The Results Pt. 1 (1-26)

If you haven’t yet read the genesis of this project, you really should. Here’s the best part: I hadn’t eaten beef for about ten years before I ate the first burger here.

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1. Plan B Burger Bar
I Wonder How I’ll Feel the Morning After

138 Park Road

The Setting

Date: 10/27/11
This was the: 1st Burger I ate for this lunacy
Website as of 10/27/11: Handsome, but FLASH and with an auto-loading music player. Minus points for that.
Locations as of 10/27/11: Here, Milford, Glastonbury, Simsbury
Exterior: Drab and secretive, but they don’t care
Interior: Cramped, vibrant, always busy
Overall vibe: Great place, Awesome beer selection, fun neighborhood feel

The Dead Cow

Burger: Tavern Classic (Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, Special Sauce, “some pink”)
Price: $9.99
Size: Very big burger, very big platter overall
Fries/Side: Boring shoestring fries, a la McD’s – but actually very good
Extras: 1 kosher pickle plus 4 ketchup packets for the trash
Roll: A nice sourdough bulkie roll
Beef claim: “100% Certified Natural, certified humane, fresh – never frozen, wet-aged whole chucks, hand ground on premises daily.”
Beef as I see it: Patty fell apart in chunks, but I think that’s the point. It tasted good, like beef. A bit pinker than I like to see, but not bloody.
Overall Burger: Pretty good. Nice texture, good char, good flavor. Their “Special sauce,” though, is freaking thousand island. And their basic “Tavern Burger” does not come with cheese, which is lame.
Post Burger feeling: I feel sick, but in a sated way

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2. McDonalds
McHorrible

Albany Avenue, Bishop’s Corner


The Setting

Date: 11/3/2011
This was the: 2nd Burger I ate for this lunacy
Website as of 12/2/11: Actually, very impressive. What every billion dollar company website should look like.
Locations as of 12/2/11: Ubiquitous
Exterior: This McD’s purposely blends in to the drab strip mall on a drab day
Interior: Recently remodeled; has a playscape thing, I hate the bathroom
Overall vibe: Depressing yet full of children. Crushing despair. Typical McDonalds

The Dead Cow

Burger: Cheeseburger
Price: $1.29 or something like that
Size: Minuscule. I could eat this thing in 2 or 3 bites if I wanted to (but cheap!)
Fries/Side: Classic: Salty, fatty and good
Extras: I like to grab a wad of napkins for the car
Roll: Awful and full of high-fructose corn syrup, which boggles my mind
Beef claim: “100% pure USDA inspected beef; no fillers, no extenders. Prepared with grill seasoning (salt, black pepper).” Nice to know that it’s beef and that it’s inspected.
Beef as I see it: Micro-thin, tasteless and gray… Gray!
Overall Burger: I used to eat this crap when I was a kid. I hate ketchup which comes with it and the sweet bread, the weird orange plastic cheese. Just awful.
Post Burger feeling: Guilt, shame, hopelessness

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3. Effie’s Place
Effie This Place

91 Park Road

The Setting

Date: 11/10/11
This was the: 3rd Burger I ate for this lunacy
Website as of 10/27/11: Utilitarian and functional but some bad coding on the sub-pages.
Location: Just this one
Exterior: Like an insurance agent’s office
Interior: Simple and expected
Overall vibe: This is the place my Granny and Granddad would have enjoyed. This is not a bad thing.

The Dead Cow

Burger: 8oz Angus Burger Deluxe topped with lettuce, tomato, and cheese served with french fries and coleslaw (no temp and a step up from the 5oz cheeseburger)
Price: $7.95
Size: Very big burger, very big platter overall
Fries/Side: Thick cut fries
Extras: 1 kosher pickle plus 3 ketchup packets for the trash
Roll: A nice hamburger roll
Beef claim: “Angus” whatever that means these days
Beef as I see it: I really liked it. Not overdone at all and not too thick. Good flavor and juiciness.
Overall Burger: Pretty good. I think it was fried, but it was like a burger from back in the day. Which again, you’d expect at Effie’s.
Post Burger feeling: I was very satisfied.

