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Name your favorite burger joint!

I must admit, I am totally smitten with the idea of a good burger. As a kid, my family and I would head to Stonington to where we docked our boat, and the most treasured place along the way was Harry's in Colchester. Everything about it just smacks of my childhood. The shady trees, the green picnic tables, the tiny but delicious burgers with those mushy buns, it all can sent me on a steam train back to a simpler time.
And, in Manchester, Shady Glen was the best of all for a good burger. And, they have darn good icecream too.

Where do you swear has the best burger, and what else makes it special in your brain?

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  1. Not to far from Stonington, Maine that is, is Cleonise in Ellsworth. For lunch they have a sweet little lamb burger on a French roll w/ roasted red potatoes. Makes beef burgers seem bland.

    1. As a kid I loved Fudruckers. Don't know why - I think it was more the atmosphere than anything (I don't remember how the burgers were, just that huge case of meat). I remember going there with my dad (down by Arnie's Place in Norwalk) - whenever I think if Hamburgers I think of them.

      4 Replies
      1. re: HunterJay

        I remember a Fuddrucker's in Westport right next to Arnie's Place. I don't remember there being one in Norwalk, though. For a chain, the burgers were pretty good. The meat was always ground fresh. It was a good place to bring kids. I've been meaning to try Five Guys in Newtown.


        1. re: Jimmy Cantiello

          The former Narragansett Clam Shack called the Starboard Galley, best flame broiled flavor of any burger. The Beef Barn in North Smithfield, RI and Stanley's in Central Falls, RI. I can't leave out Haven Brother's burger trailer in dowtown Providence, RI.

          1. re: Jimmy Cantiello

            That's right. Westport. It's been a long, long, time.

            1. re: Jimmy Cantiello

              Arnie's Place and Fuddruckers - you guys are bringing me back in time. :-)

              I remember Fuddruckers let you fix the burger toppings yourself. I used to like the lettuce and the liquidy cheese you could ladle on.

          2. In my opinion the best burgers in CT are to be found at Clamp's on route 202 in New Milford. It's a wooden shack on the side of the road that has been there since the 30's. It has no sign, and doesn't really need one, just look for a bunch of cars and people sitting at giant wooden cable spools. They use good quality beef, that cooks on the ancient griddle with the fried onions. I suspect part of the appeal is also due to it's seasonal nature, eating indoors in the winter might take something away. (i recommend a white birch beer to wash it down)

            I must also tip my hat to the original burger joint, Louis Lunch, without whom none of this would be possible.

            1 Reply
            1. re: EastRocker

              Oh, I'm going to have to try Clamps. That's not too far from me.

              A lamb burger would be heaven. Never had one, but now I'm craving it!

              There's a great sort of gourmet burger place in Norwalk. I'll have to look up the name, but it's right by the Super 8 movie theatre, and they have a more sophisticated type of burger, and they have these outstanding sweet potato french frieds. We had great, very friendly service, a nice glass of microbrew, and the burger was big, flavorful and unique.

            2. Plan B West Hartford and Simsbury CT

              3 Replies
              1. re: brookerme

                Soon to be another Plan B in Glastonbury. Upstairs from Sauce, I think.

                1. re: jkuhlen

                  Across the parking lot jk. Not above Sauce.

                  1. re: thos

                    Glastonbury just opened, anyone been yet?

              2. I haven't had anything truly wonderful here (burger-wise) in CT for many years. Big Top Shop in Westport was my fave, it closed when I was 8 I think. (Fuddrucker's in westport used to LOSE $$ on me because I would practically drink the liquid cheese) Overton's in Norwalk makes a good divey clam shack cheeseburger but no big shakes it is as good as the duchess double cheese.

                Five guys in Orange is allright but I don't think they even come close to in 'n' out on the west coast.

                Can anyone comment on Louis Lunch? (my husband is obsessing on this but I don't think it's as good as he thinks it is) or Ted's Steamed Cheese burgers in Meriden *I think*? (If they are like white castle I think I'd like that).

                The lamb burger sounds delish :)

                4 Replies
                1. re: debvil

                  The burgers at Louis Lunch are good but not as good as most people make them out to be. Having said that, you have to go to Louis Lunch at least once for the sake of culinary history and tradition. Here's an entry from a friend's food blog that talks about Louis Lunch as well as Pepe's.


