Profile

richopp

Too fat!

  • Location: Florida
  • Favorite foods: Burgers, fried chicken, GOOD Cuban, Allen aged prime ribeye, basic steamed and then lightly broiled South African lobster tails, my own key lime pie (tart like it is supposed to be)
  • Last bite on earth: Not for publication on a family website.

Poll: What Do You Like to Drink With Your Burger?

As a former college roommate used to say with a VERY Cockney accent, stolen from a film, I suppose, "Bottle o' beer an an 'amburger, please!"

Taste Test: We Try Every Flavor of Cheez-It Crackers

Like @tea-and-syncope, I find cheese snacks pretty disappointing for the most part. It must be because to me, cheese on a cracker tastes better. Stoned Wheat Thins from Canada and Carr's plain round crackers add the least overtones to the cheeses I like, which include Beemster gouda and Finlandia Swiss, for two. As for Cheeze-its, I have tried and tried to like them, but they always have a chemical rather than cheese taste to me. Some people can't tolerate cilantro, so I suppose that this shows that the same chemicals taste differently to different people. Not to worry...I love many other snacks that are bad for me (regular chips from Jimmy Johns for example), so I don't feel slighted by not liking Cheeze-its.

Cute Alert: Two Cats Battle Over Bed That Looks Like a Burger

GREAT VIDEO! For the commenters who want one:

My friend recently bought a giant inflatable plastic ball that a person crawls into and rolls around on the ground in. Supposedly you play a game with these when you have several people with them. They cost about 200.00, however, but look like fun. I will try it out eventually and try to post.

Open Thread: Which Burgers Are On Your Bucket List?

I only have two:

Luger Burger at Peter Luger's in Brooklyn with an order of bacon ON THE SIDE. I don't care for bacon on a burger, but I do love bacon!

Black Label Burger at Minetta Tavern, NYC

Shake Shack opened here some time ago and it was OK; nothing to write home about. I visited my brother in CA over xmas and went to In and Out. It was really good...better for its segment in the industry than Shake Shack is for its segment, in my opinion.

I know, NY people may disagree, but that's why we all have opinions!

What McDonald's in Ho Chi Minh City Means for the Future of Vietnamese Food

Not to get off on the cultural thing too much, but some Americans think things like BMWs (some made here now in SC) are "luxury" items, and this is true with various other "imported" items that are either not anywhere as good as similar items made here, even given the transfer of many US manufacturing jobs, or are overpriced and simply marketed well. Marketing is the key, and of course, SlideSF is completely correct with his analysis. I wonder how a Stir Crazy, Panda Express, or Chipolte would do in Nam?

Super Bowl Party Giveaway: Pat LaFrieda Sliders

Grilling out here in South Florida while the super corp execs freeze at the game. Well, they have fancy heated suites and all, but I would LOVE to have Mr. LaFrieda's world-famous sliders on my grill for my family and friends as we enjoy the game and our weather. Oh, all ya'll are invited, of course. Come on down for the best sliders you can eat!

'Time' Names the 17 Most Influential Burgers of All Time

@Chuckswagon's list and the associated addenda seems to be a more historical, thus one would postulate, accurate list of "influential" burgers. I think I go with the McDonald's 12-cent burger (and 15-cent cheeseburger) as being rightly placed on the list. The Big Boy was the first well-known stacked burger, thus the Big Mac, while clearly essential to corporate growth and branding, has to take a timeline backseat to the Big Boy. Personally, I was eating Big Boy's (Shoney's and Bob's, in my case) WAY before McDonald's opened on Mercury Blvd. There was a Burger Chef about the same time as McDonald's, if not before, in my area as well, and we ate there almost as much as at McDonald's. Of course, the fries were the draw, but Burger Chef burgers were a lot better.

Poll: Do You Plan to Eat More, Fewer, or the Same Number of Burgers in 2014?

