About Scott R Kline
Scott R. Kline is a photographer, father, traveler, husband and burger-lover based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He loves road trips, Burning Man, scotch whiskey, mid-century furniture, his dog Rex, building houses in Mexico, and seeing what comes next in life. You can visit the Facebook page for Scott R. Kline Photography at http://tinyurl.com/2eodlxu.
Latest Posts by Scott R Kline
Big Jud’s has the best burger in Boise, Idaho according to Yelp and a few other sites. Me and fellow burger seeker John decided to swing by and give it a try. On a Friday evening it was packed. The board featured the 1 pound and 2 pound burger challenges, where you ate either with a similar amount of fries in 30 minutes and got a t-shirt (for the 2-pound) and your picture on the wall. Of course Adam Richmond had been there and taken the 2-pound challenge.
But how was the normal burger? I ordered the Bacon Cheeseburger ($6.49) from our very friendly server. John had the Bacon Burger. We also ordered Small Fries ($2.49) and Onion Rings ($2.79). We sat and looked around the restaurant as we waited for our food. The tables are steel-topped and the seats red naugahyde. It is a fast-food-style place that is a step up with the table service. Very nice.
The burger arrived with ketchup, mustard, pickle chips, onion, tomato and green leaf lettuce. I got the onions grilled. The griddled patty weighs 1/3 pound. Add a second patty for $2.50. The burger presented very well. Since it sat on a plate, unwrapped, it isn’t smashed down. The toasted white bun was lovely. Bacon practically snapped when you ate it, very crisp. Lettuce and tomato tasted fresh. American cheese melted artfully. Everything was really perfect, except for the patty itself. Mine was overcooked and a little dry. Not terribly flavorful, but everything else saved it.
The fries were very thick with skins on, hot, but a little soggy. Get the special fry sauce with your order. It is kind of like a french dressing and makes a good dip. My favorite thing was the onion rings. Lightly battered and piping hot, they were crisp and delicious with a sweet onion on the inside.
As we were leaving people at the table next to use received the 1-pound burger. As big as a pie pan with a knife sticking in the center, the bun alone would make it a challenge to eat in 30 minutes. With the massive fries, I don’t think I could do it. Is Big Jud’s the best burger in Boise? Maybe. I will have to try others to be sure. But I enjoyed the visit. And loved the vibe.
Burger 3.5 spatulas out of 5
Fries 2.5 spatulas
Onion Rings 4 spatulas
1289 South Protest Road
Boise, ID 83706
Donuts and Sliders are fabulous at the aptly named District Donuts and Sliders on busy Magazine Street in New Orleans. We joked that when we were in New Orleans for three days that we needed a second lunch every day to get to try as much of the great food as possible. This place is just the ticket.
The line forms early here with as many people getting the massive donuts as getting the diminutive burgers. We ordered one beef slider with cheese ($2.75) only and another with everything and bacon ($3.75). The sliders have 2.5 ounces of beef. Sauce like French dressing and crisp pickles. The dehydrated poppy seed bun sits soft and squishy to hold the juicy, medium rare and flavorful patty. Yum. Perfect for a second lunch. We also got the Pork Belly Slider for $4.50, excellent, but the burger was better.
After I saw the waffle fries ($2.75) I wished I had gotten them too. By that time the line was huge, so. I asked the chef if I could order from the bar. Yes. Grant the a manager hooked me up. It was worth the wait. They were salty and hot. The best part was the great vibe and happy helpful crew. The place bubbled with a positive vibe. With the manager actually plating the food, the quality here was very high.
Hamburger Slider 4.5 spatulas out of 5
Waffle Fries 4 spatulas
District Donuts and Sliders
2209 Magazine Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
Burger de Ville in Berlin, Germany is an Airstream Trailer in the middle of the Kurfurstendamm shopping district. It’s weird seeing food trailer in the middle of glass buildings. I had never had such luck with burgers in Europe, but it appears that Berlin is serious about Hamburgers. There we burger joints everywhere. The Burger de Ville double cheeseburger features 100 percent organic Angus beef and is an oasis for burger eaters in Berlin.
