(1 votes, average: 4.00 out of 10)Register to vote.
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Max & Erma’s Restaurant
Detroit Metro Wayne County Airport
Detroit, MI 48242 map
On my way to Milwaukee for the first leg of an exciting midwestern baseball road trip adventure, I had the chance to spend a few hours in the beautiful Detroit Metro Wayne County Airport. Yes, it is as exciting as it sounds. As it was around lunch time and so far for the day all I had eaten was a Biscotti cookie and an oatmeal creme pie, I decided this was as good a time as any for a BurgerTyme! After passing the typical uninspired choices like McDonald’s and Chili’s, I came upon Max & Erma’s. Appearing to be a departure from the usual bland chain restaurant fare, I said this is the place!
Sitting down and reviewing the menu, I decided to go for the Double Double, a pretty standard double meat cheeseburger. Well, that was until I spoke to my waiter, who very quickly stated that I should avoid the Double Double because they always overcooked it. I thanked him for his candor and went to my second choice: the BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger, featuring cheddar cheese, bacon, and barbecue sauce, cooked medium. With that I placed my order and took the time to study my surroundings. Perhaps the most striking thing was the emergency exit with the sign “do not block this door,” ironically blocked by the chair on the other side of my table.
With this being an airport location speed of service is a must, and here Max & Erma’s didn’t disappoint. Within 10 minutes my burger was delivered to my table, and while the burger looked rather impressive the fries were a mushy undercooked mess. I passed over the pile of fries and eagerly picked up this fine looking burger. Unfortunately the perfectly toasted bun and fresh vegetables were mismatched with a relatively dry and overcooked patty, which was even more disappointing since I had ordered it cooked medium. However, with a healthy amount of barbecue sauce this was at least a decent burger. The fries were an end bigger downer, undercooked and with no flavor.
Overall this was a less than memorable burger experience, although still probably better than anything else available in the Detroit Airport. This burger was oh-so-close, yet so far away, as it is difficult to overcome an overcooked patty and equally undercooked fries. The bun and vegetables, as well as the barbecue sauce, were better than average, so I think if they can figure out the cooking time on the patty they will have a real contender here. But for now it is time to head on down the road and hope for some better midwestern Burger Tymes.
(2 votes, average: 6.50 out of 10)Register to vote.
282 Atlantic Avenue
near Smith Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201 map
In the midst of the great Polar Vortex of 2014, we ventured to New York City. I was excited for all of the exciting dining opportunities that I’ve come to associate with NYC; hot dogs, pretzels, delis, all night diners, Chinatown, etc. I’ve also been plugged in to the HUGE burger scene that this city and surrounding areas are a part of. Most notable is the food scene in Brooklyn. Having never been and only being educated by the internet, Brooklyn seems to have the most excitement when it comes to burgers. On the least cold evening of our trip (it was a balmy 28 F) we did the tourist thing and walked across the Brooklyn Bridge. It was great, tons of people, cold wind, and people on bikes actively trying to run you over. Joking aside, it was a fun experience. One that by then end, we were cold and hungry. I quickly consulted my smartphone to the nearest and best burger place. Two8two popped up and so we continued our walk from the bridge.
It was easy enough to find as the name is the same as the street number. Stepping inside was not just a relief from the cold, but the atmosphere was also relaxing. There was soft lighting and an unlit fireplace which would have been great lit up on a night like this. We were quickly seated and began reviewing our menu options. While doing so, M83 began playing over their radio. My sister in law commented how she loved the song. Either coincidentally or upon hearing this our waiter went and changed the music claiming “That’s not what we’re really about”. I’ve always heard that Brooklyn can be a bit pretentious but I assumed it was because they had better tastes in things. We waited in great anticipation for what new and exciting unknown or underground music would bless our meal. We laughed when we heard Mumford and Sons. I quickly ordered an Abita root beer and we moved on to the burger selections.
The waiter proudly told us that the beef for their burger is ground fresh daily by a local butcher, Los Paisanos. The menu features very straightforward burgers. Meat, cheese, onions, bacon, roasted peppers, or something called two8two sauce. There are no doughnut buns or other crazy burger amalgamations which, frankly, I appreciated. Sometimes you just want a good, beefy burger. I ordered their “Pub” burger which had a 9oz patty and all the fixings I listed previously minus the roasted peppers. With a side of fries, my order was complete and it was just a waiting game.
