(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.
(1 votes, average: 8.00 out of 10)Register to vote.
P. Terry’s Burger Stand
Back in Austin, Texas! This is my seventh or so time to visit this city, once again, for work. I’ve been here enough that I have places that I like to go to and things that I like to do. A friend of mine, a UT alum, and an Austinite/Austonian(?) who has followed Burger Tyme since the early days, recommended that I check out P. Terry’s the last time I was here. I opted in stead to go to the highly touted Hopdoddy Burger Bar. While it was a good burger, my wallet was hurting. As burgers have been elevated and seemed to have plateaued at the ultra gourmet and costly end of the dining spectrum, it would be nice to have a good and cheap option to fall back on. So this go ’round, I decided to take the advice of a trusted local and headed to the P. Terrys on Lamar in South Austin. I arrived early for lunch on cool spring day. This location is a drive through with outside seating, so that was ideal. It was about 11:15 and there were few cars so I was able to place my order pretty quickly.
Keeping in line with Austin values, P. Terry’s emphasizes, several times with different signs, that the product here is fresh, locally grown, all natural, etc, etc. This is the same mantra that most burgers are sold upon these days and it usually translates in to a hefty bill for a single burger and fries. To my surprise, the prices were more reminiscent of the In-N-Out menu. A burger, $2, double with cheese $3.50, burger fries shake $6.75. Awesome! If this were just half decent for the price I would be excited.
Stepping up the window, I placed a basic order for a double with cheese, fries and a chocolate shake. Given the short line when I arrived (which was steadily increasing), my order was ready for pickup in a few short minutes. I was handed a white bag and my milkshake. I went over to the seating area and emptied the bag like a kid on Christmas. The burger was wrapped tight in paper, as was the large portion of super thin cut fries.
The burger is a throw back to basic burger joints. Thin patties, griddle fried, with cheese put on at the end. The bun is nothing fancy but soft and fresh. The veggies were basic but fresh as well and added some moisture that thin pattied burgers usually need. My first bite revealed a more seasoned patty than I was expecting. It was just salty enough but also had a nice bite of pepper. The double patty was the perfect amount of beefiness. I liked the fresh cheese slices but it could have been melted a little longer on the patty, but hey, this is fresh fast food.
The fries were excellent when you compare the price for how much and what your get. They were fresh cut and very thin, somewhere between 1/4″ to 1/8″. The were not double fried crispy, but they had a nice crisp that didn’t turn soggy and. The milkshake was also good, but definitely had they Hershey syrup flavor… I’m sure it was organic though.
P. Terry’s was a great recommendation! The food scene, and more specifically the burger scene in Austin is great, and can get quite pricey. Its great to know that there is a cheap and quick option for a good burger when I don’t have time to dress up for a Burger Tyme. It was so good in fact, that a few weeks later, I took my wife there after a day trip to the visit a few of the state parks outside of Austin. We were tired, we were dirty, and we wanted something quick and substantial. P Terry’s fit the bill perfectly… It also helps that just around the corner is Gourdough’s…. but this is not Doughnut Tyme…..
(1 votes, average: 6.00 out of 10)Register to vote.
Burgers… Burger Tyme… Sigh, I haven’t had the enthusiasm, as of late, for planet Earth’s favorite food. I found it difficult to get excited about a burger unless it was made from beef raised next door, ground as we are speaking, with buns baked by artisans from the 17th century, topped with veggies from the garden of Eden… $20? No problem with quality like that! Right? It seems as though the pendulum has swung too far to the gourmet (read: expensive) end of the spectrum and I’ve lost sight of what makes a burger good. To get the magic back, during the holidays and the month of January I only had a few burgers at some old favorites like Christians Tailgate (was my first burger love in Houston) and Dearman’s Soda Fountain. These places offer the essence of burgers. No frills, no claims of superior ingredients, just good, tasty burgers.
When I returned from the holidays, I was recharged and ready to go out Burger Tyming! Fortunately there was a burger place that recently opened which seemed to be a mix of these burger philosophies. Simple but quality. Elevation burger aspires to elevate the simple burger without gimmicks or frills, just quality ingredients. We’ve heard this before. Let me be clear, I’m fine with quality however the result is usually either great burgers at great cost or average burgers at great cost. So the challenge is, can they over come the cost stigma associated with “quality” by turning out a great burger?