The Burger de Ville cheeseburger (€4,60) and double cheeseburger (€7,00) are from organic Black Angus. They are fabulous. Meat is tasty and fresh, griddled rather than flame broiled. Cooked medium well but still very juicy. Green leaf lettuce, pickle, tomato slice cheese special sauce top the patty. The sesame bun by Meisterbäckerei of Berlin toasted. Someone did their research. This burger would kill in the U.S.
This Airstream Trailer is the home for Burger deVIlle in Berlin and is surrounded by tall glass office buildings. Fries were piping hot. Medium cut with skins, they tasted fresh cut. Very tasty ketchup accompanied the fries.
No smell billowed from the trailer. Their clever system pumped the air from the grill vents and filtered it. So if you get to Berlin, it is worth searching out one of the Burger de Ville Airstreams. You will feel right at home.
Burger 5 out of 5 spatulas.
Fries 4.5 spatulas.
Burger de Ville
+49 30 68073949
Burger in Santa Cruz is a regular stop for me when I am in Santa Cruz California. They have an imaginative and creative offering and a very comfortable and fun bar atmosphere in the restaurant. The moment you come in, you are presented with a huge chalkboard behind the counter with lots of burger combos named after the famous and semi-famous.
My favorite name is the obscure Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett whose eponymous burger is the mushroom swiss. The Kim Kardashian ($14.75) is a double Phatty, which is two bacon cheeseburgers between two grilled cheese sandwiches.
I ordered the Hank Williams ($7.75), a 4-ounce Humboldt grass-fed beef patty, onion rings, bacon, cheddar cheese and BBQ sauce. All burgers come with lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles. And shoestring fries. I also bought a chocolate shake ($5.25).
The five of us finished ordering our burgers and were given a picture of Ozzy Osbourne as our “number” for our order to be brought to our table.
The shake came first, exquisitely topped with whipped cream and chocolate syrup. We had five spoons and the shake was quickly consumed. It was cold but still creamy. The shake was made with chocolate ice cream, not vanilla with syrup. It was sublime.
The burgers came, nicely packed in small metal loaf pans: face up for easy photography with fries nicely tucked in. The burger was very good, the meat nicely spiced with pepper. The onion inside the ring was sweet and soft, bacon crisp, bbq sauce a nice accent rather than overwhelming. All the vegetables were crisp and fresh. The toasted bun was firm and fresh.
The Menu is Considerable. The fries were disappointingly cold. We told our server and she cheerfully brought a piping hot mound of fries as a replacement. The hot fries were too thick to be called shoestrings. They were thin-cut, salty and crisp. Good if not remarkable.
Everyone really enjoyed their burger. We had a good time hanging out. We all agreed we will come back next time we are in Santa Cruz.
Burger 4 out of 5 spatulas
Fries 2.5 spatulas
Shake 4.5 spautals.
1520 Mission Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Every year millions of Hoosiers and other Midwesterners blast through Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia on Interstate 75, trying to get to Florida as fast as they can. Corbin, Kentucky, is one of dozens of little towns that we blow by without even seeing, hidden by the mountain ridges.
Probably all of them have a hidden treasure of a diner or two, but a couple of things make Corbin more worthy of others of a brief detour. If you’ve got an hour to spare, it’s the town closest to Cumberland Falls, one of the great under-appreciated natural wonders east of the Mississippi. And foodies may recognize Corbin as the home of Colonel Sanders and birthplace of Kentucky Fried Chicken.
And indeed, you can still enjoy a meal as well as tour a museum in the quaint refurbished cottage where Colonel Sanders started his empire. But, this blog is not called “Hoosier Chicken Boy.”
Or you can ask someone where to go for the local color. Odds are, they’ll be delighted to tell you that the Dixie Café is open again.