Shortly after ordering, within ten minutes or so, the burgers came out open faced with veggies on the side. The patty for this burger was big and visibly juicy. I quickly assembled the burger and took a bite. There was an immediate hit of a clean, beefy taste. It was incredibly juicy and seared to a perfect medium. It could have used a slightly more aggressive seasoning of salt but was helped along by the bacon. What goes great with beef? Onions! The grilled onions and the beefy patty made the experience very much to eating steak and onions. The buns were nice and soft with a good buttered toasting. Other than that, I can’t say I really even noticed the two8two sauce. Was it on the burger? I don’t know. The fries were pretty weak. They seemed straight out of the freezer and could have also used more salt.
Brooklyn is one of those places that I had several preconceived notions about. I think my expectations may have been a bit too high as I was expecting burger nirvana. Instead, I found a decent, fresh, and well made burger for a pretty steep price. The pub burger runs $12 plus and should realistically include the fries. All total with tip I was out about $20 for the meal, yikes. I guess rent is pretty high, though, so I don’t really hold it too much against them. It was all pretty good and was a pleasant respite from the bone chilling vortex swirling above, for which I would have paid anything. When the weather is warmer, maybe I’ll just wait in a line for Shake Shack.
(2 votes, average: 9.00 out of 10)Register to vote.
Stanton’s City Bites
1420 Edwards St
Houston, TX 77007
It has been quite some time since I’ve been able to update this digital ode to burgers. Several life changes have taken much of my time away from various passions, burgers included. We bought our first home and are soon expecting a little baby burger lover. In these exciting times, full of changes or updates, I felt it fitting to update a burger review that was one of the first posts on this site four years ago. Houston has always loved and voted Stanton’s City Bites as one of the best burgers around long before the recent national love affair with gourmet burgers began. Based on this high praise, I made my way over with some coworkers and tried it out. As you can tell in my review (www.burgertyme.com/stantons), I was less than impressed.
Recently, however, a friend of mine messaged me that I should check out Stanton’s. Specifically that they had amazing bacon. Well, I initially dismissed it as buying into the hype. Then one day, I was watching George Motz’s tv show, Burgerland, where he visited Houston and went to Stanton’s. The burger I saw on that episode did not resemble anything like the burger of my memory. Specifically their new buns seemed much better then ones used in the past. Suddenly, I realized that i was missing out on a great burger rebirth! With little hesitation, I rounded up a few burger lovers, and actually rode a bike to Stanton’s. It was an added benefit that this place was close enough to enjoy biking through the historic Houston district.
From the outside, Stanton’s looks exactly the same. No change whatsoever. Once we walked in, however, it was obvious, much had changed. Gone were the convenience store shelves replaced by a mish mash of tables and chairs for an eclectic dining area. If you recall, my prior experience involved taking the food and finding a park to sit and eat due to the absence of seating. No longer did you place your order over an out of service meat cooler (although it was still there). The new menu was posted high above the cash register where you place your order, and get your ticket number. Stanton’s impressed my on my first visit with their wide variety of peculiar sodas. This his not only remained, but gotten even better. There is a huge selection of traditional and unknown (to me) sodas from all over. Two of note, that are my new favorites are Dublin Tart-n-Sweet and Cheerwine.
So after the wash of burger euphoria subsided, I stepped up to order. The one that stood out the me was called the Miss Piggie. Bacon ground into the patty served with candied bacon and a hash brown… Oh my gogi that sounds good. So I rounded it off with an order of sides and plenty of bizarre sodas. While we waited I watched as neighborhood kids repeatedly came in and bought candy, so this is still a functioning store for locals. After about ten minutes, the burgers arrived. Gone were the store brand, dry toasted buns. The new buns looked great, and were buttered and griddled. The burger patties here were always good quality and the star of the burger. This was no different. The addition of bacon ground in to the patty added some great texture and savory flavor to the beef. The candied bacon was great, sweet and salty. The hash brown was a great addition to anyone who is a fan of putting fries on their burger. Another noteworthy item was the veggies. The lettuce was leafy and bright green and the onions and tomatoes were also good. Of course, I like tots, and these hit me right in the tot spot.
