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Rossi's Bar & Grill Trenton NJ

t
tom246 Jan 6, 2009 06:21 PM

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
609-394-9089
PS They have an extensive menu besides burgers.

  1. bgut1 Jan 6, 2009 06:43 PM

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

    1. Tapas52 Jan 6, 2009 07:11 PM

      Tom- you beat me to Rossi's !!......wow 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. b
        BCjr Jan 7, 2009 05:00 AM

        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
          t
          tom246 Jan 7, 2009 05:40 AM

          BC
          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. t
          TomDel Jan 7, 2009 07:29 AM

          Rossi’s Tavern http://www.rossiburger.com in the Chambersburg section of Trenton. They just celebrated their 75th anniversary and the Trentonian did a nice story about them http://www.trentonian.com/articles/20... . I was there for lunch a couple of weeks ago and the burger was outstanding as usual.

          1 Reply
          1. re: TomDel
            v
            Villon Feb 25, 2009 04:55 PM

            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. MishyPoo Mar 14, 2009 06:28 PM

            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!

            xoox,
            Michelle

            15 Replies
            1. re: MishyPoo
              t
              tom246 Mar 15, 2009 05:25 AM

              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
                Tapas52 Apr 8, 2009 03:06 PM

                This afternoon on my way home from Philadelphia I really want to try Rossi's Burgers which I've heard so much about.......my 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
                  Bossa_Nova Apr 8, 2009 04:34 PM

                  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
                    Tapas52 Apr 8, 2009 05:50 PM

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

                    1. re: Tapas52
                      t
                      tom246 Apr 9, 2009 04:42 AM

                      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
                        Tapas52 Apr 9, 2009 06:11 AM

                        tom246 have you been there also?

                        1. re: Tapas52
                          t
                          tom246 Apr 9, 2009 06:49 AM

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

                          1. re: tom246
                            Tapas52 Apr 9, 2009 07:03 AM

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

                            1. re: Tapas52
                              Tapas52 Jul 22, 2009 10:36 AM

                              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.

                              http://www.rossiburger.com/

                              1. re: Tapas52
                                t
                                tom246 Jul 22, 2009 11:10 AM

                                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
                                  Tapas52 Jul 22, 2009 11:43 AM

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

                                  1. re: Tapas52
                                    Tapas52 Jul 23, 2009 06:46 AM

                                    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 dining.....in 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
                                      t
                                      tom246 Jul 23, 2009 02:06 PM

                                      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
                                        Tapas52 Jul 23, 2009 09:31 PM

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

                                        Thanx

                                      2. re: Tapas52
                                        t
                                        TomDel Jul 26, 2009 02:51 AM

                                        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.

              2. j
                jfedorko Jul 25, 2009 09:26 AM

                A nice write-up at Hamburger Today:
                http://aht.seriouseats.com/archives/2...

                1 Reply
                1. re: jfedorko
                  Tapas52 Jul 25, 2009 02:14 PM

                  thank you that explains what happened regarding flavor when we were there the other day..we'll try again in the future.

                2. njfoodies Feb 3, 2010 05:39 PM

                  After a long day, but getting out of school early after a test, nothing says love like a good burger! That being said, I hopped in the car and took a ride over to Trenton to visit the world famous Rossi's Bar & Grill, for what many call the best burger in NJ. I'll say that it has been years since I have been to Rossi's, but Zelda took me there when we first started dating way back when. I remember the burger being fantastic back then, and there is really no excuse that we haven't been back in such a long time. That said, tonight was the night!

                  I walked in and grabbed a seat at the bar, and the place looked just as I remembered. Sat down and ordered a beer from John behind the bar, got a menu, and opted for the burger with Swiss cheese, and fried onions, cooked medium.

                  It couldn't have been much more than 5 minutes, and out came my burger and fries. The burger looked just as I remembered, but was bigger than I remembered them being.

                  Upon cutting it in half to make it easier to eat, the burger was cooked perfectly. Unfortunately, the Blackberry doesn't do the burger justice, but you get the idea! The onions had very light coloring to them, but were nice and tender, and the swill cheese was melted and oozing all over the place!

                  I added a bit of Heinze ketchup to the burger, put some on my plate for my fries, and in I dove! The first bite was heaven, and I had to ask why it has been so long since I have been back to Rossi's. This is just such a good burger! No frills to it whatsoever! Just good meat, and minimal seasoning. If I had to guess, it's just a little bit of salt and pepper. Do you really need to add anything else? Obviously not!

