Thursday, March 11, 2010

Hamburger America 2 Is On The Way


It's official. The revised edition of my book is happening. After a little negotiating, my amazing agent has struck a deal for the next edition of Hamburger America that is due to hit stores in Spring 2011. The updated version will include an additional 50 burger joints bringing the total for the book to 150. The existing entries all need updating and unfortunately 3 are coming out. That means I have to visit 53 burger joints in the next few months...

The good news is that I've already complied a list of about 40 viable entries thanks to the endless string of email I've received in the last 2 years. I've also learned much from my new network of EBTs (Expert Burger Tasters) all over the country and I thank you all for your hard work.

The new list is a secret and consists of places that meet all of my criteria and need to be in the book. I'm still on the search for an additional 13 burgers so if you have a strong opinion about your favorite let me know. I've opened comments for this post so go ahead and sound off. Remember the criteria however:
  • The restaurant must make a burger with fresh-ground beef.
  • The burger has to have been on the menu for over 20 years (but the older the better).
  • Must be a great burger and be a place you can comfortably recommend.
  • Must be in the USA.

Let the madness begin! I hit the road next week and man have I got a lot of eating to do.


46 comments:

Joe said...

I have several Tulsa burgers that not only meet your criteria but I also highly recommend. Would make a fantastic addition to your burger book. I will be happy to help. For reference check my burger blog: Joe's Burger Search http://www.JoesBurgerSearch.com

Donald said...

I assume you already have the Triple XXX in West Lafayette, IN on the new list, but just in case... Get there!

Hamburger America said...

Joe- Tulsa is on the list! Thanks for that. and Donald- LOVE the Triple XXX...

Donald said...

I remembered your review of the Triple XXX, so I assumed it would be included. I was just up there a couple weeks ago - man, I love that place. It's a perfect burger 'joint' in my opinion.

Joe said...

Great to hear that Tulsa in being included. Would love to help get you some local and state exposure. Let me know.

GeorgeB said...

I've got one in Kingston, NY.

Armadillo Bar and Grill, 97 Abeel St., Kingston.

845-339-1550

www.armadillos.net

Open for lunch only on Saturday and Sunday, open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday.

Burger Conquest - Rev said...

Damn! I have a long list for you, unfortunately none of my suggestions are 20 years old.

DAMN DAMN!

Can I come with you on one of these...please?

Wauna-burger said...

Burger Lovers! Make sure you give him a burger place that meets the criteria. If a place has been around for a long time, unchanged, using fresh ground beef... it is doing something right! It is also the people that own and run the place. The burger may be the star but the people are the real story, passion of the place. Make sure the place you mention is worthy of the name "Hamburger America." The kind of place you would make a road trip for, just to get a "burger." If you don't get what "Hamburger America" is... buy the book or watch the film. Good luck George.

Ken & Carol said...

I checked out your two places in Minneapolis a year ago or so. They were nearly identical in all respects and could well be lumped together if you need space. Both were excellent of course.

Steve S. said...

Yes! George, you have to do an event at our store (Skylight Books - Los Angeles) when the book comes out! We can do a burger tasting or best L.A. burgers or something. This is going to be great! Congratulations!
Steven
Skylight Books

Kenny said...

If you are in the Greater SF Bay Area a burger at Val's (Hayward, CA) is worth the trip. A while back Val's was named the Best Burger in the West by Sunset Magazine. I have only been to Val's on a few occasions, but I cannot think of a better burger. Understand that Val's is an "old school" kinda place. It is not The Counter with their 312,120+ different burger combinations. And you're not gonna get a Free Range Emu burger at Val's either. What you will get is a very tasty, beautifully cooked burger that goes very nicely with the huge milkshakes they serve.

Hamburger America said...

Kenny- Damn, I was looking for some free-range Emu. Coincidentally, I'll be at Val's on Weds...

EBornstein said...

Check out Bubba's in Hawaii (I frequented the Kapaa location during my time in Kauai). Besides getting the excuse to travel to Hawaii for "research" the burger is one of the better I've ever had, similar to the In N Out style.

http://www.bubbaburger.com/

Mike Novak said...

I would like to nominate a Sacramento institution that has been around for 40 years that will meet your criteria. It is the "French Ground Steakburger" at Nationwide Freezer Meats in Sacramento, CA. They used to be a meat supplier with hamburgers on the side but, eventually, switched to burgers as their predominate business. They use Harris Ranch beef and have unique buns that are like normal, white, squishy buns on steroids with a bit more "tooth" that are custom-made for them. Also, the place is a real "joint" in the best sense of the word, a real Sacramento treasure!

allyn fratkin said...

have you tried carney's in hollywood? chili burgers, great fries, hot dogs with sauerkraut. i've been eating there for 30 years. their web site is particularly crazy http://www.carneytrain.com/enter.html

Andy said...

