Thursday, December 20, 2012

Double Charburger at The Habit Burgers, San Mateo, CA

The Habit burger grill is a small chain of upscale burger restaurants located throughout California with a few locations in Arizona. Their motto is "there's no substitute for quality" and the restaurant seems to live up to these expectations. The San Mateo location is pristine and a tad bit clinical feeling. When you walk into the store you sense that you are in a high end burger's spotless and I'm sure that it would have that "new car smell"...if it were a car. You'd expect that the prices would reflect this impression, but it's the exact opposite. The burgers are really affordable and you get your money's worth and more.

The Habit Burger Grill
Habit burgers are always fresh, never frozen and char-grilled in an open kitchen in full view of the cash register. That's good if you are one of those paranoid "germ-o-fobes" types that needs to see how your food is handled so you can eat without having a panic attack.

The Double Charburger at the Habit
The menu is simple- consisting of burgers, sandwiches, salads, fries, rings and shakes. I went for the the double charburger that includes 2 char-grilled beef patties, 2 slices of cheese, fried onions, lettuce, tomato, pickle and mayo- a real bargain at ($3.85) based by today's fast food standards.

The double charburger was excellent. You could taste how the char-grilling permeated the meat with that smoky bbq taste you can only get over a bbq grill. The 2 slices of cheese complemented the juicy and crumbly beef patties- cooked to a perfect medium. Adequate seasoning, fresh toppings, and most importantly- a toasted fresh bun put it all together.

The habit burgers are affordable, have excellent quality and will keep you coming back for more. I highly recommend that you search out a location and try one soon.

Aburgeraday rating- 7/10

The Habit Burger Grill on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cheeseburger at Jeffrey's Burgers, Menlo Park, CA

As a carnivore, a meat craving can occur anytime, anywhere. These cravings often come unannounced and sometimes in the most inopportune times, like at 8AM in the morning on a Sunday when everything is closed or when the only thing available is breakfast, or while sitting in a busy meeting at work. Luckily for me, my latest craving happened on a weekday at work-  It was 10AM, lunch-time was nearing, my stomach was grumbling- I needed to I sent a quick email to some coworkers and assembled a posse in search of a nearby burger joint. Since we were on the clock I did a local Yelp search which brought us to Jefferey's Hamburgers in Menlo Park.

Jeffrey's Hamburgers
Jeffrey's burgers are USDA choice Angus beef- ground fresh daily- made to order and flat-top grilled to perfection- ask for medium-rare and you get it that way. Service is also friendly and efficient with at least 3 register areas waiting to take your order when you arrive. Choose from a fairly extensive menu that consists of sandwiches, fish and chips, hot dogs- what look to be some good salads (especially Jefferey's signature salad), burgers and made to order milkshakes.

The Cheeseburger at Jeffrey's
I ordered a cheeseburger ($5.59) medium rare. Burgers are delivered "naked" to your table (unless you order a specialty burger like the pineapple teriyaki) where you proceed to the condiment bar to dress them up as you like- I added mayo, mustard, ketchup, lettuce, tomato, pickles and relish. The bun was toasted nicely and was fresh. I was impressed by the thickness of the American cheese on the burger- it seemed to be nearly double what I'm used to. It had great melt and held the semi-crumbly beef patty nicely after each bite. The burger was cooked perfectly medium-rare- as ordered, and extremely juicy. Good seasoning, nice outer crunch on the patty with moist juicy inside. Although the burger was excellent, I kinda wish that Jeffrey's offered some sort of burger sauce. I really think that would take their burgers to the next level, however, the mayo mustard and ketchup do a fine job and still made this a burger that I will be coming back for.- Jeffrey's makes great quality made to order burgers and has enough on the menu to please kids, vegetarians and carnivores alike. If you are every nearby, I'd recommend that you drop in and give it a try.

Aburgeraday rating- 7/10

Jeffrey's Hamburgers on Urbanspoon

Cheeseburger at Giant Burgers, Union City, CA

Questionable location in a shady strip mall- check
Aging sign that reads 1/3Lb. Giant Burger at entrance- check
Dining area mysteriously empty during a weekday lunch hour- check
Unappetizing fresh meat stacked in kitchen prep area- check
A Cheeseburger from Giant burger...NOT priceless

Giant Burgers
I don't have much to say that's positive about Giant burger, so let's just get to the point. I ordered the Giant Cheeseburger ($3.80). It came with a single patty cooked to well done, that was dry, dense and flavorless. Topped with melted cheese, very powerful onion (may have been cooking onion, but definitely not sweet onion), lettuce, tomato and mayo. The bun was pulled from an open bag within reach of the cash register. Toasting it on the flat-top saved it, but it couldn't save the burger- I left a third of it on the plate and headed out. Not worth the trip, nor worth the effort to do a comprehensive review.