Boy am I glad I gave this place a second chance. I have been back several times and brought as many people as I can to this place. It is authentically Houston, and authentically great. From my last review to this one, it has gone from a place I never really cared for to one of my favorite burgers in Houston. It is really great! So as with all things, some times, change is for the better, as long as we can maintain the character that makes us unique. Stanton’s has done exactly that!
(1 votes, average: 9.00 out of 10)Register to vote.
Gringo Loco Facebook Page–
Once again, the missionary burger review has come in all the way from Trujillo, Peru. Who knew that Peru had such a big burger culture? Without further ado, the following is my brother’s review of Gringo Loco. For additional photos, check out their Facebook page (link).
Directly translated it means The Crazy White Guy. But you would have to be crazy not to come to Peru and eat this Burger!!
(1 votes, average: 7.00 out of 10)Register to vote.
Sacramende? Sacto? Sacramento, that’s it. For my first visit to the capitol city of California, I was pleasantly surprised by the small town feel of this big city. Having grown up in Baton Rouge, another capital city, I noticed several similarities. The areas around the capital building are nice, there are several restaurants, and some of them… are burgers! A quick poll to a friend who lived here for a short while brought up Nation-Wide Meats. He was a little hesitant and noted that I may not like it. I think I may come off as a burger snob, but I really like any kind of burger as long as it is good. So, once I was free from my work commitments, set off to find this place. It was a beautiful day in a beautiful neighborhood where I found Nation-wide (btw, I was later told that the weather was typical and the neighborhood was not that great, which just shows how good people have it in California…).
So Nation-Wide Meats has what they call “French Ground Steakburgers”, I’ve searched far and wide (translation, googled it) and could not find what exactly that means but when I hear the word steak I have to assume that they are using some good beef and grinding it fresh. Stepping in, the place has everything you look for in an authentic burger joint, well aged decor (as in things that are actually old), confusing signs about their hours of operation and what payment they accept, a simple letter board menu, and most importantly slightly cantankerous (in a good way) but genuinely helpful people behind the counter. Speaking of which, the gentleman who took our order talked to me for about 5 minutes because I work at the same company as his brother in law. So, with all the preliminary checks in place. It was time to order.
You have the option of a steakburger or a hamburger. I imagined the steakburgers had to be better so I ordered one with Cheese and everything on it. I added fries and a shake to round out the order. Their shake selection was much better than I expected. Not feeling too adventurous, I just got the chocolate. The shake came out first and I did my best not to drink all of it before the burger came out. After about 8 minutes or so the guy brought a brown paper bag with my name and a few grease spots on it to the table. He also brought a small dixie cup with ketchup for the fries… That was interesting. Do they not trust customers to dispense their own? or do they want to ensure you don’t ruin the steakburger by putting ketchup on it? When I opened the bag the first thing I noticed was the fries. Typically a french fry is cut to 1/4″ or 1/2″ for a thick cut. These were about 1″ square. They were huge! They were fried nicely and I like the uniqueness but it took several bites to eat just one.
The burger was slightly deceiving. At first glance it appeared to be dominated by the bun however on first bite, the pillowy, chewy, toasted bun conformed well to both contain the burger and assist in the two hand gripping (which this huge burger needed). This was a juicy, beefy, taste the freshness kind of burger. The patty of the steak burger had a great crusty sear, yet was cooked just enough to remain dripping with the beef juices. The cheese was melted well and the veggies gave a great foundation of “health” factor. I could now see why they restrict ketchup access. Ketchup is used to add moisture to a dry burger. At first glance people may be tempted to ruin the perfect balance before even trying it and realizing the juice contained within.
I really enjoyed Nation-Wide Meats. There was no pretense or pageantry about how great their ingredients are our how fresh their local micro farmer supplier can grow carbon free, zero impact kale chips etc. Just straightforward, good burgers, fries, and shakes. BUT, this is not a cheap burger. The combo I ordered will set you back almost $15…. It’s worth it. This is how burgers should be made. The ingredients are quality, the setting is perfect, and I don’t care what Californians say, the weather is GREAT and Sacramento seemed like a great town (minus the Kings, of course :))!