                  The meat itself was tender, and had really nice flavor. It was simple, and just down and dirty good. It wasn't greasy in the least, but you can tell there is a little fat in their ground beef to give it that good flavor.

                  The Swiss cheese added a nice element, as did the onions. The onions actually had a bit of a sherry taste to them, which I am assuming is from flying on the flat top. All in all, what can I say other than awesome! $13 for a burgr and a Yuengling. That's cheaper than just a burger at some of the establishments we have in town, and their burger doesn't compare to a Rossi burger!

                  If you're looking for one of the best burgers in NJ, Rossi's is a must hit! I look forward to comparing this burger to a burger from Boom in Belmar, as well as Barnacle Bill's in Rumson. Stay tuned for the latest and greatest to find the best burger in NJ! For now, Rossi's is in the lead! Cheers!

                   
                  3 Replies
                  1. re: njfoodies
                    j
                    jfedorko Feb 3, 2010 07:47 PM

                    Having eaten all three of your comparative targets, I can safely say that Rossi's is, hands down, the most satisfying, comfort-food-evoking, "that's-what-I-call-a-burger!" testament to grilled-ground-beef-on-a-bun of the three. At least that's my opinion. Jeez, my mouth is watering just thinking about it. Lets see, 51 miles by Google maps, hmmm...

                    1. re: jfedorko
                      j
                      jfedorko Feb 3, 2010 07:49 PM

                      Gee, can 'ya tell I just finished watching Man vs Food?

                      1. re: jfedorko
                        njfoodies Feb 4, 2010 03:55 AM

                        LOL jfedorko! Glad I could bring you some salivating happiness! It was indeed tasty, and hey, what is 51 miles? I used to commute that each way to work when I was working out at Fort Monmouth! Definitely worth the drive for some hand crafted tasty beef! YUM!

                        But for those who have never been, they have plenty more on the menu other than burgers! I've also heard great things about their steaks and chops! -mJ

                  2. a
                    azkaevolution Feb 5, 2010 12:10 PM

                    Rossi's is fantastic. My favorite burger joint anywhere.

                    The one thing I noticed that everyone who has posted or replied is that everyone has neglected their fresh, homemade potato chips. Best potato chips I've ever had. They're not on the menu, but you can order them at any meal. Thick cut, kettle chip type potato chips that come to your table still piping hot. Sprinkle a little salt and it's absolute perfection.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: azkaevolution
                      njfoodies Feb 8, 2010 04:20 AM

                      My buddy Gary told me that I need to try the chips, so I will definitely look into that next time we're there. Maybe I'll have to bring a little of my black truffle salt from home to sprinkle on them! YUM! Might be back after class again this Wednesday night! Can't stay away! LOL! -mJ

                      1. re: njfoodies
                        njfoodies Feb 18, 2010 06:18 AM

                        Went back last night and gave the chips a whirl, and opted for a bacon cheddar burger this go around. The chips are ridiculous, and I am eating the other half right now that I couldn't finish last night. These are so darn good! And there is next to no grease on them. Talk about a pile of chips! It was massive, and they were piping hot! Soo good! I'll have to cut and paste the review from our blog when I get home as it is blocked here! Picture below... -mJ

                         
                      2. re: azkaevolution
                        b
                        Bigdogfood Mar 11, 2010 08:19 PM

                        Rossi's is a must if your out food hopping in Trenton. Its a great alternative to the usual bar fare. They have a great mix of nostalgia, friendly staff, and good food. If you don't stop at Rossi's your missing out on a hidden Trenton Treat. I usually keep it quiet so that its not too crowded with my friends.

                      3. njfoodies Apr 1, 2010 07:23 AM

                        Tonight was just one of those nights that I was too lazy to even think about cooking anything after a long day, so a late dinner was in order. I definitely didn’t feel like fast food, so I took a little drive into lovely Trenton, and hit the ever reliable Rossi’s Tavern. On the way there, I had my heart set on the always delicious burger, but about 5 blocks from Rossi’s, I remember that I have been wanting to try the Roast Pork sandwich, so tonight was going to be the night.

                        I walked in, and saw the usual suspects sitting at the bar, and as always, Bob was working behind the bar. I immediately sat at my normal bar stool on the corner, ordered a Yuengling, and a roast pork sandwich with provolone cheese. In the meantime, I enjoyed some college basketball on one TV, and horse racing on the other TV. It’s hard to believe that pony season is already upon us, and I am looking forward to some trips to Monmouth Park this year, as well as Saratoga, and hopefully we can even make the “Arlington Million” this year at my home track just outside of Chicago.

