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Burgers

Cassel’s Hamburgers

Burgers, Los Angeles By August 31, 2018 Tags: , , No Comments

The Vitals:
the spot: Cassel’s Hamburgers 3600 W. 6th St Los Angeles CA 90020
the eats: Cheeseburger featuring 1/3lb Meyer Angus Beef with cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle and Thousand Island dressing
the bucks: $11.75
the full nelson: A burger sequel that is better than the original

Once upon a time hamburgers were a simple affair. The very best ones were anointed so mostly because of the size and quality of the beef. Cassel’s Hamburgers was such a place, especially in its first four decades of service(1948-1998), when it was considered the best in town by the likes of Pulitzer Prize winning author Jonathan Gold, legendary food writer Calvin Trillin, Jane and Michael Stern among other luminaries. By the time I came around to visiting Cassel’s in the early 2000s I suspect the glory days were in the rearview mirror. Though sold by original owner Al Cassel in the 1990s, the torch was supposedly passed to good people. Sadly my experience was less Los Angeles Burger icon and more “I think I just died and went to Fuddruckers”. By the time I tried Cassel’s, Los Angeles was in the early stages of a burger Renaissance and Cassel’s Hamburgers seemed like a fading burger relic.

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Joe Junior ~ New York City

Burgers, New York City By August 10, 2018 Tags: , , , No Comments

The Vitals:
the spot: Joe Junior 167 3rd Ave New York NY 10003
the eats: Cheeseburger
the bucks: $5.85
the full nelson: can a burger with the appeal of a picky 5 year old indeed be the best burger in NYC?

Joe Junior has been on my burger radar for quite some time, in no small part due to the adoration of Nick Solares, host of Meat Life, The Meat Show, writer for Eater NY and Serious Eats, and author of the blog Beef Aficionado. If you haven’t figured it out by now, Mr Solares is a serious carnivore, one that is never short for words when it comes to pontificating over the virtues of a truly excellent burger. I’ve never lived in New York but have made it a point to always get a burger when I’m there, which is frequent. I’d like to think I have somewhat of a handle on the burger scene here but, let’s face it: the list is long, my credit card has a modest limit and I would be insulting my statin prescription to try and eat every NYC burger worthy of a visit without at least parking it at an Airbnb for a month. Still, I feel confident in joining in on the chorus that hails Joe Junior as the Best Burger in NYC.

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Holeman and Finch – Atlanta GA

Burgers, The South By February 18, 2018 Tags: , , , No Comments

The Vitals:
the spot: Holeman and Finch 2277 Peachtree Road Northwest, Atlanta, GA 30309
the eats: The H and F burger
the bucks: $14
the full nelson: they make 24 of these burgers a night. and it tastes as special as that sounds.

These days I find myself enjoying burgers priced in the mid teens more and more. Could it be that Cheap Eats has changed my palate? Or is it my wallet? Heck, it’s both. While I believe that the all mighty burger(and many foods) should remain an affordable experience, I can’t deny the power of fresh baked buns, quality farm sourced ingredients and the audacity to present a chef’s vision between two buns. And those factors carry with it a price tag.

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Hightower – Austin TX

Austin, Burgers By January 7, 2018 Tags: , , , No Comments

The Vitals:
the spot: Hightower 1209 E. 7th St. Austin TX 78702
the eats: “Burger”
the bucks: $9
the full nelson: one messy steal of a burger that is worth the extra napkins

Austin is an unpretentious food town, and Hightower’s dimly lit interior and casual service set you up perfectly to be surprised by a dynamic menu wrangling in Mexican and Asian flavors in a small plates format sized for tipsy appetites. Every time I eat there I like it more and more. If you watch Cheap Eats carefully or read this blog(which I’m guessing you do since you are right now) you know that I flip for flavor forward foods. Mexican and Asian cooking certainly can serve that up, and being an American who is spoiled by food culture choices, it is nice to go to one place that has great whiskey and food I would crave a day after having plenty of whiskey. Before we get to the burger however I do feel we need to get into some other highlights of the menu that might have you picking Hightower for a date night as much as a burger binge.

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Contigo – Austin TX

Austin, Burgers By November 14, 2017 Tags: , , , , No Comments

The Vitals:
the spot: Contigo 2027 Anchor Ln, Austin, TX 78723
the eats: Burger w/ cheese and fries
the bucks: $16
the full nelson: one of the best burgers in Austin

An article came out in Bon Appétit magazine last year describing Contigo as a restaurant “locals bring out of towners in order to convince them to move here”. I would go a step further and say it is a place to bring your friends visiting from Brooklyn, Silver Lake or San Francisco and say “hey Austin has food as good as you do plus we are as laid back as the patio you are eating and drinking in”. Austin of course has food worthy making a trip for, especially if you hail from the latest and greatest corners of gentrification. Contigo isn’t so much a meal you see on an episode of Chef’s Table but they are as timely and relevant as chef driven, farm to table burgers get. It’s among my top two burgers in Austin and proof that the best Bang for your Burger Buck in this town sits in the mid teen range(Odd Duck is right up there too). But wait, did I say the best burger value is in fact closer to an Andrew Jackson then a Abraham Lincoln? Yeah, I really did. As much as P. Terry’s and Hopdoddy will absolutely sate your burger fix for under $10, whats happening around the $15 mark at Contigo and Odd Duck, well that’s good enough to convince your East and West Coast friends that Austin’s food scene is as relevant as LA, SF or NYC. Need more convincing? Well that’s what I’m here to do.

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