Review #66 – Krafty’s Burgers and Brews (Garner, NC)

FADE IN:

FX:       Whirling newspaper that stops to reveal the headline “Krafty’s Burgers & Brews.”

SUPER:    Burgertone News Presents!

SOUND FX: Morse code telegraph sound -.- .-. .- ..-. – -.– .—-. …

ANNCR:    Dateline: Garner, North Carolina, a burg that knows a good burger!

Krafty’s Burger and Brews is a small restaurant and pub with big burger plans. Even before the official grand opening, Burgertone News! was there to bring you the exclusive.

There was a time in this great land where a man would be subject to ridicule if he ordered anything but mustard on his hamburger, and Krafty’s knows it, delivering the Old Fashioned, a hefty half pound of fresh Angus beef adorned with nothing but mustard and the cheese of your choice. This IS your father’s hamburger, and his father’s before that. This is the hamburger that fed the hardworking men and women of America and fueled the nation to greatness. Our reporter’s Old Fashioned burger was expertly cooked to a pink medium with a textbook perfect char on the exterior.

WARD:     “My Old Fashioned was truly excellent, so good that I started to speak like an old time radio announcer and now can type only in Courier font.”

ANNCR:    The Old Fashioned was marred only by a slightly dry potato roll, a complaint shared by our other correspondents.

Krafty's Old Fashioned is the bee's knees. It's the berries, I tell ya.

Krafty’s Old Fashioned is the bee’s knees. It’s the berries, I tell ya.

Eminent burgiatrist, Dr. Michael Marino eschewed the Old Fashioned and charged headlong into the future, ordering a hamburger topped with Irish bacon, Guinness barbecue sauce and three onion rings. He not only survived the ordeal but thrived on it.

MARINO:   “I know there was a potato famine, but that’s no reason to not use a moist potato bun. I needed a full Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda to wash it down. That being said, the Guiness BBQ Burger was a whiz-bang good burger.

ANNCR:    The Reverend Don Corey, a man of the cloth as well as a man of the bun, was equally generous in his praise.

COREY:    “That Slam Burger was a real ducky shincracker in my mouth, see. It almost doesn’t need the tots!

Michael’s rating 4.25

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Don’s rating 4.25

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Chad’s rating 4.25

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ANNCR:    There you have it, faithful Burgertone News! fans. You know that you’ll never get anything but The Straight Beef from our reporters. To learn more about Krafty’s Burger & Brews, tune to kraftysburgers.com on your internet dial.

Overall rating 4.25 – 17 out of 66

Review #53 — Rally Point Sport Grill (Cary)

Strip Mall Surprise: A Recipe

skeptical-burgiatrist

The skeptical burgiatrist at work. An original watercolor.

Ingredients:

  • 3 skeptical burgiatrists
  • 1 generic strip mall sports bar
  • 3 burgers
  • 2 orders of hot wings

Preparation:
Receive an email about yet another “best burger in the Triangle!!!” with too many exclamation points and questionable source data from Rally Point Sport Grill in Cary.

Review painfully slow website. Preheat snark to medium.

Arrive at generic strip mall sports bar. Note the Skee ball machines and clusters of patrons at the bar—and the virtually empty dining room—and lower expectations to simmer.

Order wings and beers. Note with mild surprise the tastiness of the wings while lamenting the skimpiness of the beer menu. (Remember that too much lamenting this early in the recipe can lead to some bitterness.)

Order three half-pound burgers: one Carolina burger with chili and coleslaw, one Cheddar burger, and—taking one for the team—one Mac & Cheese burger, piled high with “homemade” macaroni & cheese that looks homemade only if your home is a blue box with “Kraft” emblazoned across it. Raise snark to high.

Take a bite.

Note the well-toasted, locally baked bun. Note the near-perfect sear and proper seasoning level on the patty. Reduce snark back to medium, raise expectations slightly. Chew thoughtfully. Take another bite.

Discuss quality of the burger with tablemates. Dial snark down to low. Remark on the high quality of the burger—with or without extraneous toppings—and completely rethink the experience.