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4. BGR – The Burger Joint
BFD

983 Farmington Ave in the Center

The Setting

Date: 11/17/2011
This was the: 4th Burger I ate for this lunacy
Website as of 12/2/11: Not terrible.
Locations as of 12/2/11: A few on the East coast; only one in CT for now
Exterior: West Hartford Center storefront; nothing special
Interior: Brand new, but with worn yet clean feel. Classic rock album covers dot the wall, including a few impressive ones.
Overall vibe: Sort of weird; like they want to be fast-foodish but serve top notch fast food that people don’t think of as fast food even though there are no waitresses or anything here.

The Dead Cow

Burger: “The Burger” with cheese.
Price: Part of some $8 lunch special with soda and boatload of fries
Size: Burger was a good size, enough fries to serve a school though
Fries/Side: Thick cut and a bit mealy, as these type always are
Extras: They have spicy brown at the restaurant! Yay!
Roll: Becomes greasy and wet in the packaging. Wet bread is the worst.
Beef claim: “Our exclusive, award winning blend of prime, dry-aged, all natural, hormone free, grain-fed beef. All of our burgers are served on a fresh, buttery-toasted brioche bun. The buns are baked exclusively for us and delivered fresh every day. Please be patient as each item on our menu is cooked to order. No shortcuts, no pre-cooking, no heat lamps.”
Beef as I see it: Very good, but not “crazy good.”
Overall Burger: The greasiness of the bun and overall sloppiness of the burger makes you eat it fast and like a pig; which somehow works here. I can’t figure it out.
Post Burger feeling: I had to wash my hands and face. Twice.

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5. Pond House Cafe
Muffin Tops

Off of Asylum Avenue in Elizabeth Park

The Setting

Date: 12/1/2011
This was the: 5th Burger I ate for this lunacy
Website as of 12/2/11: Strangely understated. But please, look at the INSANE menu and the crack-headed pricing.
Locations as of 12/2/11: Just this one
Exterior: looks like a pond house; fits in beautifully in Elizabeth Park
Interior: Very nice; not too uppity at all
Overall vibe: Sort of like a yacht club in Greenwich somehow, but with a woodsy charm

The Dead Cow

Burger: “Pond House Burger – Grilled 8 oz. burger. english muffin. lettuce. roasted peppers. grilled onions. fries.” That’s right, it’s served on an English muffin. Also came with a very fresh cress and mango salad.
Price: Over $14 when I paid the bill.
Size: A good size for me; a few too many waffle fries though
Fries/Side: Waffle cut sweet potato fries. A little too salty, but very good
Extras: 1 ketchup in a little cup thing for the trash.
Roll: An English muffin. I just don’t get it. It got really soggy too.
Beef claim: None that I could find, but I’m sure it’s top notch stuff from happy cows or whatever.
Beef as I see it: the patty was perfectly formed for the muffin top. It was weird in that sense.
Overall Burger: It was very good. Not $14 good, but I plowed through it like a pig. Probably in an effort to not allow the muffin to get any soggier. Side salad was an unexpected, refreshing treat.
Post Burger feeling: Uppity and special.

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6. The Counter Burger
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Burgers

50 Memorial Road (Blue Back Square)

The Setting

Date: 12/8/2011
This was the: 6th Burger I ate for this lunacy
Website as of 1/3/2012: Terrible due to terrible auto-loaded music. Plus pdf menu.
Locations as of 12/2/11: Just this one in CT, but they’re all over elsewhere. Even Ireland.
Exterior: Prime corner location, retro-diner feel
Interior: Continues the retro-diner motif which works here
Overall vibe: Hurried and harried; the whole Build Your Own burger concept causes patrons to get nervous

The Dead Cow

Burger: The point here is to build your own. I went with the regular house cheeseburger with special sauce. Selections are nearly limitless though.
Price: I paid around 11 bucks with fries
Size: Varies; I went with the 1/3 lb burger. Fry portion was normal.
Fries/Side: Shoestring fries; crispy and pretty good.
Roll: Just your everyday hamburger roll
Beef claim: “Fresh 100% Natural Angus Beef Hormone and Antibiotic Free Humanely Raise and handled”
Beef as I see it: Nice texture, nice temperature, good flavor
Overall Burger: it was good, though whoever can eat all these red onions is not someone I want to know personally.
Post Burger feeling: Like I didn’t have to pay 11 bucks for that

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7. Max Burger
Zack, Kelly, AC Slater, Lisa, Screech and Me

124 LaSalle Road (The Center)

The Setting

Date: 12/15/2011
This was the: 7th Burger I ate for this lunacy
Website as of 1/3/2012: Not bad; another pdf menu though.
Locations as of 12/2/11: Just this one
Exterior: Stand-alone restaurant with warmly invited dark wood
Interior: Always has been a weird space, but Max handles it well.
Overall vibe: Always busy, bar area way too small but always a well-heeled crowd decided to do lunch or dinner on the “cheap.”