                  1. re: debvil

                    I always enjoy Louis Lunch burgers, but have more mixed feelings about Shady Glen. Apart from the way they prepare (grill) the cheese, Shady Glen's burgers just don't seem as thick and juicy as they are at various other places. While Louis' burgers are not particularly thick, I find them quite flavorful.

                    1. re: howaboutthat

                      The cheese at Shady Glen might be why I like those burgers so much. They are pretty small. But, I also like that they bring the little sauce tray in order for one to top their own burger.

                      In and Out is positvely spectacular. I LOVE that place. Every time I go back to L.A. I make it a point to stop there. The last time, I made my friend stop at the In N Out right next to the airport so I could take it on the plane w/ me. Everyone was jealous!

                      And Apple Pan in L.A. is outstanding, too.

                    2. re: debvil

                      ted's steamed is really not worth the trip. went last week and could've stayed home, made a ball of meat (they aren't really burgers but more like a thick, misshapen meatball), microwaved it and had the same experience. it tasted ok but bland and was a much firmer, solid texture than i would ever want in a burger. however, my mom had a blt and their bacon was wonderfully crisp and tasty.

                    3. I've loved Harmon's in Falmouth, ME ever since I was a kid. Tiny little dive place on the side of the road that absolutely packs em in, its nuts.


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: jackbauer

                        I must agree. I go to Harmon's once every summer and the burgers are scrumptious.

                      2. What is the CT place that makes 'steam burgers'? I think I've seen them cooked vertically?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: trufflehound

                          The most often named place is Ted's in Meriden which was already mentioned above.

                        2. I don't know why but I just love the Texas burger at Slattery's in Fitchburg, MA. I get it with cheese and the works. Very simple burger cooked on a flat grill consumed while watching the traffic go by on Lunenburg Street or while watching the Sox.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: RandyL

                            Louis Lunch for Flavor
                            Shady Glen for Cheese...you can order a side if cheese
                            Harry's for atmosphere...Hey you...Stop squashing the meat with the spatula while it cooks...you are dryinmg it out!
                            Catsup and Mustard on Main St Manchester ...new place...burgers very good...
                            Steamed...Teds or O'Rourkes in Middletown
                            Sliders...White Hut in Springfield
                            Fast Food...any White Castle..in NY or NJ

                            1. re: sodagirl

                              I second Catsup and Mustard (just there again today) and Harry's.

                              1. re: sodagirl

                                second the White Hut. Better than the Big E!

                            2. Lake Zoar Drive In in Monroe (Route 34 before the Stevenson Dam) has the best sloppy, greasy, drive in style hamburger out there. It's a short trip off 84. Wait until it's warm, then grab a picnic table and feel your arteries harden. Get the curly fries.
                              Jimmie's of Savin Rock (West Haven) used to be great when I was a kid (though my father says it was even better when he was a kid), but it's been hit or miss the last few years.
                              The burgers at Louis Lunch go in a category unto themselves. I live two blocks from the place, but it's not where I go when I am craving a hamburger. It's where I go when I am craving Louis Lunch. Same can be said of Ted's and, to a lesser extent, Shady Glen.
                              Generally, there's a good burger place somewhere near every beach (on a lake or on the Sound) in the state.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: danieljdwyer

                                I think you are right Daniel, about beach cities having good burgers. I lived in So Cal much of my childhood and three coastal towns in a row where I lived had FAB burgers.

                                I think I am going to have to write all of this down and make it my mission to try all of these places.

                              2. Hey, Connecuticutians, this is a general New England post according to the title. For us New England, country folk, could you please be more specific as to location? I want to learn more about the hamburger (O'Rourkes & Ted's are already in my lexicon) and hot dog, taco truck culture of your fine alcohol repressive state. What about burgers in the rest of New England? If ever downeast give Chester Pike's Galley in Sullivan(Rt1), Me. a try.