I will be eating more of them. A recent trip to the San Diego area re-invigorated my burger addiction. Yes, I went to In and Out for the first time in many years, and it was surprisingly good. Their sometimes-derided fries were just fine, thank you. The real winner was a relatively new place called Searsucker at some mall somewhere...my brother knows since he lives there and, unbelievable as it may sound, there seems to be a mall on every corner of every street I think. Anyway, we ended up at this place since another one they wanted me to try was closed unexpectedly. The burger was WAY better than it had any right to be, and the fries were amazing...duck fat may be involved. Anyway, I am now going to start going around locally and trying more burgers in 2014!

Open Thread: What Was Your Favorite Burger of 2013?

Once again, our local place, Charm City, has the best burger in South Florida. I personally only eat their "Good Ol'" medium rare without the cheese.
http://www.charmcityburgers.com/index.php/menu
They may take their name from Baltimore's nickname, but they have brought a great burger to our area. Shake Shack opened, but I only went once so I can't judge them fairly. However, it was evident at first bite that Charm City was better, so even though I will try SS again, CC is the best down here so far!

'Diners, Drive-ins and Dives' Viewers Choose Their Top 10 Burgers of all Time

I would try #5 and, uh, well, #5, which seems to consist of the ingredients one generally finds on a hamburger.

I have no issues with the others; I just don't personally care for their various ingredients.

We Try All of the Late-Night-Only Munchie Meals at Jack in the Box

Funny! For some reason, every time I have tried JIB when in CA I have not been happy with any of the food, and I get pretty mundane items...simple burgers and fries, nuggets, etc. I don't even stray from a soda, yet every time I go with high anticipation, I end up tossing most of the food and going to a restaurant instead. Maybe JIB is a ploy by regular restaurant owners to get people to come in...who knows?

Unfortunately, the Sonic here is the same...really awful. I took classes in Chinese cooking and can follow the instructions and make a darn good meal--due to good recipes. Then, I go to a "good" Chinese restaurant, and boy, is the food mostly horrible compared to the simple things I make at home. I don't get that any more than I get why huge FF places can't turn out edible, if low quality, food.

Classic Burgers Outside Minneapolis at Lions Tap

Gotta go with the other comments. I don't mind innovation once you get the basics right; if fried eggs and avocados make your burger better, have at it. Personally, I only like the basics...I would get the CA without the tomato...and be very happy. Fries, too. I am not as picky as some as long as they are hot and crisp. I have had the fun of seeing them made at the plant, so I know what I am getting.

Cheers!

Video: Watch Amanda Seyfried's Dog Balance a Burger on 'Late Night'

There was a dog and a hamburger on, too?

We Try Shake Shack's New Fresh-Cut Fries

Lots of comments on the new fries. I will have to return to the crazy-looking Shake Shack building here in Boca, which is fairly new. I went opening week and the line was very long at a weird time...around 3 pm, I believe. As a burger lover like other posters, I go for the beef. I don't even get cheese, and after viewing the product being given to customers, I ordered a double to ensure that I got a good beef portion. I get lettuce and raw onion since that is what I like, and I added a bit of yellow mustard after a few bites since mine was a bit dry, but that is OK for my personal tastes. I like the combo of raw onion and yellow mustard with a burger. The fries were good...yes, frozen, but fried properly and there were a ton of them. It is NOT fair to judge a place on opening week and definitely not on one visit, so I will go back again and then again when they switch to fresh fries. So far, well, it was OK, but nothing special, and it was pretty expensive. We have a local place...who doesn't?...called Charm City that is the best around here and a tiny bit less expensive. They serve fresh fries, but during rush hour they are not as good as when they are less busy. Clearly this will be a challenge for SS as they ramp up this product. However, with training and so forth they should be fine. For comparison, I have tried 5 Guys several times and simply don't get it. Hot, fresh, nice, tasteless burgers and way too many fries for a single order. I tried our local Smashburger and it was OK, but I need to get back for a double and regular fries. Their rosemary ones are overpowering that they numbed my taste buds for the burger, which was thin compared to the bun, thus I will do as I did with SS and get a double to see how that tastes. My guess is that SS will come out on top for beef taste. What a tough set of assignments I have given myself, huh? I feel so sorry for JKL-A and team...

Poll: What's the Most You'll Pay for a Burger and Fries?

