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Arnold Burger
Sep 15th, 2010 by Joemoney

2 votes, average: 7.00 out of 102 votes, average: 7.00 out of 102 votes, average: 7.00 out of 102 votes, average: 7.00 out of 102 votes, average: 7.00 out of 102 votes, average: 7.00 out of 102 votes, average: 7.00 out of 102 votes, average: 7.00 out of 102 votes, average: 7.00 out of 102 votes, average: 7.00 out of 10
(2 votes, average: 7.00 out of 10)
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Arnold Burger
http://www.arnoldburgers.com/
1611 South Washington Street
Amarillo, TX 79102 (map)

Burger Tyme Road Trip #6 – Arnold Burger (Amarillo, TX) –

Ahh, the open road. I miss it as I sit here in  a darkened conference room, listening to a presentation on something that has nothing to do with anything. I’m thinking back to the very last leg (sniff) of the magical road trip. While my wife and I left Provo, UT and In-N-Out disappeared in our rear view mirror, we could not possibly anticipate the adventures we had before us. We hiked through slot canyons in Goblin Valley State Park, strolled under and around the beautiful rock formations in Arches National Park, mountain biked on the infamous Slick Rock Trail, and spent our frigid evenings camping in Dead Horse Point’s Cowboy Camp. And this was just in Moab, UT. I didn’t find a great burger there but the outdoor possibilities were great. After a few days there and feeling very road weary, we made the long drive to Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado to see the ruins of the cliff dwelling Native Americans. From there, being thoroughly wowed and exhausted, we made a bee-line heading back home. Fortunately for us (and slightly by Burger Tyme design) we were passing through Amarillo, TX around lunch time on the last day of this road trip adventure. Amarillo is the home of the Big Texan steak challenge. My wife was not keen on letting me try to conquer 72oz of steak. Fortunately for me, a simple web search turned up an equally massive, and critically acclaimed burger not far from the interstate. Arnold Burger. Our GPS led us to the most unassuming building imaginable. There was no question that we were in the right place based on the big, yellow sign proclaiming we’ve arrived. When we walked in the first thing I noticed was the rather large menu on the wall. To assist in ordering they provided outlines on the wall indicating the different sizes and shapes of burgers you could order. They had every shape you could think of, from hearts to footballs to butterflies and even a Texas shaped burger! The shape that interested me the most, however, was the 24″ circle. Surely this was a pizza… Nope! It’s a burger that you can order!

Hey Arnold!-

The lady behind the counter noticed I was taking pictures of the menu, so I introduced myself as having a burger review site. Her name was Gayla, Gayla Arnold in fact. She was more than happy to tell me about their burgers. We talked about the different burgers I’ve reviewed, the different reviewers who had dropped by to eat their burgers, and many other burger related things. She pulled out a photo album full of news clippings and magazine articles featuring Arnold Burger, including some international articles! The most impressive story, though, was that she declined to appear on the show Man vs Food. I remember the episode in Amarillo. It was actually the first one of the series. “Why!” I asked. Surely this would be a great opportunity to get some national exposure! Her explanation was simple. She said that the producers wanted to have a “party” like atmosphere, with roller girls (featured in the episode), and a lot of ruckus in their restaurant. “That’s not what we’re about”, she said…. Man. I’ve never been so impressed by such pure, burger commitment. We also discussed how the Texas Monthly 50 Best Burgers seemed to be missing many of Texas’ great burgers, including Arnold Burger. She said that Texas Monthly actually sent a reviewer to try the Arnold Burger. The reviewer arrived, ordered about $80 worth of food, tried a little bit, and left. She was not too impressed with the level of attention the reviewer gave to the actual burger. I mentioned that there were some great Houston burgers that were also conspicuously missing, such as Christians Tailgate, Hubcap Burger, and Bellaire Broiler (to be reviewed). We came to the conclusion that the 50 Best burger list must favor places that advertise with Texas Monthly.