                                12 Replies
                                1. re: Passadumkeg

                                  I apologize for our nutmeg-centric thinking. for more specifics on my two favorites:
                                  Louis Lunch

                                  1. re: EastRocker

                                    Thanks, ER, New Milford is where we often have to decide to take I95 or the Merritt, now we can chill in Clamps and let the traffic calm. Louis is on our list, I was, however, guarenteed that by residents of Hamberg, NY is the home of the Hamburger. I actually keep print outs of these threads in the glove box. We travel a lot to NJ and Amherst, Ma.

                                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                                      >> New Milford is where we often have to decide to take I95 or the Merritt...I actually keep print outs of these threads in the glove box.

                                      If that's the case -- New Milford is up around I-84, Milford is around I-95 and the Merritt. Milford people are usually quite helpful, but if you ask around for Clamps, they'll probably just look confused.

                                      However -- in Milford you will find Paul's, an old-time burger stand that many people love, on Route 1 in Milford right near the connector that hooks up I-95 and Rt. 15 (the Merritt/Wilbur Cross). I don't do a lot of burgers, but people I know really like the place.

                                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                                          It's around Danbury - Clamps is on Route 202 if that's any help. I don't know that area all that well, so perhaps someone else can give you landmarks and stuff. This Road Food link at least shows a picture of the building and surroundings.

                                          1. re: harrie

                                            Thanks, we take I 84 more often than 95. There are so many exits in Danbury, I never know where to get off and have by passed it for 20 years! What exit is Clamps? Any other Danbury recs.?

                                            1. re: Passadumkeg

                                              Unfortunately as a former resident of NEW Milford I can tell you that Clamps is a good 40 minutes off of 84 or any other highway. You would take 84 to 7 to 202, and pass a bunch of cows. Convenient it is not. However I will say again that the burgers are worth the drive. It is a very pretty area, near Lake Waramaug. I once sat next to Mia Farrow and her gaggle of children while waiting for my medium rare, salt, peper, ketchup and fried onions.

                                              1. re: EastRocker

                                                Thanks, EastRocker! The best I could get out of friends was "it's right down the road on the left" and "bring lots of money, they sell hamburgers at steak prices."

                                                1. re: harrie

                                                  I think it's been a while since your friend bought a steak :)

                                                  the problem being with trying to give directions is they don't have a phone, or an address you can look up. I used the satellite view on google maps and as best as I can tell the closest you will get to an address is "near the corner of 202 and sawyer hill road"

                                                2. re: EastRocker

                                                  ER, everything about Clamps sounds excellent. That Mia Farrow sighting is amazing . . .

                                        2. re: Passadumkeg

                                          tell those residents of hamberg to take it up with the library of congress :)

                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                        the third place in the area to make excellent steamed cheeseburgs is rosco's big dog in downtown hartford... also makes a mean peanut butter and bacon hot dog mmm


                                      2. For those of you dying for the Fuddruckers burgers, I believe there is one at Foxwoods Casino.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: lonborgfan

                                          the Corner bistro burger in new york city is the best!theTwisted spoke in chicago is a pretty close second,and the search here in new england is still on.

                                          1. re: lonborgfan

                                            lots of them in NJ too if you're willing to travel for one.

                                          2. In my opionion, the best burgers in CT are Joe Pizza in Canton (Route 44) and its sister place, Joey Garlic in Farmington (Route6). They are big (half pound, I believe) and unlike other places they will make them medium rare. Great flavor, great bun! They are easily the best! Each place also makes wonderful pizza.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: chowmensch

                                              I agree, I go to the one in Canton and also get the eggplant fries!!
                                              Becasue of the type of pizza dough they use, I prefer theirs lightly baked.
                                              Good beer on tap too!!

                                              1. re: chowmensch

                                                because joe pizza grind's their own meat, they will make an extra rare burger, also nice that any toping you can think of is free...my favorite is bacon cheese burger w/ a fried egg...

                                              2. If ever going through Brunswick, Me., the funky little Brunswick Diner right on Rt.1 N, make a mean 1/2 lb. burger and will even cook it rare. The "Best Lobster Roll in Maine", however, is too damn expensive.

                                                1. Favorite burger joint would be Stanley's in Central Falls, RI.

                                                  ZBut my favorite burger can be found at Red Bridge Tavern in East Providence.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Mrrrl4real

                                                    Thanks for the lead on the Red Bridge Tavern.I go by there often,now will have to stop in.