The Dead Cow

Burger: I had the 8 oz “Max Classic” which is just a cheeseburger.
Price: I paid around 13 bucks with fries
Size: Varies; I went with the 8 oz lb burger. Fry portion was normal.
Fries/Side: “Hand cut fries” were very good and potatoey. Also came with “house-made” pickles which were phenomenal and some condiments.
Roll: Just your everyday hamburger roll that they call an “artisan roll.”
Beef claim: “All-natural Niman Ranch Certified Angus beef… Humanely raised, environmentally-sustained animals, using no antibiotics, no pesticides, and no added hormones. All Niman Ranch beef is traceable from environmentally sustainable family ranches to plate.” Wow.
Beef as I see it: Very good, can taste the family ranch difference. (Not really.)
Overall Burger: I enjoyed it a lot and this one really felt like I was eating a burger in Montana or something.
Post Burger feeling: Guilt-free, because of the Niman Ranch creed.

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8. D’Angelo
D’isgusting

333 North Main Street (Bishop’s Corner)

The Setting

Date: 12/22/2011
This was the: 8th Burger I ate for this lunacy
Website as of 1/3/2012: Very functional; no issues.
Locations as of 12/2/11: All over the place all over New England; 3 in West Hartford alone
Exterior: Strip mall storefront chic
Interior:There are maybe 12 tables at which to sit and eat; it’s small but functional
Overall vibe: I’ve never gained confidence from whomever mans the register/ordering, but their number system works okay. Nice to see them cooking too.

The Dead Cow

Burger: The Cheeseburger Sub (Medium)
Price: Around 7 dollars
Size: You have a choice. Medium is hearty
Fries/Side: None. Though you can check the Saturated fat and cholesterol contents for this thing. Trust me, you don’t want to do that.
Roll: Just your everyday hamburger sub roll.
Beef claim: “Our 100% USDA top quality beefsteak burgers have no preservatives or additives.”
Beef as I see it: Middle school hamburger quality. Thin, wan, chewy, flavorless, totally gross.
Overall Burger: There was nothing good here. The lettuce was old, the tomatoes were totally flavorless, the beef was worse than McDonalds somehow. Awful.
Post Burger feeling: Anger that I just took a day or two off my life for this atrocity.

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9. Cora Cora
Huzzah Huzzah

162 Shield Street (Shield Street Plaza)

The Setting

Date: 1/5/2012
This was the: 9th “Burger” I ate for this lunacy
Website as of 1/5/2012: Facebook only
Locations as of 1/5/2012: Just this one
Exterior: Ex-McDonalds in the middle of an ugly parking lot in a very ugly mostly Asian store plaza
Interior: Re-tooled McDonald’s and had a pan-flute version of “Hotel California” playing
Overall vibe: Very Peruvian; it looked to me that everyone dining there was Peruvian.

The Dead Cow

Burger: Not a burger at all, but the Lomo Saltada with Anticuchos (sliced angus rib eye sauteed and browned in a pan (etc) served on top of french fries. Oh, and those are beef heart skewers.
Price: Around 13 dollars
Size: I think this was beyond plenty
Fries/Side: White rice. And the fries. and Jello(!) and the best spicy mustard sauce ever. And some beans. And a perfectly cooked potato.
Roll: n/a
Beef claim: n/a
Beef as I see it: Phenomenal. Very flavorful, nice char, delicious.
Overall Burger: This was the first thing I’ve eaten for this that I loved. I loved everything – too bad it’s not really a burger.
Post Burger feeling: Pan-flutey

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10. Joey’s Pizza Pie
CTMQ’s Burger

353 Park Road

The Setting

Date: 1/12/2012
This was the: 10th Burger I ate for this lunacy
Website as of 1/12/2012: Not bad
Locations as of 1/12/2012: Here (and Newington & Farmington as Joey’s Garlic)
Exterior: Perfectly suitable, but with almost no parking
Interior: A weird shape with a huge kitchen area, a long waiting area and a somewhat small eating area. Not their fault though.
Overall vibe: Nice. Located at an ugly intersection, once inside you sort of forget about it.