Peel away previous bias and enjoy. Voilà! Strip Mall Surprise!

Tasters’ Notes:

  mac and cheese burger
Chad: I ordered the Mac & Cheese burger. The underlying hamburger patty was excellent, and the bun was perfectly toasted. They also get bonus points for house-cut fries. The mac & cheese provided nothing more than bulk and starch and took away from the experience of the burger itself. This is a well-deserved 4.0 for the burger alone.

Carolina burger

Scott: For a slightly spicier version of the recipe, add pinball machines, 70s-style paneling, and an unremarkable-looking joint serving an unexpectedly remarkable burger. I’m going all the way to 4.0-town for the Carolina burger.

Cheddar burger

Don: Cheddar Burger- Cheddar Cheese: I went with one of the most basic burgers listed and was struck by the nice char on the burger as well. The bun was great and perfectly toasted. My biggest complaint is with the amount of cheese that was used. It was lost on the burger. I don’t know if I actually tasted it in retrospect. All in all a very solid 4.0.

Overall rating:4.0, putting Rally Point Sport Grill at 22 out of 53.

RallyPoint Sport Grill on Urbanspoon

Review #47 – Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar (Raleigh, NC)

Pop Culture A-Plenty

On the menu. On the walls. In the enormous fish tank (which was featured on Animal Planet’s Tanked). Everywhere you look at Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar in Raleigh’s trendy North Hills is a reference to pop culture images, symbols, and icons. So when it came time to sit down and write our review, we just couldn’t get ‘em out of our head.

Chad’s Review

Eating at Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar is like eating inside a pinball machine. It’s bright, it’s loud, chipper urbanites bounce off one another on the way to the bar (free ball!) and the bathroom (double bonus!), and everybody watches the big scoreboard, where their assigned cartoon fish get closer to the LCD surface while they wait—and wait and wait—to finally be seated (high score!).

But tune out the frenetic motion and noise and just groove on the burger, and you’ll be at the table all night. The Boursin Burger was a fine example of burgerdom. The patty was properly cooked with just a little char around the edges, and the garlic and herb boursin cheese added a nicely sharp counterpoint, though the grilled onions were overpowering, and I ended up removing them.

All in all, a rock solid 3.75.

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Michael’s Review

Pete Best, as you know, was the Beatles’ original drummer. There’s lots of debate about why he was sacked—maybe he was too conventional for John, too quiet even for George, or just too good-looking for Paul’s liking—but whatever it was, he just wasn’t quite right.

Of the burgers we ordered at Cowfish, the Black Truffle Cheese Burger was the Pete Best of the group. While my fellow burgiatrists found at least some greatness in their burgers, I couldn’t help but feel that despite the promise, mine wasn’t quite right. The cheese covered only about half of the burger, there wasn’t quite enough roasted garlic aioli, and the overall taste was inconsistent at best. I’m willing to give Cowfish another try, with the hopes of getting a Ringo.

Michael’s review: 3.5

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Don’s Review

Think of Elvis—but the 1975 Elvis. Very good, very entertaining, but perhaps more than you could—or wanted to—handle. That’s how I felt after eating The Arnold Hamandegger at the Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar. It wasn’t the fault of the patty, which had a nice flavor and was cooked to temp. It wasn’t the fault of the egg, which was cooked perfectly so that its yolk broke on impact, showering the burger with yellowy goodness. Maybe it was the grilled onions…or the bacon…or the Black Forest ham…or the “Cowfish sauce”…or just the overall combination of all these things that brought me to the verge of the meat sweats after eating this hunka-hunka burning love.

Don’s review: 3.75

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Scott’s Review

I’m about to break a rule—kind of.

The Straight Beef does not allow non-burger variables like atmosphere, art, or service to influence its ratings. A burger is what the burger is, be it served at Versailles or Penn Station. But I gotta say: The décor at Cowfish—with its burger-themed send-ups of Warhol, Lichtenstein, Broadway, and anime—is pretty darn amusing. So much so, in fact, that I couldn’t help but question whether I was enjoying the burger, which struck me at the time as downright solid, just a teensy bit more for the beef-in-cheek visuals. It’s likely that I’ll never know.

