clinton station diner – cheeseburger

clintonstationdinercheeseburger
Clinton, New Jersey is not only home to the first bridge I’ve ever inspected in my career, but home to the Clinton Station Diner, a diner seen off of I-78 that is known for their 50 lb. burger, the Mt. Olympus.

After a meeting in the Lehigh Valley last week, I was headed back into the office where I remembered that the diner was on my way home. Having used to work in the area and had gone to college off of I-78 in Pennsylvania, I was a little bit embarrassed that I’ve never been to this diner. With that in mind, I stopped in for lunch.

Like any other diner, their menu consisted of several pages of items. Clinton Station, however, had a whole page of just burgers! They had a list of regular burgers, specialty burgers, and their “Burgers of the Gods,” which consists of their larger ones (1 lb, 2 lb, 3 lb, etc.). The even have one called the 8th Wonder which weighs in at 105 lbs. total! That’s just unnecessary. Considering I wasn’t the most hungry and I still had a lot of work to do, I went for a cheeseburger deluxe. Deluxe meaning I added lettuce, tomato, cole slaw, and house-cut fries on the side for an additional $2.

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The cheeseburger was made up of an 8 oz. beef patty, two slices of American cheese (one below and one above the meat, lettuce, and tomato. It was sandwiched between a large in house baked bun. I requested it medium-rare and it came out about medium. However, it was dripping with juices and had a delicious char taste from the grill it was cooked on. With all the toppings and size of the bun, every bite was pretty tough as the burger was quite large. It was surprisingly not messy to eat and the house-made bun held up well. The burger to bun ratio was perfect, too.

The house-cut fries could have been really good but they lacked seasoning. They were on the thick side, like steak fries and had a nice crispy exterior. Unfortunately, salt never touched these at all after they left the fryer.

My closing thoughts is that this burger definitely exceeded my expectations for a diner burger. It tasted good and didn’t break the bank. There was also a whole lot of food on the plate, as I didn’t finish my fries or slaw. Unfortunately, the fries were lacking seasoning and I wasn’t even tempted to finish them. I can’t imagine the larger burgers being more than just a novel idea, but if there were a lot of people who wanted to try to do it, maybe I’ll be down?

Clinton Station Diner
2 Bank St.
Clinton, NJ 08809
908.713.0012

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burger bros. – cheeseburger

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A few weekends ago, I ended up in Towson, Maryland with my family for my brother’s track meet. Needing pre-meet lunch, we found this place nearby that had burgers! Burger Bros. is a small burger joint not far from the craziness that is the Towson Town Center. Their menu is pretty simple, offering burgers made from either beef, turkey, or portabella mushrooms, chicken sandwiches, Vienna hot dogs, and a few other things.

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I ordered a cheeseburger. Their cheeseburger is made up of a 6 oz. patty of Angus beef, topped with your choice of cheese (I went with American). Similar to a Five Guys, they have a huge list of toppings you can choose from. I simply added lettuce, tomato, and a little bit of diced onion. They grill their burgers over a charcoal grill and you can taste that great chargrilled flavor on the meat. They don’t ask you how you want your burger cooked, but it was cooked well but not dry at all. The fresh bun was toasted and held together to the meat and other ingredients. We also ordered a bucket of fries to share. These were housecut and absolutely delicious. Definitely bookmarking Burger Bros. for the next time I’m in the Towson area.

burgerbros

Burger Bros.
14 Allegheny Ave.
Towson, MD 21204
410.321.1880

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lloyd – lloyd burger

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Not even 6 months old and just down the street is Lloyd, a whiskey bar along Girard Avenue in Fishtown. I’ve only been once or twice for drinks, but have been meaning to come in ever since I found out they have a burger. Having said that, even though they’re known as Lloyd Whiskey Bar, they have a couple taps, a cocktail list, and a moderately sized menu.

The Lloyd Burger is made up of a custom beef blend from nearby Kissin Fresh Meats topped with Muenster cheese, pickled red onion, lettuce, tomato, and bread & butter pickles. All of that is placed between a toasted Metropolitan Bakery brioche bun. You have the option of accompanying fries or greens and the addition of bacon for an extra buck.

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It was cooked perfectly to medium-rare. The pickled red onion added a pleasant tangy and sweet taste. The toasted brioche was fresh and held up to the juicy, flavorful burger. The burger was fairly simple, with the pickled red onion being the “fanciest” ingredient, however, it was done well. The only non-positive thing I can say is that the burger is just a bit small for the bun. There were one, maybe two small bites of bun without burger at the end. Really, it was so small that it’s not something to pick at. I enjoyed it quite a bit. The generous portion of accompanying fries were also seasoned well and tasted great.

My friend and I also tried the bacon chicken liver mousse appetizer which also tasted great. Will definitely be coming back to eat here.

Lloyd
529 E Girard Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19125
215.425.4600

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opa – bifteki burger

opabiftekiburger
Opa’s Bifteki Burger has been on my list for at least a year. Working so close to Opa and having forgotten a lunch on numerous occasions, there is really no reason why I didn’t get a chance to try it until last week.

The Bifteki Burger is Opa’s Greek spin on a burger. Bifteki, if you’re not familiar with Greek cuisine, is like Greek meatballs/burgers. I say meatballs/burgers because breadcrumbs are added to the mix, thus giving it more of a meatball texture and instead of being cooked in the oven like meatballs, these are often cooked on grills. Bifteki is also served on its own, without a bun.

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At Opa, the Bifteki Burger is made up of a Green Meadow Farm beef & feta crumble mixture which is topped with a cucumber, tomato & dill relish. It’s sandwiched between a LeBus brioche bun and served with a generous portion of house cut oregano fries and a side of ketchup.

The burger was cooked medium and wasn’t dripping with juices. It was, however, very flavorful and tasty. The small pieces of feta added an almost creamy texture with some tangy flavors. The accompanying fries were also tasty. Not a traditional burger at all but this Greek version of one is done well! Also, the burger comes at a $10 price tag which I found to be very fair. How many good burgers have you had that have been $10 or below? More than a handful of burgers I’ve had in the past couple have been over $10, and not all of them were worth breaking the $10 mark.

Opa
1311 Sansom St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
215.545.0170

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drake tavern – bacon, ranch & cheddar burger

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Last weekend was another brunch day in the burbs. Being close to Jenkintown, I tried one of Drake Tavern’s seven burgers.

The Black Angus burger comes topped with (obviously) bacon, ranch, and cheddar. In addition to those, it sits on top of lettuce and a bed of fried onion strings. It’s sandwiched between a LeBus bun and served with pickle chips and Brew City fries. I later learned that Brew City fries was the name given to their beer battered fries as they have regular fries, too.

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The burger was cooked right to medium-rare. It wasn’t particularly dry, but it wasn’t super juicy either. It was, however, pretty large and a good size for the fresh baked, flaky LeBus bun. The burger was alright and filled a craving but could have been better. My favorite part was the fried onion strings. Those things were good! I would have preferred a juicier burger, meltier cheese, and a smidge more ranch (the burger needed more moisture of some sort). The fries needed a little bit more, too.

They have a couple other burgers on the menu that sounded good. Perhaps I’ll try one of those next time!

Drake Tavern
304 Old York Rd.
Jenkintown, PA 19046
215.884.8900

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