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Stanton’s City Bites – Update!
Dec 6th, 2013 by Joemoney

Stantons City Bites 12 votes, average: 9.00 out of 102 votes, average: 9.00 out of 102 votes, average: 9.00 out of 102 votes, average: 9.00 out of 102 votes, average: 9.00 out of 102 votes, average: 9.00 out of 102 votes, average: 9.00 out of 102 votes, average: 9.00 out of 102 votes, average: 9.00 out of 102 votes, average: 9.00 out of 10
(2 votes, average: 9.00 out of 10)
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Stantons City Bites 6

Stanton’s City Bites
1420 Edwards St
Houston, TX 77007
www.stantonscitybites.com

What A Difference a Bun Makes –

Stantons City Bites 2It 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.

Sorry Kermit –

Stantons City Bites 3From 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.

Stantons City Bites 5So 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.

The Wrap It Up –

Stantons City Bites 4Boy 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!

Jano’s
Jun 24th, 2013 by Joemoney

Janos 11 vote, average: 7.00 out of 101 vote, average: 7.00 out of 101 vote, average: 7.00 out of 101 vote, average: 7.00 out of 101 vote, average: 7.00 out of 101 vote, average: 7.00 out of 101 vote, average: 7.00 out of 101 vote, average: 7.00 out of 101 vote, average: 7.00 out of 101 vote, average: 7.00 out of 10
(1 votes, average: 7.00 out of 10)
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JANO´S

Jirón Pizarro 711

Centro de Trujillo

La Libertad, Perú

Peru Numero Dos –

Janos 5My youngest brother, who is living in Peru as a missionary, has long been an avid Burger Tymer. It is a well known fact that missionaries love to eat, and when they get the chance to eat good food, even better! He has taken time out of his busy schedule to write a second burger review for those of us who have an interest in burgers near and far. The following are his words:

Jano´s… Lo Definitivo!! (The definate thing) –

Janos 3To start off this Burger Tyme update let´s talk a little history! Jano´s is a Trujillo exclusive. It´s is a family owned burger joint; there are only seven locations in throughout Trujillo. This place from Perú shares the American passion of options when it comes to burger eating.

The Option between a normal size burger, a big burger, or excessivly gigantic burger! A burger so big that it´s hard to determine Who´s eating who? when you take the first bite.

Lo Definitivo –

Janos 2Jano´s is the home to the Lo Definitivo. A multi-layered burger with several patties, a fried egg, shredded chicken, and a hot dog. For a Perú burger it was extremely big! The flavor of the patty and other meats weren´t huge winners, but Jano’s is known for their sauces which were awesome. So the overall flavor was very good, but not amazing.

El Envolverlo –

Janos 4It’s a good big ole burger, but also you gotta pay! For 12 Soles you can get the regular Jano burger with cheese, an egg, and a drink. 23 Soles for Lo Definitivo. Which is about 7 US dollars, very expensive food for Perú!

7/10 Vachas

Corner Burger
Oct 20th, 2012 by Joemoney

2 votes, average: 6.00 out of 102 votes, average: 6.00 out of 102 votes, average: 6.00 out of 102 votes, average: 6.00 out of 102 votes, average: 6.00 out of 102 votes, average: 6.00 out of 102 votes, average: 6.00 out of 102 votes, average: 6.00 out of 102 votes, average: 6.00 out of 102 votes, average: 6.00 out of 10
(2 votes, average: 6.00 out of 10)
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Corner Burger
www.cornerburger.ru
76 Bolshaya Gruzinskaya
Moscow, Russia 125047 (map)

