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Best Burger in CT

b
bmgsmg72 May 1, 2009 07:51 AM

Ive been to Wood n Tap and the Counter burger havent been to plan B yet i would have to say that Wood N Tap has a better burger then the Counter place because of the all around value cause the Counter is very pricey. Any other places that i am missing?

  1. e
    Earle May 1, 2009 08:46 AM

    You should give Red Robin a try. I know its a chain , and the prices for a burger are a little on the high side, But they make quite a meal.. With free fries and free refills...Give it a try... Earle Ct.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Earle
      b
      bmgsmg72 May 1, 2009 09:03 AM

      i Cant believe i forgot about Red Robin i went about 2 months ago i thought it was a very good burger but i didnt like the fries. But the prices are too high you are right.

      1. re: Earle
        n
        nyinct May 12, 2009 01:16 PM

        My wife and her mother went to Red Robin in W.Hartford and thought the burger was terrible, dry and tasteless as well as the fries. She was very dissapointed. My choice for best burger would be Wood n Tap always big & juicy great tap beers and superb sweet pot.fries.

        1. re: nyinct
          b
          bmgsmg72 May 12, 2009 07:51 PM

          I will agree the fries at red robin are really bad thats why they give you all you can eat. I is just a gimmick. However, how were the burgers suppose to be cooked like what did you order them? You are the first person to tell me that they didnt enjoy red robin burger lol. But i do agree that Wood n Tap has an amazing burger and i love their sweet pot. fries

      2. h
        hotwing May 1, 2009 09:53 AM

        Try Joey Garlics in Farmington and Newington. Also there's Joe Pizza in Canton (same owners). $6-$7 for a half pound fresh ground chuck burger and all of the toppings except for bacon and cheese are free, You can even get a fried egg on it if you like.

        10 Replies
        1. re: hotwing
          b
          bmgsmg72 May 1, 2009 10:09 AM

          wow the place has an amazing menu cant wait to try it out. I do wish the fries came with the burger for 7 bucks though i hate how you have to order them separate.

          1. re: hotwing
            r
            ratbuddy May 1, 2009 11:56 AM

            Huge +1 on Joey Garlic's burger. Five guys is the only thing that even comes close, and it's a completely different style so hard to compare.

            1. re: ratbuddy
              d
              duds May 3, 2009 12:03 PM

              My wife and I went to Joey Garlic's in Newington yesterday, the service was great and the burger my wife got was amazing! Freshly ground, huge and cooked to perfection.
              We have been to Catsup and Mustard and the burger was good, but this certainly beat theirs IMHO.

               
            2. re: hotwing
              c
              chowmensch May 1, 2009 01:48 PM

              I love Joe Pizza and Joey Garlic's burger. It's far and away the best. Much better than 5 Guys although 5 guys' fries are better....

              1. re: chowmensch
                r
                ratbuddy May 1, 2009 03:27 PM

                At Joey Garlic's, get the eggplant fries. Mmmmmmmmm.

              2. re: hotwing
                kattyeyes Nov 22, 2009 03:49 AM

                We went to Joey Garlic's on the Pike yesterday. You are correct--it's a half pound burger and all the toppings except bacon and cheese are free. It's not that the burger is bad, I just don't think this is a food enthusiast's burger by any stretch of the mind.

                The concept of a 1/2 pound burger is profoundly obscene to me. Can we not have a normal, realistic portion, perhaps? I kept thinking of the "this is why you're fat" site as I stared at my immense burger.

                The bun doesn't appear to be housemade, just a standard-issue sesame seed bun, but was drenched in butter and grilled. I ate the burger and left 99 percent of the bun. The packets of mayo (?!) strewn on my plate were a classy touch (sigh)...as was the wedge of iceberg (what am I supposed to do with this?) and couple of slices of tomatoes. The burger arrived rare as ordered. The fried mushrooms I added to my burger were very tasty. I asked for cheddar on my burger--it wasn't a nice, sharp cheddar as I'm accustomed to having. It didn't really add to the burger at all.

