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Best burger in Mon/OC?

First of all, much thanks to everyone in my "New to Brick" thread for the suggestions and warm welcomes, I have many more "must try" places now!

One thing I've always had a hard time finding is a decent burger. Most places just flatten ground beef into a patty cook it up (usually over cook it) and drown it in condiments (that is of course, if it's not frozen to start with). Any suggestions for the best burgers locally?

Anybody have experience with 5 Guys? I've never been and, as I said before, I'd much rather put cash into pockets of locals as opposed to chains. But if their burgers are good, I'm willing to give it a try.

Suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Slightly off topic geographically but on topic culinarily, if you're ever traveling through CT make a side trip to stop by J. Timothy's in Plainville. They're well known for their wings, but their burgers have rocked my world on a couple occasions!

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  1. I don't know if I'd say these are the BEST local burgers, but I've been really digging Jr.s burgers in long branch. So little, fun, and tasty!

    5 Replies
    1. re: joonjoon

      Great char broiled taste to Jr.s burgers. I really dig these burgers too.

      Barnacle Bill's in Rumson is said to have great burgers, but I've never been.

      1. re: jsfein

        We love Jr's also. 2 orders of Bacon cheeseburgers for $10. And they are open til 4am. However, its not worth coming up from Brick.

        I do like the triple prime at Ruby Tuesday's.

        1. re: jsfein

          Absolutely Barnacle Bills is the best! Try it soon! Keep in mind that they have long waits most nights so be prepared to have a drink and some peanuts and chill out! Well worth the wait. Enjoy!

          1. re: mfalcone77

            I think BB's is overrated. Jr's puts out a better burger than BB, IMHO.

        2. re: joonjoon

          Just went to D'Arcy (the old Barry's) in Bradley Beach on Main St. tonight and had a mini burger. This approx. 4 oz burger was excellent along with very tasty fries the tab including tax but not tip was $5,85. In this day and age all of the Jerzey bars are pushing half pounders, which is way to much, no wonder everyone walking around these days is over weight. They have a dining room as well and is kid friendly.

        3. My favorite fast-food burger is at Jim's Burger Haven on Rt 36 in Hazlet. Specifically the double bacon burger without cheese. Make sure that your burger is cooked by Nick, the owner. He is nearly always there.

          The place is an old Burger Chef building. Photo: http://farm1.static.flickr.com/83/273...

          Jim's Burger Haven
          1215 State Route 36, Hazlet, NJ

          3 Replies
          1. re: val ann c

            Wow, that place looks amazing. Can't wait to try it!

            1. re: joonjoon

              After driving around the Highlands and realizing how seasonal many of the places there are, we decided to head up 36 to try Jim's. The vintage roadsign is wonderful. The burgers were quite good in the sense that they remind you of what McDonalds was like when you were a child. The atmosphere is depressing and the place is past funky, almost downright dirty. Takeout only for us should we ever be in the neighborhood again.

              1. re: MGZ

                Went there once - and yes, just dirty. This was a couple of years ago when you could smoke in restaurants, and there was a sign that stated no smoking at the counter where you ordered. That should have been the warning sign when you have to tell people to not smoke at the counter. Again, went once and only once.

          2. I don't eat a ton of burgers but I like one once in a while, would love to know where a truly great one is as well. Rod's in Sea Girt has been good to us so far, 10 oz. burger ground fresh daily (or so the menu says) and they always seem to have it cooked right. Frankies in Pt. Pleasant is the same owner as well. Both places have been good to us for appetizers, burgers and bar food.

            11 Replies
            1. re: retrovertigo

              Frankies in Point is a good spot. Its one of the bartender-cooked burgers that dot this area. Places with a grill behind the bar. Other places like that are Broadway Bar in Point, McCanns in Belmar, Harpoon Willies in Brielle, and a few more I can't think of right now.

              It seems any Monmouth county list should include Barnacle Bills and the Globe in Red Bank. PK's in South Belmar was a secret treasure when Butchie still ran the kitchen. Not the same anymore.

              1. re: MGZ

                Frankie's is definitely a good spot. While I always remember the bartenders cooking the burgers, on my last visit the burger appeared from the kitchen if I'm not mistaken. I could be all wet, though.

                Barnacle Bill's is another good local spot.

                1. re: tommy

                  The good burgers do come from the bar assuming you are sitting at the bar and your whole party orders from the "grill menu", otherwise they come from the kitchen. When my hubby and I go and want something from the kitchen too, we order the burger first from the bartender, wait until it's on, then add to the order the kitchen stuff. Bar burgers are far better than kitchen ones! Add an esspressotini for dessert and your set!

                  1. re: tommy

                    On my last visit to Harpoon Willy's my burger bun was stale. I certainly wouldn't run back there.

                  2. re: MGZ

                    hi. do you mean McCanns on main st. in belmar? or the hotel on ocean and 15th? ty. dosielee

                      1. re: MGZ

                        We stopped at McCann's for a beer and a game of pool on Monday. We discovered (a) the pool tables are gone and, more importantly, (b) the burgers are now 2 for 1 on Mondays.

                        1. re: MGZ

                          Unless things have recently changed, Saturdays as well.

                  3. re: retrovertigo

                    Rod's in Sea Girt is notorious for dead flies on the windowsills in the summer...fugeddaboutit...always a very dirty 'feel' to the place....food is mundane and forgettable.

                    1. re: jerseygurl

                      OH no, I was headed to Rod's tonight as someone said the bergers were good there. If the place is dirty, will go somewhere else.

                    2. re: retrovertigo

                      We tried the burger tonight at Rod's for the first time. I'm not going to get into comparison's with other burgers that I've had at many places mentioned on this thread, but it was close to the top of the list for me.