Mr. Motz,
I suggest you stop what you are doing, board a plane to Oakland and get to Val's in Hayward. I consider myself a burger aficionado, not on your level, of course, and Val's is my absolute favorite (I've been to Bobcat, all of your Southern Cal entries, Kincaids and many others-credibility). Val's is classic old school established in 1958 and still features it's original formica counters and vintage sign outside. As for the burger, look no further than the Papa, which comprises of 2, 1/2 pound patties, stacked and grilled to perfection. The meat is absolutely succulent and unpretentious and you will experience an unparalleled burger buzz as approximately 12-15 minutes after your burger. No avocados allowed within 100 yards of the Val's parking lot. More likely than not, your burger will be produced by the thick mustachioed owner, George. Be sure to take note of the George doll on the wall. I live in Orange County, but whenever I'm in the vicinity of Val's I go out of my way to get there and I implore you to do the same. I'd be remiss if I didn't tell you about the amazing shakes. They leave the metal canister at your table which allows you close to three fill ups. Val's is closed on Sunday and Monday as George needs to rest his supple wrists.

If you ever need a burger intern......

Walker said...

I'm originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. About 40 minutes south of SF is a small town called Menlo Park where I grew up. Menlo Park is home to 2 of the best burgers you'll ever have. It's hard to choose a favorite but the 2 joints are THE OASIS and THE DUTCH GOOSE. Both places are loved by the locals and there is a bit of a rivalry of which one is better. THE OASIS has been in business for 43 years and you can find them at http://theoasisbeergarden.com/. THE DUTCH GOOSE has been around since and man, do they make a good burger too. You can find them at: http://www.dutchgoose.net/Dutch_Goose/Home.html.

Good Luck George!

Hamburger America said...

Andy - Like I said a few comments ago, I'll be at Val's on Weds thanks to planning that was set in motion weeks ago. Looking forward to it!

BIG D said...

As I recent said on yor facebook page, Hayes Hamburger & Chili, deffinately meets the qualifications. Try a single, a double (single patty juts bigger) a single with chili & cheese (all with onions, well with everything, onion grilled in the patty mustard and pickle on the side), and a 1/2 lb hambuger steak breakfast, with onions,3 eggs over medium (my prefference) wheat toast & chili on your hashbrowns - xtra crispy (cheese optional). You would have the complete Hayes burger experience. Decent onion rings, mediocore fries. Sorry for all the specific quotations, a Hayes experience is a special thing, just want to make sure you see the best if you visit!!!!! Oh BTW in the North Kansas City, Missouri Area! A 12-15 min drive from down town and worth it if you're in the area!

Burger Boy said...

Check out 26 Beach Restaurant. The have been making Burgers for since 1982 maybe even longer at a different location and name. They make their own hamburger buns and many of the burgers are very different. They make a Bombay Curry Burger, Caesar Salad Burger, Billy Berger (goat Cheese & Sundried Tomatoes), UFO Burger (sour cream, avocado, teriyaki, grilled onions), Ole' Burger guacamole, bacon & cheddar, and they make many more and have been doing these for over 26 years. Please check it out.

Thank You

Burger Boy

Burger Boy said...

Forgot to add for 26 Beach.
www.26beach.com

Tommy Salami said...

I recommend Krug's Tavern in Newark, NJ. They've been there since 1932 and their 1-pounder is fresh and delicious. www.krugstavern.com

Terri Mayson said...

I recommend my favorite burger place, Club Schmitz in Dallas Texas, off Harry Hines. Griddled, smashed burgers, with or without chili, average (but always hot and fresh)fries, and since it's in a roadhouse that's been there since the 50s, cold beer. I'm only allowed one cheeseburger a month and this is where I have mine. An excellent burger.

Grayson James said...

A friend of mine used to live in Dubuque, Iowa and whenever I'd pick him up we'd hit a little hole-in-the-wall type place called "Paul's Tavern" before leaving for Madison or Chicago. The place has maybe half a dozen booths along one wall, and stools at the bar, and the owner has museum-like glass cases on the walls along the ceiling with stuffed animals like wild cats and whatnot. The cheeseburgers are fantastic, made with what looks like an early 20th century cast-iron broiler. Looks like a couple people have blogged about it in the past: http://waunaburger.blogspot.com/2009/02/burger-road-trip.html
http://www.sctourco.com/main.php?pg=pubCrawl&cid=229

Grayson James said...

Second comment - might be good to add another Iowa establishment as the Taylor's Maid-rite in your book is likely getting shut down:
http://www.timesrepublican.com/page/content.detail/id/523621.html

The Unbearded Man said...

St. Paul, MN: Casper and Runyon's Nook. This place makes Matt's Bar and the 5-8 Club taste like a joke. They use fresh ground beef trucked in daily from La Crosse, WI. It's also one of the few places in the area where you can order a burger to temperature and they won't look like you're nuts for asking, not to mention deliver a properly cooked burger. I know many who also enjoy its version of the Jucy Lucy.

Luxemburg, WI: Joe Rouers Bar. This place has been a NE Wisconsin institution for at least a few generations. Unfortunately, it's been a long time since I've been, so I have no idea if they use fresh ground beef, but it sure tastes like it.

pnagel2 said...

Not sure if you've been to Milwaukee yet:
Solly's (birthplace of the butterburger)
Sobelman's
Kopp's

AJ Bombers is only about a year old so it wouldn't qualify for your book, but stop by if you're in town, because they make the best burger in the city, the Bomber Burger.

