Tag Archives: burger

Joe’s Farm Grill (Gilbert, AZ)

Well, after two days of testing in the Superstition Mountains, we were again hungry. This time, we decided to head back into Gilbert for a visit to Joe’s Farm Grill. Joe’s Farm Grill is the sister restaurant to the previous night’s Joe’s Real BBQ.

Located just west of the corner of Ray and Higley in Gilbert, if you are in the area, Joe’s Farm Grill is hard to miss, since it has a rather large neon sign, and is basically a large “retro-futuristic” building nestled in amongst the citrus trees at the edge of a working farm. The farm isn’t a new thing, it’s been there since the 1920s, with the Johnston family being there since the 1960s. The restaurant is actually constructed around what’s left of the 1960s ranch house, although the renovation is so significant that you have to look carefully to actually find evidence of the original house (you can see some of this in the “fireplace room”).

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Patati Patata (Montreal, QC)

Carol’s employer has some pretty cool employee benefits programs. One of them tries to address the fact that the Upper Valley area of NH/VT isn’t exactly the most happening place, and offer a lot of programs for both local recreation, as well as travel. As part of this program, they offer up cheap trip (that’s how we went on last month’s trip to New York City for Grimaldi’s, for example). This month, they offered up a cheap day trip to Montreal, so at 5am, we hopped onto a bus at Dartmouth, and by 10:30 we were at Dorchester Square in downtown Montreal. After breakfast and some light shopping, we decided to head up to one of my favorite parts of town (the “Plateau”, where there are a lot of cool shops and restaurants on Boulevard St Laurent and Rue St Denis). To get up there, we availed ourselves of Montreal’s most excellent Bixi bike rental system. After an hour of riding Bixi bikes around Mont Royal park and the plateau, we decided a small lunch was in order. We ended up going to a place that’s been on my hit list for a while: Patati Patata, a small little diner featuring sliders and poutine.

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Chris Madrids (San Antonio, TX)

Often when I’m traveling, I’ll find that a local place has gotten a lot of positive buzz. It will be on most of the “top 10″ sorts of lists for a city, either in absolute terms of quality, or as a place you are supposed to check out (these aren’t necessarily the same, there are places I heartily recommend visiting while also noting that they aren’t necessarily the best, like Louis Lunch). And the simultaneously get listed as one of the places in their region, and maybe even the occasional mention on national “Best of” lists. Chris Madrids in San Antonio is one of those places. Most any major list of "must eat" restaurants in San Antonio includes Chris Madrids on the list, and it also is a perennial favorite on several “Best burgers in Texas” lists. I’ve even seen it get a few mentions on “Best Burger in the US” lists. Seeing that our B+B was only 2 miles from Chris Madrids, we decided we had to give it a try.

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Ray’s Hell Burger (Arlington, VA)

(Closed) Well, sometimes the combination of work and personal travel means that there literally is no rest for the weary. I had barely done laundry from the back-to-back-back Chicago, Dayton, and Austin trips, when my travels again had me heading out for 5 days to the DC are for a conference. I rather like going to DC (and do so a lot, usually 4-5 times a year), but it’s never convenient getting there from my house in New Hampshire; I either have to deal with planes, trains, and metros (BWI), a long bus ride (BOS), or inconvenient flight times (DCA). This time I opted for the last of these, since I was staying in Crystal City. Indeed, my with 6:45 am flight, I arrived at DCA and was out the door with my bags by 8:10am on a fabulous Sunday morning, with nothing on my slate until 1:45 in the afternoon (yes, my client scheduled things for Sunday…). After a nice, pleasant walk to the hotel (Yes, Crystal City is only about a 20 minute walk from DCA), I realized I had the better part of 4 hours to get something useful done. So I grabbed a bike from Capital Bikeshare (which is one of those bike rental services that’s just perfect for a visitor like myself), and decided to take a scenic ride north on the Mount Vernon Trail to Arlington, and Ray’s Hell Burger.

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Streats (White River Junction, VT)

(Closed) After our weekend of wandering around Austin eating BBQ and sampling several of Austin’s many food trucks, you’d think that we’d start to be a bit worn out on food trucks. Well, we weren’t. About a week after we got back from Austin, we decided that the weekend weather was nice, and we wandered over to White River Junction, Vermont to check out Streats, our area’s latest food truck.