                    3. As many mentioned....I just Barnacle Bill's in Rumson.

                      ooh...they are just so good!! Get some onion rings while you are at it!!!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Angelina

                        Barnacle Bill's is our regular stop almost every Saturday. I love the burgers...

                        1. re: vtt7

                          I'm not a burger person, but my daughter gave up being vegan for Barnacle's Burgers! A nice appetizer choice for two with drinks is their fried zucchini...exceptionally delish with a super sauce! Don't dress up, you'll feel silly...its a come as you are joint...not at all good for romance, lots of noise and little kids running around.

                          1. re: jerseygurl

                            Totally agree w/jerseygurl about the burger and the zucchini. To further her description, it's a stumble-off-the-boat-with-really-bad-hair joint.

                      2. Cassville Tavern,best burger you will ever find.

                        16 Replies
                        1. re: bobfxd

                          bobfxd :
                          Cssville tavern where is that located is it off Hwy 571 ..thanks

                          1. re: big1515

                            At the corner of Rt. 571 & 528.

                            1. re: bobfxd

                              ..What type of place is this is it ..just bar food or dinners ?? ..What type of crowd ?? ..Do they welcome non-Cassville people ? ..thanks

                              1. re: big1515

                                A small local tavern,with a dining room in back.Mostly bar food,some dinners,a daily special,which is usually prime rib on Sun.They are known for their burgers and homemade soup.Service is a little slow as everything is made to order,but the food is very good.Friendly place,everybody is welcome.

                                1. re: bobfxd

                                  thanks ..Not far from Glort's market ..Glory's is a through back to the ozark mountains in the 1950's but his meat is fantastic and it does make money

                                  1. re: bobfxd

                                    Ate @ The Cassville Tavern last nite with my wife ..The bugers are not only big but of superior qualilty .One of the very best burgers in Ocean co.for sure..!! Home made sides salads added to the burger .. Meat comes from Glory's market ..Good bar staff
                                    This is a place where you leave your ego and college sweatshirts home .The drees code is not enforced ,jackets not required *and the pick up truck is the common mode of transportation .These are real people and real food . Beware .walking out front door puts you directly on the pavement of Hwy 528 (for real ) be careful

                                    1. re: big1515

                                      Glad you liked it,been one of my favorites for years.

                                    2. re: bobfxd

                                      I just heard that The Cassville Tavern has been sold ..if so how long do we have until the change .will the new owner keep it going... thanks

                                      1. re: big1515

                                        This is very bad.I don't know anything about it but I will stop in 1st chance I get and find out.

                                  2. re: bobfxd

                                    Is this in the town of Cassville? How far would that be from Belmar?

                                    1. re: Barbarella

                                      Yes,town of Cassville,in Jackson Twsp.20-30 minutes from Belmar.

                                      1. re: Barbarella

                                        I do not think there is a real town of Cassville ..The Tavern is @ the corner of 571 and 528 ..from Belmar go west on I195 to exit 21 .go toward Jackson ,past Glory's market ..go 2 lites to 528 make right .. The Cassville Tavern is on the Right as you come to 571 ... From Belmar about 30 minute .It is not far from the Jackson out lets ..Alot of the specials are hung up on hand written papers @ the Bar which seats about 16 people . Beer seem to be the drink of choice ,but they are fully stocked.. Don't be fooled by the appearence ( hole in the wall ) the food is outstanding and the people are salt of the earth ..worth a stop ..the locals must keep it a secret ..

                                        1. re: big1515

                                          Please don't tell the members of the Cassville Vol Fire Co. that there is no town of Cassville,they may not take it well.

                                          1. re: bobfxd

                                            When dealing with NJ *townships*, they often include several sections, or "towns," with different names and zip codes. For example, within the Township of Marlboro, there are Marlboro, Morganville, and Wickatunk. And each has its own fire dept. Of course, if the definition of a town means that it must have a real "downtown" area, then none of those three qualifies. lol In any event, I'm guessing that may be the case vis-a-vis Jackson Twp. & Cassville.

                                            1. re: RGR

                                              That's one of the many things I love about this part of Jersey: portions of a town named after the guy who probably first owned the land, like Grover's Corner. A portion of Monmouth Beach is called Galilee. Isn't that great?! And the names are still often on maps.

                                            2. re: bobfxd

                                              and RGR
                                              Do not want to offend anybody .,but if you wink you miss Cassville ..I did notice the near by fire company on 571 ..my bad ..

                                  3. Hey all, don't forget about Main Street in Ocean Township. That has been my favorite for many years now. Mc Cann's in Belmar is a close second!!!

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: Barbarella

                                      This is probably a dumb question...but where is Main Street in Ocean? By where??

                                      1. re: Angelina

                                        Southbound side of Route 35. Right by the Seaview Square Mall.

                                        1. re: Angelina

                                          On Rt. 35 before the Rt 66 Circle - On the right side heading south on 35

                                        2. re: Barbarella

                                          I'm a big fan of McCann's burger as well (depending on who's cooking). Sometimes it just doesn't feel right that it's not round though.

                                          1. re: white light

                                            I can agree with that. Did seem strange at first bite.Not to mention the long roll it was served on.!!!!

                                        3. I'll add my vote for Barnacle Bill's in Rumson. A classic style pub burger.

                                          Now I'm going to throw everyone a curve. The burger at Salle Tee's in Monmouth Beach is amazingly good. The thing is, they've got 2 burgers on their menu. The "Hamburger platter" is a standard pub burger. Not bad for it's kind but I'd still give the edge to Barnacle Bill's.

                                          It's the other burger that's the winner. On the menu it's listed as -
                                          "SALLEE’S BURGER - our burger with pepper-jack cheese and roasted red peppers."

                                          That description doesn't do it justice. The combination of the pepper jack cheese and peppers adds both richness and zip to an already good piece of meat and really makes this one outstanding. As you'd expect, the burgers are cooked to order and they seem to always get it right.

