Tag Archives: Burgers

Lilly’s on the Canal ****

Outsde of Lily's
609.397.62422
2 Canal Street
Lambertville, NJ 08530
 

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Unlike most females, I’m not usually one to make a big fuss over my birthday. Sure, I like a glass of champagne and something sweet to celebrate the start of a new chapter in life, but rarely do I attempt to make formal plans and I NEVER get caught trying to split the bill with my “20 closest girlfriends” at some hoity-toity birthday dinner. Those dinners always turn into a shit-show when the check arrives and the 3 real best friends—usually the roomates—end up having to pay the remainder of the unsettled bar tab while the 17 drunken acquaintances dance away.

This year, I wanted to celebrate my 24th birthday in the normal fashion—doing something quiet and relaxing. My friend, Liz, took me for a pedicure and treated me to lunch. It was a gorgeous day so we drove out Lambertville, NJ and went to Lily’s on the Canal for some Class-A chick food. The menu features incredible gourmet salads, unique sandwiches & wraps, and delicious homemade desserts. It is an ideal restaurant to bring a woman on a date, and it is the perfect spot for a ladies luncheon.

I decided to order a modified version of the Baby Spinach Salad, which came fully-loaded with grilled marinated chicken breast, balsamic glazed Portobello mushroom cap, goat cheese, seasonal tomatoes, avocado, and balsamic vinaigrette ($14). 

Chicken and Spinach Salad 

There is not one bad thing I can say about the salad. It was all of my favorite ingredients on one plate in a perfect entrée-sized portion! The chicken was warm and juicy, and the mushrooms were seasoned perfectly. I also am a huge fan of their homemade salad dressings.

Liz ordered the same salad but got it standard issue with Grilled Marinated Chicken Breast, Balsamic Glazed Portobello Mushrooms, Buttermilk Bleu Cheese, Seasonal Tomato, Avocado, and Ranch Dressing.

We also decided to share an order of the Skinny French Fries ($5), which are cut shoestring style and fried to golden delicious crisp!

Lily's French Fries

Some of my other favorite meals at Lily’s include:

The Penne with Vodka Sauce—and I usually add chicken, but you can also choose to add grilled shrimp ($15). Like it says on the menu, “it’s an oldie, but a goodie!”

I am also obsessed with the Caesar Salad with Chopped Romaine Lettuce, Creamy Goat Cheese, Applewood Bacon, Parmesan Croutons, and Caesar Dressing ($13). It is a twist on a classic Caesar, which normally has Parmesan, but the goat cheese and freshly cooked bacon bits put this salad over the top!

The burgers at Lilly’s are also quite good, and can be ordered in several different variations. I like the Three Mini Angus Beef Sliders, which are served open face with Swiss cheese, sautéed mushrooms, onions, and skinny fries ($12)!

Sliders and Fries

A lighter way to enjoy their burgers, is by ordering the Burger Salad (made with Certified Angus Beef or Vegetable Patty) served over mixed greens with red onion slices, guacamole, spinach hummus, and black bean salad with a balsamic vinaigrette ($12). Not only is it delicious and filling, but you cannot beat the price for what you get!

The only dish I have tried that I wouldn’t recommend getting would be the New York Strip Steak with Blue Cheese, Mushrooms, and Onions over Skinny Fries ($25). The steak was small and very fatty. It was also very oily and too way heavy with the fries.

Steak and Blue Cheese

If you can manage to save room for dessert, I would suggest ordering a slice of one of their incredible seven layer cakes: Coconut Cake, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake, Carrot Cake, Chocolate Truffle Cake, Chocolate Kahlua Cake—just to name a few!

Dessert Display

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Filed under Bakery, Buck's County, Cafe / Bistro, Cakes, Dessert, New Jersey Restaurants, Take-Out

The Black Horse Tavern ****

215.579.6152
101 South State Street
Newtown, PA 18940

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Happy Hour--a time, usually between the hours of 6-8, when drinks are offered at reduced prices, encouraging co-workers to mingle outside of the office setting.

This is what Happy Hour used to be–back in the 1990′s when people had jobs and could afford to keeping purchasing cocktails long after the drink specials had ended. But with the unemployment rate ticking ever higher, the definition of Happy Hour is changing: it is no longer only a place for the over-worked to release steam, it is also a valuable networking tool for the unemployed to try to find work. And bar/restaurant owners are recognizing this paradigm shift caused by the economic recession, offering better drink prices, extending discounts to include menu items, and even beginning their Happy Hours earlier in the day (before the 9-5er’s are released from their cubicles).