IF the Minetta Tavern black label burger and the Peter Luger lunch burger are as good as everyone says, I would gladly pay whatever the price was to eat one of each. Whether I would go back OFTEN is another question; however, if they live up to their reviews, I would gladly pay the going rate whenever I wanted one. Special foods are typically priced above average...that is why they are special. Obviously you are eating at a restaurant, so the prices cover all the costs of running a restaurant as well as the food cost in these two burgers.

On the other hand, paying $20 for a Big Mac would be silly, but then it is not a "special" burger to me, but it may be for someone else. Since I don't care for expensive toppings like Foie Gras, etc., I would not pay extra for them, but if I did, I would probably try the dish if I could afford to pay for it. Also, as everyone knows, overhead varies by location, so an "expensive" burger in NYC might be less "expensive" in a city or town that did not have the high overhead that a NYC establishment has.

Reality Check: We Try Wendy's New Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger

@alrui, Thanks very much for your comments...I haven't eaten there in so long, and I remember actually liking their double cheese and their crispy chicken sandwiches in the '70s when I was younger and hungrier(!) that I thought I would be OK with it. I also remember watching them cook the burgers on the grill when we used to go inside back then, but I remember that at McDonald's, too, in the old days when the burgers were 15 cents and fries were 11 or 12 cents, I think. I guess mass production has decreed that these companies can no longer actually serve real food. It kind of reminds me of the JD Robb books that take place in the near future where most people eat soy dogs and marvel over being wealthy enough to eat "real beef." If I were to be a consultant to one of these companies (and who needs me, right?) I would suggest concentrating on their core products and improving them. I guess profits trump taste every time. I will stick with our local wonderful place, Charm City, I guess. I tried Smashburger--not bad, but the rosemary fries have too much of a good thing...rosemary...and our new Shake Shack served me lots of fries like they do at Five Guys, but like them, the beef was rather tasteless. I cook Chinese food at home that tastes really good and I always wonder how a restaurant can mess up such simple dishes. I guess burgers are similar as they are not as easy to make in the restaurant setting as they should be. I know, everything tastes better at home, usually, but if your main product is a hamburger, why can't you actually make a good one? This site is great for finding great restaurant burgers, but unfortunately I don't get to NYC to try most of them. I will when I can, though; look out, Peter Luger!

Reality Check: We Try Wendy's New Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger

I was hungry for a quick burger last Sunday and was in a hurry. I have not eaten at Wendy's in a while and it was convenient to my travel direction, so I ordered a single cheese with mustard, onions, pickles. After three bites I realized that I was actually tasting the beef and that it had a very "off" taste. Since I have not eaten there in a while, I was trying to decide if I got a "bad" burger or if their beef simply tasted funny. Anyone's thoughts?

AHT Giveaway: Case of Pat LaFrieda Burgers

Eating freshly grilled hamburgers at the pool at the Williamsburg Inn while my mom and dad played golf. Great day for a 7-year old. They would roll out a huge stainless cart around 11:30 am and the pool patrons would line up for either a burger or a dog. Sometimes I would get to eat two burgers on days when I was there for a long time. Great memories!

Las Vegas, NV: Don't Bet on the $60 Rossini Burger at Burger Bar

Personally, I don't care for sugar in whipped cream since I love the taste of plain heavy whipping cream, whipped or not! But, I do understand why many people put a dash or two of powdered sugar in it during whipping. Since it is usually served with a very sweet dessert, to me keeping it plain helps combat the sweetness of the dish. As for the burger, that's too bad. Professional chefs of high repute like this should manage their places so that the food is first rate. Who knows, maybe people are more impressed by the price than the flavors? This IS Vegas, after all, right?

AHT Giveaway: Case of Pat LaFrieda Burgers

Slathering on too much mayo without asking if the customer wants it to begin with.