                                          The burger is served for both lunch and dinner. At $10 it's definitely worth it.

                                          I've been going to Sallee Tee's for 4 years and only got around to trying this burger a few months ago. Now I find it really hard to order anything else. This has been a well kept secret but now you know. Give it a shot. Remember - order the one with the pepper jack cheese.


                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: Bob Martinez

                                            I've been to Sallee tees a few times over the years but I wouldn't go back. I simply don't have an appetite with the service being so lousy. On two occasions I've had to get up and request a server after several of them mindlessly wander by our table. The lunch food is relatively inexpensive for the area and barely worth it. Also, the pickle/salad bar could use some updating.

                                            1. re: hotfoodhot

                                              "I simply don't have an appetite with the service being so lousy. On two occasions I've had to get up and request a server after several of them mindlessly wander by our table."

                                              I must have been to Salee Tee's over 20 times in the last year; we go about every 2 weeks for Sunday lunch. About 90% of the time service is just fine. About 10% of the time, when they're extremely busy, things can take a little longer. Yesterday on the Martin Luther King holiday was one of those times. The place was packed and our drink order took about 10 minutes to be delivered. (Usually it's less than 5.) Our food came out less than 15 minutes after we placed our order. Again, it's usually faster. That's accepatable for me.

                                              I'm not saying Sallee Tee's is perfect. It's a much better choice for lunch than for dinner but there are some things it does very well. And yes, yesterday I followed my own recommendation and that the burger with pepper jack cheese. It was terriffic.

                                          2. My vote goes to Barnacle Bills in Rumson as well....kelly's in neptune makes a pretty good oen too. 5 guys is good but its not a huge burger piled high with goodness they are smaller. But for the OC that's where I'd go.....

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: stack_c

                                              Barnacle Bill's in Rumson, for 2 reasons. First, it is quite possibly the best burger around. Period. 2nd, if the first wasn't enough, it is cooked in front of you and its only 6.95. In the surrounding area it is not uncommon to see burgers for 10, 11 and 12 dollars. Barnacle Bill's has not raised their price in a long time and continues to be know as THE place for a burger in Monmouth County.

                                              1. re: hotfoodhot

                                                Look, I like the Barnacle Bill's burger just fine - I said so above. But lets not be saving a place on Mount Rushmore for the owner because they haven't raised their prices in awhile. Sure, the burger is only $7.00. (I refuse to say "$6.95." I haven't been fooled by that trick since I was 6 years old.)

                                                The thing is, $7.00 buys you a very nice burger with *chips*. If you want fries that will cost you another $3.00 which brings the true cost up to $10.00. Don't get me wrong, it's worth the ten bucks but lets not hear about the Magic Seven Dollar Burger any more. It doesn't exist.

                                            2. The best burger I've had in a while was at the Brickwall Tavern in Asbury Park. It was quite a while ago though. I like the burger at Barnacle Bill's, but I don't like any of the sides, including the fries and onion rings.

                                              1. Has anybody ever been to Mr. Blu's in Deal? I haven't been in absolute ages but I do remember this hole in the wall dump had the very best burgers, ever!

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: crzldy

                                                  Thank goodness nobody mentioned the "CheeseBurker" at Fromagerie - what a stinker!!

                                                  And since it is so close to Barnacle Bill's, I'd rather just go there if I am in the neighborhood.

                                                  In Red Bank there is a good burger at the Globe Bar & Grill.

                                                  In Freehold you can get surprisingly good basic food including a good burger at Cafe 360.

                                                  As for the chains, the only one worth mentioning on this page is the triple prime at Ruby Tuesdays, and I'd still rather have any of the above.

                                                2. I am probably the only person in Monmouth County who doesn't care for Barnacle's. My favorite is at Neil's Original Oyster in Highlands.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: sunsetterdottie

                                                    Let's all put this disscusion to a rest. Here is the best burger around, I know you are going to think I'm crazy but here it is.Piccolo Italia, Ocean Twsp.
                                                    His burger is Kobe burger with truffle cheese, but he doesnt advertise on his menu. He just wants to sell good product.
                                                    Check it out for lunch.

                                                    1. re: sunsetterdottie

                                                      Well I guess I am going to have to give Barnacle's another try because my favortie burger joint............Neil's Original Oyster has closed up. Friends of ours were there for the last night. They closed in the middle of dinner with half the diners not being served yet. Oh well, time to join the Barnie Burger Brigade.

                                                      1. re: sunsetterdottie

                                                        WHat? They closed in the middle of service? Was Ramsey in the kitchen?

                                                    2. There are 2 places that my husband and I go for burgers. We LOVE the burgers at Basil T's but they are expensive ($14-16) so we only go once in a while. We also love the burgers at the Poor House in Shrewsbury and go there once a week (not always for burgers). We have tried other places in the area but have not found anything that compares with these two places.

                                                      1. Barnacle Bill's in Rumson is very good, but tops in Monmouth County is the Pour House in Tinton Falls.

                                                        8 Replies
                                                        1. re: RobertinRedBank

                                                          Very similar to the meat used at Main Street if not the same. Can't beat bergers cooked on the grill behind the bar!!

                                                          1. re: Barbarella

                                                            Wow you jogged my memory about Main Street (assume you are talking about Main Street USA on 35 in Ocean)....would rank it up there with the two other places I mentioned above. And you are definately correct with the beef having to be grilled behind/inside the bar.

                                                            1. re: Barbarella

                                                              Barb - Don't forget the grilled clams!!

                                                              1. re: bgut1

                                                                How could I do that? I was just there last Tuesday night to gobble some down, and my favorite berger soon followed!!!. Cheese that is and rare....