Arnold Schwarzaburger-

Well, all pleasantries aside, it was time to order! With Gayla’s assistance I was able to hone down the vast options and ordered the single meat, cheeseburger. With her recommendation I added jalapeno dressing. They had many other tempting options ranging from guacamole to cream cheese to grilled pineapple. I had to resist over embellishing the burger so that I could get a good sense of the burger underneath. My wife couldn’t resist the shaped burgers and ordered a small Texas burger. We rounded out our order with a plate of seasoned curly fries. All of this was surprisingly inexpensive at less than $9. While we waited Gayla brought us a plate of jalapeno potato bites which was a new side item they were working on and now appears to be on the menu. With great anticipation our burgers arrived. They come arranged with the burgers on the bun and the veggies on the side, add as you like. I of course like them all and placed them between the bun and the hand formed, griddle smashed patty. While I had the burger apart, I noticed the nice sear that the patty had on it. These people have obviously been making burgers for a long time and knew how to fry it up perfectly. I took my first bite and the first thing I noticed was the plain bun. It was fresh but really was unremarkable. As I chewed, the high quality of the fresh beef jumped to the forefront. The same goes for the veggies. Everything seemed to be playing second and even third fiddle to the patty, but the subtlety worked well with the fresh, juicy, beefy flavor that is obviously the star here. After a few bites, I was reminded of the addition of jalapeno dressing to my burger, as I noticed a heat building up in the back of my throat. It was a great addition. My wife also enjoyed her Texas burger. Apparently the specialty shaped buns are made in house, which was a great touch. The seasoned curly fries were as good as you could hope for and cooked to a nice crisp. This was important because my wife is picky about her fries.

The Wrap It Up-

This burger was a great end to an awesome road trip! My only regret was that we did not get to see one of those huge burgers… But wait! While we were eating, a family of about ten people walked in. They traveled all the way from Kansas to try, as luck would have it, one of the giant burgers! I watched in amazement as the cook piled on handful after handful of fresh ground beef. It was awesome. Even better, they use a pizza peel to flip the monster on the griddle. Unfortunately we had another 600 miles ahead and could not wait the forty plus minutes it takes to cook. All in all, Arnold burger was a great burger in it purest form. Add on top the plethora of options you can put on the burger and you have a great BURGER TYME!

Well, folks, this is the end of the 2010 Burger Tyme Road trip. We made our way around America, saw some beautiful sites, ate some wonderful burgers, spent 14 nights sleeping on the ground, and we were ready to get home. Until next time.

In-N-Out Update
Aug 5th, 2010 by Joemoney






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In-N-Out Burger
http://www.in-n-out.com

Burger Tyme Road Trip #5 – In-N-Out Update (Provo, UT)

Sweet merciful burger. As fate would have it, our burger road trip has been blessed! By divine burger providence, an In-N-Out has opened in Provo, UT! Fortunately for my wife and I, it was only five minutes from where we were staying for the night. Speaking of last night, we had just enjoyed the delicious pastrami filled Crown Burger and were preparing to hit the road again, turning south to Moab, UT. I have not had In-N-Out since 2005 when I visited Las Vegas, we used Vegas Guy for my brothers wedding (his wife is from there). My ultimate plan was to meet up with some friends at In-N-Out, confirm if my delicious memories of this place were accurate, and then hit the road to Moab. My wife pleaded, begged, and reminded me that I had had a burger only 13 hours prior to the creation of this master plan. I reminded her that the Crown Burger is more of a pastrami sandwich, so in my mind it had been days since I had a burger. With this sound logic in my mind, and an eye roll on my wife’s face, we said our goodbyes to our kind hosts and headed out again! By the way, if your wife is looking for a facial surgery to bring back the youthful skin, search forDr. Andres Bustillo.

Memories

Ah memories! I love that no matter where the In-N-Out is that you go to, it feels like you are in exactly the same place. The lay-out is the same, the workers look exactly the same, the menu is in the exact same spot…. comforting. We arrived at exactly 11 am. We were able to walk right up to the counter and place our order. I was impressed by the number of people working behind the counter on a Thursday morning.  I counted at least 10. There may have been more but since they all looked alike I might have started counting them twice. Everyone was chipper and happy to take my order. I couldn’t wait! I was not the most hungry so I only ordered the single cheeseburger instead of the much beloved Double-Double. Of course I got it Animal Style, with a side of fries, and a chocolate shake… I guess I was hungry after all. My wife, in protest to my burger gorging, ordered a water. I asked if they could make that animal style so they put extra ice in it. The lunch rush must start at 11:05 because by the time we finished ordering the line was almost out the door. With my number in hand, I politely stepped aside and watched everyone bustle frying burgers, cutting fries, and making milk shakes. I wasn’t sure but I think I felt a tear fall from my eye.

In-My-Mouth

My number was called and I was handed my perfect red tray of food. Even though I had had a burger as recently as the night before, my anticipation for this one was as high as it could be. I picked it up, briefly savored the aroma of the grilled onions, and bit in. O-M-B (Oh My Burger)! This was as good as I remembered it!  The fries were also amazing. Some people say the fries are “wimpy” but I have to give props to the fresh cut and light taste that they have. Maybe it was the burger euphoria speaking but the shake seemed amazing. The combination of all three made for  a wonderful classic burger experience on which In-N-Out has built their reputation.