The Dead Cow

Burger: ½ pound medium rare burger with fries
Price: $8.99
Size: Large burger, large serving of fries
Fries/Side: Excellent, excellent fries. Just great. Also, they put my condiments (Lettuce/tomato) separately for my to-go order. Much appreciated.
Extras: pickles plus 4 ketchup packets for the trash
Roll: “House baked potato roll” but I’m not sure I got that. (Email from Joey’s notes mistake on take-out menu will be fixed.)
Beef claim: “Incredibly juicy half pound burgers, ground fresh every morning like we’ve done since 2002, before burgers became a craze.”
Beef as I see it: I could easily tell this was ground on premises, as a few hard pieces of fat made it through. Cooked perfectly though and high quality.
Overall Burger: This was the best I’ve had so far, easily. Lower price, big portions, high quality, FREE condiments, better taste.
Post Burger feeling: stuffed, but pleased to have paid less than any other “top” burger place around.

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11. Dino’s Pizzeria
No Brontosaurus Burgers

39 New Park Avenue

The Setting

Date: 1/19/2012
This was the: 11th Burger I ate for this lunacy
Website as of 1/12/2012: None
Locations as of 1/12/2012: Just this one
Exterior: It looks like a house
Interior: Small dining room, but had customers at 2PM on a Thursday
Overall vibe: The family working there was super duper nice and made me feel very welcome.

The Dead Cow

Burger: Cheeseburger platter
Price: $6-something
Size: A normal, human size
Fries/Side: Excellent, excellent fries. Crispy and seasoned well.
Extras: none
Roll: Just a normal burger roll
Beef claim: None
Beef as I see it: Better than average quality for a pizza joint.
Overall Burger: Strangely, despite its averageness, I like it. Very good for cheaper burger.
Post Burger feeling: Average.

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12. Mario’s Kitchen at Hannon-Hatch VFW Post 9929
Yes. I Have the Balls to Order from Here

South Street

The Setting

Date: 1/26/2012
This was the: 12th Burger I ate for this lunacy
Website as of 1/12/2012: Rather straight-forward to say the least.
Locations as of 1/12/2012: Just this one
Exterior: There is a cannon out front. A cannon.
Interior: Smoke-filled big bar with old dudes.
Overall vibe: I felt fine, despite being a yellow-bellied non-veteran.

The Dead Cow

Burger: Cheeseburger platter
Price: $6 even
Size: A normal, human size
Fries/Side: Tons of fries that were pretty. None of the menu-promised cole slaw though.
Extras: Tons of ketchup packets despite me saying “No ketchup.”
Roll: Just a normal burger roll
Beef claim: None
Beef as I see it: As expected from a VFW hall.
Overall Burger: It wasn’t bad at all.
Post Burger feeling: Heroic.

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13. McLadden’s Irish Publick House
Ick with the “Publick”

LaSalle Rd, The Center

The Setting

Date: 2/2/2012
This was the: 13th Burger I ate for this lunacy
Website as of 2/2/2012: Not bad unless that bangers make you ill.
Locations as of 2/2/2012: Here and Hampden, MA
Exterior: Typical Center look, with Irish flag flying
Interior: Faux-Irishy and uncomfortable booths, but NHL Network on when I went. Huge plus.
Overall vibe: Faux-Irish with lots of fake Irish stuff.

The Dead Cow

Burger: Classic Angus Burger (8 oz)
Price: $8 even
Size: Big burger, HUGE lettuce leaf, a bit skimpy on the fries, but…
Fries/Side: The fries were excellent and I ate them all. I don’t think I’ve eaten all the fries before, so McLadden’s doesn’t waste money on them. This is good.
Extras: A nice kosher pickle.
Roll: Just a normal burger roll
Beef claim: “Mouth watering and Juicy”
Beef as I see it: Good, nothing special. Better than you’d get in Ireland.
Overall Burger: Pretty good.
Post Burger feeling: Gaellic.

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14. Wendy’s
Ginger Burger

306 Prospect Ave (Hartford) and 331 South Road in Farmington

Note: There are no Wendy’s IN West Hartford, but there are two right on the town line. In fact, I think the parking lot for this one in Farmington is actually in West Hartford. For real.