                                                            2. re: RobertinRedBank

                                                              Having grown up in Monmouth County, but now living in the restaurant devoid Southern Ocean COunty, my husband and I recently got off the GSP to make a special trip to the Pour House for a burger, as that was one of our old haunts when dating - boy was I disappointed! It was nothing like it used to be - the burger was far too small for the roll, the roll itself was lousy - I ended up giving more than 1/2 of it to my dog, who was patiently waiting in the car, and eating the grilled clams instead...

                                                              1. re: newfie29

                                                                I recently tried the Pour House burger. I had a similar opinion. I'm not sure the burger was too small. But the roll was way too big and puffy, and had no character.

                                                                1. re: val ann c

                                                                  It used to be the same owner as Main Street but is no longer. Next time try Main St. and you will not be disappointed!!

                                                                2. re: newfie29

                                                                  I go there for lunch sometime and have not had a small berger yet!! Maybe the grill man did not flatten it out enough?

                                                              2. This is going to sound strange but, a group of us went to Pete & Elda's tonight for our pizza fix. One gal our group doesn't do pizza, so she ordered a burger. She swore that it was one of the best she's had in a long time - take it for what it's worth I guess... I'm really starting to think that good burgers are sometimes just a matter of luck. Maybe it was the best she had in a while, and just maybe it was the cook at Pete & Elda's best burger of the night as well! Just for the record, I know there has been some debate, but the pizza was spot on as always (imho), as was the side of meatballs that RGR rec'd!

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: Herm


                                                                  We've had some other things at Pete & Elda's besides the pizza and the meatballs, and for a red sauce place, I think the food overall is remarkably good. So, though I'd never order a hamburger there, it doesn't surprise me that it would be a good one.

                                                                  Ieven love Italian bread they serve. In fact, one of the reasons we order the meatballs before getting a pie, aside from the fact that they're so-o-o- delicious, is so I can get a basket of that warmed bread. Schmear on the butter, and I'm a very happy camper! lol

                                                                  1. re: RGR

                                                                    Everything at Pete and Elda's is great, except for the long wait for a table.

                                                                2. I would agree with most of the suggestions so far, barnacle bills, frankies, harpoon willies (though I hear they are remodeling, not sure that they are open). For a fast food type alternative, try The Windmill in Brick (or even better the original in Long Branch). Great Califonia cheeseburger and gotta love the cheese fries.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: rosygogo

                                                                    Harpoon Willies reopened a few weeks ago.

                                                                  2. I haven’t been there in a while, but the Lighthouse Tavern on Rt. 9 in Waretown, NJ has good food in general and particularly good burgers. But if you want a really great burger you’re gonna have to drive a bit and go to the legendary Rossi’s Bar and Grill in Trenton, NJ.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: TomDel

                                                                      Agree that Rossi's is very, very good. Also very good is the dive sports bar across the street ... Champs, Champions, something like that. Excellent bacon cheeseburger (and also really good buffalo wings).

                                                                    2. 5 Guys makes a great burger. Many people find the smaller burger just enough. The standard burger there is a "doubl"e, and can be a bit much unless your're starving. The many (free) topping choices are tasty, and the fries are fresh, excellent—they definitely please.! By far, the best "chain" burger around. I prefer it to most bar/resturant burgers. The Broadway in Point Pleasant has had good burgers. The burger I recently had at Harpoon Willie's had a stale bun. Boo!

                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: 007

                                                                        First of all, I REALLY want to thank everyone for the GREAT responses so far! I now have a huge list of places to try!

                                                                        007, I checked out 5 Guys a couple weeks ago (wish I'd known the difference between the regular and mini in advance!). The burger was very good, but I was very frustrated with the wait. I was dining alone and it took nearly 20 minutes for a simple "fast food" burger!

                                                                        Anyone know if that's normal, or did I just happen to have an unusually long wait?

                                                                        1. re: jlou04

                                                                          On my last visit, I waited about 5-7 minutes, which wasn't too bad. That's probably why they have the barrels of peanuts around and free refills, just in case things are backed up a bit. I love that place tho.

                                                                        2. re: 007


                                                                          I just had my first 5 Guys burger and fries tonight and have to agree with you. The burger was very tasty and the fries were excellent. Better than most of the bars in the shore area and $8 including a coke a better value as well.

                                                                        3. Barnacle Bills in Rumson.

                                                                          1. Bella's in AH has a great burger. Also a very nice bar.

                                                                            1. i know some have disagreed, but my favorite burger place is still The Pour House in Shrewsbury. reasonable price, large portion, great quality and taste. i usually order the cheeseburger platter (which includes fries [GOTTA do the Long Branch fries instead of the regular fries], lettuce, tomato, onion, cole slaw and a pickle) and i absolutely have to have it with their famous Cheddar sauce. be warned that it is not a liquidy sauce... it is more the consistency of a spread that has been warmed up a bit. Not quite pastey, not quite saucy. All I know is that it's made fresh there every day and its got a real sharp cheddar taste and compliments the beef really well. Very often I make a special trip to the PH strictly for the cheddar sauce! Sometimes I'll sit at the bar and forgo a meal and just split a bowl of potato chips w/ a side of cheese sauce w/ a friend. MMM! Anyway.... PH is where I go for my favorite burger. Next best would actually be the Windmill. Fresh, never frozen. I get the California cheeseburger on a hard roll (you have to specifically ask for a hard roll or you will get the tiny other roll they have - and there is a slight extra charge for this option but for me it makes all the difference) which comes w/ all the fixins. Mmmm. And can I just add that everyone has been mentioning Barnacle Bill's in Rumson and I know it's been there forever but I've gone 3 dfferent times in the last 2 years and have been insanely disappointed every time...not just in the burgers, but in my whole experience. Third time was NOT a charm-- and after having given it a fair chance-- I won't be going there again.