Walking in to Elevation Burger, I was impressed by how clean everything was. As much as I like dive bar burgers, its a bit refreshing not to have to worry about what might have been included with your order. The style is a mix of modern design mixed with natural elements like bamboo “wood” tables and chairs. The menu is pretty straightforward. Burgers come double or single patty ( a la In-N-Out), you select from a long list of toppings (a la Five Guys), add fries, add drink, and repeat. Something that I greatly appreciate is that they recommend trying the “original” which includes a standard set of toppings; elevation sauce, pickles, lettuce, and tomatoes.
I place my order for an Elevation Burger (double meat, double cheese), “Original” style. I opted to add caramelized onions and hot pepper relish. I added french fries (cooked in olive oil), and an all natural, organic chocolate Oreo malt. I was pretty hungry at this time and the wait felt longer the 7 or so minutes it took for the order to be brought to our table by the super polite cashier. The burger was not initially impressive. The patties are thin, as advertised, the cheddar is not melted (which it never does), and the bun looked pretty dry. The fries however looked great. Slightly thinner than normal and piled high. The burger tasted much better than it looked. Generally I don’t like cheddar due to its inability to melt and remain melted, but it was perfect with this burger. Nothing really stood out as spectacular but the overall flavor was fresh and light. It was not greasy at all but not dry. The fries were great. I’m not sure how much that has to do with being cooked in olive oil but they were perfectly crispy. The chocolate Oreo malt was as good as you can imagine, too thick to drink but a perfect dessert.
Elevation Burger is very good and high quality. I appreciate that they are not trying to reinvent the burger or insult their customers intelligence with the combinations. However it is not a great burger, which it needs to be to justify the $10 plus dollars this meal costs. Here’s the flipside. In the current burger environment, Elevation burger is middle of the pack price wise but will satisfy burger cravings without leaving you feeling greasy and gross. Getting ones burger mojo back is not easy. Oh wait, yes it is! Until next Burger Tyme!
(1 votes, average: 7.00 out of 10)Register to vote.
Skiing has to be one of the best things in the known world. Salt Lake City, Utah has to be one of the best places for it. Not only is there numerous high altitude resorts within 30 miles of here, but it was also voted the second Best Burger City for 2011 by Travel and Leisure Magazine. Number two, right behind Houston! While visiting recently to ski and visit family, I had the chance to sample a second in the series of Salt Lake burgers that has put this place in the upper echelon or burger towns, the pastrami burger! You may recall the Burger Tyme Road trip in 2010 brought me here to try the pastrami burgers at Crown Burgers. I recently learned that members of the original family that started crown split off opening their own, competing joints. One of which is Astro Burgers.
Lucky for me, there was an Astro Burgers just around the corner from where I was staying in Murray. It was three o’clock in the afternoon and we had just come down the mountain from our final day of skiing and were starving. We pulled in on a rare, stormy afternoon in SLC and I noticed immediately the similarities between Astro and Crown. In fact, the layout, menu, signs, and everything except the name seemed to be the same. I thought Crown Burgers was pretty darn good, so I had some high hopes for the sibling Astro.
This place was still serving up a good number of people, which was impressive given this generally off time of day. The wait in line was not long, thank goodness and I placed my order for the Astro burger combo which included fries and a drink. While I waited I headed over to the condiment station and fixed a few cups of the regional dipping condiment fry sauce. I also had the pleasure of watching them throw the patties on the grill as we ordered them which only made me hungrier.
A few minutes after ordering, our tray of burger-y, pastrami-y heaven arrived. With little hesitation I dug in. Oh mama! Did I mention I love pastrami? I hope you do too because this burger has it! It is good pastrami too. The patty on this burger is pretty thin but is more than made up for it by the thick layer of thinly sliced (oxymoron?) seasoned beef. A difference that stands out from this and Crown is that this pastrami had a slight char to it, giving it a great roasted flavor, and a sightly crunchy bark. It was great! The buns were well toasted, the veggies added the necessary sensation that this might be healthy, and the cheese gave just the right amount of fat for this to be an extremely satisfying pastrami sandw(er) burger. The fries were sufficient. Nicely cooked but nothing special.