AHT Giveaway: Case of Pat LaFrieda Burgers

In 1955 when I was 8, my dad took me by train on his monthly buying trip from our home in Ohio to his home town, New York City. I sat quietly in the various offices and showrooms we visited all morning while he met with his old NYC school friends who ran various manufacturing places back then and bought ladies clothing for his department stores. I was quiet because he promised me a great lunch if I behaved. Around 12:30 PM we walked out onto the street and down a block, and in front of us was what was probably the first food truck in existence. It was called the Burger Train and I think it was done up to look something like a modern streamlined engine of the day. On tiptoes I ordered my hamburger, fries, and coke while I and peered over the stainless side to see the cook dip a large ice cream scoop into a huge tub of ground beef, put this giant ball of meat on the grill, and then smash is down to about 1.5 inches thick as it cooked. He handed it to me in a paper tray with paper wrapping around half of it along with fries and my soda. My dad and I then walked over to the nearest store front and I took a bite of the best burger I have ever eaten.

Since I had spent the two previous summers eating only hamburgers going South and fried chicken coming back North during our 3-day each way drives from northern Ohio to Miami Beach, Florida, for our summer vacation, I knew my burgers pretty well at that age, and I will never forget the huge, fresh, amazingly tasty, medium rare Burger Train hamburger I had that day. For years afterword until he passed away we used to laugh and talk about that burger, which he agreed was the best one ever.

Cheers!

Rich

Shake Shack Coming to Las Vegas Next Year

Shake Shack opened in Boca yesterday and I went for lunch today. I ordered fries, a small iced tea, and a double hamburger with onions and lettuce. The total was $11 and change. The place is spotless, of course, and very modern looking. I will try to send up a pic of the building; it is kind of wild looking. There was a long line at 2:00pm when I arrived and the parking lot was a typical Boca zoo: DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? I AM VERY RICH AND I HAVE A GIGANTIC NEW CAR SO GET OUT OF MY WAY. The line was just as long when I left around 2:40 after a nice lunch. There are lots of tables outside--as many as there are inside. The food was fine. I will stick with Charm City, however, as the burgers and fries are better and cost a bit less--around $10 with tip for the same order EXCEPT a single patty, which is big enough. Anyway, glad to see them here and since they are across the street from the University, they will do fine. Oh, the attractive coeds were in abundance, but that is a sexist remark, so I deny typing it.

Cheers!

Brooklyn: Peter Luger's Lunchtime Burger is a Study in Simplicity

Finally, someone I totally agree with regarding the proliferation of "designer" burgers. Now, I have no problem with chefs creating the many versions of hamburgers that they have created. Food creativity is a wonderful thing, and if I ate burgers every day I might be interested in variations on the theme. However, a hamburger is, to me, a ritualistic experience that I savor. A hamburger is the beef and the bun. The onion slice is very important TO ME. Cheese, not so much, but I understand the desire for almost any variety of it for some people. To me, it simply adds more salt, which a burger like this does not need. I cannot wait to get to NYC and eat one of these and one from Minetta Tavern, as well, although the grilled onions on that one are somewhat off-putting. However, they seem to know what they are doing, so if I don't care for them I can always remove them after a few bites if I wish. Do I ever use lettuce and tomato? Sometimes. Mustard? Sometimes. Ketchup, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER. Being a purist doesn't always work, however, when the meat is substandard or the bun is bad, but mostly I like the simple taste of the rich beef, the onion slice, and a good bun. Thanks, Noah, for the review, and Kenji for the pics. They are truly mouth-watering.

Cheers!

Rich

Reality Check: New Jim Beam Bourbon Thickburger from Hardee's and Carl's Jr.

No Hardee's, Carl's Jr. near me, so I won't be trying this one, but Heidi sure looks good! Cute to see them goof on The Graduate, which the target audience has never seen or heard of, of course. I mean, the film was made more than 5 minutes ago, so why would they care at all about it? As for Heidi, well, no matter how old you are she looks good!

Chain Reaction: Houston's

I love Houston's but haven't been in 15 years. The line at our local one is out the door all day, every day. They must be doing something right, but I don't wait an hour in line for this kind of food, so I don't go anymore. The same is true with our local Cheesecake Factory. You can't get near the place from about 30 minutes before opening to closing 7 days a week. Both places have very big parking lots, but you take your life in your hand trying to get into or out of them, so I just stay away. Too bad; I miss the homemade soups, traditional (house) salad, fries, and good service at Houston's. Burgers? Well, they were OK 15 years ago--huge as I remember--but who knows now? Cheesecake Factory--I have only been twice many years ago so I really can't comment.