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great burger at Mason's in Livonia (MI)

Summerfield Feb 17, 2007 10:12 AM

On Friday I travelled with Dearborn Barkis to Livonia to sample the highly-touted burger at Mason's Bar. First, Mason's IS a bar, and there were ashtrays on every table. However, except for two people, Friday's lunchtime crowd was decidedly of the non-smoking type.

We both ordered well-done burgers with American cheese and fries. Server said that the burgers are 1/3 lb patties and that you can get a double.

After a small wait by two very hungery people, the chow arrived. The first thing I noticed was that, compared to the Miller's burger, Mason's was flatter with more circumference. I prefer the plumper Miller's style, but this is a small thing. The roll fit the burger well. After the first bite, the second thing I noticed was that my burger was not well-done, rather more like medium to medium well. The third thing that I noticed was that the burger was delicious. Fries were mediocre. All the fixin's were on the table.

Obviously, further lunchtime sampling of the Mason burger is required to find out if the lunchtime crowd is consistently non-smoking, and to see whether the cook can get my burger well-done.

New rankings:

1. Miller's
2. Mr. Brew-Stirs
3. Mason's
4. Dan's (Saline)
5. Stiver's (Chelsea)
6. Sidetrack
7. Sandy's On The Beach

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  1. b
    boagman RE: Summerfield Feb 17, 2007 10:15 AM


    Where is *the heck* is Redcoat Tavern in that list? For shame, for shame...


    1 Reply
    1. re: boagman
      Summerfield RE: boagman Feb 17, 2007 12:06 PM


      I haven't been to the Redcoat Tavern but once some years ago. I really can't remember anything about the burger per se, so I'm not really qualified to comment on its quality. I'll leave the Redcoat praise-singing to you and others who frequent it. It's really out of my chowhound range. However, I'm not going to say "never". Anyway, my rankings consist only of places that I've eaten at over the last year. Stiver's tonight!

    2. s
      skel15 RE: Summerfield Feb 21, 2007 12:34 PM

      Gotta love getting Stiverized! Great burgers...and talk about an actual BAR. I would have to agree with boagman though. Red Coat is to Burgers what Scotty Simpsons is to F&C!

      1. a
        amandaqtpie RE: Summerfield May 15, 2007 07:02 PM

        Red Coat should not rate on the list you have. It's way overrated. I'm not saying Miller's is #1 (I love Mason's, Checker Bar, Greenwich Time, Green's).

        Excellent list, Summerfield. I'd also add Mr. Joe's.

        5 Replies
        1. re: amandaqtpie
          berkleygary RE: amandaqtpie May 16, 2007 05:16 AM

          Put me down as a Mason's fan - and don't forget the fries are almost always served hot and crispy.

          I also think redcoat is way overrated. I live a mile or so from there and stop in every year or so just because so many people rave about them. And every year I say, "What's the big deal?" Generally my experience at Redcoat is that sometimes the burgers are cooked as ordered and rarely are the fries hot.

          1. re: berkleygary
            boagman RE: berkleygary May 16, 2007 09:00 AM

            Hmm, that's interesting to me. Now, I fully admit that the potato offerings as a whole at the Redcoat are not appealing to me, so that's not even worth debating. But the burger itself? It's always come out the way I've ordered it in the past. I almost always order it medium, and occasionally medium-well, and I'll admit that when I ordered it medium-well, it wasn't quite right, doneness-wise.

            It's still what I consider to be the finest burger I've had in the area, though. Fantastic.

            1. re: boagman
              jovicevic RE: boagman Jun 7, 2007 02:16 PM

              I am surprise Mason's is so high on your list. The first thing I ever had in Livonia was a Mason burger because everyone at work said I had to go. I was really bummed it did not stand up the the Bitely bar burger that I hold all burgers to. well the original Bitely bar burger cause there are new owners and they changed the burger. all back to the point. I am not much of a mason burger fan.

              Another note I even like Bray's at times because they remind me of a place my mom used to take me when I was a kid,.

          2. re: amandaqtpie
            Summerfield RE: amandaqtpie Jun 8, 2007 12:02 PM

            Where's Mr. Joe's? Thanks.

            1. re: Summerfield
              amandaqtpie RE: Summerfield Jun 10, 2007 07:23 PM

              It is at Northwestern and 12 Mile Rds., essentially. It's pretty much in what you'd think of as the "northeast" part of that intersection, in a sort-of strip mall.

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