As an unemployed college graduate (or stay-at-home-daughter, as I prefer to say), I recognize the valuable opportunity that Happy Hours provide for networking (and budgeting) and I try to make it out to one each week. Of course, I also need to vent my frustrations of failed interviews and wasted cover letters!

Right now my favorite Happy Hour hands-down is The Black Horse Tavern in Newtown. They do it all right:

  • Starts at 5 pm, ends at 7 pm (Mon-Sat)
  • $3 drafts, $4 wines, and $6 martinis
  • 1/2 price menu items
  • Trivia on Friday nights (for free drink prizes–I won one last week!)
  • Free bar food available during Happy Hour (usually their delicious flatbreads!)

In my opinion, it’s the best deal in town and like all good things, it draws a consistent crowd. Aka: If you get there after 5 pm expect to sip your delicious martini while standing! They have an extensive speciality martini list, but I recommend the Grapefruit Bubbling Cosmo with Ruby Red Vodka, Cointreau, Lime Juice, Cranberry Juice, all topped off with a splash of Champagne. It has a perfect blend of citrus without tasting artificial.

As far as bar food goes, YOU MUST GET THE TRUFFLE FRIES!!! They come topped with Parmesan Cheese and Belgian Aioli and they are to die for!

I also really like the flatbreads at this place. The Margarita is very simple but delicious made with fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, oregano, olive oil, and spicy marinara sauce. It’s tasty finger food that is easy to share, and I’ve got to admit that it is better than some of the pizza places I’ve tried in these neck of the woods.

Last but not least, I also tried the Caesar Salad with crisp hearts of romaine and a garlicky brioche crostini, dressed to perfection with a Caesar drizzle. It was a great portion for like $4, which is definitely recession-approved pricing!

Although I have only been to the Black Horse Tavern for Happy Hour, I hear from my neighbors that the kitchen also makes fabulous burgers and steaks for dinner. In fact, one of my neighbors said it was one of the best steaks that he has had in years (and this guy is a credible foodie in my book!).

Bottom line: if you are looking to avoid the rather pretentious cougar scene at La Stalla, and you want better bar grub than Isaac Newtons can offer, head to The Black Horse Tavern! You won’t be disappointed.

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Filed under Bars, Cocktails, Philadelphia Restaurants

The Office ***

Arevalo 3031
Buenos Aires, Argentina
(+54) 2050.3942

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“Yo tengo bajón.”

What does it mean?

In the words of the wise Kat Williams, it means, “I ain’t dead. I’m gonna wake up in 20 minutes, hungry enough to eat up everything in your house.”

I’m talking about the munchies. And you can imagine (being the foodie that I am) the level of munchies that I get. I’m not gonna lie, it gets a little out of control sometimes. It starts with a singular oreo and ends with a pizza covered in ranch dressing, a grease soaked bag from taco bell, a bowl of something chocolatey but not readily identifiable, and is that peanut butter I taste stuck to the roof of my mouth? My goodness the things I do to my poor belly between the hours of 11 pm and 6 am!

I have encountered a problem satisfying the munchies in Argentina though, because the best foods (and by that, I mean most gross and fattening) are American creations often unavailable here. There are no coco-puffs, no buffalo chicken wings, no bagel bites, no Tostito Hint o’ Limes, no pretzels, no double stuffed oreos, and if you really want peanut butter, you have to purchase it from a fancy wine and cheese shoppe for the steep price of about $80 pesos (thats 3 hours of my salary, to put that figure into perspective).

But as the munchies crept up on me the other night, I had an idea. I remembered hearing about a burger joint in Canitas, serving up ‘Yanqui-esk’ concoctions such as onion rings, chicken wings, juicy burgers, and quesadillas. I wanted anything fried, spicy, breaded, and fattening, and I wanted it ASAP. So my friends and I headed over to The Office for some proper Yanqui grub.

We started with an order of Buffalo Chicken Wings, which came with an intensely hot dipping sauce (not Frank’s Buffalo sauce of course, but still satisfyingly spicy). The wings themselves were good, although Casa Bar still takes the trophy for best wings in Bs As…they import the Franks Hot Sauce so they automatically win.

Then we got 2 large orders of cheese fries for the table to share, which were a nice taste of American comfort. They were crispy, well-salted, and came topped with a delicious variety of melted cheeses. Definitely hit the spot.