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: leesh782

                                                                                As I previously mentioned above I agree that the best burger in Monmouth County is found at The Pour House. I used to always have the cheedar burger until I found a real liking for blue/bleu cheese, so now that is what I get.

                                                                                Anyway as an important update for those who frequent the Pour House.....it is so much easier to eat at the bar. Last Sunday after closinf they ripped out the old wood bar and installed a granite bar. Will take some getting used to, however you no longer have that high rolled wood edge that made it difficult to get to your plate.

                                                                                1. re: RobertinRedBank

                                                                                  Wow Main Street USA in ocean did the same thing with the bar. They also added windows to look out on Hwy 35.

                                                                              2. Try the Sitting Duck in Long Branch (near Monmouth Raceway). Their burgers are wonderful; big, fat, juicy and char-grilled. They have a nice variety of cheeses available for cheesburgers. If you sit at the bar you can kibbitz with the chefs while they do their thing.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: rnr

                                                                                  the same owner has both the sitting duck and the pour house. although, we frequent the sitting duck often, i'm not a fan of char-grilled burgers and therefore, get my burgers at barnacle bill's. i do love the sitting duck for chicken wraps and sandwiches.

                                                                                2. frankie's in point...i dont even think there is a close second

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: ocdiner

                                                                                    to me, Frankies is just so - so. Very standard bar food.

                                                                                  2. the siena burger at Siena Grille in Red Bank is great!!

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: boodie1821

                                                                                      Ok chow folks...here are my ratings

                                                                                      Jims Burger Haven: Really good...Love the burger but I can only go there alone. The place is just so dirty that I\m afraid to put my kids at risk! This place could be a goldmine if they could only find a powerwasher. 1 bacon slice rating.

                                                                                      Barnacle Bills: Consistent good char and good quality meat. Cant go wrong and who wouldnt like a place you can "boat" into. A definate 4 slice of bacon burger!

                                                                                      Why do my kids love Burger King? cant even rate.

                                                                                      The Bulkhead Bar & Grille: Had a burger with Pork Roll and Cheese with Hot peppers....I almost thought I had gone to far but really really liked it...I hope my internist isn't reading this! This burger tasted good and I definately will return for it..but I can't give it a 4 slice of bacon rating. They need a better roll. Roll was dry and tasteless.

                                                                                      Does anyone remember the old Rollo's Barbecue on Route 35?

                                                                                    2. I grew up on Barnacle Bill's burgers. They're always voted best in NJ by NJ Monthly I think but since my friends aren't behind the bar cooking anymore, I don't make it into Rumson very often. I really like the burgers at Basil T's in Red Bank. They serve them on toasted bread instead of a big bun, which I happen to really like. I live about a block from Frankie's in PPB, so they get my vote too.

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: JerseyBites

                                                                                        I was going to post my thoughts in the "Best Burger in New Jersey",but as there are a lot of counties i've not had a burger in,I thought better of it.....Anyhow,today I had the best Burger i've had anywhere,yes ANYWHERE.
                                                                                        It was a lunchtime special at Djeet? in on rte 35 south in Middletown / Red Bank.It was med. and cooked perfection.juicy,succulent and tender.My burger of choice had always been a bar burger at the now deceased Hook line in Rumson (or Pauls Palace when in Manhattan),and i've been looking for a replacement,this place blows them out of the water.I really hope this is a permanent fixture on the menu,as IMO they have no competion whatsoever.I'm sure that If they took everything else off the Menu and just decided to be a burger joint,they could be extremely successful.I just learned that the chef / owner is an ex (pre DB ) Fromagerie employee.Well,I doubt that many had the oppertunity to sample his Burgers there! I don't think you'll find a better Burger under $10 in the Tri State.For the record,this is my second post about this place and I have no afilliation with it.It just happens to be the only new place i've ever been to with great food at fair prices that has not been surrounded by bull$#! & hype.How tastefully refreshing.

                                                                                        1. re: xny556cip

                                                                                          212 Highway 35, Middletown, NJ
                                                                                          (732) 224-8887


                                                                                          Ha! I thought you were unsure about the name of the restaurant at first. I didn't realize the question mark was part of the name

                                                                                          From their menu:

                                                                                          " 'd'jeet?' asked Grandpa to everyone who walked through his door in hopes of sharing a homecooked meal, a token of his love..."

                                                                                          Looks like a great find Nice prices, too. I can't wait to try it.

                                                                                      2. There are two good burger places in Red Bank not mentioned here:

                                                                                        Brannigan's and The Walt Street Pub.

                                                                                        There is nothing fancy about either of these places, but I had the "Walt St Burger" at the Walt Street Pub the other day and it was AWESOME. Best I have had in some time. The service on the other hand was pretty crappy.

                                                                                        1. The Sitting Duck in Long branch makes a very good burger. Thick and juicy. They usually err on the side of more rare so keep that in mind when you order. Get a seat at the bar by grill and it's dinner and a show.

                                                                                          1. Five Guys was voted best burger 2008 in the Atlantic City Press

                                                                                            1. 1. Barnacle Bills in Rumson

                                                                                              2. Windmill, Long Branch

                                                                                              3. Fuddruckers

                                                                                              1. Here are my recommendations.

                                                                                                1) Gaithers in Sea Bright. I personally avoid that town at all costs.

                                                                                                2) Pine Tree Tavern in Old Bridge. I swear I had the best burger there one night that was so good. I took my young son back and I swear if you could recycle a burger it was done. The bacon was dried and and like had been sitting around for 5 or 6 hours. Friends say it is back to the original way things were done.

                                                                                                3) Globe in Red Bank.

                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: F77

                                                                                                  Barnicle Bills in Rumson is a great burger...they cook them on the grill right behind the bar and go through a TON of them so to me that means they're pretty fresh which is key since I like my burgers on the rare side.