I have a confession to make… I had a Crown burger the night before for dinner… There I said it. The pastrami burgers in Salt Lake City are a must try for burger lovers… and pastrami lovers… and lovers of unique regional specialties. Is Astro Burgers better than Crown Burgers? It is honestly too close to say. They definitely have an edge on the pastrami in my mind… But what Crown lacks in roasted, charry goodness, they make up for by having really juicy pastrami. Honestly, They are both great… but wait… what about Apollo burgers? It will have to wait until next time until the third sibling pastrami burger restaurant gets its own chance to Burger Tyme.
(1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 10)Register to vote.
The open road. It still calls my name as I sit behind my desk, reminiscing of the sights, sounds, and burgers I encountered. Now finished at Lincoln National Forest, my wife, my sweet dog Pearl, and I headed to our next destination… THE GRAND CANYON!!! On the historic Route 66 we drove and admired the kitschy attractions along the way. There were many places to pull off and stay at old motels, purchase some Native American souvenirs, as well as see some beautiful (even though dry) mountainous terrain. So while on our way I noticed a place called Blake’s Lotaburger. There were a lot of them in New Mexico and it turns out that it is an original New Mexico Chain that started in Albuquerque in 1952. It was reminiscent of California’s In-n-Out or Texas’ Whataburger. Not wanting to pass up the opportunity to try a burger unique to New Mexico, we stopped in Gallup, NM to try it for ourselves. We made our way up a hill in what appeared to be downtown Gallup to the 2nd street location. It was a “burger stand” style with only a couple of picnic tables outside for dining. There was a very distinctive sign of a long legged man (Blake?) guiding us in to the parking lot. We parked and I walked in. There menu was pretty straight forward for a fast food restaurant. They had burgers, hot dogs, and chicken fingers. They also had the New Mexico twist by offering green chile on everything. Being that this place isn’t called Lotahotdog or Lotafingers I wasn’t tempted by any option other than the Lotsa Combo, which includes the Lota Burger, large fries and a large drink. There was a pretty good line of about five people in front of me, so I took that as good sign. I patiently waited my turn and made my Lotsa Order to the lady behind the plate glass window!
Once my order was placed I took a step back and watched all of the action behind the glass. There were about five people bustling around, some taking orders, some preparing food. With all of the bustle the wait was still about ten minutes. I’m OK with waiting as long as the payoff is a good burger. So, after my ten or so minute wait I received my Blake’s Lunch bag and drink cup both featuring the long legged fellow with who I was now very acquainted. I went outside and took a seat at the picnic table in the shadow of the fifteen foot tall Blake sitting out front. As I began unpacking my bag ‘O food the first thing I noticed is that the fries looked fresh-cut! That’s always a plus. Unfortunately the rest of the meal was not so inspiring. The burger was rather unimpressive. While it was “large” it was dominated by the bun… and not even a very fresh one. I bit into it and the bun was a day or two beyond fresh. The patty was relatively thin and as such was not very juicy. I was able to save my meal by putting additional ketchup on the burger but that is more of a burger band-aid than a burger cure. The veggies were chopped onions, shredded lettuce and a slice of tomato. They did little to improve the burger. The cheese was cooked on to the patty well enough but really didn’t manage to stand out from the rest of the items on this burger. The fries were pretty good but could stand to have been a little crisper. Again, I did like that they were fresh cut.
Thank goodness I had a large drink. The best way I can describe this Lotsa Combo is ‘DRY’. The bun, the patty, the veggies were all lacking in moisture, not to mention any real flavor. Sadly this was a disappointing Burger Tyme on the road to THE GRAND CANYON. This place had so much potential with the iconic look of the burger stands, and the fact that this is a chain unique to New Mexico. Unfortunately I was only passing through and would not have time to give this place a second change. If it is any consolation, the fact that this place was busy the entire time I was there indicates that I may have had an anomaly of an experience and that typically, it is actually quite good. Perhaps some loyal Burger Tymers from New Mexico can fill us in.