The Setting

Date: 2/9/2012
This was the: 14th Burger I ate for this lunacy
Website as of 2/9/12: A bit too much going on if you ask me.
Locations as of 2/9/12: Fairly ubiquitous
Exterior: Firmly in the US Fast Food stand alone school of architecture
Interior: (Drive-Thru)
Overall vibe: I don’t know. I haven’t been inside a Wendy’s since the days of the potato bar (which I’m told no longer exist.) But I’m sure it’s the same as every other crappy fast food place.

The Dead Cow

Burger: Dave’s Hot ‘N Juicy 1/4 lb. Single cheeseburger
Price: $4-something
Size: Not huge, but price reflects that I guess
Fries/Side: n/a
Extras: n/a
Roll: “Premium Butter Toasted Bun”
Beef claim: ” A quarter-pound of 100% real North American beef. Fresh, never frozen and hot off the grill. No additives, no preservatives, no filler added.”
Beef as I see it: Certainly better than McDonalds’ crap, I’ll give it that.
Overall Burger: Not bad at all for fast food. I’ve read that Wendy’s is now #2 and ahead of BK. The lettuce, onions and tomato seemed fresh and they weren’t shy with them either.
Post Burger feeling: Wonderment

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15. Red Robin
I Should Tweet This

1509 New Britain Ave

The Setting

Date: 2/16/2012
This was the: 15th Burger I ate for this lunacy
Website as of 2/16/12: It’s not bad, but their burger pictures are way over-styled.
Locations as of 2/16/12: Near 3 other malls in CT (Enfield, Milford, Manchester) and far beyond
Exterior: Sort of going for a 50’s car hop thing I think; Bland and boring
Interior: (Drive-Thru) Not what I expected. I thought this was a fast food place. It’s a sit-down restaurant with a bar! Smelled of grease though.
Overall vibe: The staff was very nice, but all were very unattractive for some reason. There was a TV in the floor at the host stand which was very strange. Their HDTV’s were not receiving an HD signal which was lame.

The Dead Cow

Burger: Red Robin Gourmet Cheeseburger – they allow for choice of many cheeses so I went with Bleu
Price: 9 bucks plus tax!
Size: Ample, but not crazy big
Fries/Side: “Bottomless steak fries” – That’s an easy promotion when your fries are borderline inedible, tasteless, soggy crap
Extras: n/a
Roll: Regular ol’ sesame seed bun
Beef claim: Surprisingly, I can’t find one. I’m sure they tout their freshness somewhere though.
Beef as I see it: Really no different than the Wendy’s burger I had last week.
Overall Burger: Well, I really liked it but that’s because I was able to add bleu cheese to it. I did not like the Special Red Robin sauce though. Way overpriced when there are other nearby better options at the same price.
Post Burger feeling: Embarrassed that I saw a friend in the parking lot.

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16. Brio Tuscan Grille
Brio: Not Just a Crossword Answer

325 Westfarms Mall (in Farmington, barely)

The Setting

Date: 2/23/2012
This was the: 16th Burger I ate for this lunacy
Website as of 2/23/12: Auto-loading elevator music: Die
Locations as of 2/16/12: In one other mall in CT (Danbury) and far beyond
Exterior: 1% more Italian than the Olive Garden across the street
Interior: 3% more Italian than the Olive Garden across the street
Overall vibe: Fake upscale, but tasteful. I was even called back to clarify how I’d like my burger done.

The Dead Cow

Burger: Brio Bistecca Burger: With bacon, Provolone, lettuce, roasted tomato mayonnaise and Pinot Noir onions.
Price: 13 bucks
Size: Large
Fries/Side: “Served with housemade chips” which were excellent
Extras: Carb-central: a hunk of bread and some weird crisps of some sort with some dipping sauce and 3 pats of butter.
Roll: Buttery sesame seed bun
Beef claim: n/a
Beef as I see it: Perfectly cooked and juicy
Overall Burger: I really liked this one. Slightly different with the onions and tomato-mayo; it was excellent.
Post Burger feeling: Whatever a “bistecca” is, it’s good

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17. Grants Restaurant & Bar
It’s a Nice Joint, Granted

