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Burgers

Little Big Burger ~ Austin TX

Austin, Burgers By January 28, 2019 Tags: , , , No Comments

The Vitals:
the spot: Little Big Burger 1630 East 6th St. Austin TX 78702
the eats: Little Big Burger with double patty, cheddar and bacon
the bucks: $7.50, $4.50 respectively
the full nelson: a burger chain that’s pretty keen on Bang for your Burger Buck

One of my first jobs out of college would occasionally take the staff out for lunch. I naturally liked to steer the ship on where would we go, and fought relentlessly from dining at a chain. That was almost 20 years ago and in the two decades that have since passed, the words “restaurant chain” conjure up a more complex dining scene. Yes, there are some respectable chains out there, especially in the world of burgers. In the case of Little Big Burger, you just might have the best Bang for your Burger Buck chain there is . . .

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J.G. Melon ~ New York City

Burgers, New York City By September 14, 2018 Tags: , , 3 Comments

The Vitals:
the spot: J.G. Melon 89 MacDougal st. NY NY 10012  other locations in upper east side(original) and upper westside
the eats:Cheeseburger
the bucks: $12.50
the full nelson: one of NYC’s most celebrated burgers is worth a visit

The J.G. Melon burger has been on my radar for years now as it consistently makes the best of NYC burger annual round ups. Another classic example of the NYC pub style burger, much like Corner Bistro and PJ Clark’s, expect to find a thick patty cooked to requested temperature and a classic garnish of pickle and onion. In the age of chef driven concept burgers, the J.G. Melon burger relies on simplicity and quality but does it warrant a $12.50 price tag? Well, context is everything, but this burger is worth taking a closer look at.

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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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