The Ham Keeper said...

Cahoot's
(732) 469-3455
624 Lincoln Blvd, Middlesex, NJ 08846
http://sites.google.com/site/cahootsrestaurant/
They get best of the best in the local paper. This is a good burger in a warehouse type area. great hangout good beer

The Ham Keeper said...

http://sites.google.com/site/cahootsrestaurant/
Cahoot's
(732) 469-3455
624 Lincoln Blvd, Middlesex, NJ 08846

Great burger in a warehouse type area. great hangout good beer real local flavor. GREAT BURGER!!

richopp said...

Hi, George,

Don't know if already have it, but:

Green's Pharmacy
151 North County Road
Palm Beach, FL 33480-3954
(561) 832-4443

Just north of Royal Ponciana Way (North Bridge) and just up from the Breakers Hotel.

Hamburger Heaven is down the road a bit, but I much prefer Green's. Not only a great burger, but also excellent onion rings and malts made the old-fashioned way.

If you decide to drop by, let me know as I would be more than glad to join you there!

Cheers!

Richard

Burrito Eater said...

Dotty's Melting Pot Burger at Dotty's Dumpling Dowry in Madison, WI. It's the second best burger I've had (pretty much anything at Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage in Cambridge, MA is better.) Others in my top 5 are the bleu cheese burger at Empire Burger in Breckenridge, CO (too new to meet your criteria and ooh, I noticed that Red Mill in Seattle didn't make the book, that is #4 on my list as well. #5 is a kobe beef burger at the Burger Bar in Vegas but again too new!

Morgan said...

George,

We're eagerly awaiting any initial comments you have regarding Val's in Hayward. I have been going there for 16 years, and it is still find it to be the best. I hope to see it in Hamburger America 2!

Michael said...

I can't be certain you didn't visit it the first time around... but I suggest...

White Hut in West Springfield, Mass.

I hail from a little town comfortably situated between that gem and the estimable Shady Glen.

Feral Party kids said...

Mr.K's in Charlotte,NC it's been around since 1967 and is one of the original burger spots still around in this town. http://www.mrkssofticecream.com/

Sincerely, Me said...

You have to try All American Burger on Long Island (Massapequa) NY. Looks like an old drive-in restaurant and the prices are unbelievably low. Best thing to order is a quarter pounder with fries and a shake.

AsylumJim said...

Next time in L.A., you HAVE to try the cheesburger at the S&W Country Diner in Culver City. For my buck, hands down THE best cheeseburger in L.A., and I've tried a bunch: http://bestlaburgers.wordpress.com/

Also add Twenty Five Degrees (Hollywood) to your list. Just had it and it's a winner.

In fact, send me a heads up and I'll tour with you. Off to Oinkers this week, Unami after that.

saladeater said...

I think you have to go to San Antonio, New Mexico and try both the Owl Cafe and the Buckhorn Tavern to compare and contrast green chile cheese burgers. They are both amazing, but one must be better than the other.

Dave The Angry Rhode Islander said...

Stanley's in Central Falls, RI, has been making divine burgers for over 75 years. They do the smash technique on their yummy flattop cooked burgers - just so good!

Hamburger America said...

Dave - I'll be visiting Stanley's this time around for SURE. Thanks.

BIG D said...

HAYES Hamburger and Chili in North Kansas City Missouri. Oh so good sliders, and chili. Great all day breakfast, try the 1/2lb hamburger steak breakfast with onions, add chili and cheese to the hashbrowns.

brooks said...

How about the burger at Casey's diner in Natick, MA? The best burger and 10 stool diner there is! The lunchcar was bought in 1927and has been in the family since then. It is on the National Registry of Historic Places.
By the way their dogs are good too!

tinseltine.com said...

Enjoyed Saturday's "The World's First Food Truck Drive-In Movie" I write a film and food blog called Tinsel & Tine. Here's my post of the event -http://www.tinseltine.com/2010/06/nyc-foodfilm-festival-2010.html
By the way, I was the woman with the orange chair :)

Annie @ MarryYouMe said...

You HAVE to come to Pilot Butte Drive In in Bend Oregon and try the amazing burgers - especially the 18oz burger that takes up a whole plate. Best burger in Oregon :) Worth the 2 1/2 hr drive or 25 minute flight from Portland I promise!

AsylumJim said...

Having tried dozens of burger in and around Los Angeles, my personal favorite ids the cheeseburger at the S&W Country Diner in Culver City (Formerly Sam & Woody's). Not sure how long exactly they've been around , but it's a Culver City institution, so a good bet it's over 30 years.). The cheeseburger is a big, fresh, awesome classic California Cheeseburger. And at around $5 it's a bargain too. Great California diner atmosphere too.

Jockomo said...

Wow! It looks like I discovered this treasure a little too late. You'll find some great burgers in Sacramento, including the legendary Squeeze Inn, Tumbleweed Inn, and Jamies. - Jockomo
http://BurgerScoot.blogspot.com

jischmitz said...

Club Schmitz in Dallas, TX. Family run business that has been around since 1964! Check out the reviews on Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/club-schmitz-dallas!