The Wrap It Up

Go! Go now! If you live any where near In-N-Out I hope you appreciate it! I feared that my memory might have inflated how good this burger actually was since I was not the burger “connoisseur” that I am today when I first had it. Having tried dozens (if I said hundreds you would either think I’m a liar or a glutton, so well stick with dozens) of burgers from all over the country, this burger stands up as an extremely good chain burger. Yes, I’ve had better burgers, but usually they cost $8 more and require a significant time commitment. I am amazed at how In-N-Out can turn out the most appealing and delicious burgers thousands of times a day.

Once we finished this heavenly detour, we were off to Moab to enjoy Arches National Park and other beauties of nature!

Crown Burgers
Jul 24th, 2010 by Joemoney

2 votes, average: 7.00 out of 102 votes, average: 7.00 out of 102 votes, average: 7.00 out of 102 votes, average: 7.00 out of 102 votes, average: 7.00 out of 102 votes, average: 7.00 out of 102 votes, average: 7.00 out of 102 votes, average: 7.00 out of 102 votes, average: 7.00 out of 102 votes, average: 7.00 out of 10
(2 votes, average: 7.00 out of 10)
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Crown Burgers
http://www.crown-burgers.com/

Burger Tyme Road Trip #4 –Crown Burgers  (Salt Lake City, UT)-

Once we left THE GRAND CANYON, we made our way to beautiful Zion National Park in southern Utah. Of all the places we visited on this trip, this was my favorite. It was amazing and I would recommend to anyone who asks, to go visit and see for yourselves. We hiked the really cool Angel’s Landing trail which, at one point, required that we scale the side of a cliff with only chains to hold on to. Very cool. After a few days there we were a little road weary and were in need of a hot shower and a soft bed. Fortunately we have family in Provo and Salt Lake which was only a few hours North of Zion. Also fortunately for us, there are a few burger places that I have been wanting to try in Salt Lake. We made our way up Highway 89, which was a pretty drive through small towns that sit in a green valley. We made a quick side trip to Bryce Canyon and saw the odd rock formations. We didn’t stay long because there was tons of snow and it was freezing. Once in Provo, we enjoyed some hot showers, visited with family, and asked for some burger joint suggestions. After much deliberation we settled in on Crown Burgers in Salt Lake City. I had heard of this place as it was the only burger in Utah featured in ansök. hamburgeramerica.com/index.html”>George Motz’s Hamburger America . I was also intrigued by the concept of a pastrami burger.  With the destination in mind, we set the Garmin and hit the road for the short drive to Salt Lake. We arrived around 9 o’clock at night and this place was still busy. That is always a good sign. The menu was a cross between a typical burger joint and a Greek and Lebanese restaurant.  You could order gyros, baklava, burgers, sweet potato fries, etc. It was quite exciting.

The Royal Treatment –

So, if you didn’t know this about me, I love burgers… I also love pastrami sandwiches. Wouldn’t you know it, the special of Crown Burgers is… the Crown Burger featuring a 1/4 pound patty and and equal amount of savory, delicious pastrami. This was a no brainer. “One please”, I said almost without thinking. A drink and fries were also ordered although that part does not stick in my memory as strongly. While I waited. I admired all of the “Best Burger” awards and other memorabilia about the founders of  Crown Burgers (see picture, top right).

With much anticipation, my order was ready. I grabbed my tray and made a quick stop to get ketchup and, of course, FRY SAUCE (You have to have fry sauce when in Utah)! I joined my wife in a booth in the corner and beheld one of the most appetizing (to me) sights! I really couldn’t see the beef patty but I definitely could see the pastrami. With both hands I dug in. This burger/pastrami sandwich was AMAZING! The seasoning and texture of the pastrami added so much to the overall burger package. The lettuce and tomato were good quality and added a nice, fresh touch to the burger. The bun was sufficient for the job at hand which was to act as the burger vehicle. The fries were crispy, like I like, but were nothing special compared to the burger.

