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two 8 two
Mar 6th, 2014 by Joemoney

two 8 two Brooklyn2 votes, average: 6.50 out of 102 votes, average: 6.50 out of 102 votes, average: 6.50 out of 102 votes, average: 6.50 out of 102 votes, average: 6.50 out of 102 votes, average: 6.50 out of 102 votes, average: 6.50 out of 102 votes, average: 6.50 out of 102 votes, average: 6.50 out of 102 votes, average: 6.50 out of 10
(2 votes, average: 6.50 out of 10)
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two 8 two 1

two8two
282 Atlantic Avenue
near Smith Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201  map
www.two8twoburger.com

No Sleep til –

two 8 two 3 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.

two 8 two 4It 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.

Dodgers, Nets, and Burgers –

two 8 two 6The 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.

two 8 two 7Shortly 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.

The Wrap It Up –

two 8 two 5Brooklyn 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.

 

 

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!

Flip ‘n Patties
Apr 12th, 2013 by Joemoney

FlipnPatties 11 vote, average: 8.00 out of 101 vote, average: 8.00 out of 101 vote, average: 8.00 out of 101 vote, average: 8.00 out of 101 vote, average: 8.00 out of 101 vote, average: 8.00 out of 101 vote, average: 8.00 out of 101 vote, average: 8.00 out of 101 vote, average: 8.00 out of 101 vote, average: 8.00 out of 10
(1 votes, average: 8.00 out of 10)
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FlipnPatties 3

Flip ‘n Patties
Houston Food Truck
www.flipnpatties.com

Flip ‘n Out –

FlipnPatties 2Keeping with the same theme as the last post which featured a burger from Peru where my brother is living as a missionary, my most recent burger experience was motivated by my love of all things Philippines, where I lived for two years also as a missionary. When I heard that there was a Filipino Burger Truck driving around Houston, I had to try it. Some people may ask themselves “Do they even have burgers in the Philippines?”, the answer is YES! <historylesson>After the influx of GIs leading up to and after WWII, burgers became a common and delicious staple that has remained for decades. </historylesson>

FlipnPatties 4Back to the point, Filipino burgers in Houston, gotta go. So after some convincing, my wife joined me and we headed to the local drinkery where Flip ‘n Patties was set up for the evening. Upon our arrival I noticed immediately the crowd of people speaking Tagalog gathered around the truck eating some pretty good looking food. I knew I had scored a jackpot. In true Philippine fashion, they have a karaoke machine built in to the truck. Sadly, no one was singing. I apporached the window and when greeted, I asked if anyone spoke Visayan (cebuano) which is the language I learned while living there. Yet again, no one outside of the few islands I lived on speaks it. Oh well, we all speak the Universal language of food.

Flip ‘n Scripts –

FlipnPatties 6I place my order for the Flip ‘n Patties burger which is served on a steamed bun and has cheese, bacon, and a fried portabello patty along with the beef patty. The menu also has several Filipino items such as siopao, lumpia, garlic rice, and halo-halo along with other dishes that are more Philippine inspired. I couldn’t resist so, along with the burger I ordered a sampling of the Chicken PuPu, the Mayo fries, the garlic rice, and lumpia…. My mouth is watering as I type this. We went inside, grabbed a table and some soft drinks, and anxiously waited. After about 10 minutes my name was called and the feast was handed through the small window.

The spread looked great, the smells were amazing, and I exclaimed “Ka-on ta!”. The burger on a steam bun concept seemed to me strange in concept but after taking a bite, it works. The steam bun texture makes the burger a very cohesive unit. It combined with the crunchy, earthy, meatiness of the portabello, the cheesy, meatiness of the patty, and the salty, chew of the bacon to make a very tasty burger. Would I say the flavors invoked memories of Island and coconut trees? Well, no, but so what. There were vegetables on this burger but I honestly didn’t notice. Now, to the mayo fries…. Mayonnaise? on Fries? these fries were thick cut and appeared to be cooked a little too long. BUT, once I tried them. They were perfect! Each larger than usual fry covered in their sweet house made mayo was like a mini meal unto itself. I loved them. Everything else was great too. The chicken PuPu ( I like to think it is pronounce fu-fu) was a unique twist on fried chicken bits. The lumpia was probably the most authentic thing I sampled. Unfortunately they ran out of Halo Halo before I was done, so I didn’t get to relive that sweet, icy treat.

Ang Pagpaputos –

FlipnPatties 5I think it is pretty clear that i really like this food truck. This is Burgertyme, however, so let me say that the burger at Flip ‘n Patties is really good and unique. Please take my advice and try the other items. They are every bit as good and creative as the burger. I love what these guys are doing and I hope Philippine cuisine can make the crossover, because there is so much to offer. As they say in Cebu “Pwerting Lami-a!”