From Russia, With Love –

“How’s your Russian?”… That was the message greeting me when I opened my work email recently. We had a project that needed a few people to make the long journey to this capital city. Most people I talked to were surprised that I was excited for the chance. I grew up in a post cold war America so my perception of Russia was sadly based on video games and Mission Impossible movies. Given that this was a rare opportunity, my wife was going to come along on the trip and joined me in the complicated and expensive process of obtaining a Russian visa. The time arrived and we took the long flight to Moscow. When we arrived, my initial impression was that Moscow was exactly as portrayed in movies. Cold, overcast, row after row of apartment blocks, scowling men, and women smoking long skinny cigarettes. The fact that Russian signs are not easily readable by a westerner further added to the excitement.  Every evening when I returned from work, as we would venture out into the city the beauty of the place quickly became apparent starting with the impressive Metro System (photos), going to a ballet at the Bolshoi, and St. Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square. The combination of classical architecture, remnants of Soviet history, and Russian Orthodox cathedrals that peppered the city made for an experience unlike anything we’ve had before.

While preparing for the trip, I began looking for good burger places to check out. This is a city that got its first McDonald’s in 1990 after the fall of the Soviet Union. Quite famously, thousands of people waited in line for hours to just to try it (video). The burger culture is relatively new but has been whole heartedly embraced. There were several places to choose from, none of which were particularly cheap. Did I mention that Moscow is one of the most expensive cities in the world? Once I adjusted for sticker shock, one place that stood out was Corner Burger. True to its name, it was just around the corner for our hotel. One late evening we headed over to have our first ever Moscow Burger Tyme!

Moscow is for Lovers –

Corner Burger was a surprisingly upscale and modern burger restaurant. We arrived at around 11pm and this place was still busy. Perusing the menu revealed several burger options, all which sounded good and were the ruble equivalent of $20+. We were brought a bottle of water and stumbled through the language barrier to place our order. I selected the Corner Burger de Lux, which comes with two 100gr beef patties, cheddar cheese, CB barbeque sauce, bibb lettuce, red onions, pickles and tomatoes. It also came with fries and cole slaw. For the heck of it, I also ordered a chocolate shake. It was late, there were still plenty of people and roughly two servers. By this point I’ve come to learn that customer service is not a focus in Moscow. This could explain the 20 plus minute wait for our order. The milkshake came first. It was much closer to chocolate milk than what I was expecting and a little chalky, like the used Nesquik to add the chocolate. I guess milkshakes haven’t translated yet.

Our burgers came shortly after and were quite good looking. There was a lot of great looking veggies and the meat patties were thick covered in melted cheddar. The amount of CB bbq sauce on the burger was a little off putting. After biting in I confirmed that I could have used less bbq sauce as it made the burger a bit too sweet. Overall the flavor was great and only improved as I worked my way to the center where the sweet to salty ratio became more balanced. The bun was soft and toasted, the veggies were very fresh and crisp, the patties were nicely cooked and juicy. For $25 this wasn’t the most hefty burger. I could easily manage it with one hand. The cole slaw, while a nice extra, was loaded with dill ( apparently a popular flavor in Russia) and didn’t really go well at all with the burger. The fries were of the frozen variety and were OK but nothing special.

The Wrap It Up –

I loved Moscow! It was both what I imagined and nothing close to what I expected. The complex history of communism, combined with thriving capitalism, along with the centuries of Russian culture is ingrained in every thing, including the burgers. It was nice looking, it was expensive, it wasn’t exactly suited to western tastes, it wasn’t served with a smile, but it was good and I was happy to try it! I know that the international politics and relations between the US and Russia are complex to say the least, but I think there is some serious potential for common ground here.

Would I recommend this burger for those visiting Moscow? Not really. If you absolutely have to have a burger, sure, go here, spend $50 or more for two burgers OR go into a restaurant with no english anywhere, order some borscht or a blini or some stroganof, and soak in the Moscow experience! By the time it was time to leave I was trying to figure out a way to visit again but I was also happy to have my simple, cheap, and delicious burgers at home. So until next time, Das Vedania.