Scott’s Review: 4.0

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Overall position, Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar: 21 out of 47 (3.75 avg)

The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar on Urbanspoon

Review #43 – JD’s Tavern (Apex, NC)

DON
Ok guys, I found a receipt in my pocket that shows I paid for a burger with fried egg, bacon, and American cheese at one “JD’s Tavern” in Apex. Did you guys pull a prank on me? I can’t remember the burger at all. I remember awesome buffalo shrimp, good conversation, a long wait for food, and a couple of laughs at Scott’s and Chad’s expense. That’s about it. Definitely no burger.

MICHAEL
That makes sense—you do always get bacon and egg on your burger. Maybe you need something different in your life, like the pineapple and salsa meat sandwich I had. Wait—was it just a sandwich? Maybe it was a burger.

That certainly looks like a burger. Why can't I remember eating it?

That certainly looks like a burger. Why can’t I remember eating it?

SCOTT
OK—this is slightly eerie. I also have a vague memory of eating at JD’s. When the four of us get together for an outing, we usually review burgers, right? But for the life of me, I can’t remember having one there. We wouldn’t have gone on a burger outing and not had a burger, though, right? Right? Please tell me I’m not losing it.

CHAD
I also recall good conversation, decent beer, excellent Buffalo shrimp, and little else. I was as stunned as the rest of you to find a hamburger on my credit card slip, so I did a little research.

Burgiatra Britannica contains references, albeit incomplete, of a phenomenon called “burgnesia.” Apparently there were experiments done in the 1940s under a secret government program designed to determine if a foodstuff, most notably hamburgers, can be made completely forgettable. The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) determined that under the right circumstances, a hamburger can be rendered so pedestrian that it is erased from the subject’s memory. I think that is what is going on here.

SCOTT
Nicely done, Major Beef. Another mystery solved. Now it’s coming back to me a bit—something about sliders with three-day-old buns and flavorless patties. I’m not sure I remember it well enough to give a rating, but I’ll go with 2.0.

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Hey, Scott. Remember me? I still have one of your fillings.

Hey, Scott. Remember me? I still have one of your fillings.

DON
Oh wait! Now I remember this burger. It was completely pedestrian. The goodness of the bun was countered by the fact the patty was way overcooked. I ordered the burger medium rare, and that was a solid well done. The meat was bland and dry, the fried egg was too hard, and the bacon was just…there. Rating 3.0.

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I can't walk. How can I be a pedestrian?

I can’t walk. How can I be a pedestrian?

CHAD
J.D.’s Tavern has either resurrected WWII stealth burger technology or they have inadvertently stumbled upon a burger that is so uninspired that the brain completely erases its consumption from recall. It is neither good enough to merit recognition nor bad enough to warrant space in memory. Whether they realize it or not, they have perfected the invisible hamburger. If I could recall it better, I would probably give it a 2.5. The overcooked burger itself deserved a 2.25, but the excellent brioche bun pulled it up.

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MICHAEL
Wait, I definitely remember Scott’s sliders. They deserved their own jaw muscle workout video, “Buns of Stale.” My pineapple salsa . . . sandwich . . . burger . . . whatever, was most notable for having pineapple and salsa on it. I give it a 2.75.

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JD's Tavern on Urbanspoon

Review #42 – Gorman Street Pub (Raleigh, NC)

These Are Not The Burgers You’re Looking For

The voice of the Ancient Burgiatrist Kobe-Wan came quietly into the Straight Beef’s collective conscious:

“You will go to the Gorman Street System.”

Gorman Street?

“There you will sample the burger and learn its secrets, just as I did.”

**********

The scene opens on The Straight Beef seated at Gorman Street Pub. They have just been served their hamburgers.

Scott: I have a bad feeling about this.

Don: I find your lack of faith disturbing.

