Friday, December 31, 2010

Burger Resolutions!!!

I hate new years resolutions - but it sure wouldn't be a bad thing if this blog had some more posting it!

And sure wouldn't be bad to eat more burgers in 2011!!

So watch out for more burger posting soon. And go see the BURGER BOYS at Now That's Class tonight.

Don't listen to that crazy colonel!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Little Burger, Little Blog

I've been slacking off on my burger blogging and my burger eating lately! I still have to document my pre-Father's Day trip to Whitey's Booze and Burgers - it's somewhat painful to write about. So that will wait for another day. So here's a little something to tide you over until then.

But last week, I found myself at Steak&Shake - just a quick lunch break. I've eaten at S&S a ton of times - and I imagine most people in the NE Ohio area have as well. So wasn't really planning to document the trip - but they have something new that must be shared with you all.

Yep - that's right - they now have Sliders! Well, actually S&S call them shooters. And they come in seven different varieties - Buffalo, BBQ, Ketchup&Onion, Frisco, Kitchen&Mustard, A1 and Chipolte.

Unfortunately on this visit, I didn't notice the sliders until I had already placed my order (for the same thing I always get - the Frisco burger!). So I caught the waiter quick, and told him to throw a Chipolte Slider on to my order.

Funnily enough, it arrived before the rest of my meal on its own plate - a burger appetizer for the main burger! I was famished, and wolfed it down in just a couple bites. So I went back the very next day to do some further investigating. I ordered five sliders - as seen above! I should've just gone for all seven, one of each - but I settled on two chipolte, two buffalo and a frisco.

I wasn't quite as impressed this second time - maybe due to the lack of surprise, and lack of extreme hunger. They were good, don't get me wrong, but didn't blow me away. I couldn't even tell which slider was which - the main flavor from all of them was bread (lot more bread in these sliders than meat or sauce). But they were still good, and under a buck a piece - so can't go wrong with that!

Yep, overall these burgers get a thumbs up from me. But unlike the true king of tiny-sized burger treats - they're not gonna get any songs written about them!

I just realized - I accidentally called these burgers "Sliders" the entire post instead of their real name - Shooters. But I'm not going back and changing that! Let's face it - they're Sliders.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Post-Memorial Weekend Burger fun at the Beer Engine!

Ah....Memorial Day Weekend - a perfect time to enjoy some time outside, and some great BBQs! Unfortunately, I had to work all holiday weekend. No Pulled Pork, no ribs, no corn on the cob...and worst of all - NO BURGERS!

Obviously, I had to compensate for this at the earliest available opportunity. Which proved to be Tuesday afternoon - which coincidentally happened to be the first of the month. And the first of the month means a new burger of the month over at the Beer Engine! Maybe that's what Clevo rappers BONE were referring to in their song "First of the Month"?

We're gonna need five burgers - FAST!

I didn't know what the special was yet since I headed over there pretty early. But figured if it didn't sound appealing I could always fall back on their Westside Burger. Turns out June's special is the DELI BURGER. Like all their burgers, it features their half-pound beef patty - and this one is topped with pastrami, cole slaw, Russian dressing, and Swiss cheese. A real international affair!

I don't eat pastrami especially often - I'll usually choose corned beef for my deli sandwich fix - but it's certainly a tasty meat, so I decided to take the plunge on this special burger. My stomach was growling! Maybe a bit of burger withdrawal. So I decided to go all-out and take advantage of their "Double It Up" special - where you get an extra burger patty for $3. That's one whole pound of beef with some pastrami on top!

Unfortunately - my phone has a pretty lousy camera - and it was hard to use with the sun glaring at me - so these pictures aren't the best. But it's surprising I even remembered to snap a couple pictures at all with a starving stomach and a beast-sized burger in front of me!

So how was this mammoth burger you're asking. Pretty damn good! It's tough to really critique the special toppings of the month - cuz with the extra burger patty, the beef flavor definitely took over! The toppings gave the burger sort of a reuben-esque flavor at times. Definitely refreshing on a hot summer day. An interesting decision to go with pastrami/Russian dressing instead of the more typical corned beef/thousand island found on a standard reuben. It was tasty and I wouldn't mind trying a sandwich with just these deli toppings sometime.

A scandalous look BEHIND THE BUN

The bottom bun had a tough time holding up to all the meat and dressing - it was pretty much eaten and/or disintegrated by the time I was halfway done with the burger. I'd guess this had a lot to do with the extra patty, which was definitely overkill. But I like overkill!