                                                                                                  Murphy's in Red Bank'smKobe Burger (I'm sure its probably not real Kobe) is a solid burger as well.

                                                                                                  1. re: TedyB

                                                                                                    Had the cheddar burger at the Sitting Duck today and was underwhelmed. Burger came out in 3 mins which meant that it was pre-cooked. Char on the outside was excessive and only one corner of the burger was medium rare, the rest was medium to medium well. the properly cooked portion of the burger was juicy and the rest was dry. My burger at Barnacle's two weeks ago was far superior, freshly made and cooked perfectly.

                                                                                                    1. re: tautog

                                                                                                      I must have been to Sitting Duck 100 times and have had the burgers there regularly. What you're describing is nothing like what I've seen. My burger has *always* been fresh. At it's best, it's a notch below Barnacle Bill's but still quite good. (BTW, I've always had good service at SD as well.) Most of my visits are on Sunday afternoons but gone in the evening 3 or 4 times. There were never any problems although I think the strength of the menu is their sandwiches.

                                                                                                      You should have sent the burger back.

                                                                                                      1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                        Probably should have, live and learn. Actually was able to do a good comparison yesterday as a friend wanted to go to the Pour House for dinner. Burger was cooked to order and accurately medium rare. Still don't think it was as good as Barnacle's but much better than the one I had at the Sitting Duck the day before. I think that the burgers are a bit too thick and not wide enough for the buns. A little thinner and wider means that there are no overcooked parts and ever bite is full of burger. Too bad neither Barnacle's or the Pour House does better than adequate fries.

                                                                                                2. This summer pick up burgers from Delicious Orchard Colts Neck NJ and throw it on the grill at home - delicious!

                                                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: shabbystorm

                                                                                                    why? what is D.O. selling that we can't get elsewhere? are they seasoning the meat before they form them? what am I missing?

                                                                                                    1. re: aklein

                                                                                                      I was wondering the same thing.

                                                                                                      1. re: aklein

                                                                                                        No seasoning, nothing special. Assume just a good old fashion Angus Burger. They are big and they rock!

                                                                                                        1. re: aklein

                                                                                                          I always thought someone needed to have a competition to find the tastiest supplier of beef in the nation. I picture different purveyors all bringing the same types of unfrozen cuts and having the grinding done at the spot of competition. and having all the burgers cooked by the same person and salt being the only seasoning.

                                                                                                          1. re: jrd303

                                                                                                            This has been a recent theme in burger discussions. There is much talk of secret blends that produce burgers that are better than any others. The dirty little secret behind all these special blends is fat content. It ranges between 25% and 30%. Fat, like butter, makes things taste good.

                                                                                                            Supermarkets sell ground beef that ranges from 93% lean down to 80% but I've never seen anything approaching the levels offered by butchers. I'm convinced that the other components of these "special blends" - kobe beef, brisket, hanger steak, etc., are trumped by fat content.

                                                                                                            1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                              Absolutely, it's the fat! Try grinding extra fat into the beef -- frozen butter, cured pig jowl, fat cap from rib roast, etc.

                                                                                                              Oh, and cooking over a proper wood fire!

                                                                                                              1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                The other issue with supermarket ground beef is that is usually purchased in bulk from commercial production facilities that specialize in ground beef. These companies source their product from the cheapest possible purveyors using parts of the cow that are unsellable any other way. The old axiom about not wanting to see how sausage is made is brought to industrial levels here, literally.

                                                                                                                1. re: equal_Mark

                                                                                                                  All the more reason to gring your own meat.

                                                                                                                  1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                    .....or at least pick out a chuck and/or a sirloin and ask the butcher to grind them for you (I like to mix them)

                                                                                                                    1. re: aklein

                                                                                                                      Or just go to Boom for the best darn burgers!

                                                                                                      2. It was fun to re-read this post. In doing so, I realized a few things about the present state of burgers in New Jersey. So, if I may . . .

                                                                                                        First, we have the “Bar Burger.” These seem to be a favorite of many. You know, often it’s the cooked-behind-the-bar thing. Barnacle Bills, McCanns, Pour House, Main Street, Frankies, Harpoon Willies, etc. To me, though, they are all tasty, but they are also all the same – fresh ground beef, lightly seasoned, big patties! Best part about these is the fact that there are several spaced out in Monmouth/Ocean County so you can get a fix (and a pint) regardless of where you are. Another to add to the list – Broadway Bar & Grill, Point Pleasant (Note: It makes Barnacle Bills look like the Grand Marquis).

                                                                                                        Next, the “Greasy Classics.” White Rose (I can’t go to Middlesex County without going into Highland Park) or Jim’s Burger Haven. These are barely even food, but they somehow taste wonderful. Mmmm . . . pass the tums!

                                                                                                        Third, the “New & Trendy.” Here is the most recent category, those that have jumped on the burger bandwagon. Bobby’s Burger Palace, Five Guys, Boom. I have only eaten the burger at the last and it was excellent, not Hubert Keller, but damn delicious.

                                                                                                        To me, however, although I have enjoyed them all, none of the foregoing has any claim to the title “Best Burger.” To earn that moniker, the burger must be special – the kind of thing you crave, the kind of burger that trespasses in your dreams. That burger exists – it’s the Trinity Burger. If you have had it, you know – Wagyu beef, fois gras, truffle cheese, homemade ketchup! (As an aside, perhaps it might be too much, but could you imagine it with an egg (duck?) on top?)

                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                            For me that "Best Burger" is White Castle. Why?

                                                                                                            Every time I get a "great burger" somewhere, I realize - I can easily make this at home.

                                                                                                            White Castle? I have no idea how they do it, but they taste and smell like crack to me. Yum.