Chad: Kobe-Wan said we were to learn the secrets of these burgers, but it tastes like those secrets include a Bantha-load of spices – onion powder, garlic powder, red chile flake and cumin, lots of cumin – even on the plain burger.

Don:  When I ordered my burger, I was not expecting it to have been seasoned at the spice mines of Kessel. After all, it was the Have It Plain burger—I just added bacon and egg. But alas, the burger is seasoned to the taste of a Wookie with a lot of ‘Arghhhhhhh’ (Don roars and pounds his chest, causing several patrons to turn and stare.) It overpowered the rest of the fixings and is a bit of a letdown.

Scott, Michael, and Chad were handed the wrong plates. Each samples his burger, realizes something is wrong, trades his plate . . . and then trades again. Still, they have a hard time determining which burger is which.

Chad: I ordered the Black ’n’ Bleu burger, Cajun rubbed with bleu cheese. When you can’t tell the plain cheeseburger from the Cajun spiced burger with bleu cheese, there’s a problem. Maybe “Cajun rubbed” means they have a Louisiana native chained in back who gives it a good pat down before serving.

Scott: The possibility of receiving the correct burger order is approximately 3,720 to 1.

Michael: Never tell me the odds!

Michael glances over at Chad who is chewing grimly and then glares at his burger.

Michael: My friend doesn’t like you.

The burger doesn’t respond.

Michael: I don’t like you either.

Scott: As senior Burgiatric knights we learned all learned the Way of the Grill, you “Do or do not. There is no try.” Gorman Street Pub doesn’t even try.

The Straight Beef departs Gorman Street Pub. As they exit, an eager young couple is entering the restaurant. Michael waves his hand in a complicated gesture in front of the man’s face.

Michael: These are not the burgers you are looking for.

Man: These aren’t the burgers we’re looking for.

Michael: You should go on about your business . . . perhaps at Only Burger, Chuck’s or one of The Straight Beef’s Top Ten.

The man glances at his wife.

Man: We can go on about our business at one of the Straight Beef’s Top Ten.

The man’s wife stares at her befuddled husband and then strides forward purposefully.

Woman: That’s just creepy. I’m going to have a burger.

Don: It’s a trap!

Woman: I’m not afraid.

The Straight Beef: You will be. Yoooou wiiiiilll beeee.

Don: 2.25

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Michael: 2.75

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Scott: 2.75

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Chad: 2.25

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Gorman Street Pub on Urbanspoon

Review #38 – Only Burger (Durham, NC)

(This review is also posted at WRAL Out and About.)

BREAKING NEWS 

Everyone Right About Only Burger, Apparently

In a turn of events that shocked no one, world-renowned burgiatrists The Straight Beef finally visited Durham’s Only Burger—which had been only recommended to them about 512 times, for the love of all things holy—and “freakin’ loved it.”

“It’s about time those guys went there,” said Sheila Montalbán, Duke University environmental studies student and self-proclaimed “Straight Beef freak.” “Only Burger is only like the best burger in the world, basically. Everyone says so. I don’t even know what took them so long.” Added Montalbán, “Hello? Duh?”

The Straight Beef, which has been reviewing Triangle-area hamburgers since 2009, admits that the group had been talking about reviewing the Duke University favorite for a “ridiculous length of time,” and that there is no excuse for making Only Burger its 38th official review instead of, let’s say, its 4th, even though everyone and their uncle has been insisting that they just shut up and go already.

All four members of The Straight Beef conceded that yes, fine, apparently everyone had been right.

Can't talk. Eating.

Can’t talk. Eating.

“Once I had locked my eating-claw on the burger, I could not put it down until it was gone,” said TSB’s spiritual guide “Reverend” Don Corey, who ensured that his double with bacon, cheese, and egg was not long for this world. “The worst part of the night was when I finished the burger and didn’t have room for another.”

TSB’s burger renegade Chad “The Griddler” Ward concurred. “I was knocked out by the beefy richness, the salty crust, the juiciness of the burger,” said Ward, who ordered a double cheddar burger with bacon only, opting to “get a feel for the basic burger before gussying it up with toppings.” Ward averred that anyone who does not love Only Burger “clearly has been taken over by pod people who not only lack taste buds but hate freedom and America.”

