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Comments on AJ's Burgers, North Ave, New Rochelle

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  • pobo Jan 15, 2009 02:11 PM

Someone told me they have the best burgers in the county. We used to love Piper's Kilt for the burger, although the fries and wine choices left something to be desired. If you've been , please share your experience/opinion.

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  1. pobo, I'm sure I read here that the burgers and hand cut fries are very good.

    I don't get the impression that they're the best in the county, though. I haven't yet been, so I can't weigh in. My favorites are still Blazer's and Squire's.

    1. I am always looking for superior burgers. so today I made a special trip to AJ's on north ave in new rochelle for lunch. Ordered the cheeseburger deluxe with the works (lettuce, tomato, raw onion, pickle, chipotle sauce). The waiter specifically asks how you like the burger cooked. I ordered medium rare and that is exactly what I got -- really red but cooked not raw. AJ uses a superior chopped meat. It is coarse ground and very flavorful. You really taste the meat when you bite into the burger rather than having the toppings overwhelm. It is a burger that ought to be in the same discussion as Blazer's and Kelly's for best in Westchester. It is definitely better than Piper's Kilt. I would have preferred a Kaiser roll to the conventional bun but that is nitpicking. The presentation is outstanding. The burger sits on one side of the roll with the cheese sitting perfectly melted on top. The toppings are thin sliced and sit on the other side of the roll. Burger and fries are neatly set out in a large metal bowl/plate. And the fries are perfect natural cut fries of various lengths that arrived very hot and crispy. Order some extra chipotle sauce for the fries. Reminded me of In n Out Burger fries done "well," which is how i order them when I am out west. AJ, who I understand used to own the famous Wedge Inn, and his crew are incredibly friendly and the place is immaculate though certainly not fancy. It looks as it should like a burger joint. No counters but plenty of booths. The total bill for the works cheeseburger, plenty of fries, and a large coke was an unbelievably reasonable $8.66 including tax.

      1 Reply
      1. re: biga290

        I still haven't tried this place. Maybe tomorrow. I have heard great things about it, but ironically. I have heard from two people that the only negative - the burgers. These are Kilt people and claim the burgers aren't even close to the Kilt's burgers. I will reserve judgement until I try it myself.

        I'm not trying to be a nitpicker, but your description of the burger and it's tppings is a little odd. How is it different than any other place? It sounds pretty much like every other burger joing in it's presentation. Did I miss something?>

      2. I'm thinking of going tomorrtow but I'm not really a burger person. Has anyone tried anything else?

        1. Please check the several Burger threads. Many comments located within.

          1. Thanks, biga290, for bumping this thread up to the top. We just returned from dinner at AJ's. WOW!! It's the best kept secret around. The food is all homemade. We had great burgers, wonderful ribs, soup, salads, fries, etc. Everything was delicious. They have burgers, of course, and AJ was telling us about his ribs and pulled pork. We only tried the ribs and they were excellent. Better than any I've had in Westchester. There is also a separate menu of all kinds of Italian items. Didn't even try that menu yet, but we will be back. Run, don't walk. AJ knows how to run a restaurant.

            1 Reply
            1. re: debmom

              So we tried it again and some of the first try euphoria has worn off. Maybe it was an off night. The burger was so-so and tried eggplant on the Italian menu. I wouldn't have either again.

            2. My impression from two times getting takeout....Definitely good burgers and fries but they fall short of great. The quality of the meat is apparent and they know how to cook a medium rare burger but the overall experience to me is not special. I don't think the Potato roll hamburger buns is helping their cause. Doesn't contend with BSF for deliciousness but it is 15 minutes closer to my home and has room for families to sit which counts for something.

              1 Reply
              1. re: rafi

                We went for lunch today and left with enough food for a second lunch and dinner! A.J. brought us out free sliders, bisque and pizza. He seems very committed to providing high quality food and the prices are low. The burgers are good but the best thing I ate was the half grilled chicken which had a great wood-smoked flavor so I'm sure Jon 1856 is right about the ribs. Good fries too.

              2. My family LOVES aj's... we have been going for months! The entire staff is great. They really know what they are doing... before you can even ask for extra napkins, poof there is someone handing you some. They know what you need before you know it. My kids beg to go and even do chores with the hope of an AJ's trip reward. When you are first seated your kids are given dough that they can kneed and shape and when they are all done it is taken off to be baked... my kids love it. It keeps them happy while waiting for their food and gives my husband and me a chance to chat. The food is unbelievable... I am a very picky eater and they always bring me what i ask for exactly. The burgers are incredable and are the perfect size so that you don't over eat and regret it later! My kids love the sliders because they are so tinyand they love that no matter what you order it is served up in a frying pan! My husband raves about the shrimp bisque soup and insists that i bring him one to go if we go there without him! The chicken parm on top of pasta was perfectly cooked and we are talking real chicken parm not skimpy little thin slices. I don't love the fresh cut fries, i like them but i guess i just prefer the frozen kind... but my kids love them so that is what is most important... my husband always gets the sweet potatoe fries and thinks they are really good. Don't leave with out trying the chocolate soda! Oh oh oh you have to try the brownie sundae... it is so good and huge! We have been there countless times and Aj always comes over to say hi, he stops by every table for a quick hello and really gets to know his regulars. Just an all around great place. We were hesitant at first because I thought north ave...eh can't be too good but boy was i wrong, a friend highly recommended AJ's and she is my new best friend!

