Revisit – The Players’ Retreat (Raleigh, NC)

We here at the Straight Beef decided to look way, way back, to our first review, The Players’ Retreat, and visit them again. This time it was Dr. Michael Marino and, me, the Reverend Donald Corey, putting the PR to the test, a re-test if you will. If the PR came through then it would receive the first Straight Beef Certification Sticker ever given, a coveted culinary honor.

Michael: I could go for the easy joke here. The Players Retreat in Raleigh is basically on NC State’s campus. In ordering the Wolfpack Burger, I could say that the Wolfpack offered a lot of promise but didn’t deliver — much like their basketball team. I won’t though. Even if I wanted to, I can’t. The Wolfpack Burger delivers a solid performance. A simple tasty patty on an old school sesame seed bun. The mustard, slaw, and chili complemented and did not overpower the experience. Even after all these years, the PR still delivers a great burger. I give it a 4.25 this time.

Don: I went with the similarly constructed Pete Burger, consisting of chili, mustard and onions (I have left off the cheese on this list as they left it off my burger). The lack of cheese was a disappointment in the overall occasion as it is rare that I will even consider a burger without it. But to the shocked crowd, I ate and enjoyed it, even collecting a bit of extra chili in my beard for a later trip down memory lane. My rating is 4.0. No cheese really hurt me, though.

After six years, The Players’ Retreat still cut the mustard and earned their Straight Beef Certification.


Overall rating (including our original ratings): 4.10

#23 out of 67

Reverend Rants: The Ten Condimandments

There comes a time when you, the pilgrim, must be guided, taken by the hand and led through the perils of this vast and treacherous landscape. It is not enough to love the burger. But rather when you seek the enlightenment that comes from preparing the burger, there are ten very strong suggestions, “condimandments,” if you will, that will help you on your spiritual journey.


I have come down from on high.

1)     Thou shalt clean the grill.

2)     Thou shalt avoid the frozen burger.

3)     Thou shalt use fresh and premium ingredients and toppings.

4)     Thou shalt shape the burger to be more flat than round.

5)     Thou shalt only use beef or bison.

6)     Thou shalt be bold yet show reverence to the burger.

7)     Thou shalt toast the bun.

8)     Thou shalt not burn the burger.

9)     Thou shalt not allow anyone else to flip the burger.

10)   Thou shalt be humble when praise is given.

Follow in these steps and you will know what it means to walk with the burger, be at one with the burger, and live the burger.