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Jan 6, 2009 06:21 PM

Rossi's Bar & Grill Trenton NJ

We went over to Rider University for a sports event tonight but stopped at Rossi's in Trenton to sample their well renowned burgers. The burger was very good but more on that later.

Rossi's is located deep in the "burg", that is the Chambersburg section. it is a landmark in that it is a throwback to taverns of years past. Full of nostalgia, everyone knows each other and our server sat down to chat with all of her tables.

On to the food. We both ordered cheeseburgers made with cheddar cheese, wife also had fries, I sampled the coleslaw.
The burgers are HUGE, were cooked to perfect medium rare, were juicy and had a nice grill flavor. Not much char but good grill notes. Roll was a toasted kaiser roll.
The steak fries were crispy, flavorful and not at all greasy. The coleslaw was standard fare.
My wife asked how big were the burgers as she can sometimes handle a 8 oz burger but was overmatched with this one.
Server told us they are not weighed but was a "handful". The chef has some huge hand :))

So the inevitable question is, how good are Rossi's cheeseburgers. If I had to rate Boom, Barnacle Bills and Rossi's, I give the edge overall to Boom with Rossi's second and Barnacle Bills third but all three are worth having.
As far as value is concerned Rossi's is the clear winner. This tasty monster of a burger is $5.95.
Rossi's has a website but does not seem to be working. If you go here are some details.
Rossi's Bar & Grill
501 Morris Avenue
Trenton NJ 08611
PS They have an extensive menu besides burgers.

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  1. Tom - Thanks for the review. I will definitely give Rossi's a try next time I'm in Trenton.

    1. Tom- you beat me to Rossi's !! second place ain't to shabby either!!!
      Sounds wonderful & home style for sure.....did you have a drink to go with it?

      Thanks for the review...I'll be there very soon.

      1. Tom,
        I've not been to the other places you've mentioned, but Rossi's is my personal favorite. I've lived in Mercer County nearly all of my life and travelled extensively in my career. Rossi's was always my favorite. Often times the bread makes the sandwich and their rolls are always so fresh and tasty. Steak fries are not my favorite but somehow theirs are really good. Always crispy and not greasy at all. And as you mention, the price is right.
        They also make a good steak and the roast pork is great.
        One tip though. Don't go in there and badmouth the Yankees. You might end up sleeping with the fishes ! Afterall, Joe DiMaggio graced the place many years ago, as have many sports figures (Jersey Joe Walcott among them) and politicians.
        There were some rumors that they may head to the suburbs like so many other burg restaurants, but I don't know if there's any truth to that.
        Go and enjoy !

        1 Reply
        1. re: BCjr

          As you mention, the place has a feel to it that can't be duplicated. Plus the burger (and fries) were excellent as I mentioned above.
          Bad mouth DiMaggio, no way as there was a group of Soprano types sitting a few tables away :))
          Will certainly stop back in when we are in that area, can't beat the price.
          If your down the shore in Belmar, give Boom a try.

        2. Rossi’s Tavern in the Chambersburg section of Trenton. They just celebrated their 75th anniversary and the Trentonian did a nice story about them . I was there for lunch a couple of weeks ago and the burger was outstanding as usual.

          1 Reply
          1. re: TomDel

            I was born in Trenton in 1950 and my family lived on Anderson Street in Chambersburg. Rossi's was always one of the best places to eat and drink. I've lived in San Francisco, CA since 1976, but anytime I return to the area, Rossi's is always a mandatory and much desired stop on my list of places to go. It's a fabulous place.

          2. Interesting....When I first tried BOOM a few months ago, I too would have given them the edge over any of the other burger joints we have tried...Everything was top notch, but sadly declined in my subsequent visits there. I told my husband the other day after our 3rd or 4th visit that we will not be going back there.

            Today we went to Rossi's.....and I just cant wait to go back there for a cheese burger.
            I only had one bite of my husband's cheddar burger w/ fried onions and I was sold! The steak fries were crisp and delicious. The meat was juicy and did not disappear in its roll. If I could think of one negative thing about it, it was that he ordered it medium and it looked a tad well done to me...perhaps I dont know what medium is? I will be ordering medium rare from now on just to make sure! lol

            I had the linguine w/ clam sauce and when it arrived I was disappointed because it was a red clam sauce. I prefer white over red. BUT...I ate it and it was really good! The serving size was huge, I couldnt even finish it all. For a red clam sauce, it wasnt too red, or too oily...nor did it have too much italian herb spice like oregano, but just the right amount.

            I called my mother as soon as we got back from Trenton tonight to tell her I cant wait to take her to my new favorite burger joint when she comes to visit from Brooklyn LOL!


            15 Replies
            1. re: MishyPoo

              Yea, Rossi's serves one heck of a burger and the old time atmosphere is priceless. If Boom's burgers are slipping, Rossi's would be my choice as they have been the same for a long time.
              Thanks for the report.