Next to arrive was the basket of onion rings! (I told you I get out of hand sometimes). These were FABULOUS! Actually, my favorite menu item from The Office, which is surprising since I normally don’t indulge in this fried delicacy (but then again, I consume a lot of things I wouldn’t even admit to eating sober, when I have the munchies!). They were piping hot, the batter was thick and crispy, and the mayo dip was absolutly perfect!

Now for the main course! I ordered the California Burger with ground beef, cheddar cheese, mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, avocado, bacon, and honey mustard. Of course, this was served with even more french fries! Unfortunately, the burger patty itself was dry but the toppings and sauces compensated for this cooking error. Also note, I seemed to be the only one with an overcooked burger, so maybe this is a freak thing (I’ll find out, because I will go back!).

My friends also got the BBQ Bacon Burger with cheddar cheese, bbq sauce, and a large onion ring. It look monstrous and yummy, but I was not disappointed with my burger choice!

All in all, a good place for American expats to enjoy the foods they miss and crave and a great way for Portenos to sample some proper American grub.

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Sugar Bar ****

Costa Rica 4619 
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Palermo SOHO
(+54) 11.4831.3276

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Those of you that know me, know that my favorite spot in Miami was a place called Greenstreet. It was a bar by night, an amazing cafe for lunch and dinner, and the best brunch spot in South Florida on the weekends. Today, I am thrilled because I have finally found the Greenstreet of Buenos Aires–Sugar Bar. It is owned by American entrepreneur, Martin Frankel, who has managed to bring a small piece of the US bar/culinary culture to Argentina. And on behalf of all us expats, thank you, Mr. Frankel.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love eating traditional Argentine food (parrilla, milanesa, empanadas, ect…) but man do I miss thick juicy burgers, spicy chicken wings, and club sandwiches sometimes. Sugar Bar offers all of these aforementioned menu items, serving each dish with a glorious variety of American condiments. For example, The Blue Cheese Burger made with 200 grams of freshly ground beef, grilled portobello mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, and creamy blue cheese spread served with a side of fried potato wedges (44 pesos). The quality of the beef is absolutely amazing (which goes pretty much without saying in Argentina), but the topping combination takes the burger to the next level. The blue cheese adds a nice bite to the earthy flavor of the portobello mushrooms, and the french fries (which are more like steak fries) are also greasy finger-licking good.

If you’re in the mood to get a little messy, I suggest the chicken wings at Sugar Bar (available in buffalo, spicy buffalo, and terryaki). They compete on the same level as the wings at Casa Bar and The Alamo, although I must admit that I still think Casa Bar takes the prize for the best wings. That being said, these are pretty damn good  too. They just have a thicker, more non-traditional, flour coating on them than Casa Bar and they aren’t as spicy. None-the-less, I enjoy them with my liter of beer almost every night I go there.

If your not into eating wings off the bone but still want the buffalo flavor, I recommend trying the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich, which is boneless grilled chicken breast smothered in buffalo sauce, topped with a crispy fried onion ring, lettuce, and tomato, served with a side of creamy blue cheese spread and heaping of fried potato wedges (42 pesos). I have never tried this dish myself, but I saw my friends get it for lunch the other day and they went crazy for it. The onion ring looked divine and the blue cheese was mild and whipped into a very light, spreadable consistency.

Additionally, Sugar Bar serves (drumroll, please) SOUP! All of you expats living here in Argentina know just how big of a deal this is! They have an amazing Chicken Noodle Soup that is packed with large chunks of all-white meat chicken and chopped vegetables (23 pesos). Clear broth soup is a rare find at a restaurant in Buenos Aires, and this one is New Jersey diner style! Delicious…

They also serve a hearty Black Bean Chili (25 pesos) and French Onion Soup topped with oven baked gyuere cheese (20 pesos). Anyone looking for a taste of American comfort food in Buenos Aires, should head to Sugar Bar!

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Filed under Buenos Aires Restaurants, Cocktails, International Restaurants

{ Jalapeno Cheddar Mini-burgers and Chipotle Aioli }

Jalapeno Cheddar Mini-Burgers

Words of wisdom from Harold and Kumar go to White Castle:

Burger Shack Employee- “Just thinking about those tender little White Castle burgers, with those little itty bitty grilled onions that just explode in your mouth like flavor crystals every time you bite into one…”

Harold- “I want that. I want that feeling. We gotta go to White Castle. I am so hungry. I’m gonna eat, like, 20 of those little burgers, man.”