 

Elevation Burger
Feb 6th, 2013 by Joemoney

1 vote, average: 6.00 out of 101 vote, average: 6.00 out of 101 vote, average: 6.00 out of 101 vote, average: 6.00 out of 101 vote, average: 6.00 out of 101 vote, average: 6.00 out of 101 vote, average: 6.00 out of 101 vote, average: 6.00 out of 101 vote, average: 6.00 out of 101 vote, average: 6.00 out of 10
(1 votes, average: 6.00 out of 10)
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Elevation Burger
www.elevationburger.com

Rocky Mountain High-

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?

Iiiiiii Just Want to Elevate –

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.

The Wrap It Up –

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!

Quarto Burger
Nov 30th, 2012 by Joemoney

2 votes, average: 8.00 out of 102 votes, average: 8.00 out of 102 votes, average: 8.00 out of 102 votes, average: 8.00 out of 102 votes, average: 8.00 out of 102 votes, average: 8.00 out of 102 votes, average: 8.00 out of 102 votes, average: 8.00 out of 102 votes, average: 8.00 out of 102 votes, average: 8.00 out of 10
(2 votes, average: 8.00 out of 10)
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Quarto Burger
www.quartoburger.com
Via Crescenzio 52
Rome, Italy 00193 (map)

Mama Mia –

For the third entry of international Burger Tymes, we go to Italy. Specifically Rome, Italy. A city with more history in culture and food than you shake a spaghetti at. We recently made it to the “Eternal City”  to celebrate the recent graduation of my wife and had the opportunity to tour all of the usual tourist spots. While in Italy, you get Italian food. There seemed to be little interest from both parties in having anything else. I’m not complaining, mind you. The food is one of the main reasons we were there. Along with every other tourist, we struggled to avoid the many of the touristy (translation: pricey, not very good) restaurants. As we neared the end of our visit, I began to grow weary of bad pizza and greasy pasta. Don’t get me wrong, we had some great meals… but we also had some not so good ones. I began to crave, you guessed it, a burger. A big, meaty, juicy burger. Finding one that did not start with “Mc” proved difficult.

While on tour at the Vatican the craving became unbearable (irony?) and lucky us, one of the few true burger places in Rome was only a few blocks away. Quarto Burger had all of the usual praise good burger places get: “Best in the City”, “A Must Have”, etc. I was a little skeptical with all of the praise due to other less than stellar places in the city getting similar ratings, most likely from over-excited visitors who were just delighted that their waiter had an Italian accent. It was a risk I was willing to take. We walked over around 7 pm and in true Italian style were asked to come back in about 30 minutes so they can get ready. No big deal as the usual dinner time for Italians is around 9pm or later, even though the hours listed had Quarto opening at 6pm. We spent the time doing the best kind of sight seeing, wandering around, and seeing what sights sneak up on you. We made it back at 7:45 pm and they were ready for business.

Molto Benne –

This being a city that appreciates art, you are greeted as you walk down the steps into Quarto Burger by a painting of what can best be described as a sexy butcher. Ciao indeed! After an elbow nudge to the ribs we had a seat and took a quick look over the menu. The first thing that caught my eye was the disclaimer that there are no freezers so all of the ingredients are fresh. Plus one. There were several burger options but I was really craving a simple cheeseburger. I ordered one with a side of “Sfoglie”… whuh? The english description wasn’t any more helpful, “Veil crisps potatoes”. We confirmed that it meant french fries. I also ordered some Italian Coke. Back in the US I go nuts for Mexican Coke, but let me tell you, I L-O-V-E Italian Coke! I’m not sure what makes it so much better but it is great.

With our order placed we had a few minutes to enjoy the 80’s music videos playing on the TV. I wasn’t sure if this channel was for nostalgia or was just the most current available. Either way, I liked it. The waiter brought out a bucket of home made potato chips. They were cold but good. Being early bird Americans having dinner at 8pm, we were the only people there so I burgers came out pretty quickly. I have to admit, they exceeded my expectations. They looked great! The fresh baked buns were griddled, the patty had a nice sear, instead of bacon, cooked prosciutto was hanging out of both sides. The burger tasted as good as it looked. I generally don’t like cheddar due to its inability to melt well however it matched well with tangy house made BBQ sauce and the prosciutto. The patty was thick and juicy and the veggies were fresh. This burger quickly disappeared. We waited on our fries but it turns out, the bucket of chips were the fries… OK, we’ll chalk that up to lost in translation.

Per Avvolgere –

After spending several days eating in one of the best places for food in the world, I can definitively say that Quarto is not just a great burger for a city with few burger options, it is a GREAT burger! In the US, the use of local and fresh ingredients is novel, and a selling point. Here, it is a classic Italian tradition. And the price reflects it. You’re not expected to pay extra for good ingredients (psst… that’s what the bottled water is for). As much as I loved the food in Rome, one of my best meals came from Quarto Burger. What can I say…I’m a burger loving American.

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