                        Out came my pork sandwich, and like the burgers, it was big! I immediately cut it in half, and the aroma’s from the roast pork were great. You could definitely smell the herbs that the pork is cooked with, and I am guessing it has some rosemary, thyme, and in the mix. The provolone was nicely melted, and the roll was airy and crisp on top, while the bottom was just starting to absorb the juices. This was also accompanied by a cup of au jus on the side, which I didn’t think was necessary, but it did have nice flavors to it. Not being super hungry, I opted for fries on the side, instead of the usual chips I order.

                        The first bite was awesome and flavorful, and this is exactly what I expected from the first time that I saw this sandwich. The pork was tender, juicy, and exploding with flavors. The provolone was the perfect accompaniment, and the roll was of the perfect texture. The rosemary really comes through nicely with the pork, and the flavors all work so well together. As always, the fries were hot and crisp, and were perfect with a little salt and pepper.

                        Although this sandwich was perfect, I would really love to see what they could do with this pork in doing a bbq sandwich, which I don’t know if they do or not. The flavors and textures of the pork really reminded me of a pork sandwich that I love at The Texan BBQ in Algonquin, IL, so that is something I would like to inquire in. But at the same point, why ruin something that is already perfect?

                        All in all, another good night at Rossi’s, and another tasty meal. Maybe I need to get away from their sandwiches, and try some of their steaks, or better yet try the lamb! Time will tell, and the ever delicious Rossi’s saga will continue for many years to come. And as always, kudos to Bob for the great service behind the bar! Another good night, and another happy belly! Cheers! -mJ

                         
                        5 Replies
                        1. re: njfoodies
                          Foody4life Apr 2, 2010 05:58 AM

                          Roast pork and great burgers. What have I been waiting for?! Now we're definately going. Also a big fan of the ponies... when in Saratoga, check out Max London's on Broadway. Our favorite dinner spot.

                          1. re: Foody4life
                            njfoodies Apr 2, 2010 06:11 AM

                            Thanks for the recco Foody4Life. We'll definitely check it out this summer on our annual trip up to Saratoga with my in laws! Always a great trip.

                            I forget the names of the restaurants we've been to up there. There is also a nice wine shop on the main drag that I like to visit as well. -mJ

                            1. re: njfoodies
                              bgut1 Jun 24, 2010 02:30 PM

                              I finally made it over to Rossi's to try their famous hamburger and must say I am quite impressed. I arrived a little before noon and took a seat at the bar. As many have reported, this place is the prototypical neighborhood tavern of the 1950's. I felt very comfortable there and can easily understand how it has withstood the test of time. As for the food, I can attest to the many positive comments regarding the hamburger. Taking heed from earlier posters, I ordered my cheddar bacon burger medium rare so as to avoid it being dry. Instead of fries I ordered a plate of their famous (although off the menu) potato chips. About ten minutes after placing the order, I was presented with my gargantuan burger (so big that the patty was sticking out of the Kaiser roll). I am almost ashamed to admit that I pretty much finished the beast. Who knows how soon I’ll get another chance to eat a burger that good. Any worries about the dryness of the beef were unfounded. This burger was so juicy I had to use several napkins. If I had a complaint about the burger it would be that it lacked the use of salt. This however was easily remedied. The potato chips were also very good (although also lacking in the salt department). Warm, fresh and greaseless, those chips were the perfect accompaniment to my burger. Although enough for two, I proudly almost finished that plate as well. All in all, a fantastic experience. My only lament is that it took me so long to find this place. Thanks to tom246, njfoodies and the other posters for directing me to this local treasure. In the past, lunch in Trenton was an easy decision (DeLorenzo's). Now I'll have a tough but enjoyable decision to make.

                              1. re: bgut1
                                t
                                tom246 Jun 24, 2010 04:46 PM

                                Great report bgut1, I feel like running out and getting one. I love when I asked about the size of the burger and was told a "fistfull".

                                Now you know our problem, Delorenzo's or Rossi's. I admit usually its Delo's because we rarely make pizza at home but its a tough decision :)

                                1. re: tom246
                                  bgut1 Jun 25, 2010 09:13 AM

                                  Thanks Tom. I'm sure one of these days I'll bump into you at either Rossi's or Delo's.

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