The Dixie is a classic hole-in-the-wall main street diner, serving breakfast and lunch, that dates back at least to my mother-in-law’s childhood in the 1930s. A few years ago it closed and the space briefly became an Italian restaurant, but in the last year new owners bought it and restored/updated it to a version of its former “glory.”
It’s still got the 2’x4’ acoustic ceiling and the red-and-white tile floor, accompanied by new, no-nonsense booths and tables, with a lunch counter in the back. The walls are freshly painted in the red and gray colors of the local high school, the Corbin Redhounds (hey, there’s another alternative nickname for the Washington Professional Football Club), and adorned with a combination of letter jackets, old sports calendars, and framed artwork of local landmarks for sale, including a striking image of an L&N locomotive, a tribute to the employer that kept my in-laws fed and shod through the Great Depression. You have to get close enough to read the price tags to realize that the images are filtered and soft-focused photographic prints. If they had actually been paintings, I would have bought a couple for $105. I may still.
Whether your clientele is locals or tourists, if you’re down the street from the original KFC, you need a gimmick. At the Dixie, it is the “chili bun” – a hot dog bun filled with finely-ground beef in a chili sauce, with no frankfurter involved. The sauce has just a touch of heat, seasoned primarily with black and cayenne pepper, and maybe a hint of cumin. They come two to a platter with a side for $4.25, and they are ample enough that my 14-year-old didn’t need dessert afterwards.
Hoosier Burger Boy and I grew up in rural northern Indiana, where his family raised beef cattle and my family’s blood money came from poultry, so I ordered the Dixie Eggburger for $5.65, plus a 50-cent upgrade to onion rings. The onion rings were of the frozen variety, but of good quality for that kind, well-drained so they weren’t greasy, and plentiful.
The burgers at the Dixie are fresh and hand-made. No perfect circles here – mine was bigger than 6 ounces but not a half-pound, and bore a striking resemblance to a map of Ireland. It was thick enough that they probably should have asked how I wanted it done. It came out medium-rare, which was perfect for my tastes, but maybe too pink for some. They did ask me how I wanted the egg, and they nailed the “over-medium”, with just enough yolk to drip some on the plate without getting the large, white-bread bun soggy. The burger lacked any kind of seasoning to make it truly memorable, but was more than satisfying for the price.
Despite the antique coke machine inside the front door, the Dixie offers Pepsi products and both sweetened and unsweetened tea, which is a pleasure. In this part of the country, if you order iced tea without asking, you’re probably going to get “swait tay.”
I don’t think you need to be accompanied by a delighted Corbin expatriate to enjoy the Dixie, but that was surely part of the pleasure. Every household at my wife’s family reunion made a detour from the state park into town to have at least one meal at the Dixie. With or without a Corbinite (Corbinian? Corbinaria?), a trip to the Dixie feels like a homecoming.
Burger 3 Spatulas out of 5
Onions Rings 2.5 Spatulas
208 S. Main St.
Corbin, KY 40701
Contributed by Ron Newlin.
The Pink Pony in Scottsdale, Arizona was a must for burgering when we made our first sojourn to Arizona to watch the Giants at Spring Training. The Pink Pony is a long-time tradition in Scottsdale for all those who attend the Giants games a few blocks away at Scottsdale Stadium. My friend Gil Zeimer, who recently wrote a guest blog here, said we had to get the Pony Burger.
After the Saturday game, we headed over to the Pony. The newly remodeled Pony has little in common with the old dive it once was, according to those we spoke with. It is modern and sleek and would not feel out of place in Los Angeles. We were told it was a two–hour wait for a table so we decided to wait for a spot to open up at the bar. We put in our name for a table, just in case.
At the bar, Giants fans traded stories and we joined right in. Four men who share season tickets at AT&T were on their 14thconsecutive outing to spring break. We chatted with them as we waited for a bar spot to open up. After a mere 45 minutes my pager went off and we got our table.