Kumar- “Dude, I will see your 20 burgers and raise you 5 orders of fries.”

Fact: Everyone loves and craves a thick juicy hamburger from time to time. Vegetarians, don’t even kid yourselves, I know you do too. You just have more self-control than the rest of us and I’m still in the process of trying to decide whether I find that admirable or insane. Anyways, with the economy down the past couple of years, Americans are beginning to downsize the many aspects of their lives. Toll Brothers is building smaller homes, people are starting drive smaller cars (they finally realized that gas prices will never be below $2 again…goodbye H2), and the biggest names in burgers are producing mini-burgers faster than you can say recession.

White Castle first introduced the mini-burger concept back in 1921, dubbing their creation the “Slyder.” Today, many people refer to all small burgers as “sliders,” but this is just incorrect. Society is so focused on being politically correct, but lets get our culinary terms straight too while we are at it! You see, in order for a miniature burger to be a true slider, it must be a very thin slip of beef cooked atop onions and garnished with pickles. The steam from the onions does as much cooking as the griddle, and the burger buns absorb their pungent aroma. This is the method of preparation still used at White Castle today—that’s if you can manage to find a White Castle, of course. I think Harold and Kumar prove that it can be a rather long and difficult journey!

On the other hand, mini-burgers (a reduction of the same old thing we know and love), are popping up everywhere and they are absolutely irresistible. Maybe it’s the satisfaction of getting to eat multiple burgers (with less guilt might I add), or the ability to try out several different topping combinations, or maybe things really are better fun-sized (except women of course—coming from one that’s 5’ 9”). Whatever the reason, mini-burgers have created a loyal, almost cult-like, following all across America and I consider myself to be a “patty purveyor,” always looking for the latest and greatest in burgers. (So far my favorite mini-burgers are; (1) STK’s made with Japanese Wagyu Beef, secret sauce, truffle mushrooms, and sesame bun, and (2) Sugarcane’s made with Kobe beef, tonkatsu sauce, and fried quail egg).

I knew that I wanted mini-burgers for my birthday, so I decided try my hand at making my own! I made Jalapeno Cheddar Burgers and Mushroom Swiss burgers. Just fold the desired amount of your toppings into some ground sirloin beef, season with salt and pepper, and mold into 3 ounce patties with your hands. Then simply grill to desired cooking temperature! I purchased whole wheat slider buns from Wegmans, and made this Spicy Chipotle Aioli as a condiment. The aioli turned out awesome and I have since been eating it with chicken and using it as spread for sandwiches. It will hold for quite some time in your refrigerator, so don’t hesitate to make a lot.

{ Ingredients for Chipotle Aioli }

 

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
  • Juice of ½ a lime
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

{ To Make Chipotle AioliCombine all ingredients in a food processor and puree. Adjust levels of adobo sauce, salt, and pepper to taste preference.

Spicy Chipotle Aioli

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Food Truck Heaven

Every Tuesday around 12 O’clock in the afternoon, my phone starts blowing up with mass tweets discussing the South Florida food trucks. I read things like; “last call for melty goodness” tweeted by CheeseMeMobile, “I’m about to attack you” @JefesOriginal, “Live Music and Fresh Food” # BTTR. For weeks I have been getting these messages and thinking to myself, I want melty goodness and fresh food, but what the heck is BTTR?!?

I still don’t know what the abbreviation stands for, but today I found out what BTTR is all about. Basically, it is what I envision heaven will be like for me–about 40 different food/dessert trucks lined up within a very small walking area. And these aren’t your average food trucks, these are gourmet “miniature restaurants,” offering incredible homemade delicacies at a ridiculously reasonable price. Try the McShane grilled cheese at CheeseMeMobile, which includes Pulled BBQ Pork, Ruthie’s Cole Slaw, Vintage Cheddar Cheese, all pressed on Garlicked Texas Toast. Or perhaps, you want a Chorizo, Chuck, and Sirloin Burger topped with Oaxaca Cheese, Caramelized Onions, Jalapenos, Avocado Sauce, and Red Pepper Mayo (goes by the name of Latin Macho) at LatinBurger. With a million different types of food all within walking distance from one another, anyone and everyone can create their custom fantasy meal.

The McShane Grilled Cheese from CheeseMeMobile

Image taken from BurgerBeast.com

Latin Macho from LatinBurger

Image taken from BurgerBeast.com

What was mine, you ask?