                                                                                                          2. Believe it or not, Basil T's in Red Bank has a fabulous burger served on Panini bread. Harpoon Willies in Wall has great burgers too. I did a post on JerseyBites.com on the best burgers in New Jersey a while back. You might find a new place or two in that article. Just search "Best Burgers in New Jersey"

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: JerseyBites

                                                                                                              my backyard cooked over real charcoal , with summer Jersey tomato slice

                                                                                                              1. re: Freeholdtwsp88

                                                                                                                my favorites are Basil T jamians Sienna Grill cant wait to try Boom I think Barnacles is overated and I think my favorie is Belford Bistro oh and I like Bellas too. Does anyone know of a great cheeseburger sub in monmouth co.

                                                                                                            2. Recent blurb by The-Feedbag.com mentions a couple Monmouth County places and also links to a recent NY Times article on Jersey Burgers...


                                                                                                              1. I need to nominated Danny's Steakhouse in Red Bank. Outstanding burger and fries.

                                                                                                                1. went to Boom finally. Not that impressed. Meat quality was good but the overall impression was a better quality wendys. disappointed

                                                                                                                  1. Frankie's Bar and Grill in Point Pleasant Beach makes a great burger, especially at the bar. If you sit at a table the burgers really are not as good, they come from the kitchen. Stick to the bar.

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: shorebilly

                                                                                                                      Frankies and Barnacle Bill's as well as Pour House are all pretty decent, but I know this will sound crazy but Rooney's in Long Branch makes an outstanding burger with waffle fries, cole slaw and pickle. The buns are awesome. Something about the overall burger there is great!

                                                                                                                    2. Wait, no mention of Bobby's Burger Palace? Oh yeah, that was another thread! ;-)

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: njfoodies


                                                                                                                        Mention and review in one word...

                                                                                                                      2. I have been to Five Guys. Burgers are ok but much better are the Kosher Dogs and fresh cut fries.


                                                                                                                        1. DEFINATELY Barnacle Bills in Rumson. It's like a grilled cheese with a burger stuffed in it. Big fresh burgers cooked on the grill at the bar. And unlike most places, they still serve steak fries. MMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                                                                                          Barnacle Bill's
                                                                                                                          1 1st St, Rumson, NJ 07760

                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: mfalcone77

                                                                                                                            I think I'm missing something with the BB's burger..it's good, but not worth raving about IMHO.

                                                                                                                            1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                                              I've always felt that BB is equating quantity with quality.

                                                                                                                              1. re: equal_Mark

                                                                                                                                Isn't the burger at BB pretty much standard size for pub burgers? It's not like they're exceeding everybody else by adding an extra 4 oz. on to every patty.

                                                                                                                                That said, I think the BB burger is fine but you can get the same level of burger at lots of places. Once places acquire a certain reputation it tends to be self sustaining. Expectations color the reality. Is the burger good? Yes. Is it better than everybody else? No.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                                                  Exactly, Bob. There is the whole class of "burger behind the bar" joints using the same meat, same hard rolls, same smoke and mirrors . . .

                                                                                                                          2. Since someone mentioned the Delicious Orchards version for grilling at home, I'll recommend the patties from Carluccio's deli on Rt 9 north in Englishtown for summer grilling 2010. They have what they call a Peter Luger patty which is out of this world. (I heartily recommend their sausages for grilling as well, but that's a separate post). http://www.carlucciosheros.com

                                                                                                                            1. Although not MON/OC, I had a fabulous burgers at Nick's Burger Bar in the Hilton in Atlantic City. It was a perfectly cooked Angus burger with portabella mushrooms. The home made potato chips were also an unexpected pleasure. If in the mood for a burger in AC, I would not pass it up.

                                                                                                                              1. Hands down, the Holiday Snack Bar in Beach Haven on LBI. There is no better.

                                                                                                                                Holiday Snack Bar
                                                                                                                                401 Centre St, Beach Haven, NJ 08008

                                                                                                                                1. The all american kobe beef burger at Pour House in Tinton
                                                                                                                                  Falls was outstanding this weekend. Ordered it rare and it was juicy juicy juicy. Definitely one of the better burgers I have had in a long time. Oh, and the fries were good too!

                                                                                                                                  19 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: vikingkaj

                                                                                                                                    The Pour House makes a fine burger. That Mon/OC thing of grillin' 'em behind the bar is one of my favorite things about living 'round here.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                      They also have a wiz style cheese sauce for their burgers!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                        The same people own the Sitting Duck in Long Branch. Their burgers are terrific as well. The bacon cheeseburger is wonderful.



                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                                                          How much is the "kobe" burger at Pour house out of curiosity and do you think its worth the added cost over the regular burger? And yes, I know it is not actual kobe beef : )

                                                                                                                                          After JR's wiz comment, I think I need to get over there.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: corvette johnny

                                                                                                                                            If you're puttin' cheese wiz on it, be a man and eat the cheap beef.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: corvette johnny

                                                                                                                                              As stated in other threads, I'm not a big burger guy, but I do routinely get the grilled chicken sandwich, with sauteed onions and the wiz cheese.

                                                                                                                                              That's the fat man's way of eating skinless chicken breast!!

                                                                                                                                              FYI the wiz is a home made cheddar sauce, good eats!!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                So after this thread I had to make a stop. They make a solid burger and of course, I did get the cheddar sauce. Burger was cooked to temp and real tasty....definitely a decent meal. I like the cheddar sauce at Barnacles better but the meat is definitely higher quality here.

                                                                                                                                                Anyone remember the old hook, line and sinker? Wow, those burgers were the best around! About 8 strips of crispy bacon and some cheddar sauce made it extra healthy lol

                                                                                                                                                1. re: corvette johnny

                                                                                                                                                  "Anyone remember the old hook, line and sinker?"

                                                                                                                                                  My hand's up.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                    Undici in Rumson correct? Never understood the draw of that place, then or now.