977 Farmington Ave (in the Center)

The Setting

Date: 3/1/2012
This was the: 17th Burger I ate for this lunacy
Website as of 2/23/12: Quite simple for a fancy restaurant Yay.
Locations as of 3/1/12: Just this one (though Billy Grant runs 2 Bricco’s in West Hartford and Glastonbury)
Exterior: West Hartford Centerish
Interior: I like it. Especially the upscale Euro-feel bar area
Overall vibe: It’s a steakhouse primarily, but a nice one with a nice patio too

The Dead Cow

Burger: Grants all natural beef burger: Maytag blue, Onion jam and horseradish cream
Price: 13 bucks
Size: Large
Fries/Side: Came with a cup of very good fries
Extras: None – props for ASKING if I wanted any utensils/ketchup (no) instead of giving me enough for an army
Roll: Buttery bun
Beef claim: n/a
Beef as I see it: Perfectly cooked and juicy
Overall Burger: Tough call. The beef was excellent and high-quality but my excitement for blue cheese and horseradish cream waned when the onion jam was the overwhelming add-on flavor
Post Burger feeling: Like that dude on “Chopped” who hates onions – and I don’t hate onions

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18. Burger King
Royal PIA

4 of them ON the town line, including one in Westfarms Mall


(Technically, this is a BK from NC from Wiki. But I don’t care.)

The Setting

Date: 3/8/2012
This was the: 18th Burger I ate for this lunacy
Website as of 3/15/2012: Nonsensical. I’m sure it will change from what it is today, but this whole “slide the sliders” thing is beyond my feeble comprehension.
Locations as of 3/8/2012: Ubiquitous
Exterior: The 3 outside ones here all look as you imagine a BK to look
Interior: Same. But the one on Prospect is just gross.
Overall vibe: Same everywhere but again, the one on Prospect is awful. And I don’t even care about the heroin trade in the parking lot, it’s the heroin addicts INSIDE that get to me.

The Dead Cow

Burger: Whopper with Cheese
Price: $4.67 I think. Too much.
Size: Pretty big.
Fries/Side: n/a
Extras: n/a
Roll: Sesame seed bun. Not bad, actually.
Beef claim: Can’t recall one
Beef as I see it: Thin but at least it’s brown and has a good “Flame-broiled” taste to it.
Overall Burger: Actually, not bad. the veggies were plentiful and appeared fresh. Is it unfair to McD’s that I got the Whopper here and the cheeseburger there? Probably, but Big Macs make me nauseous so maybe not.
Post Burger feeling: Starting to get sick of this whole project.

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19. Beachland Tavern
Wherrre’s The Beach?

1128 New Britain Avenue

The Setting

Date: 3/15/2012
This was the: 19th Burger I ate for this lunacy
Website as of 3/15/2012: No-Nonsense and straightforward.
Locations as of 3/15/2012: Just this one
Exterior: Almost hidden among Stripmallia
Interior: A rectangle with a mish mosh of sports memorabilia and artwork. Female waitstaff/bartender all had giant boobs with silly cleavage.
Overall vibe: Trying to get a neighborhoody feeling with a sportsbar touch and decent following for food. I see what they’re doing here and I hope it works out.

The Dead Cow

Burger: Beachland Burger: a brisket, top round blend burger with choice of lettuce, red onions, tomatoes, pickles, jalapenos, or onion straws
Price: $9
Size: Big, uniform patty
Fries/Side: super thin shoestrings. I liked ‘em.
Extras: 5 ketchup packets for the trash
Roll: a decent enough sourdough
Beef claim: not noted
Beef as I see it: Perfectly cooked at requested temp and a really pretty darn good flavor to it. It’s not the prettiest, but it tastes really good.
Post Burger feeling: I just want to watch basketball

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20. Mooyah
Booyah

772 N. Main Street (Bishop’s Corner)

The Setting

Date: 3/29/2012
This was the: 20th Burger I ate for this lunacy
Website as of 3/29/2012: Childlike.
Locations as of 3/29/2012: Another one in Hartford; then in CA, TN and TX but coming many more places
Exterior: Certainly hampered by location
Interior: Decent sized dining area, but really dumb wait line process intrudes upon diners.
Overall vibe: Annoying to me with order-takers shouting out orders, a million people working the cooking stations, chaotic. I hate the order line then wait for it line that backs up into dining areas

The Dead Cow

Burger: The “Mooyah” which is actually two patties for some reason, great bun, I got to pick my fixings (Lettuce, tomato, blue cheese, mustard)
Price: $8 something with fries
Size: Big enough
Fries/Side: They are very proud of their fries and they are very good
Extras: none
Roll: “Custom baked” sesame seed bun; lightly toasted too. It was excellent
Beef claim: “100% Fresh lean American beef; never frozen, no additives fillers or presservatives
Beef as I see it: Standard upscale fast food fare
Post Burger feeling: I just hate the name “Mooyah.”