I’ll share with you, gladly!

At first I was overwhelmed by the variety of food choices, so I began by going to the only truck I recognized from my Twitter feed–Jefe’s Original.  Ensenada Style Fish Tacos, which is beer batter crispy fish, shaved fresh green cabbage, authentic pico de gallo, and house made crema served on a soft fresh corn tortilla. Tacos Carnitas, with seasoned chunks of slow roasted pork, chopped onions and cilantro, and roasted salsa verde served on fresh corn tortilla. Each taco was served with a wedge of lime and a side of hot sauce (and I mean no-joke hot) for just $2.35. I was absolutely blown away by the fish taco, which had incredible crunch and flavor and no strong fishy taste. I wouldn’t have even known it was fish had I been blind sampling. After devouring my first taco, I moved onto my carnita taco, which had a tough act to follow. It was also good, but not nearly as amazing as the fish one. Moral of the story: savor the unique fish taco experience at Jefe’s and get your carnita fix at Chipotle another day.

Jefe’s Original Esenada Style Fish Tacos

Jefe’s Original Tacos Carnitas

The next truck I stopped at was Slow Food Truck (SFT) because their seasonal and local menu caught my eye. This truck is certainly for carnivores, offering a variety of thick juicy burgers and pulled pork, short rib, and tender chicken sandwiches. I ordered the Beef Short Rib specialty sandwich, which was braised beef short rib, organic arugala, queso blanco, and crispy fried onions served warm on baguette. Basically, a super sophisticated Philly Cheesesteak, and let me tell you that this sandwich put a whole lot of Philly Cheesesteak places to shame. I rarely enjoy a steak sandwich outside of the 215 area code, and I had not one bad thing to say about this sandwich. In fact, I had not one thing at all to say because I was too busy eating! It was perfection from the salty onions to the tender meat to the warm bread….greasy, finger-licking goodness.

SFT’s Beef Short Rib Sandwich with Queso Blanco, Arugala, and Crispy Fried Onions

Ariana also ordered the “Fatty Burger” Special from SFT, which was a ground sirloin patty stuffed with bacon, and topped with cheddar cheese and crispy fried onions. It was one of the most fattening burgers (or shall I say food items period) that I have ever put to my lips, but it was worth every artery-clogging bite that I stole from her! So bad for you, but so good.

SFT’s Fatty Burger with Cheddar Cheese, Bacon, and Crispy Fried Onions

Image taken from BurgerBeast.com

Next I was ready for some dessert, but I needed something on the lighter side after all that greasy beef. I decided on Italian ice from The Chill Stop, which is an all-natural, handmade, mobile ice company that uses seasonal ingredients and local produce right from the Miami area. I ordered the Mint Chocolate Chip flavor, which was NOT green much to my surprise and delight! Since the Chill Stop does not use any artificial preservatives, flavors, or colorings, their mint chip ice was fresh crushed ice infused with natural pieces of spearmint leaf. It was super refreshing and tasted very clean. Without doubt has changed my perception of water ice forevermore–no more Rita’s for me!

The Chill Stop

The Chill Stop’s Mint Chip Italian Ice

Overall, I say watch out LA because the food truck scene has taken Miami by storm and our trucks are getting it right! The crowd may be a little strange, and the neighborhood a little rough, but the food bring served up at BTTR is outrageously good. If you want to read about all of the different food trucks in Miami, I suggest that you check out BurgerBeast.com, which is a website run by a local Miami foodie. If you follow BurgerBeast on Twitter, they Tweet the food truck’s various daily locations!

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STK ***

Japanese Wagu Sliders with Secret Sauce and Truffles on Seseame Bun

305.604.1000
2377 Collins Ave
Miami Beach, 33139
(In the Gansevoort Hotel)

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I’m not going to lie, after the break up with my ex-boyfriend, I turned into a little bit of a serial dater. I went through a period of like 2-3 weeks where almost every night I was wining and dining with someone different. I definitely wasn’t looking for anything, but figured I had to get my groove back somehow and why not through casual dinner dates? I thought I was killing two birds with one stone—eating my emotions and adjusting to the single life all at the same time—but in reality, I was really just steadily gaining 5-pounds over the course of those 3 weeks. The lesson learned: no one can help you get over a break-up but yourself. Sure, having other crushes provide a distraction, but you cannot really move on until you remember how to love yourself….and this can take some time, so be patient. But since this is a food blog, and not a Dear Alice column, I’ll quit giving love advice and get to the food already.

