The TSB app is now live.

If you love TSB’s content but need an easier way to access its content, then you need to download the official TSB app. It is available for iOS and Android.

The app does have a feature the site does not. It has an interactive map of every burger place we have reviewed including the renegade reviews.

The app is free to download and ad-free. If we do have ads in the future (this stuff ain’t free,) we will not use a generic ad network. We’re still working that out.




Renegade Review: Burger 21 (Tampa, FL)

I found myself with my family in Tampa, FL, hankering for a burger. My brother-in-law suggested heading to Burger 21, another contender in the “fast casual” boutique burger category. What I didn’t realize at the time is that there is a location in Cary. Perhaps The Straight Beef will hit it for an official review.

Burger 21 is essentially The Loop Pizza Grill except its focus is on burgers instead of pizza. Granted The Loop serves decent burgers, but I digress.

I ordered The Bacon Cheesy, a standard bacon cheeseburger on a brioche bun. I was pretty impressed with the outcome. The machine pressed patty was nicely seasoned without being peppery. It was also cooked to a perfect medium. Cooking burgers to medium is a fairly uncommon thing even amongst supposed fine burger purveyors. Getting it in a chain burger joint was a very pleasant surprise. The bacon was evenly spread and melted within the cheese, a nice touch which showed care in the creation. If only they had shown as much care with the rest of the burger build.


Tomato? Come on out. It’s OK. Don’t hide. I won’t bite. Wait…

Proper burger architecture is critical. With this burger, however, the lettuce, tomato, and red onion were wedged in between the patty and the bottom bun, a fatal flaw. The poor construction wilted the lettuce and kept the onions and tomato far away from the generously applied mayo on the top bun. This made for a slimy mess of a bottom bun by the time I was done, dragging down what was otherwise a fine burger.  There is a reason lettuce, tomato, onions, etc. are called toppings and not bottomings.

With that caution in mind, and if you don’t mind rebuilding your burger, head to a nearby Burger 21. The small chain is a welcome addition to the boutique burger category and worthy of a full Straight Beef review in the near future. — MM

The TSB app

Tom Petty had it right. It is the hardest part.

Tom Petty had it right. It is the hardest part.

We have been hard at work developing an app for burger connoisseurs on the go. All of the information you have come to love about The Straight Beef will be found in our new app. The coolest feature is a list of our reviews plotted on a map, so you can find a burger where ever you are. We’re still awaiting approval on the iOS and Google Play app stores.

The app will be free to download and free from any ads for now. We’ll be sure to let everyone know when it is available.

The Straight Beef Podcast #23

In this, the 23rd episode of The Straight Beef Podcast, Scott and Michael finish up their discussion of the perfect grind. Which combination of meats give you the best burger? Skirt steak? Brisket? Flap meat? Find out by subscribing to the podcast in iTunes or downloading directly from our Libsyn feed.

Link referenced in this podcast:

The Burger Lab: Mastering the Art of Burger Blending with Eight Cuts of Beef

Review #63 – Jimmy V’s Steakhouse (Cary, NC)

[Editor’s Note: Before you read this review, please take time to donate to The V Foundation for Cancer Research. We’ll make it easy for you. Just click here.]

Listen, Baby, when Jimmy V was coaching the Wolfpack, he knew the thrill of finding of a hidden gem … a diamond in the rough … a hidden … seriously, where is this place? I’ve driven through hotel parking lots and traffic circles and strip malls … is Jimmy V’s still in Cary?

Assuming you do eventually find it, there’s plenty of reasons to be excited about Jimmy V’s. It has all the ingredients to be Awesome, Baby, with a capital A. We arrived fully expecting the V Burger to light up our scoreboard.

Turns out, nothing is lit up at Jimmy V’s. As burger guys, we’re not used to fine dining and the complete and utter lack of ambient light associated with it. It was tough for us to find an open look all night.

Then the food came, and our table was rocking, baby. Are you kidding me with these wings? They’re All Appetizer in my book. They have size, the taste has strenth (basketball speak for “strength”).

And then there’s the burger. It’s packed with talent—Jimmy V brought in some blue chippers with house-ground Angus beef and chuck, pecan-smoked bacon, fresh tomatoes and lettuce. It has all the ingredients to be a prime time player in the burger big dance.

Jimmy V's has a Burger with a Capital B, baby!

Jimmy V’s has a burger with a Capital B, baby!