                1 Reply
                1. re: ginalsjohn

                  My boyfriend and I decided to try to this place yesterday and we were not disapointed. I had a cheeseburger and boyfriend had just a plain burger. They came out perfectly cooked. I LOVE my burgers medium rare and it just seems like the most insanly hard thing for a restaurant to get right. Medium RARE. As in, part of it will be RARE! So simple, so freakin' hard to execute apparently. I am thinking peace in the middle east might just happen first before most places get it right. Well, Aj's actually got it it right! So that pleased me a lot! The burgers came with ample fries. I liked them. Boyfriend liked them more than me. The burgers were good. Not insane Shake Shack good, but pretty tasty. The meat was good quality and combined with the ample fries and good price, it makes a really good burger and fries meal. The owner was amazingly nice and friendly. He brought over some sliders for us to try and those bad boys were really good! I think that I would stick with the sliders next time! He also brought our some awesome potato salad. It was really good. The cole slaw needed to be a little creamier. We decided to try the ice cream because it is "world famous" but it was just average. Maybe if they offered more than two flavors. I am not a big vanilla or chocolate fan. But overall, I give this place a high score. Good burgers, great sliders, tasty sides (the ones that I did try) and wonderful customer service. Oh, and the place is cute and comfy on the inside. The outside might look iffy, but the inside is charming.

                2. Mr. Pobo took me there for dinner the other night after raving over their sliders at lunch the other day. Wow! A lot of food, terribly nice people (including AJ). I just wish it was one step up from what it is - not so cafeteria/bright light.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: pobo

                    Personally I do not understand the cafeteria/bright lights comment? It looks like any other burger joint (actually a lot more comfy and inviting than most) and any more steps up and we are going into fine dining territory and we are talking about a burgers and fries place here. If it was one step up from what it is than wouldn't that make it not what it is; which is a burger and fries joint?

                    Just curious.

                    1. re: ongry

                      Let's not confuse people who have not been there. AJ's is a sit-down restaurant with friendly service. Yes there are tiles on the walls and bright lights--but it's not a cafeteria. I think it's kind of funky and cute. Definitely family friendly.

                      1. re: debmom

                        I just meant to differentiate between other highly rated burger places like Kelly's Shipwreck or Piper's Kilt, which are more pub-like. And the cafeteria comment refers to when you go for lunch, you order at the counter and then sit down. But I do think the burgers, etc. are excellent.

                  2. We've been twice now. Last time I got the chili and it was great, really meaty with just the right amount of heat. My husband got the baked ziti with ricotta and that was excellent. My daughter likes the pizza. Everything comes with homemade bread. It's always a ton of food.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: mary30

                      I stopped by this place tonight after reading this thread and was pleasantly surprised. Great sliders! My bf had the regular burger, but the sliders kicked the burgers umm, behind! Hands down best sliders in Westchester. I tried the potato salad and it was awesome as well. Great little joint.

                      1. re: zang

                        aj's deserves a lot more attention than it has been getting. excellent food extremely attentive owner, and a tremendous value to boot!!!

                        1. re: zang

                          I agree - the sliders are awesome! Best part is we didn't even order them - the friendly owner brought us over a couple to sample, along with a delicious shrimp bisque! Was not expecting that. This place is a great addition to the burger/family food scene

                      2. I thought I had posted. I went there about three weeks ago on a Sunday. Place was somehwat quiet and we sat by the back. I wanted to try as many things as possible, so we did. I had two cheeseburger sliders that were very good. A buffalo chicken slider that was excellent. We had a personal pizza that I loved. My girlfriend thought it was OK. I liked the crunch crust and the fact that the cheese was under the light sauce and didn't slide off. We had a huge order of the cheese fries that could have fed about 6 people alone. I also tried a bowl of chili that was very good. My grilfriend had an eggplant sandwich with sauteed spinach on their home baked bread that was very garlicky and somewhat took awak from the eggplant, but was enjoyable nonetheless. The service was great and on top of everythign else we received a small complimentary milkshake.

                        Next time there I was told to get the chicken parm (not one of my usual faves) and the shrimp bisque. I wil definitely go back sooner than later.

                        1. Another very positive vote for AJ's. My family and I spontaneously went there for dinner this past Friday night. First thing that hits you is that great "diner" type smell.

                          The staff is super friendly and they gave both my kids dough to shape and they bake for when we leave.

                          I thought the burger was excellent and I loved the way they made their fries -- crunchy with some little crispy pieces. My kids ordered the garlic knots and boy, these were big hits, very tangy with the cheese and garlic mix.

                          The whole place was filled with families who were enjoying the place as much as us.

                          And the prices -- incredibly reasonable -- verging on downright cheap -- for the very good food you get.

                          I'd definitely recommend AJ's (park at the municipal lot across the street) for families or anybody else who loves good diner-type food. Their breakfasts look really cool, looking at the menu. Anybody had that yet?

                          1. Awesome experience tonight. Great slider, loved the rib samples (came out compliments of A.J., as did the zeppoles at the end). Nice hand cut fries. Not everything is amazing, but the prices are more than reasonable, and all the food is very good quality. I'll still go to Piper's for the burger, but this place rocks.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: addictedtolunch

                              Are AJs burgers the absolute best? No- but are they outstanding? Yes. And does presentation and other food options bump them up a few notches - absolutely. And I can not say enough about their service. Even though I have only been there a few times I feel like I am a "regular" - every member of the staff treats you like an appreciated guest, which is such a nice change of pace from even fancier establishments. Do I recommend coming to AJ's if you live more than 30 minutes away? No. But I have happily made the trek from the Bronx and will do so again and again.

                            2. just went to AJs for first time and we LOVED it... Thought the burgers were better than Piper's Kilt .We also loved the Chili --- really delicious with a nice kick, but not too hot. ice cream was good too!!.. definitely plan to go back . great value, fun atmosphere .. and they have diet root beer!

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                              Piper's Kilt
                              434 White Plains Rd, Eastchester, NY 10709