Obviously, I ate out at a lot of restaurants during my short-lived “serial dating” phase, but I have not blogged about any of them because I never know who might read my posts (aka one of my dates). So why start blogging about them now? Well I think that finally enough time has passed since my “phase,” and since so many of my dates have deleted me from facebook and bbm (upset that I wouldn’t do a second date) I feel like they might not find my new site?!? Ehh, I just don’t care anymore really.

So one of my first dinner dates was to STK in the Gansevoort Hotel on South Beach. If you didn’t already guess from the name, STK is a steak house and I was really excited to check this place out because I had never been before (I like it when a guy takes me out to a place that I have never tried before). The interior of the restaurant is very modern and elegant, mimicking a swanky nightclub. In fact, I believe that it does turn into a club/lounge after dinner hours. The only thing that I hated about the restaurant was the seating. Tables for two were one-sided booths!!!! It was a half moon shape bench around a small circular table. So you sit next to one another and look out at all the couples cuddling in other booths while you eat. Since I absolutely hate booth cuddlers—I think people should just focusing on eating at a restaurant and save the snuggling for home—the seating situation really bothered me. It’s also terrible for a first date because your awkwardly close and unintentionally playing footsies under the table before you even get to know them.

To start we ordered The Lil’ Big Mac’s, which were sliders made of Japanese wagu beef topped with special sauce and truffles served on a sesame bun (photographed at top). They were incredible!! We added on the truffles extra and I am so glad we did because they added an awesome rich flavor that complimented the creamy secret sauce beautifully. The secret sauce is some sort of mayonnaise-based spread. I couldn’t quite figure it out completely, but I guess that’s why it’s called secret sauce. (After having the rest of my meal, I decided that I would get to orders of these sliders for my entrée if I ever came back…yes, they are that good)

For my entrée, I ordered the 10 oz Filet and it was good, but not the best (I still believe that Meat Market on Lincoln Road is the best steak house in Miami). However, I did enjoy the STK Bold Sauce that I ordered to go with it. It had a great smoky kick to it that added a lot of flavor to the meat. I was less impressed with their Bordelaise Steak Sauce, which was standard and lacking in flavor to be quite honest. Of course, I finished the whole steak though and definitely did a number on the Parmesan Truffle Fries, which were presented as a tower. I thought that they were good but not as strong in truffle flavor. If you are into Parmesan truffle fries, the best are at Gotham Steak House in the Fountaine Bleau…woah are they good!

Tower of Parmesan Truffle Fries

Overall, I thought it was overrated for the price point and the hype. I wasn’t wowed by anything, except the sliders, and even those were ridiculously over-priced ($25). I enjoyed the meal, don’t get me wrong, but I had higher expectations based on others comments. I would recommend going to Meat Market for steak in Miami.

STK REVISED:

Ironically, the night after posting my review on STK, my girlfriend called me up and invited me out to a promotional dinner there. I was unimpressed the first time that I went, but thought I would give it another chance—I really just couldn’t resist the opportunity of a free meal. So we went and surprisingly it was fantastic. I couldn’t believe the difference in the quality of the food between my first visit and this time. Everything was a million times tastier. I had the Filet Mignon again and this time it was juicy and flavorful without even putting any steak sauce on it. I also had the chance to try a lot of other items on the menu, considering the food was brought out family style for everyone to share.

One of the first plates to come out was the Tuna Tartar, which was made with a citrus yogurt and jalapenos served with a roasted pineapple chutney, crispy shallots, and plantain chips. I thought it was the best tuna tartar that I have ever had, and the sweetness of the pineapple was a perfect contrast to the heat of the jalapeno. The pineapple chutney was really great, and I couldn’t get enough of the citrus yogurt.

Tuna Tartar with Citrus Yogurt, Jalapenos, Roasted Pineapple, and Plantain Chips

I also had a chance to taste the Hearts of Romaine Salad with garlic croutons and parmesan dressing. It was very standard but tasted good. The Blue Iceberg Salad with smoked bacon, blue cheese, and pickled tomato was better in my opinion, but again, very average.

Unfortunately we didn’t get any of the sliders, which are still my favorite thing in the restaurant…in addition to the tuna tartar now! But I did get to try the Organic Free Range Chicken, which is served with a butternut squash-salify-forested mushrooms. I was actually wowed by this chicken dish, because the aforementioned “butternut squash chutney” was delicious and added a great flavor to the tender and juicy meat.