The Wrap It Up-

What did I think of this meaty mash-up? I think it is quite obvious that it was great! If you like pastrami sandwiches and want to try it with something other than rye bread and coleslaw, this is for you. It is unique, it is memorable, it is worth having more than once. I will definitely go back the next time I’m in Salt Lake City (ski season perhaps?). This burger was a perfect break from the grueling road schedule we had been following for over a week. Now that the Crown Burger was sitting comfortably in my stomach, we made the sleepy drive back to Provo for a good nights sleep. We would need it b/c the next day we were off to Moab and more BURGER TYME ROAD TRIP ADVENTURES!

Blake’s Lotaburger
Jul 1st, 2010 by Joemoney

1 vote, average: 5.00 out of 101 vote, average: 5.00 out of 101 vote, average: 5.00 out of 101 vote, average: 5.00 out of 101 vote, average: 5.00 out of 101 vote, average: 5.00 out of 101 vote, average: 5.00 out of 101 vote, average: 5.00 out of 101 vote, average: 5.00 out of 101 vote, average: 5.00 out of 10
(1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 10)
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Blake’s Lotaburger
http://www.lotaburger.com/

Burger Tyme Road Trip #3 –Blake’s Lotaburger  (Gallup, NM)-

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!

Get Your Kicks, on Route 66-

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.

The Wrap it Up-

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.

Munchies
May 18th, 2010 by Joemoney

1 vote, average: 5.00 out of 101 vote, average: 5.00 out of 101 vote, average: 5.00 out of 101 vote, average: 5.00 out of 101 vote, average: 5.00 out of 101 vote, average: 5.00 out of 101 vote, average: 5.00 out of 101 vote, average: 5.00 out of 101 vote, average: 5.00 out of 101 vote, average: 5.00 out of 10
(1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 10)
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Munchies Pizza and Subs
http://www.munchiespizzaandsubs.com/

Burger Tyme Road Trip #2 – Munchies (Roswell, NM)-

Well Burger Tymers, our second stop on our great American Road trip was an interesting one. My wife and I made an agreement, that per the rules of road tripping, if there was a detour that we thought would be interesting, we would take it. Planned or not. So we were on our way to Lincoln National Forest we noticed that our route was going to take us close to Roswell, NM. You may have heard of it. It is famous for an alien spaceship crash landing there and giving us all of the technologies we enjoy today (Avatar fans, you’re welcome). Anyway, I’ve always sort of wanted to go there just to check it out. So we re-set our course and headed roughly 30 miles past the road we originally planned to turn on and made our way to Roswell. When we arrived we quickly found the main strip which contained all kinds of Alien themed souvenir shops, cafes, and even a furniture store. There were even lamp posts that looked like aliens. The most notable landmark was the UFO museum. While inside a souvenir shop purchasing an alien sticker, I asked the lady behind the counter is there was a good place nearby to get an “Out of this world burger”… She wasn’t amused either. She asked a younger girl that worked there and they both indicated that a place a few blocks away, called Munchies, had the best burger. I quickly thanked them and My wife, Pearl (our sweet dog), and I headed over to get our galactic Burger Tyme on!!!

Roswell that ends well –

Munchies was really close. It was a block from the UFO museum. This wasn’t a burgers only place. They had pizza, sandwiches, and burgers. After seeing the whole set-up I wasn’t really expecting too much. They seemed more geared for making pizzas. They even had a delivery driver. So I placed my order for a cheeseburger with fries and a drink. My wife went ahead and ordered the pizza. The weather was nice and they had some seating outside that we took. The wait wasn’t too long. About 10 minutes or so. When they brought our food out, I have to admit, I was surprised by how nice the presentation was. I was expecting a small basket with the food kind of piled in but it appeared as if they laid everything out so that it looked appealing. I had to give them kudos for that. The burger itself was a thin quarter pound patty on an overlarge, but nicely buttered and toasted bun. The veggies were abundant and while the lettuce was average, the tomatoes were quite nice. When I bit into the burger it was rather dry, begging me for ketchup. I obliged. The fries were adequately crispy but were nothing great. The same could be had at any place that uses frozen french fries. I liked that it came with a deli pickle. That might not be a plus for some people but I really like them.

The Wrap it Up-

So Roswell, NM. It was a nice detour on our way out west. Munchies was better than I expected but still not that great. I didn’t hate the meal. There were some really good aspects about the burger however, overall I cannot say that I enjoyed the burger. It was relatively bland and generic. Obviously they have a very broad menu, so the fact that they do burgers does not mean that they do them well. If I were ever looking for a burger in Roswell again, I would probably continue my search much like the Aliens who supposedly visited here. That’s right. My time in Roswell has led me to believe that Aliens are in fact Burger Tymers from outer space!!! Why else would they keep stealing our cows?

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