triumph brewing company: princeton – triumph burger

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Truth. I’ve never been to Triumph Brewing Company in Old City, Philadelphia. I love beer and I honestly have no answer why I’ve never gone. My new job has put me up in Princeton, where Triumph’s original brewpub is located. Last week, I finally made it out for some brews and dinner.

Their burger, named the Triumph Burger, sounded good. It’s made up of a Pineland Farms grass-fed beef patty topped with romaine lettuce, tomato, and red onion. I paid $0.75 for the addition of cheddar.

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It was cooked medium rare and was the perfect size for the fresh bun, which held together through consumption. There were no bites without a good balance of burger and bread. The burger wasn’t super juicy, but it had a great charcoal grilled taste. Accompanying the burger are fries (not house-cut), pickles, a side of ketchup, and a side of a special sauce/aioli. My friend ordered the pastrami sandwich and his didn’t come with the aioli, so I assumed it may be used to accompany the burger. I put some on the burger and definitely took the flavor up a notch.

Triumph Princeton has a pretty relaxed atmosphere in downtown Princeton. The burger was good as well as the beers. I’ll definitely be returning here after work sometime.

Triumph Brewing Company: Princeton
138 Nassau St.
Princeton, NJ 08542
609.924.7855

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the penrose – penrose burger

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While in NYC a few weekends ago, I went to catch up with some friends in the Upper East Side. They suggested to grab food & drinks at this place around the corner and they specifically said they had an awesome burger. I, of course, was more than alright with this plan.

The Penrose’s burger is simply named, the Penrose Burger. It is made up of a specially made Pat LaFrieda blend, topped with lettuce, tomato, onions, and McClure’s Pickles before getting sandwiched between a toasted, fresh country white bun. A few additional add-on’s are available for $1 each (gruyere, Irish cheddar, muenster, American, applewood bacon, caramelized onions). I added the Irish cheddar.

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The first thing I want to point out is that I ordered it medium-rare and it was perfectly done. The meat was juicy and seasoned just right, I probably didn’t even need the addition of cheese. The Irish cheddar, however, was tasty, too. The burger was quite simple, and the quality really shined, as it didn’t need the addition of any crazy ingredients or sauces (not saying that burgers with additions are subpar by any means). The bun, despite the bottom half being saturated with the burger juices, managed to hold together and was the perfect size for the burger.

I’m pretty confident to say this was the best burger I’ve had so far this year. It was a little noisy of an atmosphere to catch up with friends you haven’t seen in over a year but for this burger, I may have to bite the bullet to have it again!

The Penrose
1590 2nd Ave.
New York, NY 10028
212.203.2751

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basically burgers – basically brunch burger

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Not too long ago work brought me out to the Doylestown area. I’m rarely in Doylestown and know nothing about where to eat when I’m up there. A quick search on my phone showed that there was a burger joint in town.

Basically Burgers is located right on Main Street and their menu offers several different combinations under their “Basically House Burgers” section. You can also make your own custom burger, order a hot dog, or other grill items. The burger that drew my attention was the Basically Brunch Burger.

The Basically Brunch Burger is made up of an Illg’s Meats grass fed beef patty which is topped with American cheese, cheddar, bacon, a fried egg, and a hash brown. It’s served between two halves of a fresh baked challah bun from Warrington Pastry Shop.

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With all the toppings on this burger, it was pretty big. Surprisingly it wasn’t as messy of a meal as I thought it was going to be. It was cooked medium-rare and was very juicy. However, I felt that the meat could have used a little more seasoning. The combination of cheddar and American was tasty. They melted well to assure each bite had cheesy goodness. The hash brown also added an awesome, crunchy texture to each bite. I would have preferred the strip of bacon to be a bit crispier so it could have broken up with my bites instead of fighting through it.

Unfortunately, the meat and bacon were the downsides for me. However, it could be different next time, as it’s an execution issue, not product or quality. I definitely want to come back to give em another shot.

Basically Burgers
33 N Main St.
Doylestown, PA 18901
215.345.8502

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johnny brenda’s – cheeseburger

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I have to admit. I have never eaten at Johnny Brenda’s. I’ve been here several times, whether it’s to see a show upstairs, grab a drink downstairs, or enjoy a brew while sitting along Girard Ave. but not one of my visits included food. There is no reason except for “I don’t know.” This was not due to a lack of interest, though.

Lots of people have told me good things about the food here, more particularly, their burger. Another friend, who’s burger opinions I take seriously, told me that the burger here was one of her favorites. Not too long ago, the stars aligned and I happened to be hungry when I was enjoying a beer at the bar.

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The burger at JB’s is made up of beef (the source could not be found by the staff at the time) which sits on top of lettuce and pickles. It’s then topped with melted cheddar and chopped caramelized onions. I also got a taste of a secret sauce of some sort. The burger is sandwiched between a regular bun. I ordered the burger medium-rare and it came out perfectly medium-rare. There was no lack of juiciness, as I savored each bite. The flavors all came together and made for one tasty burger. The accompanying well-seasoned, tasty hand-cut fries complimented an already great burger.

Only not so great parts? The bun fell apart slightly during consumption (but I can get over that). The portion of fries seemed a bit small. I actually was wanting more once the burger was done. Not that I’m truly complaining…having a large weekly portion of fried potatoes isn’t exactly the greatest habit…

I’m glad I finally tried it. I’m even more glad that I know how good of a burger it is now.

Johnny Brenda’s
1201 Frankford Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19125
215.739.9684

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clinton station diner – cheeseburger

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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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