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21. Arugula
This Place is Nice

953 Farmington Avenue (The Center)

The Setting

Date: 4/11/2012
This was the: 21st Burger I ate for this lunacy
Website as of 4/22/2012: Simple. Very well done.
Locations as of 4/22/2012: Just this one
Exterior: Classy and stands out, which is hard to do here
Interior: Small, cramped – but that’s the Mediterranean bistro feel they are going for
Overall vibe: I have always loved Arugula. Probably because I love Provence and the other food they serve here. Big fan.

The Dead Cow

Burger: The Oversized “Arugula” hamburger, topped with roasted portobello mushroom, blue cheese & onion marmalade, served on grilled Brioche bun smeared w/a sun-dried tomato pesto
Price: 15 big ones
Size: Very large
Fries/Side: Thick cut. Easily some of the best I’ve ever had.
Extras: Some ketchup to throw away
Roll: “grilled Brioche bun”; apparently with some butter on it. It was excellent
Beef claim: None that I saw, but it doesn’t matter. This place is quality all around.
Beef as I see it: Really very good. The perfect portabella and blue cheese helped, I’m sure.
Post Burger feeling: Stuffed and happy to crown a new “best of the first 21 burgers.”

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22. Tapas
Tap Ass

1150 New Britain Ave

The Setting

Date: 4/20/2012
This was the: 22nd Burger I ate for this lunacy
Website as of 4/22/2012: Truly one of the worst of all time. For many reasons.
Locations as of 3/29/2012: 2 others (Bloomfield and Hartford)
Exterior: Not bad. Better designed than their current website, that’s for sure. But all 3 have tough parking situations.
Interior: Small, cramped – but that’s the Mediterranean bistro feel they are going for I guess. But It’s actually uncomfortable to eat in here.
Overall vibe: I have always liked Tapas – for their gyros and their Greek salads – but nothing else. Oh, and they don’t actually serve tapas.

The Dead Cow

Burger: Ann Street 1/2 lb. Angus Burger, special seasoned burger grilled to perfection and served on a flour dusted roll with lettuce, tomatoes, onions and cross cut fries.
Price: $9.50 (an extra buck for a slide of cheese.)
Size: Large
Fries/Side: Cross cut waffle fries. They were pretty good.
Extras: none
Roll: a flour dusted roll. Not memorable.
Beef claim: Nothing other than “angus.”
Beef as I see it: Bland. Unseasoned. Bleh.
Post Burger feeling: Quite disappointed as I was hoping for some sort of Greek inspired addition.

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23. Rizzuto’s
Scooter on Down

111 Memorial Road (Blue Back Square)

The Setting

Date: 4/25/2012
This was the: 23rd Burger I ate for this lunacy
Website as of 4/25/2012: Nicely done.
Locations as of 3/29/2012: 3 others (Bethel, Stamford, Westport)
Exterior: Not bad, and I like the word “alcolica”.
Interior: Airy, super clean and hushed
Overall vibe: Definitely upscale (just look at their 4 locations) but didn’t seem pretentious. I must note that a pint of beer here is $6.25.

The Dead Cow

Burger: The Steakhouse Burger: all natural beef, crispy pancetta, fresh mozzarella, vine-ripened tomato, baby arugula
Price: $9 – Great relative value
Size: Large when considering the tub of fries
Fries/Side: Shoestrings, but good with some herbal seasoning
Extras: thing of ketchup for the trash
Roll: garlic-toasted ciabatta bun – excellent
Beef claim: Nothing other than “all natural.”
Beef as I see it: Quite excellent
Post Burger feeling: I’m finding some of these non-burgercentric places make the best burgers.

…………………………………………………….