Burger Smith
Aug 28th, 2012 by Joemoney

2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 102 votes, average: 5.00 out of 102 votes, average: 5.00 out of 102 votes, average: 5.00 out of 102 votes, average: 5.00 out of 102 votes, average: 5.00 out of 102 votes, average: 5.00 out of 102 votes, average: 5.00 out of 102 votes, average: 5.00 out of 102 votes, average: 5.00 out of 10
(2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 10)
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Burger Smith
www.burgersmith.com

To the Smithy –

I love the food in Louisiana and I am not alone. Lafayette, Louisiana was named Southern Livings Tastiest Town for 2012. From this tasty town has risen a new entrant in to the burger world, Burger Smith. Operating under the mantra of doing one thing and doing it well, Burger Smith makes the claim that making burgers is a craft and those who venture to pursue it are in fact “smiths”. Not coincidentally, this conjures up in my mind a blacksmith forging and shaping, which happens to be their logo.

Fortunately for the burger lover from Baton Rouge (ie. Me), a Burger Smith opened up shop not far from Louisiana State University campus.  On a recent visit home we headed out to try these crafted burgers for ourselves.Burger Smith is located in an old retail area that is being rebuilt after a fire at the old restaurant and bar The Caterie burned it down. Tucked in on the first floor, the small entry way hides that cavernous space inside. We arrived at 12:30 on a Thursday, prime lunch time, and the place was pretty full. We were shown a table in the back and to the left which turned out to be a very spacious bar area. With menus in hand were now equipped to choose the form of craftsmanship that would shape our opinion of these smiths.

 

Hello, Mr Anderson –

The menu touts fresh ingredients, fresh baked buns, hand crafting, and a special blend of signature beef to create an “authentic” burger. An interesting note is that after trying 29 different blends of beef, they settled on a blend using beef from Chicago which is known, according to them, for “quality and fanciness”. I’m all for quality and fancy beef but Chicago seems pretty far away when Texas is your next door neighbor. Anyway, I easily settled on the Smith Burger with cheese and added all of the ‘complimentary toppings’ with the additional ‘premium choice’ of an organic fried egg (of course). We also ordered a large fry for the table and fried okra just because I love fried okra! The wait was about 10 minutes which was more than reasonable for how busy they were. I was pretty hungry when our order arrived.

Right of the bat, the okra won my heart. I love fried okra, even frozen, but fortunately for me this seemed to be freshly made. It came with a creamy dipping sauce, but I’m more a of ketchup guy. The burger, however, garnered a lesser amount of my enthusiasm. Visually, the proportions were a little off. The veggies were vivid which was indicative of their freshness. The bun was fresh baked but was dominating the rest of the burger. The hand-formed patty was a tad undersized for the rest of the package. The first bite left a little to be desired. The flavor of the beef was forefront. It was seared nicely, juicy, and fresh but it lacked seasoning and fatiness. It was too lean and the scant amount of cheese was not sufficient to add the unctuousness you expect from a good burger.  The veggies tasted as fresh as they looked. The Smith burger claimed to be ‘Seasoned with spices and Smith Sauce for Louisiana flavor’ but none of this flavor was present. All I tasted was beef, fresh but unseasoned, and veggies. The fries were fresh cut and cooked crispy and made a nice addition to the okra as a side.

The Wrap It Up –

Louisiana Food! I had high hopes for a burger chain originating from here and taking over the burger scene, a la Five Guys or Smash Burger. Sadly, these craftsman, these burger smiths, have made the mistake that freshness and quality automatically equals flavor. Perhaps this burger was an anomaly, perhaps the cook forgot to season my burger, perhaps in this instance, they put out a burger that was not meeting their burger vision. Unfortunately, this was all I had to go on and there are already good quality burgers to be had in Baton Rouge.  Some may not be using words like ‘organic’ and ‘fanciness’ and some might but in the end it is about flavor.

