cheddar cheese on a toasted ciabatta bun. The bun is spread with “house-made smoke & pepper ketchup” and there is a side of the fancy ketchup with the french fries.

Red Robin ‘Smoke and Pepper Signature Burger”

The ciabatta bun was a bit more chewy than an ordinary burger bun. The bacon and the cheddar cheese were both OK, but I have had peppered bacon and cheddar cheese before so it wasn’t a big deal. The only really new thing was the fancy ketchup. It was OK, but I didn’t think it was that smokey and I think it would have been nicer with a little BBQ flavor.

My overall Burger of the Month experience was OK, but Red Robin have made better burgers than this. It just wasn’t really that original. I can only award it a score of 5 out of 10 because of that.

Mom had a salad. Seriously, Mom! A salad? At a burger restaurant?

Dad had a Bleu Ribon (blue cheese and chipotle sauce) burger. I think he was the happiest person there, but probably because Mom didn’t make him eat a salad too.

Jet and Chord McCoy back on the Amazing Race

As you know, I love burgers and I love rodeo. So I’m really excited to see Jet and Chord McCoy back on the Amazing Race for the All-Star season starting in February 2014. I might even create a Jet & Chord burger in their honor. (I’ll probably serve that on a French bay-get.)

You come to Tidewater Grille for the fish, not for the burgers

Mon and Dad wanted to go out for lunch so we drove up to Havre de Grace to eat at the Tidewater Grille where we’d have a view of the Susquehanna River (the Susquehanna doesn’t meet the Chesapeake Bay until Concord Point light house and Tidewater is upriver of that nearer the railroad bridges). Mom and Dad were obviously going to order something fishy (Tidewater is famous for its seafood dishes), but I wanted their Steak Burger.

'Steak Burger' from Tidewater Grill, Havre de Grace, Maryland.

‘Steak Burger’ from Tidewater Grille, Havre de Grace, Maryland.

I am pretty sure that the patty was a Bubba-style burger. It tasted mealy, like it had ground cereal in it. The Tidewater menu only says “half pound burger” and doesn’t mention fresh or hand formed patty. There wasn’t much much and it had a plain flavor. I can only award this burger a score of 4 out of 10.

In my scoring system 4 to 6 is average. So this 4 is a low average.

I would give the fries an 8 or 9 out of 10. Those are worth eating :)

Mom and Dad enjoyed their fish. My recommendation is to order fish at Tidewater Grille. That’s what they’re famous for.

Chili’s Southern Smokehouse Burger packs a giant moutful of flavor

I was holiday shopping with Dad (what do you buy for Mom?) and we stopped at Chili’s for lunch. I ordered their Southern Smokehouse Burger. It has “four slices of applewood smoked bacon, hickory-smoked cheddar cheese, ancho-chile BBQ sauce, mayo & freshly made crispy onion strings.” As you can see from the photo it is a monster!

Chili's Southern Smokehouse Burger.

Chili’s Southern Smokehouse Burger.

The burger was HUGE. Dad told me to look up the nutrition info when I got home. So here’s the Chili’s nutritional menu. The Southern Smokehouse Burger is 1610 calories and 96 grams of fat. The fries add another 410 calories and 17 grams of fat.

The first bite of this giant had so much flavor. The onion straws were nice and crispy and it complemented the barbecue sauce. The four slices bacon were crunchy, which I enjoyed. The burger patty itself wasn’t half bad. It wasn’t frozen and it had a dash of salt and pepper, not enough to overpower anything else. I HAD MAYONNAISE! You may be asking why I committed such a stupid act. Well, from the amount of flavors in the burger, I couldn’t taste it at all.

I give this burger a 8 out of 10. It is a great burger for somebody who has been starving since breakfast but not the best burger for somebody who needs a light snack.

Virginia students vote for pink slime burgers, not pure beef

What is wrong with these kids? I suppose if the only burgers that you eat at home are McDonalds and Burger King then you will never appreciate what a good healthy burger tastes like.

Kids’ beef with all-beef burgers prompts school to bring back the processed meat

Virginia school district brings back 26-ingredient burger after students complain about the taste and look of all-beef patties.

Photo: Valeriy Lebedev/Shutterstock

Kids in Fairfax, Va., have demanded their additives and chemicals, and it looks like they are going to get them. According to a recent story in the Washington Post, Fairfax County Public Schools are pulling all-beef burgers from school lunch menus and replacing them with processed meat after heeding complaints from students.

It all started during the 2011-12 school year, when a Fairfax-based advocacy group called Real Food for Kids released a report showing that the school district’s burgers contained 26 ingredients, including a number of additives and preservatives. Parents were outraged, and the processed burgers were replaced with all-beef patties. But at the start of this school year, the school district quietly returned to the processed patty, citing kids’ complaints about the all-beef burger as their reasoning.

In a note to Real Food for Kids, Penny McConnell, Fairfax schools’ food and nutritional service director, wrote that “students are our customers and we listen to them and implement their requests if possible.”

OK, I get that. But what are the schools going to do if the students complain that math is too hard? Or that they don’t want to learn how to spell? Wouldn’t it have been better to try another option — such as switching all-beef burger suppliers or working with the kids to address their concerns, rather than taking a step backward and bringing back the burger that’s chock full of chemicals?

Parents, school officials, and health care providers are supposed to be working together to help kids lead a healthier lifestyle. What does it teach kids when their school officials bring back what is essentially junk food just because the kids say it taste better? Should they switch back to potato chips because those are more popular with students than vegetables?

http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/blogs/kids-beef-with-all-beef-burgers-prompts-school-to-bring-back-the-processed

Ruby Tuesday Bacon Cheese Pretzel Burger

We stopped at Ruby Tuesday for lunch and I ordered one of their new pretzel burgers. I think it’s just their old burger, but on a pretzel roll instead of a bun. Dad says they only renamed it because that way they can charge a dollar more. I don’t know about that, but I think the pretzel roll does make it tastier.

I ordered the ‘Bacon Cheese Pretzel Burger’ which is described on the menu as “fresh 100% USDA choice beef” (Phew! Thank goodness it’s not 99%!) served with “applewood smoked bacon, melted cheddar cheese, and bacon mustard mayonnaise.”  I was not sure about the bacon mustard mayonnaise. You know what I think about mayonnaise on burgers. But Dad said I should try it and describe it in the review.

Ruby Tuesday Bacon Cheese Pretzel Burger.

The burger patty was OK. Ruby Tuesday make a good basic burger patty patty. For a casual dining chain restaurant it is fine.

The bacon was so-so. I like the bacon on my burger to be thick and crispy. This was good, but it needed to be thicker.

The pretzel roll was nice a chewy like a Philadelphia soft pretzel. It was a nice change to have a pretzel roll instead of an ordinary burger bun.

The cheese was basic American slices. That’s OK. American cheese melts easily on burgers.

The bacon mustard mayonnaise was not my favorite thing. There was too much of it. I am glad that I was brave enough to try it, but I would not order it again. I might try the ‘Spicy Jalapeño Pretzel Cheeseburger’ instead.

I award this burger a score of 6.5 out of 10. My last Ruby Tuesday review was a 6 out of 10. The pretzel roll makes 0.5 points of improvement.

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