24. Jake’s Wayback Burgers
Way Wack

450 South Main St (Elmwoodish)

The Setting

Date: 5/1/2012
This was the: 24thBurger I ate for this lunacy
Website as of 4/25/2012: It’s okay.
Locations as of 3/29/2012: Many, in the eastern US
Exterior: Nothing special, but hampered by existing space
Interior: Like an Arby’s more or less
Overall vibe: Just like a fast food joint, but the food is not fast as it’s cooked to order. They do have a TV or two though.

The Dead Cow

Burger: A Jake Cheeseburger
Price: I forget, 6 something.
Size: Jake’s “thing” is two patties, which amounts to one decent sized patty.
Fries/Side: None unless ordered separately
Extras: none
Roll: doughy bulkie roll
Beef claim: They have the typical beef buzzwords all over the place. Like “fresh,” “handmade” etc.
Beef as I see it: Pretty good and fresh seeming. I really liked how the cheese from the second patter was in the middle of the burger.
Post Burger feeling: Why does this exist? Mooyah, Jake’s, Red Robin… it’s all the same crap.

…………………………………………………….

25. Reuben’s Deli
Eat Here Often, Become Reubenesque

35A LaSalle Road (The Center)


The Setting

Date: 5/9/2012
This was the: 25th Burger I ate for this lunacy
Website as of 5/2/12: No nonsense and easy to understand
Locations as of 5/2/12: Just this one
Exterior: Nothing exciting, but that’s the Center for you
Interior: Surprisinly spacious, actually. Smells like onions though.
Overall vibe: Staff was very personable and happy. Smelled like onions though.

The Dead Cow

Burger: All Beef Hamburger (with cheese, lettuce and tomato)
Price: Over $10 when all was said and done
Size: Big, but manageable
Fries/Side: Choice of (AWESOME) Deep River chips or coleslaw
Extras: I AWESOME kosher pickle
Roll: A nice sourdough Kaiser roll
Beef claim: All beef
Beef as I see it: Run of the mill
Overall Burger: Pedestrian. The pickle was by far the highlight here
Post Burger feeling: Oy vey

…………………………………………………….

26. The Corner Pug
The Punger Games

1046 New Britain Avenue (Elmwood)


The Setting

Date: 5/16/2012
This was the: 26th Burger I ate for this lunacy
Website as of 5/21/12: Crappy, but functional
Locations as of 5/21/11: Just this one
Exterior: It’s fine, but their parking lot sucks
Interior: Homey, Dark, woody.
Overall vibe: I like it here. Just no-nonsense and friendly.

The Dead Cow

Burger: “Mac’s Big Burger” Seasoned Char Broiled 1/2 Lb. Sirloin Burger Served on a Kaiser Roll with Lettuce, Tomato & Red Onion
Price: Incredibly cheap $6 lunch special
Size: Big, but manageable
Fries/Side: small (but fine) helping of “Pug cross cut fries.”
Extras: 4 ketchup packets for the trash
Roll: a decent Kaiser roll
Beef claim: n/a
Beef as I see it: Just a normal burger, but the CHAR is excellent
Overall Burger: I really liked it. It’s like a whopper done to perfection with better ingredients and more care. I mean that in a good way.
Post Burger feeling: “The Corner Pug” is still a dumb name.

…………………………………………………….

Continue on to Part 2

Back to the disgusting 52 Burgers in 52 Weeks
Over to the simplified current rankings

4 responses to “The Results Pt. 1 (1-26)”

  1. BGR The Burger Joint, West Hartford says:

    [...] reading Steve’s most recent results last night, I remembered that Nick Caito and I had visited one of the town’s newest spots, [...]

  2. Leeanne says:

    Kudos to you for undertaking this challenge!

  3. Leeanne says:

    Plan B’s website always drives me cuckoo. At one point, the floating link to “gift cards” obscured the auto-loading music player so you couldn’t click off the music without being directed to a new page. Looks like that may have been fixed, though.

  4. OAAM Tiny Diner Series: Joey Garlic's in Newington | Out and About Mom says:

    [...] Meanwhile, these were some of the best fries hubby and I have ever tasted. I don’t know what makes them so special, but I do know that we felt like bad parents for stealing so many of Boo’s fries. They were irresistible! Apparently, we are not alone in our French fried adoration. Our fellow blogger over at CT Museum Quest agrees. And he also touts the tastiness of Joey Garlic’s burgers. Check out his new series titled “52 West Hartford Burgers in 52 Weeks” to read more reviews. [...]

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