              1. re: tom246

                This afternoon on my way home from Philadelphia I really want to try Rossi's Burgers which I've heard so much mouth was watering as I headed into the "Burg"...... I arrived and parked across the street knowing that in a few minutes I would be eating the acclaimed "Best Burger in NJ"....crossing the street I opened the door of the Historic bar & Grill walked in & immediately felt the nostalgic atmosphere..........but then it all came to an abrupt end when the owner said "Sorry kitchen doesn't open until 5pm" !!!! Arggggggggggg! I was devastated and walked out very disappointed knowing I will have to return sometime soon and try it again after 5pm for sure.

                1. re: Tapas52

                  They are open for lunch and then close from 2:30-5. Also closed on Sunday. Very good burgers, worth trying ffor sure.

                  1. re: Bossa_Nova

                    I probably just missed lunch....thanks for the info...I will surly try again soon.

                    1. re: Tapas52

                      If the burgers were half as good, Rossi's would be worth it just because of the throw back atmosphere.
                      Add to the atmosphere the fact that the burgers are teriffic and you have the whole package.

                      1. re: tom246

                        tom246 have you been there also?

                        1. re: Tapas52

                          Hey Tapas, take a look at who started this thread. Yours truly :))

                          1. re: tom246

                            tom246 hahahah ok .....what was I thinking? Maybe its too early in the morning to think straight. Thanks for the info.

                            1. re: Tapas52

                              OK my fellow CH'ers...tonight I make the trek to Rossi's Bar & Grill for the the famous Best Hamburger in New Jersey.....the "Rossi Burger"
                              I have been looking forward to this for a long while ....I will report back l8tr.


                              1. re: Tapas52

                                Tapas, enjoy your burger and enjoy the "atmosphere", its like no other. Will be very surprised if you don't report a big thumbs up for Rossi's.

                                1. re: tom246

                                  Thank you Tom..we'll be 6 pp for dinner.....I can't wait!

                                  1. re: Tapas52

                                    We finally had a chance to have dinner at Rossi's last night. A party of four. At first look walking in really brings you back to a time when an 75 yr old neighborhood bar & grill was excactly that. Nostalgic with lots of wood on the bar & old pictures on the walls, Joe Dimaggio ate there , Mickey Mantle signed photos also....etc......but lets get to the the rear is the dining room as your actually eating in what used to be an old house. It was pretty crowded, we were seated quickly and browsed the menu. service was friendly and attentive. After hearing so much about the "Rossi Burger" being #1 in NJ and that's what we came for ......and that's what we ordered. We also ordered the Chicken rice soup my friend said it was good tasting, being all their pasta dishes could be ordered in half portions I wanted to try the fettuccine Alfredo also. It wasn't too bad but a bit watery to my liking otherwise very tasty. Now here comes the burgers......they were huge!! My bacon cheeseburger was about 1 1/2" thick on a soft kaiser roll they looked great but that's where it ended. All of our burgers were a bit dry, maybe a "rare" doneness would have juiced then up a bit more... but more so they had no taste. there was a good char but they were bland and tasted like just a lump of chopped meat with no seasoning or flavor at all, the bacon was plentiful and crisp, the steak style fries were excellent also...I was a bit disappointed as was the rest of my party. I guess for only $5.95 it's a good value but as far as being the #1 Burger in NJ?....not a chance in my book. I enjoyed the Boom Burger more. I give it a 6 out of 10... I will return again when I'm in the area to try the Steaks & Italian dishes to give it another shot. As for desert my friend enjoy his tiramisu. Total for 4 pp $65.00.

                                    Thank you

                                    1. re: Tapas52

                                      Tapas, its a shame they cooked the burgers to a well done dry. Makes all the difference. Our's are always a nice medium rare and nice flavor.

                                      1. re: tom246

                                        tom.....we will try again at a later date.....& will definitly go rare to med rare. I'm not giving up on Rossis yet.


                                      2. re: Tapas52

                                        I agree, my wife and I like burgers and steak for that matter, medium rare or pink throughout. Consequently, we buy ground sirloin that’s 90/10 for burgers made at home and they will definitely dry out if cooked beyond medium. If I’m having guests for a cookout, I’ll buy a couple of pounds of 85/15 (ground round) and mix it with a pound or so of 80/20 (ground chuck or beef). I have a friend who insists on well done. A trick I learned from a James Beard cookbook is to put a pad of butter in the middle of the burger when forming it. This keeps it from drying out even when it’s overcooked. This friend thinks I make the best burgers he’s ever tasted and can’t figure out how I do it or what the secret ingredient is. Maybe I’ll tell him one of these days.

                                        I’ve been going to Rossi’s for more years that I’d care to admit. I’ve found that if you go there when it’s extremely busy, you might get an overdone burger. I think they start to make them ahead when they’re busy in order to keep up with the orders. I try to go there on Tuesday or Wednesday nights or if I’m going for lunch, I’ll try to get there when they open at 11:30 AM or wait until 1:15 PM or so. I avoid Friday’s altogether. I think the best time to go is Saturday afternoon for lunch.