Ward added that although The Straight Beef does not rate side dishes and tries not to be influenced by them in their burger evaluations, the sides at Only Burger were simply insane. “If we rated side dishes along with the hamburger,” Ward said, “Only Burger would be a six out of five on my scale.”

“We went three years without knowing the joy that is Only Burger’s exquisitely flavored patty,” said Scott Blumenthal, renowned British burgiatrist and TSB co-founder, who downed two singles with classic condiments, no questions asked. “We’re never going to get those years back. We’re just not. Those years are gone.”

When asked for his initial comment, leading holistic burgiatrist and TSB co-founder Michael Marino, who downed the same burger combo as Corey, plus mayo, managed only to scribble on a sheet of paper that he could “not talk, what for all the drooling.”

Michael’s rating: 4.75/5

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Don’s rating: 4.75/5

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Chad’s rating: 5/5

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Scott’s rating: 5/5

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Only Burger on Urbanspoon

Review #37 – Yard House (Raleigh, NC)

“All during the 45-minute wait for a table I was certain that a staff member would spot my LL Bean Relaxed Fit jeans and rat me out as the suburbanite among the pretty people. I had the urge to pop my collar and call someone ‘bro’ just to fit in.” –Chad

Chad’s Review: Pay No Attention to the Burger Behind the Curtain

The Yard House is loud. The music is loud. The conversation is loud. The artwork is loud. The burgers are big and flashy, with intense and exotic toppings. Just to be contrary, I ordered a Classic, as plain and simple as I could get it, to see what was under the hood.

chadburger

Please ignore the burger behind the curtain.

What I got for my $14 was a decent hamburger, competently cooked, but no more than that. The real stars of the menu are the big bold burgers—pepper-crusted, caramelized, glazed with pineapple and “Aloha Sauce,” or tarted up with lobster and asparagus, the muscular toppings obscuring the undistinguished but well-prepared patty. Like the Wizard of Oz, once you pull back the curtain (or bun) you realize that all of the sturm und drang is just a distraction, albeit a tasty one. Three out of 5.

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Scott’s Review: Don’t Be Saucy With Me, Béarnaise

Somewhere in North Raleigh I must have entered some sort of space-travel wormhole leading to the opulent chic-fest that is Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Certainly nowhere our fair, modest Triangle, I had assumed, would people squeeze themselves into their tightest, blackest duds for the right to wait an hour for a Fresh & Skinny Martini. But I was wrong. So Wrong.

In an attempt to appear at least minimally chichi, I ordered a burger with an accent in its name: The Béarnaise. (Not The Béarnaise Burger, mind you, just The Béarnaise.) The burger was good—its fried onions a tasty foil for its tender, flavorful patty—though truth be told, I was too busy voguing to fully focus. What I do know is that wherever I might have been—be it Raleigh or 86th and Lex—I was squarely in Three-town. My rating: 3.75.

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Don’s Review: Too Much Turf, Not Enough Surf

The Yard House is about atmosphere and image—loud, colorful, and vivacious. This they make obvious as they take you on a lap around the huge, elliptical bar before seating you at a table you passed when you started your journey.

surfturfopen

Would the béarnaise please report to the burger please?

The burger choices were plentiful, but my eyes were drawn to the Surf & Turf—a powerful lineup featuring Maine lobster sautéed in garlic butter, grilled asparagus, Swiss cheese, and tomato béarnaise. Unfortunately, I was to suffer a severe case of “antici-pointment.” The burger was not cooked to order, and the béarnaise was, without warning, replaced with spinach—a definite letdown. And though I could see the lobster, its taste was smothered by the patty and too much asparagus. I give this burger a 3—too much missing from the show.