As far as side dished go, we had the Mac & Cheese (basic, not my favorite), the Seasonal Mushrooms (very, very, good), the Creamed Spinach (I like creamed spinach a lot but theirs was gross!), the Creamy Yukon Mashed Potatoes (way too creamy, almost a polenta consistency), and the Brussel Sprouts (prepared sweet, not salty = big mistake and not good).

For dessert, they brought out a cool display with a variety of treats. The presentation was great, the desserts were not. I would not bother saving room for dessert at STK, instead I would fill up on the tuna tartar, the wagu sliders, and of course steak! Based on my experience tonight, I would give STK 4 stars but because they are so inconsistent I have to keep them at 3. I like a restaurant that is dependably good…not just sometimes good.

Homemade Bread Served with Chive Oil

Assorted Desserts

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ONE BURGER ****

Goat Cheese Burger with Fire-roasted Red Pepper, Crispy Onions, and Sun-dried Tomato Butter on Toasted Bun

305.529.5555
367 Alhambra Circle
Coral Gables, 33146

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The thanksgiving festivities are finally over, and thank God, because I feel as if I have consumed at least twice my body weight in stuffing over the past week! As I polished off the last little piece of pumpkin pie with my breakfast yesterday (don’t judge…all is fair during thanksgiving), I swore to myself that I would begin some sort of healthy eating regiment to restore my body to its normal proportions. Keep in mind I said this yesterday, and then where did I find myself today? One Burger—my favorite little burger spot in Miami.

Its official…I have no self-control whatsoever when it comes to food. Granted, One Burger also makes it difficult to have self-control because it is just so delicious!!

One Burger is a tiny little restaurant located near Miracle Mile in Coral Gables, but it is not hard to find because the all-black façade makes it stand out. The design of the restaurant is very modern and youthful in appearance, with a bold, monochromatic black & white color scheme. But where the colors are lacking, the flavors most certainly aren’t. One Burger offers a variety of gourmet beef, chicken, turkey, seafood, and vegetarian burgers, in addition to a broad range of inventive salads and chicken sandwiches.

As far as burgers go, my favorite is the Goat Cheese Burger, which is a standard beef patty, topped with creamy goat cheese, fire-roasted red peppers, crispy fried onions, sun-dried tomato butter, and mixed greens on a toasted bun. I love goat cheese on anything, and so to have it on my burger is simply divine. The soft textures of the cheese and roasted peppers contrast nicely with the crispy fried onions, which aren’t too overdone. I have also had the Spicy Mex Chicken Burger, which I really enjoyed too. I’m not usually too much of a chicken burger or turkey burger person (I have a “go big, or go home” philosophy when it comes to burgers), but I was pleasantly surprised when I ordered it. It is a ground chicken patty topped with cheddar cheese, jalapeno salsa, and a spicy chipotle-adobo spread serve don a toasted bun.

When I’m not in the mood or a burger, I order the El Spicy Chicken Sandwich, which is a-w-e-s-o-m-e. You have your choice of grilled, fried, or blackened chicken (I get blackened) that is the served with cheddar cheese, sliced avocado, green-leaf lettuce, tomato, and spicy chipotle-adobo spread on a toasted bun. I actually get cravings for this sandwich!!

And of course, what would a burger place be without fries?! One Burger offers plain french fries, spicy french fries, sweet potato fries, yucca fries, and onion rings. The sweet potato fries and spicy fries are my top picks, and if you have room for a little something sweet after you eat, the Oreo Milkshake is incredible.

The only warning that I have is that the name is a little misleading, because I rarely get out of there with just eating one burger. I more often than not make it a two-burger kind of meal!  (No, this does not mean the portions are tiny…I am just a food whore).

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Beer and Burger Joint ****

The Mother Burger

305.523.2244
Mary Brickell Village
901 South Miami Ave
Miami, Fl 33130
(Also Located In South Beach)

CHECK OUT THE MENU!