Speaking of being blue about chips, we were excited at the prospect of “cottage fries,” which was a diaper dandy on the All Mystery team. What were they? Hash browns? Waffle fries? No one knew. Turns out they’re basically Lay’s potato chips, Baby.

The burger game is a team game, though, and all the talent in the world doesn’t matter if it can’t come together and execute. Meat, bun, condiments and vegetables need to set each other up.

Instead, while the components were supremely talented, the V Burger was a group of individuals. Even with its hefty $16.50 price tag, the V Burger couldn’t bring home a championship. Instead, it rode the individual game of each of the team members and saw its run end with a Final Four—out of five, that is—from each of us.

Michael’s Rating: 4 out of 5

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Don’s Rating: 4 out of 5

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Scott’s Rating: 4 out of 5

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Shawn’s Rating: 4 out of 5

Score 5 Score 4 Score 3 Score 1 Score 2

Overall Rating: 23 out of 63


Things are going to change around here


We have been doing The Straight Beef for over five years and think it is time to freshen things up a bit. Over the next few weeks, we are going to change the design. These won’t solely be aesthetic changes. We want to make it easier for you to find burgiatric information you need.

If it were the early 2000s, we would plaster the site with animated construction GIFs. As it is 2015, we humbly ask for your patience as we make changes. We think you’re going to like it.

Ask the Burgiatrist

Ask the Burgiatrist Is Back!


Ask the Burgiatrist

Dear Ask the Burgiatrist,

We’re hoping you can settle a workplace debate.

It’s been forever since you’ve published your amazing burger-advice column. I’m thinking that you’re probably taking a break or sabbatical or something. (Hey, even famous burgiatrists need to recharge the grill, right?) But my co-worker has this cuh-ra-zy story that I’m practically too embarrassed to tell you. She said that when Burger King put out its “French Fry Burger” a couple of years back, you were so horrified by the idea of a burger that was basically French fries on a patty that you swore off burgiatry forever! She said that you even kind of lost it and wound up in an institution or something. Obviously, she’s the one who’s nuts. 🙂

So where have you been, ATB? I hope you say you’re coming back—we miss you!

Your fan,

Melissa Guillory

Ronkonkoma, NY


Dear Melissa,

Thank you for your kind words, Melissa. I’ve heard many outlandish rumors surrounding my absence, but this one surely tops them all! I shall be forever bemused by society’s affection for outlandish fiction.

I’ll do my best to explain the reason for my absence, though you’ll forgive me in advance if the explanation is humdrum at best. The response might be short, as this strait jacket makes it difficult to write. 😉

Simply put, I elected to step away from “Ask the Burgiatrist” in 2013 to pursue interests my burgiatry schedule would not allow. Chief among these was a lifelong interest in winemaking. Thus I publicly announce that I’ve busied myself as an amateur—but wholly adequate, I hope!—vintner for something over two years. So there it is! And if my explanation hasn’t lulled you to sleep completely just yet, I’ll add this: Surprisingly, the arts of burgiatry and winemaking are strikingly similar. Like a great burger, a well-crafted wine is the product of cunning combinations—of fruits and tannins, of enzymes and yeasts, of fortitude and time. Unlike burgiatry, however, winemaking could not possibly tolerate a practice as banal and insipid as merely moving four French fries two inches over, from next to the burger to on the burger.

I mean, really?

Sure, if Burger King wanted to insult the intelligence of a swamp toad—let alone a leading authority on the burgiatric arts—couldn’t it have at least gone with some substantial quantity of fries, so the burger at least looked like something not ridiculous, instead of dicking around with literally four pathetic shoestrings—which hey, guess what, are exactly the same crappy fries you’re already eating anyway?

C’mon, people, seriously?

Hey, Burger King, I’ve got an idea for you! Why don’t you squirt some ketchup onto a patty and call it the BK We Put Ketchup On It For You Because Marketing Is Out of F**ing Ideas Burger? Because that idea is only marginally less Sh***ty than the one with the F***ing French fries.

Now hear this, Burger King, and hear it good.

For your crimes against burgiatry, for your unholy descent to the very nadir of burgiatric decency—nay, of dignity itself!—my burgiatric forebears shall rise above your places of business and poop on your pea-brained Fry Burger and all that it represents.

Though for the moment you may consider yourself lucky, as I must hastily conclude this missive. The nurses are ringing the snack bell, and woe unto you, Burger King, if I miss donut day.

Woe unto you.

Ask the Burgiatrist


In this undated photo, Ask the Burgiatrist learns of Burger King’s “French Fry Burger.”



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