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Michael’s Review: A Tsunami of Flavor

The flavor of the Pepper Crusted Gorgonzola burger—with marsala sautéed crimini mushrooms, caramelized onions, and baby spinach—matched Yard House’s décor: intense. The spinach was like a man yelling at a tsunami, useless against the onslaught of marsala, pepper, and Gorgonzola. Because the cook didn’t try to blacken the patty (which often happens in an attempted to create a crust on a patty), the combination worked very well overall. Any hint of char was imperceptible.

tsunami

Bodhi would be all over this.

If you are looking for a place to enjoy a quiet dinner, avoid Yard House. If you want an interesting burger and don’t mind yelling to be heard, this is the place to be. I give the burger a 4 out of 5.

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Yard House - Raleigh on Urbanspoon

Review #36 – Tír na nÓg (Raleigh, NC)

(This review was originally posted on WRAL Out and About.)

Tír na nÓg: Quality Moo Meat

This month, we had the pleasure of dining with industrial design guru Donald Corey, Associate Professor of Industrial Design at Appalachian State University by day, creator of brilliant gadgets by night. Don’s creations have been showcased at international design events such as Salone Satelite in Milan, ICFF in New York, and CODE in Copenhagen. He also runs the design firm The Other Edge, Inc. in Raleigh with his wife Vanese Clough.

Don’s Review

I arrived early to Tír na nÓg, so I had a chance to try to relax before meeting my fellow critics. However, the extra time only caused me to stumble out of the box with a lighthearted but ill-advised question to the other two: “Should I order the falafel burger?” Their facial expressions and flailing arms conveyed the seriousness of the situation. I steadied myself for the task at hand.

A serious time calls for serious burger. So I ordered the Whiskey Burger, a serious combination of chili and fried egg that was seriously good and merged well with the perfectly cooked patty. It was all topped by a whiskey aioli sauce, which was nice but muted by the determined sweet-and-salty combination of the other ingredients. The top bun was pleasantly toasted, but three quarters of the way through, the bottom bun crumbled under the pressure.

I thought my rating would be higher until the very, very last bite, when I realized I was too pensive to go higher than a 4. But overall, I enjoyed the Whisky Burger—seriously.

Don’s rating: 4 out of 5.

    

Michael’s Review

According to Wikipedia, Tír na nÓg is an earthly paradise inhabited by supernatural beings, “a place where…music, strength, life, and all pleasurable pursuits came together in a single place.” As the Whiskey Burger was placed before me at Tír na nÓg in downtown Raleigh, I imagined that this delicacy undoubtedly exists at the restaurant’s mythical counterpart. After all, how often is one regaled with breakfast (fried egg), lunch (chili), and dinner (beef patty) on a single burger?

The breakfast part was great; fried egg is a favorite burger topping of mine, and Tír na nÓg did it right. Lunch was tasty, too. The chili was no hot dog chili, but real chili with beans. The dinner part was also strong—a juicy, flavorful patty. What kept the Whiskey Burger from achieving mythical status, however was the bun, which was just too large. Yes, a case could be made that a lot of bread is necessary to contain three meals, but there was so much of it that it made eating the burger a challenge, and it detracted from the flavor of the patty.

For that reason alone, an adventurer presenting this burger to the denizens of Tír na nÓg might be sent back to the mainland. I can Ónly give it a 4 out of 5.

    

Scott’s Review

In search of a burger in Raleigh, but which one would make me feel jolly? I asked Donal Logue, he said, “Tir na nOg!” while munching an onion bialy.

I ordered the one they called Blount Street. Onion rings on the beef made it offbeat. The bun was too big, though much was to dig, espec’ly the quality moo meat.

Scott’s Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

    

Tir Na Nog Irish Pub on Urbanspoon

Review #34 – Spotted Dog (Carrboro, NC)

Crimes Against Burgiatry

The following account is excerpted from testimonies of renowned burgiatrists Michael Marino, Scott Blumenthal, and John McManus, delivered before judges at The Hague, Netherlands.