I ordered the Pony Burger ($12) with Wisconsin Cheddar, crispy Pork belly, avocado, garlic aioli, slow roasted tomato, bibb lettuce and butter bun + fired egg. But our server, Vincente, said that the Giants fans had made a run on the place and the huge trove of buns they had at the beginning of the day were gone! No burgers. I was crest-fallen. He promised to see what he could do. Sure enough, Vince came back and said the chef did not want me to go away disappointed. He would make a special bunless version of the burger just for me!
It was fabulous. The meat was salty and juicy. Very flavorful. The roasted tomato added a nice counter-note to the garlic aioli. The avocado was more like guacamole in consistency and could have been left off. The sunnyside-up egg was a great topper. The bibb lettuce cradled the whole thing next to some excellent fresh-cut fries.
I will definitely head back to try the bun version in the future, but this one was fabulous and the service was stellar.
Burger 4.5 spatulas out of 5
Fries 4 spatulas
3831 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Roam Artisan Burgers on Fillmore is the second location for this San Francisco burger chain. It is a warm and friendly place to meet friends for burgers, which is exactly what we did one Wednesday night. We all ordered our food at the counter and staked out 10 places at the communal table in the middle. Roam has a very nice wine and beer selection which is definitely a win. But go here for the burgers, which are some of the best I have had in San Francisco.
I got the Sunny-Side ($8.25) with the beef patty, organic free range egg, aged white cheddar, caramalized onions, greens, tomato, sweet chili sauce. The patty is 4.5 ounces but seems bigger. The meat is moist and nicely spiced, cooked just the right medium. Sesame bun toasted and spongy. Sauce is just the right amount of sweet and spicy. Onions sweet and perfect. Fresh tomato slices were fresh and tasty. My only quibble would be the egg yolk should have been runny, not cooked hard.
|Russet Fries from Roam Artisan Burgers
The Russet Fries ($2.99) are medium cut and sprinkled with parsley. These were not as hot as they could be.
Zucchini onion haystack strings ($3.49) are ok. They were tough to eat and indeed stringy.
The place offers a nice choice of meats including beef, turkey, bison and veggie. I didn’t consider anything but beef, but a lot in our party did. They seemed equally pleased.
I will be back. Sorry for the photo quality. The place was very dark. I lit the food with my iPhone.
Burger 5 spatulas to of 5
Fries 4 spatulas
Onion Strings 2.5 spatulas
Roam Artisan Burgers
1923 Fillmore Street,
San Francisco CA 94115
Shake Shack in Madison Square Park is the original location for this New York City icon. When in New York I felt compelled to give it a try. On a lovely fall Sunday in the shadow of the Flatiron Building, the line at noon was only about 5 minutes. I ordered a double Shack Burger ($7.20) fries ($2.70) and a chocolate shake ($5). It only took about 5 more minutes to get our food.
The burger is special. The two patties were fresh and lightly compacted. There was lots of room for the juice to flow. The meat was salty to the best degree and cooked a perfect medium. Melted American cheese oozed nicely blending with the mayo-based sauce. A couple of firm tomato slices and some fresh green leaf lettuce topped it off. The hinged bun was toasted and spongey, holding everything together in the two minutes it took me to eat it.
The fries were crinkle fries cooked brown and salted. Medium thick, they were good, but not unusual.
|The original location for the Shake Shack in the shadow of New York’s Flatiron Building.
The shake was fabulous. Creamy thick and cold, but still drinkable through the fat straw. The Chocolate quotient was perfectly balanced. I sensed a slight hint of coconut.
If you get to New York, don’t hesitate to give it a try. Try to get to the original location for a great experience.
Burger 5 spatulas out of 5
Fries 3.5 spatulas
Chocolate Shake 4 spatulas
Southeast Corner of Madison Square Park
Madison Ave. and E 23rd St.
New York, NY
|The Flatiron Building looms next door to Madison Square Park.
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