I've never had bad beef at the Beer Engine - so I'd give all their burgers a recommendation if the toppings sound appealing to you. There's a ton to choose from. All their burgers come your choice of homemade chips or fries (Extra 50 cents for fries) and a deep-fried pickle. Their fries have a great rosemary flavor - but I'm personally not a big fan of shoestring fries which is what they serve. Fries are the ultimate burger side, so I still get them every time. This time I dipped them in some of the Russian dressing that was dripping out of the burger. I'm also not a fan of pickles, but am a fan of deep-frying - so I ate that too!

Total cost of meal - $10.50 (Deli Burger W/ Extra Patty & fries & pickle). Beer Engine is located at 15315 Madison Ave in Lakewood, OH.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Welcome to the Russ Romance Burger Blog!

Welcome to my new Burger Blog! Some of you might be wondering why would I dedicate an entire blog to burgers. Isn't the fact that they're delicious enough? Beyond that - they're just such a versatile and varied food staple. You can pick up a 50 cent slider at 3am from White Castle or a $41 Kobe Beef burger in NYC. You can grill some up in your backyard...or order one from the finest gourmet steakhouses. Pizza might be the only other food with so many possibilities. But pizza originated in Italy, whereas burgers are an all-American food. Or so I thought! A quick Wikipedia search informed me that Genghis Khan may have helped originate the mighty hamburger.

A food fit for an emperor!

But enough about burger history!! What can you expect to find in this blog? (besides lot of burgers!). I'm gonna be making a blog entry for every burger place I sample. That should provide not only good readin' for all you people - but add some variety to my burger pursuit! Your brain and my belly will both be happy. And speaking of variety, there's also the possibility of some guest contributors - and some burger pilgrimages in the works.

Unfortunately, this past weekend, I didn't eat any burgers - so here's some thoughts on some of my favorite burgers in the Cleveland area. Expect more commentary on these places once I go back to revisit!

Buckeye Beer Engine has been my standard stop lately for a quality burger. I'd gush about the beer selection for a while, but this is a burger blog, not a beer blog! All the Beer Engine's burgers feature half-pound patties cooked to order (this burger blogger recommends medium rare - you wanna taste that delicious meat!). They feature a wide variety of burgers, with different toppings on each - my pick is their Westside Burger - topped with a cheddar cheese pierogi, caramelized onions, cheddar cheese and sour cream. They also feature a "burger of the month" - which are usually delicious! A relative new feature is their "Wildly Improbable Burger of the Month" - which are ridiculously over-the-top burger creations. Such as taking one of their burgers, and serving it between TWO of their other sandwiches. You can bet your ass you'll be reading more about their monthly burger specials soon - and maybe even about the wildly improbable specials!

Tremont TapHouse also serves up burgers in a similar environment. The selection of burgers isn't nearly as varied as the Beer Engine though. They're a couple dollars more expensive as well. But they sure are tasty. Easily the equal of the Beer Engine's burgers, maybe even better! I've only eaten here a couple times, so a re-evaluation is needed soon!

My first introduction to "gourmet" burgers might have been at Heck's Cafe in Ohio City. This is a somewhat high class restaurant, with some pricy entrees. But their burgers are very reasonably priced considering their quality. It's been around five years since I last ate here, so definitely need to try their burgers again. Last time I was here, I was accompanied by noted artist Greg Bailey. Unfortunately, he didn't order a burger. I sure as hell did though!

A favorite burger destination from my youth was Whitey's in Richfield, OH. A family trip here was always a treat! When you walked in, you were in a bar area, which was also packed with now-vintage 1980s video games. I'm guessing the games are long-gone now - but reports say the burgers are still here and still delicious. I remember them having a "Pizza Burger" that I always ordered as a kid - but I don't see it listed on their online menu now. Next time I think I'm gonna try "The Kiev". Their menu describes it as a burger on Texas toast, smothered with Whitey's chili (Whitey's is also well-known for its chili) and topped with chopped onion, shredded Monterey cheese and sour cream. If that doesn't get your mouth watering, you might be reading the wrong blog!

I was gonna write about some burgers I've had recently that DIDN'T satisfy - but this introduction is already getting a bit long - and who wants an introductory post about burgers to end on a negative note? That can be saved for a scathing BURGER RANT in the future.

Until next time, I hope everyone enjoys some burgers - and any recommendations of fine burgers that I need to check out are welcome!

The first burger restaurant chain, founded in 1921.