Dr. Marino [visibly shaken]: It was supposed to be a Buffalo-style burger. You know—with blue cheese dressing and buffalo wing sauce? I mean, what could go wrong? [Dr. Marino covers his eyes and asks for a moment; his request is granted.] What was brought before me should never have been permitted to exist. It was the fevered dream of a madman. I feel my gorge rise to think that this atrocity is called a “burger.” I only pray that children were never exposed to it.

Dr. Blumenthal [sobbing]: Sure—maybe we should have known better than to review a place best known for its vegetarian fare. Sure—we could have spoken out when we saw a menu that actually said [Dr. Blumenthal drops his face into his hands and pauses] “black bean burger with vegan mayo.” I mean, what kind of god allows that?

Dr. McManus [controlled, adamant]: The patty was beyond well done. Practically a briquette. No wing sauce in the world could have saved it. But it was the bun, your honors. Don’t you understand? The bun. Dry as the Sahara. It crumbled in my hands. [Dr. McManus’ further comments on the bun were deemed too graphic for public release and have been sealed.]

Michael’s Review: 1 out of 5

    

Scott’s Review: 1.5 out of 5

    

John’s Review: 1 out of 5

    

Review #32: BurgerFi (Cary, NC)

(This review was originally posted on WRAL Out and About.)

This month, we were joined by guest reviewer and blogger-in-arms Becca Gomez Farrell. That’s right—“The Gourmez” herself. Once we accepted that there was a girl at the table (a first for us), a fine time was had by all.

Becca’s Review

I must declare that I’m typically more about the toppings than the patty. I often opt for a single or smaller-sized one when available. For me, it’s but one aspect of the burger build. In this case, however, a single is simply not enough for appreciating the glory that is the Burgerfi cheeseburger. Do yourself a favor and order a double instead. It’s a hand-shaped patty with the irregular edges to prove it, and you need two for that perfect meat-to-topping blend. Sticking with the free topping options, I ordered mayo, lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, and jalapenos. The bun was squishy in all the right ways yet avoided becoming a casualty of meat or tomato juices.

The American cheese melted into and over the patty’s crevices—perfection.

If forced to find faults, I would focus on the fiery bite of jalapeno—roasted would be a better option—and the fairly large proportion of white iceberg to green. Other than a need for more crunch to balance the textures, this was a fabulous burger. Additionally, the parmesan herb fries were fully coated and far exceeded my tater expectations.

Becca’s review: 4.25 out of 5.

    

Michael’s Review

Is it possible for a restaurant to recreate the backyard burger experience? After eating at BurgerFi, I say absolutely.

I ordered the Ultimate Cheeseburger, which features brisket instead of chuck. (Chuck, more common in burgers because it’s a fattier cut, comes from the chest of the steer; brisket comes from the shoulder.) Swiss and blue cheeses nicely complemented the flavorful cut. The order of the build was clever, with the pickles sealed to the underside of the top bun with Burgerfi’s special sauce. No toppings toppled off as I ate—big points right there. The downside of brisket is its tendency to be a little dry, which this burger seemed around the last bite or two. A minor quibble about an overall fine burger.

With thin, hand-made patties like BurgerFi’s, it’s easy to go from the realm of medium well into the realm of shoe leather. BurgerFi, however, did it right. With the quality soft bun, it achieved the classic backyard grill flavor that many burgiatrists consider the Holy Grail of burger joints.

Michael’s review: 4.0

    

Scott’s Review

I searched Merriam-Webster, but apparently there’s no word that means “the breathless anticipation one experiences prior to tasting a highly touted burger.” A few minutes with a Latin-to-English translator yielded spectocaro, loosely translated as “expectancy for a beef sandwich.” Sure—let’s go with it: spectocaro it is.

The spectocaro for BurgerFi was high. The buzz in burgiatry circles is that the Florida-native chain is something special, that there’s substance behind its all-natural, grass-fed, no-additives credo—that it also slings a tasty burger. The buzz was right. With that rare and esteemed combination of fresh, hand-made, and delicious—crafted, clearly, by lovers of all things burger—BurgerFi burgers enter the canon of quality Triangle burgiatric options.

Spectocaro high, rating high.

Scott’s review: 4.25

    

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