I discovered Beer and Burger Joint this past week, and I have already been three times! I attribute this both to my addictive personality and the incredible food that they serve. The concept is simple—massive burgers, with gourmet toppings, for a very reasonable price (average burger costing between $10 and $12). Of course there are also some specialty burgers on the menu that can get expensive, such as the Stairway to Heaven Burger, which costs about $39. But that burger comes loaded with 10 oz of kobe beef, 3 oz of foie gras, a black truffle demi, on a brioche bun, and is served with duck fat fries. It’s your 3 square meals for the day in just 1 sitting! My personal favorite however, is the vegetarian Dear Prudenceburger, which is two thick portabella mushroom caps, roasted red peppers, fresh mozzarella, arugala, tomato, and garlic parmesan cheese, served on a ciabatta roll. It is the largest portabella burger that I have ever seen, and I love it particularly for all the fun condiments that it is served with (I might have mentioned in former blog posts, that foodies like myself are condiment people by nature). It comes a side of walnut-basil pesto, a roasted garlic bulb, and zucchini fries that are accompanied by a creamy dill dipping sauce. The whole plate is just an assortment of deliciousness.

For the most part, each burger is paired with its own unique variation on the french fry. Options include:onion rings, mushroom fries, skinny fries, zucchini fries, duck fat fries, and sweet potato fries. The skinny fries are by far my favorite, and the duck fat fries confuse me and scare me a little, to be quite honest. If you’re not feeling called by any of the suggested burgers on the menu, then there is always the option to create your own custom burger. You get to build it from scratch, choosing your meat, bun, sauce, and toppings, but this is definitely not the cost friendly option because it does get expensive. And for those of you who wish that you could be Adam Richman from Man v. Food, you can challenge your stomachs with Beer and Burger’s Mother Burger. I believe that they describe it best on their menu:

“The Mother Of All Burgers! A Ginormous Beast The Size Of A Manhole Cover And Sandwiched In A Bun That Resembles A Couch Cushion! Order One For The Table Or Finish It Yourself Within 2 Hours And It’s Free! Serious Eaters Only Need Apply…” 10 Lb. Of Our Natural Freshly Ground Angus Beef Choose One Cheese-Two Topping-One Sauce-Two Sides. Please Allow 25 Minutes to cook.”

If you do decide to take on this epic food challenge, make sure that you’re hungry because if you don’t finish the whole thing in 2 hours, then you are responsible for the bill, which is a staggering $75. However, if you do complete the challenge, then Beer and Burger will pay for your tremendous stomachache…isn’t that nice?

Dear Prudence Burger served with Zucchini Fries

 

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JG Melon *****

Cheeseburger on Toasted Bun

212.744.0585
1291 3rd Ave, New York 10021
(Corner of 74th and 3rd)

CHECK OUT THE MENU!

[food orgasm (n): the reaction a person makes after taking a bite of a dish that they find especially delicious. A food orgasm usually includes one or more of the following: tilting the head back, rolling the eyes upward, gasping, moaning, and/or cooing.]


This morning, at the obscene hour of 6 am, my boyfriend and I left for New York City to celebrate my 21st birthday.The trip was a surprise gift from him and he knew that the only way to get me out of bed in time for the flight would be to bribe me with the promise of food…and not just any food…but a burger from JG Melon (he knows how I operate).So he coaxed me out of the house reminding me that the sooner we got to NY, the sooner I would be devouring my favorite burger.It worked and when we finally got to JG Melon, we were told as usual that there was a wait.But this is one wait I never mind for the following reasons:

 

A)I believe all truly good food is worth the wait—and this burger is the best!

 

B) The line moves quickly because the dinning area is very small and people don’t want to linger in the semi-claustrophobic space.

C)The walls are decorated with every type of watermelon artwork (including a watermelon handbag, which I noticed for the first time on this trip!), and so your distracted while you wait.

But lets get to the food!! The menu is incredibly small, but it doesn’t matter because the burger is the only thing you need to order…in addition to a side of cottage fries of course!! What’s a burger without the fries?!? The burger has no fancy toppings, but it is delicious in its simplicity.It is a thick juicy patty and you have the option to add cheddar cheese, bacon, or both.I always ask for sautéed onions too, but this is not a place that you can get high maintenance with your order.I once asked for sautéed mushrooms on my burger and the waitress went into a long speech on how the cooks are too busy to be bothered by such a special request (Why it’s too difficult to add some mushrooms to the pan they are already cooking my onions in, I don’t know…but I’ve never asked again).Every burger does come with pickles and raw red onion on the side though, and the bun is PERFECTLY toasted. When you finish, you’ll wish that you could rewind and experience this meal all over again….it is a food orgasm and in my opinion the greatest burger to be found. But make sure to stop at an ATM before you go to JG Melon because they only accept cash….thats right, NO CREDIT CARDS!!! But a 20 spot will do it because the burger is only about $9 and the cottage fries are $4.25. Enjoy!!

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