Saturday, June 22, 2013

BT's Cheeseburger at BT's Burger Joint. Charlotte, NC

It seems like these days a decent burger is never located too far away and with the likes of Smashburger, In-N-Out, Five guys and now expansion of Shake Shack- should the traditional national chains start worrying about these upstarts taking away their share as they deliver great value, better quality, and come with a cult following? Now I don't think that McDonald's is going to radically alter their strategy- they have such a monumental lead in fast food market share, but they are noticing, adapting and adjusting their menu to stay relevant in the ever changing fast-food space.

Some places don't need to adapt, they just need to deliver a consistent good quality product that's affordable, tastes good, has good service and friendly staff and that's recipe enough for success. Enter BT's Burger Joint- a relative newcomer to the NC burger scene with 2 Charlotte and 1 Asheville locations. The brainchild "of two regular guys who like great burgers and don't like to wait" BT's goes beyond just burgers and fries by offering a selection of salads, hot dogs, chicken and cheese steaks.

The BT's location in Ballantyne is squeaky-clean and offers ample indoor seating as well as a covered patio area to enjoy when the weather is nice.

BT's Burgerjoint Ballantyne location
BT's sized burgers are made with 8oz patties, while regular burgers are 6oz. All burgers are seared on a flat-top, and are made to order. One thing burger aficionados will love to see when visiting BT's is the sign at the cash register that displays how you can have your burger cooked- and this list, my friends, includes the option for rare. Some might not think this is a big deal, but if you are a burger lover you need to appreciate that the quality of beef used at a restaurant that serves a rare burger- its usually pretty good- and at BT's this was no exception.
I ordered the BT's Cheeseburger ($6.35)- rare with mayo, grilled onions, lettuce, tomato and pickle. The burger arrived cooked rare- as ordered formed into a perfect circle and packed tightly with a little crumble that held together nicely through each bite. The burger had good seasoning of salt and pepper and it was very easy to taste the quality beef which was arm-dripping juicy, meaty and flavorful. The 2 slices of American cheese could have been given a bit more melt and was likely caused by having the burger cooked rare but hardly a showstopper. The egg brioche bun was a star in this show- it was slightly sweet and velvety fresh.

The BT's Cheeseburger
BT's follows the formula for getting repeat customers- the burgers are excellent, the cost affordable and the service is great- a must try in my opinion.

Aburgeraday rating- 8/10
BT's Burger Joint on Urbanspoon

Friday, June 21, 2013

Bacon Double Cheeseburger at Joey Doggs- Surfside Beach, SC

Lets face it- Myrtle Beach is a tourist trap. As one of the U.S.'s spring break meccas, it draws tens of thousands of young college aged booze hounds in early spring and vacationing American families in search of sun, surf and relaxation the rest of the year. Tourists and spring breaker alike, are tempted by the advertisements of low cost all-you-can eat seafood buffets on billboards, hotel pamphlets and by concierge staff who are most certainly tipped for sending unsuspecting patrons to these establishments. These places will always be in business just based on the mass of people that visit every year- no matter how bad their food is. My advice- don't be tempted by those places as they are almost all overpriced, mostly consist of deep fried items and all of mediocre quality at best. You'd be best to use a crowd sourcing app like Urbanspoon or Yelp to get good honest dining recommendations. Look for restaurants with a large quantity of reviews so you know it's not the owner and their immediate family writing the reviews- that's how we found Joey Doggs.

It's easy to miss Joey Doggs strip-mall location

Joey Doggs prides itself on cooking only fresh- never frozen menu items that include hand formed 90% Angus beef burger patties, all beef hotdogs and both hand cut and hand dipped onion rings. With this in mind Joey Doggs already has an edge over the other mediocre restaurants around it.

Burgers are BBQ grilled and always made to order with your choice of the extensive topping selection including Carolina staples-chili and slaw. You can order burgers a-la-carte with your choice of sides, or as a bowl with both fries and onion rings which we found out later also meant served in a dog bowl!

Food Served in Dog Bowls
Having spent most of the morning in the sun, I was sporting a larger than normal appetite so I went for the double bacon cheeseburger bowl ($7.85) with lettuce tomato, pickle, grilled onions and mayo.

The Bacon Double Cheeseburger at Joey Doggs
The burger came out cooked medium well with two perfectly melted slices of American cheese, nicely thin and crispy bacon, and really fresh toppings on a soft bun. The beef was lightly packed and even though it was cooked medium-well it was still very moist and juicy and had a fantastic beef flavor from the Angus beef they use.

You gotta think that Joey Doggs is where the locals eat. The staff are friendly. The quality is great and best of all, it's not overpriced like almost everything else in Myrtle beach. I recommend you try it out if you are ever nearby.

Aburgeraday rating- 7/10

Joey Doggs Burgers on Urbanspoon