                                                  2. My favorite burger joint is in the Berkshires, The Lantern on North St. in Pittsfield. The place hasn't got the greatest atmosphere, but the burgers make it worth the visit.

                                                    1. Finally made it to Rapid Rays in Saco, ME a few weeks ago. Good burgers and the price is right.

                                                      1. I hate to be "non-original", but Louis Lunch on Crown St., New Haven...hands down. If anything, despite what your feelings are about the place...it has a great atmosphere (go before 6PM Thurs/Fri/Sat), nostalgic, etc. The whole experience is great and fun for the kids. Jeff behind the counter is a character and depending on who his side kick is for the evening, they really put on a show with the banter between the two. It is just facinating to see how many hamburgers they serve up in the course of a night. Spend the time and ask him, if it's not busy, about the history of the place. the actual bricks that were used in the building are from around the world, some being over 100years old. Just a fun time....DON'T ASK FOR KETCHUP!

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: vino5150

                                                          I couldn't agree with you more! As a Connecticut girl now living in South Florida, I would kill to have a Louis burger. I even went so far as to email Jeff about shipping some burgers down. Unfortunately it can't be done but whenever I visit CT the first place I go is Louis Lunch for a burger, Pepe's for a pizza and Glenwood Drive-in for whole belly fried clams!!! Oh how I miss home......

                                                          1. re: sptr1

                                                            i tried five guys for the first time recently, it was a decent burger, but I have some serious issues with it.
                                                            1. it's a chain
                                                            2. the space they are in is not comfortable at all.
                                                            3. they are in a shopping center next to an abandoned staples
                                                            4. they won't make your burgers medium rare.

                                                            1. re: EastRocker

                                                              I just tried it yesterday: agree about the interior but liked the burger and the fries were awesome (huge portion). You also get fried onions and mushrooms for free as a topping. Pretty close to an In-and-out experience, without the cross-country plane ticket.

                                                              1. re: newhavener07

                                                                Does that mean the one on Whalley Avenue is finally open?

                                                                1. re: harrie

                                                                  no, i passed by this weekend (3/22/08), and they were still not open.

                                                                  1. re: EastRocker

                                                                    I talked to people at Orange store last week and they said new one was opening next month, holdup with permits or something.

                                                                    1. re: newhavener07

                                                                      The Five Guys on Whalley Ave. in New Haven opened Saturday. I happened to be at the Amity Liquor store at 11 when it opened, so of course I had to get some burgers and fries.

                                                                      The food was fantsatic! The burger was medium-well (a tiny bit pink inside) and very juicy and flavorful. Yeah, I make a more rare burger at home, but out it's a rarity to get any fast-food burger that's not incinerated or nuked. If a burger is cooked right, it can be delicious even if it's more well done than you'd normally like, IMHO.

                                                                      The fries were delicious - crunchy, skin-on and salty (and way too many - get the small).

                                                                      The joint has an army of workers behind the counter. They were friendly and efficient. The bill (two double burgers and a small fry) came to $11.50. A good bargain.

                                                                      I was introduced to this chain in Philly last year. For those who sniff at a chain, yeah - so what! There are some rare chains that make good food. This is one.

                                                                      1. re: shoes

                                                                        I agree that some chains make good food (supporting local business is a whole other topic). My issue with five guys being a chain in this case has more to do with atmosphere. The question wasn't "name a place that makes a good burger" it was "name your favorite burger joint". Chains lack the personality and history to make any of them my favorite burger joint. Call me crazy but I find it hard to get nostaligic feelings when I am ordering a burger from a 16 year old at the McDonald's at the I-95 rest stop.

                                                          2. Harmon's in Falmouth, ME!!!!!

                                                            Vivian's in Portland, ME (I might even like it better than Harmon's!)!!!

                                                            I don't understand the appeal of Stanley's in Central Falls, RI - I think they are gross.