 

Hopdoddy Burger Bar
Jul 10th, 2012 by Joemoney

1 vote, average: 7.00 out of 101 vote, average: 7.00 out of 101 vote, average: 7.00 out of 101 vote, average: 7.00 out of 101 vote, average: 7.00 out of 101 vote, average: 7.00 out of 101 vote, average: 7.00 out of 101 vote, average: 7.00 out of 101 vote, average: 7.00 out of 101 vote, average: 7.00 out of 10
(1 votes, average: 7.00 out of 10)
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Hopdoddy Burger Bar
www.hopdoddy.com
1400 S Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78704 (map)

At the Hop –

Apparently there is another Austin. Across the Congress bridge and south of downtown, there is a place where the cool crowd wears business casual attire and drives Audi’s. I’ve never ventured to this area before but on this occasion, word of a great, non-foodtruck burger eatery had enticed me to swing by on my way out of town, after a week in Austin for work. Hopdoddy Burger Bar… Interesting name. Their website makes clear the mantra of fresh, crafted burgers and all natural ingredients. I’ve heard these types of phrases a lot recently as the trend in the food industry is to prove that you care more about your food than the next guy. I cannot say, however. that thinking about the burger descriptions did not make me hungry as I plotted my course on the GPS. I arrived on a Wednesday around 11:15AM and this place was already in full swing. Every table was filled. Every one! On top of that, there was a long line forming.

Determined, I joined others in waiting. Shortly after getting in line, I was approached by a hostess(?) person who asked how many were in my party. For some reason, a tinge of shame arose as I replied “Just one.”. She said I was number 58 and that my number would be waiting at a table for me… Wait, what? It was brilliant! A table would be reserved for me as it cleared, WHILE I waited in line. This was a nice touch that hinted at how much thought has gone in to this place. The line moved at a steady pace, allowing me ample time to observer the mass of burgers being “crafted” and sent out tray after tray.  I also noticed that Hopdoddy makes their own buns and has them available to purchase should you want to make your own burgers at home. This was interesting and all but my turn finally came to place an order.

Loddy Doddy –

For being a “craft” burger place, I wasn’t overly wowed by the creativity or the diversity of burger options. While there were turkey, tuna, and veggie burgers, the beef burgers all seemed a rather similar riff on the basic burger. So that is why I opted for the ‘Classic’ burger with cheese, and added a fried egg and caramelized onions. I completed the meal order with fresh cut fries and a salted caramel milk shake. That last one had me very excited. Once my order was placed I lingered around observing everything being cooked, assembled, and sent out. There was also a windows into the “meat room” after the ordering line where you could see the patties were being formed. I made my way back out to the dining area where I found my number 58 hanging patiently for me at a vacant (but reserved) table. I still think that was a nice touch.

The shake was the first to come out. It was pretty good. Sweet caramel with just a hint of saltiness. I struggled to keep myself from drinking it entirely before the rest of my meal arrived which it shortly did. The burger really was quite delicious looking. Everything about it’s components gave the impression of fresh. I think that might have been what they were going for. Upon picking it up the fresh buns made an immediate impression; soft and pillowy yet with an elastic outer crust that held everything together nicely. I took my first bite and before I knew it, the burger was half gone! This burger was good in both flavor and texture. The patty was very juicy, in a good way and had a strong beefy flavor. The egg, though runny as it should be, was held nicely in by the fantastic bun. This was a large burger too, and while the first half went quickly, I slowed as I finished the rest. The fries were fresh cut and well cooked. Standard really for places like this.

The Wrap It Up –

So where does Hopdoddy fall? I think they put out some good burgers. I also think their management of seating is some of the best I’ve ever seen. However, this meal tilted in at over $17… That is a lot and while I could have opted for a soda or even water, this would have still been well over $12 for pretty much a basic gourmet burger and fries. For that amount, I would expect a little more creativity in flavors combinations and burger options. It seems that  as much attention is given to other aspects such as service and ingredient quality as is given to the creating the burgers. I’m not really complaining about this as most times that is where places that fail,  fail miserably.  At this price point a little more attention to the burgers could elevate Hopdoddy from a great place to get a good burger to a Great Burger Place. I’ll just have to remember to have my friend with the Audi pick up the check.

Until next time Austin, keep it weird.

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