That’s right, the Upper Valley actually has several food trucks (some of which I’ve even review here, like Wicked Awesome BBQ, but I’ll admit I’m way overdue for reviewing Vermont Crepe and Waffle and Mama Tina’s Tamales), of which Streats is the newest arrival. Billing themselves as a “mobile canteen”, Streats is currently located in a mostly vacant lot at the corner of Prospect and Bridge Streets, just west of the bridge to West Lebanon, New Hampshire (for those familiar with the area, it’s across the street from the Listen Center)…

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Thurman Cafe (Columbus, OH)

You know, sometimes I’ll have to admit that I just don’t know when to say when. Despite having four solid days of eating and drinking my way through Chicago on the Death March, and being mere days away from the planned Austin BBQ bender, events related to my travel schedule conspired to leave me with a few spare hours in Columbus, Ohio. While I rather enjoyed my visit to Tommy’s Diner the last time I found myself in this situation, I wanted to try something different, so I put out a call for recommendations on Facebook. Several people I know, most of whom live in or near Columbus, responded with the same place, the Thurman Cafe in Colombus’ German Village neighborhood.

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Nessy Burgers (Fallbrook, CA)

While we were in Southern California visiting Carol’s sister and brother-in-law, we took a day trip down to Palomar Mountain. The route we took there had us take I-15 down from the Temecula area to Highway 76 in Fallbrook, CA.

I wouldn’t call Fallbrook the middle of nowhere (I’ve been to various places, even some on this blog, that were way more out of the way than Fallbrook, which is only ~15 miles away from SoCal suburban splendor), but it’s not exactly the most happening location either. But it was notable that when we got off the highway, a noticeable feature was a little trailer parked in a parking lot with a long line of people waiting for food. That trailer is Nessy Burgers…

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Murphy’s on the Green (Hanover, NH)

Way back in 2009 (ancient history by modern internet standard), I remember seeing several of my online friends passing around an article from Travel+Leisure on America’s Best 10 Burgers. Normally I don’t pay too much attention to these sorts of Top 10 lists, but this one caught my attention, since burger number 10 on the list was the “Murph Burger” from Murphy’s on the Green in Hanover.

This caught my attention, since I’ve been to Murphy’s on the Green a lot (one of the byproducts of living in an area with few restaurants is that any that are halfway decent get a lot of my repeat business), and had even had some burgers there, but couldn’t recall ever having a “Murph Burger”, and none of the burgers there really struck me as being memorable.

But I made a note to go get a Murph Burger at some point and report back. Well, months kept passing by, and mostly my visits to Murphy’s were for beer, but a few weeks ago we found ourselves looking for dinner in Hanover, and I decided it was finally time to cross another item off of my to-do list…

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Hamburgers (Dearborn, MI)

After a day driving around the Detroit neighborhoods and suburbs, including Corktown, New Center, Hamtramck, and Dearborn, we decided we wanted a light meal to tide us over for dinner. One place that caught my eye was an converted White Tower burger stand in Dearborn that was simply labeled “Hamburgers”. As I’ve discussed previously, the Detroit area is filled with all sorts of converted or knockoff White Castle of White Tower locations, most of which are still serving up burgers of some kind (usually sliders), although I’ve seen a few that were turned into Greek diners as well…

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The Telway (Madison Heights, MI)

One of the things I rather enjoy about the Detroit area is that the food scene still has a strong independent “slider” presence. Yeah, you know, sliders, those little hamburgers served on small greasy buns with the onions? Chances are, if you’ve had one recently, it was at White Castle (in the North) or Krystal (in the South). But in addition to these well known chains, there are still several places in the country (Hackensack, NJ, for example) where various independent operators and small chains are still churning out classic sliders, and doing it will a quality no longer seen at White Castle or Krystal. Detroit is one of these areas. Within the greater Detroit metro are are literally dozens of little slider shops, including Brayz (Hazel Park), Telway (Madison Heights and Detroit), Bates (Livonia and Farmington Hills), Bray’s (Westland), Greene’s (Farmington), Hunter House (Birmingham)… the list goes on. While I’ve long wished to do a “slider tour of Detroit” (ever since I did my review of Bates Hamburgers in Livonia way back in 2006), I haven’t yet been able to assemble the time and stomach space (and Costco-sized supply of antacid) that such a venture requires. But I have been trying to pick them off as opportunity allows, and a visit to the Detroit Zoo conveniently allowed us to duck over to adjacent Madison Heights to try Telway again…

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