The Giant Cheeseburger at Giant Burgers
Aburgeraday rating: 4/10

Giant Burgers on Urbanspoon

Friday, December 7, 2012

Cheeseburger at Dickie Jo's Burgers, Eugene, OR

A hungry man's search for a burger in Eugene, Oregon will surely land them at Dickie Jo's Burgers. Dickie Jo's is named after the owner's parents (Dick and Joanne) who had their first date in 1952 at Manner's Big Boy- a burger joint in Ohio. With 2 Oregon locations, Dickie Jo's serves up a wide selection of burgers, chicken, and salads with made to order flat-top grilled burgers burgers served on house-made bread and buns. The locations have a 1950's diner decor and feel with plenty of booth and counter seating.
Dickie Joe's Burgers
Burgers are available in 3 sizes: a 3oz Jr ($3.99), 4oz regular ($4.99) or 6oz big ($5.99) and come standard with lettuce, tomato, onion and house-made DJ sauce. Add cheese or any additional topping of bacon, sauteed onions, sauteed mushrooms or chili for $.49 each. All burgers can be ordered a "liitle pink" for medium and "no pink" for well done.

I ordered the big burger with american cheese, sauteed mushrooms and onions- a "little pink". Unfortunately  the burger came out well done and drier than I expected though the beef patty was fresh, had good beef flavor, was seasoned well and held together nicely. The sauteed onions, mushrooms and DJ sauce were nice additions that really saved the burger, but the bread could have been a bit fresher.

The Cheeseburger at Dickie Joe's
I give Dickie Jo's some credit for creating a bit of a nostalgic feel with their 50's diner decor and some kudos for baking their own bread, but it's burgers, and burgers alone that I rate. Don't get me wrong, Dickie Jo's makes a decent burger and I'd go back again, but I'll certainly be trying out other burger joints first before I do.

Aburgeraday rating- 6/10

Dickie Jo's Burgers on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Apollo burger at Apollo Burgers- Draper, UT

I'm not sure of the reasons why, but there are at least three great Greek-owned burger chains in the Salt Lake City area- Astro Burger, Crown Burger and Apollo Burger. They all serve typical Greek fast-food fare- Gyros- carved off a spit, souvlaki, awesome fries and rings, Greek salad and of course- charbroiled burgers- and they all feature pastrami topped signature burgers...Oh yes- Smoky, salty, tasty pastrami- piles of it.

Apollo Burgers
Some burgers are also come topped with a unique Utah-created concoction called fry sauce- a mayonnaise-based condiment whose origins can be traced to Utah burger chain -Arctic circle (who claims to have created it back in 1948). Fry sauce is now a staple at almost every Utah fast-fooderie and is used as a substitute for good 'ole ketchup.  It's so popular that each establishment has their own signature recipe that they claim to be the best. Some say fry sauce it's just Mayo and Ketchup mixed together...but after trying to make it at home yourself, you can tell that it's so much more.

On today's trip I chose Apollo burger to try out. Apollo opened it's doors back in 1984 and now has 11 locations in the Salt Lake Valley and they serve up some tasty burgers including their signature "Apollo burger" ($4.99)- A char-grilled burger topped with layers of moist pastrami, american cheese, shredded lettuce, onions, tomatoes and fry sauce served on a toasted sesame seed bun.

The Apollo Burger
The 1/4 lb Apollo burger patty was very moist with noticeable bbq cross sear marks, nice char and great beef flavor and a somewhat solid texture, the pastrami overflowed the burger and was tender, juicy and not too smoky- (though a tad bit fatty), the bun was very fresh and the fry sauce- well wow- it just took everything to the next level.  And at $4.99 the Apollo burger was one hell of an affordable burger that will have you craving it and coming back time and time again.

Aburgeraday rating: 7/10

Apollo Burgers on Urbanspoon