                                                            I agree with the Corner Bistro comment for NY. Yummm.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Snakebite

                                                              You know, I went way out of my way to go to Harmon's because it sounded awesome, and although the atmosphere was awesome and worth a stop, I really thought the burgers were pretty lousy. Just soft and flavorless, very fast food-like. In fact, it's odd that you mention Stanley's in the same post because, even though I don't love them, I found their burgers a much better version of the same sort of burger--thin patty, sweet squishy white bun, most of the flavor from the condiments. I guess that's what makes horseracing though!

                                                            2. La Laiterie on Wayland Sq in Providence. Easily the best burger I have ever had in my life.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: Jenz

                                                                I am with you Jenz. I had my first burger there Thursday night and it was fantastic. Even the bun was in balance with the burger.

                                                              2. Last summer I had a burger from Fat Joe's on Rt 3 in South China. Both my husband and I agreed it was an awesome creation. Nothing fancy, just nicely grilled juicy meat seasoned only with S&P, sweet onions, a thick slice of locally grown tomatoes (tart but not too tart), melted American cheese and iceburg lettuce. It was served in a parchment paper bag. Lovely for a summer evening's treat!

                                                                1. World Famous Ted's Restaurant in Meriden, CT

                                                                  I found out about it while making plans to drive farther than I'd ever driven for an independent pro wrestling event. Some of the fans were going to meet up there, and they talked up Ted's steamed cheeseburgers. The meetup wasn't much, but the Ted's experience was.

                                                                  1. In Falmouth, Maine I hear good things about Harmen's. Total greasy spoon. My Step-Dad's favorite, steamed poppy seed buns and all the fixings.

                                                                    1. New contender, creative / non-traditional division: Prime 16 (172 Temple St., New Haven, CT)

                                                                      I just returned from my 3rd visit to Prime 16 (2nd with food) the new "Tap House" on Temple st.
                                                                      They have a large selection of specialty burgers, a couple of other sandwiches, some big salads, and a good selection of apps. My first trip I had the Cowboy burger, which consisted of a large patty of good quality beef, bacon, and a fried egg. It was quite good, juicy, sizeable. Today I had the Lamb burger, which had mint, cilantro and garlic mixed in the patty, and came with feta, tomato and lettuce. I opted to have mine on the pretzel roll, with a side of sweet potato fries. It was absolutely delicious. They also have an amazing beer selection, 20 taps pouring really great beers (southhampton, grimbergen, dales, cascazilla...) and an even larger selection of bottles.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: EastRocker

                                                                        Just had lunch (on Friday) at Prime 16. Wow! Great burgers with choices of bread and sides. As you said, lots of beers and beers on tap. I had a ? stout and then a Sea Hag IPA. SO had the NY Hamburger (first on the list), rare and it was perfect. It comes with "grilled tobacco onions", which refers to the onion cut, and spinach. I ordered a med-rare lamb burger (with feta cheese), and it came medium (no red). Still was really good. I had avocado as a side and SO had sweet potato fries. Service was great--from the barkeep, and the only thing I have to complain about is how noisy it was. Really hard to talk. It's quieter in the bar dining area but still it was difficult to talk at times. This is a recurring issue with me. They have done nothing to attenuate sound. The walls are butt-smooth! There was a good crowd and it rocked (loudly)!

                                                                      2. The best burger I have had in the seacoast area of NH is gotta be at the Gaslight in Portsmouth. Perfectly grilled over a wood fire....with bacon and gorgonzola cheese....mmmmm.

                                                                        1. For a burger with booze available I like Richter's in New Haven
                                                                          For a burger joint, I love White Hut.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: Td61

                                                                            Finally made it to Five Guys in Newtown on Saturday. I give their burgers two thumbs up. Lots of flavor. I got their big cheeseburger which is actually a double patty. I got it with just raw onions although there are many more toppings to choose from. The fries are pretty good as well. They cook them well done which is how I like 'em. Gotta go back and sample some more. Maybe one of their hot dogs as well.

                                                                          2. Three other burgers for consideration:

                                                                            1 - Carole Peck Good News Cafe has a great Bison Burger 3.5 miles north Off I-84 Exit 16 in CT
                                                                            2 - Burger Shake and Fries in Greenwich CT
                                                                            3 - Cherry Street East in New Canaan CT

                                                                            1. I am generally not a fan of chains, but Fuddruckers hands down. I also like the burgers at the Gardner Ale House www.gardnerale.com and the beer is excellent too. Bennies in Worcester has good burgers for cheap money too.