                                                                                                                                                    That reminds me I'm over due for a trip to What's your Beef, for what the place lacks in aged beef, it makes up for in old school salad bar, and cheese and crackers at the bar!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                      Funny you mention that spot. My beautiful wife has a birthday comin' up. So, yesterday, tryin' to plan:

                                                                                                                                                      "Where would you like go? Or. should I cook?"

                                                                                                                                                      "Well, do you think we could walk from the Red Bank Station to that dank steak place in Rumson with the salad bar?"

                                                                                                                                                      "Maybe? But, I know we could get a cab!"

                                                                                                                                                      "Can we get a taco after?"

                                                                                                                                                      How can anyone not love a woman like that?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                        yeah MGZ that was a good watering hole! man I drank so many free beers there its no wonder they went out of business.

                                                                                                                                                        JR, yes hookline is in the same spot as undici. Hookline made incredible burgers!

                                                                                                                                                        And yes, not sure about unidici either. I have never been there but it seems like an EVEN MORE expensive basil T. Rumson has the cash to spend though so whats 5.00 or so more a plate over its sister spot?

                                                                                                                                                        I used to go to Hookline a few times a weeks and hung out there in my bachelor days. We knew all the bartenders and had it good. I would ask for a "bacon sandwich" by name (code word for a truck load of bacon and cheddar sauce with a burger tucked underneath.) I guarantee this burger would smash the 1000 calorie mark with ease.

                                                                                                                                                        There would literally be too much bacon so I would have to yank a few pieces off and eat them separately. It was just obnoxious. And yes, they grilled the bacon up so it was nice and crisp. Ah, the good old days.

                                                                                                                                                        Rum Runner was OK. Pier ave is eh.....

                                                                                                                                                        one good dish is their lobster roll for lunch....not bad at all.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: corvette johnny

                                                                                                                                                          Back when I was only known as Z, a coupla buddies of mine would be allowed to drink beer at the bar on Sunday afternoons - if we won the day before. We were all 16-18. I don't think the tradition ended with us.

                                                                                                                                                          Maybe that contributed to their demise?

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: corvette johnny


                                                                                                                                                      Next time if you get there for happy hour try their wings and roasted clams, good eat's my friend. Their wings on the grill are whole wings, the wing and drum stick uncut. I think they are 6 for $5. and are nice and meaty. Also nothing better than roasted clams on the grill like that.

                                                                                                                                                      I didn't know how exactly to describe the cheddar sauce at The Pour House. Is is a stout or beer based sauce in your opinion?

                                                                                                                                                      Tonight is their prime rib night, nice cut of PR for $20. (includes salad and side) I just went to CJ McCloon's on Monday night for their Prime Rib night. It was.....eeeeehhhhhh "ok". I honestly just loath that place as well as most of the Mc'Cloon's brand these days.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                        McCloone's restaurants may be bad, but you should someday have to endure his band. Like, if you lose a bet or somethin'.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                          Holiday Express? Isn't that his band or does he have another?

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                          yes I think it is a stout. It might be guiness since they run that on tap but I am not sure.

                                                                                                                                                          They had strip steak for 16.99 on special (tues nights)

                                                                                                                                                          I am more of a strip guy over prime rib. Have you had that strip?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: corvette johnny

                                                                                                                                                            I have at the strip special yes, it's not bad but it is truly paltry compared to their 24oz Kansas City Sirloin on the regular menu. That is normally what I go for if I'm getting a steak there. It's far from a true quality steak, but for a hunk of meat, cooked on the grill in front of you, it's not a bad thing. (do yourself a favor and tell them to season it with sea salt and pepper first, it will improve the flavor)

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: corvette johnny

                                                                                                                                                              I strolled in on my way home from my appointments last night around 9pm for a little dinner. Knowing it was prime rib night I was setting my expectations for a nice peace of slowly baked meat.

                                                                                                                                                              Well by 9pm they had run out of the prime rib for he night {{sigh}} so I decided to get the 24oz Kansas City Sirloin off the menu. I ordered it medium and I know their routine enough to realize when my salad came out, and there was no steak on the grill, something was awry.

                                                                                                                                                              The bartender then came up to me and said, they ran out of cut steaks so they have to cut you a fresh one, it will be just a few minutes. Ok fine........then I heard the "thump.....thump....thump.....thump" in the kitchen.......and in a few minutes came out a rather thin, bone off rib eye looking steak. Not the thick and juicy Sirloin I normally get here. I guess the kitchen pounded the hell out of it to decrease it's cooking time by making it thinner. It was still "ok"....it was late I was happy to be eating so I didn't complain, but now I am! lol

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: corvette johnny

                                                                                                                                                        $ 10.99 on special menu but it's pretty much all ways there. Comes with cheese lettuce tomato n avocado plus fries.

                                                                                                                                                2. Looks like there's quite a debate about this very topic going on here too:


                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jlou04

                                                                                                                                                    I just put 30 hand made burgers (approx 1/3 lb) into the freezer last weekend. I got them from a wholesaler at an excellent price (who could be supplying some if not all of the places cited).

                                                                                                                                                    As far as I'm concerned, they're right here at the house and my connection is a good one, in that it will last. The ones I had on Monday were the best that I've had anywhere - Pour House, Barnacles, Main St., Bobby Flays,Stage Left etc.

                                                                                                                                                    Now, it's just a matter of not overdoing it as to menu/diet.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JustJake

                                                                                                                                                      Care to share your supplier and price?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                                                                        $2.60/lb and I am friends with the middleman, in this case a local chef doing the purchasing for his employer. The supplier is a local meat wholesaler.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: jlou04

                                                                                                                                                      Folks here play in the Bronx, not Lakewood. But, it was amuzin', in a way. Thanks.