The perfect burger is a beautiful thing. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder of course. Everyone has an opinion, usually a strong opinion about the iconic American ethnic food – the hamburger. Like pizza, there are distinct burger styles, each with passionate fans here in Jersey.
For some, the best burgers are thin, griddle-steamed “sliders,” like the spectacular burgers served at Linden’s White Rose System or Clark White Diamond, with sliced onions and a pickle nestled in a soft bun. Others head to a tavern like Krug’s in Newark or a restaurant like Montclair’s Next Door for hefty “pub style” burgers, pink in the middle, crusty on the outside, served on rolls that can handle a half pound of beef. Now is a good time to be eating burgers in the Garden State. There is a new breed of specialty chain burgers, with better ingredients and higher aspirations than your typical fast food Burger Kings and Mickey Ds, found in NJ at spots like 25 Burgers, Bobby’s Burger Palace, and Five Guys. Add all the burgers at diners, Brazilian sandwich shops and just about any restaurant serving more than breakfast, and you’ve got a wildy diverse Jersey burger scene.
I’m a burger schitzophrenic. Sliders hold a special place in my culinary heart. White Castle was my favorite fast food burger growing up. I’ve rediscovered that taste in the fresh beef sliders at the independent Jersey slider spots. I order single cheeseburgers with onions and a pickle. But I also enjoy juicy pub-style burgers, medium rare, the way I grill mine at home. At a restaurant, I’ll order my burger with cheese (cheddar or blue), maybe bacon or jalapenos, and usually onions. Ketchup, never mustard.
Don’t see your favorite place? Share yours. I’ll add the most popular to the list, and to the map.
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