                                                                              1. 1) Shady Glen (it's about the Cheese and condiment tray!!)
                                                                                2) Joe Pizza - Canton
                                                                                3) Five Guys Burgers and Fries (love the fries)
                                                                                4) Harry's - Colchester
                                                                                5) Fabiola's- Avon; this is a new favorite. They make a delicious burger topped with avocado and chipoltle sauce and decent fries. The burger itself is perfectly prepared and very tasty.

                                                                                1. We just "discovered" The Spot Eatery in West Hartford(?) the wifie and I both had the guacomole (No mayo in the guac.!) and bacon burgers and salsa hot dogs for breakfast. Frankie is a good hombre. Today the Whoper (sic) at Fat Burger Drive In in Brunswick, Me. The one at the Miss Brunswick Diner ain't too shabby either.

                                                                                  1. Props go to the Look Restaurant in Leeds, MA, Scotti's in the same, & the Wagon Wheel in Gill, MA, for tasy burgs as well.

                                                                                    1. Just a few notes. Clamp's is in New Milford. It is often confused w/ Milford bec. of its name. The decision re I95 and I 84 and the Merritt takes place in Milford. New Milford is in the sticks north of Danbury. It is on Rte 202 in the part of NM called Northville. It has been there since 1938. The original Clamps are gone now but famlily is keeping it going. Please dont go there bec. if it becomes overrun I will have trouble getting my

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: chaz

                                                                                        Clamps was really good when we made the trip out there a couple of weekends ago. Birch beer and onion rings completed a fine lunch. It's a nice ride from Hartford.

                                                                                      2. I'm a long time Stanley's advocate (Central Falls, and a new one in Providence) but just this past week I've driven down to Mystic TWICE to Five Guys - might be even better than my beloved Stanley's. A few more trips are in order to see...

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: Rhody Dave

                                                                                          Two favorite burgers - agree with Jenz on La Laiterie in PRovidence!!!
                                                                                          For Stamford, CT - Napa & Co is a MUST!!!! As is Dressing Room in Westport, CT - the P. L. Newman burger -- named after Paul Newman!


                                                                                        2. Ted's with out a doubt- Meriden CT. There was a good place in Sprinfeild MA also.. have to research the name... I cant remember!!

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: casachris66

                                                                                            casachris66, Maybe White Hut in West springfield? My friend drives down a few times a year for lunch and insists we go to White Hut.

                                                                                            My short list of favs:
                                                                                            White Hut (NOT the ones they sell at the Big E but at their place right down the road)
                                                                                            Fuddruckers - 3/4 pound (at foxwoods)
                                                                                            Joe Pizza (canton CT)
                                                                                            And I actually really like Chilis burgers!

                                                                                          2. 20 Railroad Street in Great Barrington, MA makes a Kobe beef burger that's the best burger I've ever had anywhere. I like mine well done, and few places seem able to do that. Theirs was actually juicy.
                                                                                            They have a whole pages of burger choices- different cheeses, toppings, and vegies.

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: nelena

                                                                                              I like the burger at 1149 along with about a pound of hand cut fries. Other than that is my own at home with 50% Bison 50% ground Pork with a small piece of foie gras in the center on a fresh Brioche Bun with an onion confit.

                                                                                              1. re: Frank Terranova

                                                                                                Ozzi's Steakburgers in Warwick is an interesting establishment, burgers are delicious and they have thick, handcut fries, fried to a dark, golden brown.

                                                                                                My newest fav burger though is Fat Belly's in East Greenwich


                                                                                                1. re: Sean

                                                                                                  New Rivers in Providence makes a magical burger -- with lots of herbs and worcestershire in the meat - from Wolfe's Neck in ME!

                                                                                                  I love La Laiterie's burger -- partly since I'm obsessed with their polenta frites

                                                                                                  Bayside in Westport, MA also makes a mean burger -- extra points for sweet bread roll!!!


                                                                                            2. Five Guys in Manchester is really good and you can eat peanuts while standind in line.