                No issue with service here. Our server checked in on us to ask how everything was and to see if we wanted anything else. The vibe here is very much like that of any other "family restaurant" a la 99 or Denny's. To me, it's like eating in a chain restaurant without actually eating in a chain. It's on the loud side (hard to converse) and, of course, part of that is because the place is popular and busy. It is certainly a great value for the dollar. It's just not our scene. Good news for Joey Garlic's lovers--there will be two fewer people in your way the next time you have a hankerin' for 1/2 a pound of meat!http://www.joeygarlic.com/joey2/menus...

                If I want a chain burger, I will continue to head for Ruby Tuesday's to get a triple prime with aged NY cheddar, garlic mayo and fries included.

                For now, I leave my vote for best burger in CT to River Tavern, which pains me as their service truly sucks, but I can't deny the quality of the burger itself--the meat, the bun, the entire package (minus the service). I'm hoping when I get to Max Burger it's in a similar league and service won't be an issue.

                1. re: kattyeyes
                  Passadumkeg Feb 8, 2010 01:32 AM

                  Not O'Rourke's steamed cheeseburger?

                  1. re: Passadumkeg
                    kattyeyes Feb 8, 2010 02:56 AM

                    It is a sentimental favorite for me, for sure. But now that I can make a steamed cheeseburger at home, THAT best is a personal best for me. One day I would be glad to make you one. Take a number, though, when my cousin comes home (his dad had the steamer box), he wants one, too. ;) I've already converted my mom, who never cared for steamers in the first place.

                  2. re: kattyeyes
                    g
                    Galemieux Jul 1, 2012 06:13 PM

                    Max Burger is my favorite with Plan B a close second.

                    1. re: Galemieux
                      kattyeyes Jul 1, 2012 06:41 PM

                      Still on my gotta get there list more than 2 years later (GEEZ!)--wish they'd open in Glastonbury as previously rumored. :)

                2. cheereeo May 1, 2009 01:28 PM

                  Check this thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/588237
                  Prime 16 New Haven - Yummy!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: cheereeo
                    kattyeyes Oct 26, 2013 12:57 PM

                    Thanks to you and all the other trusted voices on this thread who did NOT undersell Prime 16. I finally got there today--just wow! Not sure I can think of a better burger I've ever had here in CT (or anywhere in my life, for that matter).

                    Started with stuffed portabello caps. Made me want to rethink how I make my own stuffed shrooms. EXCELLENT. And then THE BURGER, the honey truffle burger. No, you don't have to beg to get it rare here. These people do it right. Out it came, mooing just perfectly on a brioche bun with fine shoestrings of crispy potato, roasted tomato, applewood smoked bacon and Swiss, a generous pile of truffled parmesan fries to go with. I don't think a burger gets better than this; however, I am happy to continue my quest to Bar Bouchee and The White Horse to make sure I have a complete data set. :D

                     
                    1. re: kattyeyes
                      DavidA06488 Oct 26, 2013 01:12 PM

                      Now I have to try Prime 16.

                      1. re: DavidA06488
                        kattyeyes Oct 26, 2013 01:18 PM

                        :D

                  2. DonShirer May 1, 2009 03:30 PM

                    Just heard on the news that some magazine named Ted's Steamed Cheeseburger (Meriden) as CT's best.

                    17 Replies
                    1. re: DonShirer
                      r
                      ratbuddy May 1, 2009 04:13 PM

                      That would probably be Food Network magazine, as mentioned at http://aht.seriouseats.com/archives/2009/04/food-network-magazine-lists-the-best-burgers-in-the-us-america.html and reviewed at http://aht.seriouseats.com/archives/2...

                      I tend to agree with the negative review, although in all fairness I've only tried Ted's once.

                      1. re: ratbuddy
                        jquest619 May 4, 2009 03:57 AM

                        I would have to agree and say that Ted's is up there in the top burgers in the state, if only for the uniqueness in the way it is done--the juciness is unbelieveable. Catsup and Mustard in Manchester is great also.

                        1. re: jquest619
                          DonShirer Jun 10, 2009 04:46 PM

                          Found myself passing through Meriden today, and remembering this thread, stopped by Teds to try a steamed cheeseburger. It tasted good, but sloppy. The meat was in one roundish juicy lump and didn't make it to the edge of the bun, but the cheese did, oozing out on all sides. Their home fries were very good. I've had better burgers, but this was in the top ten. The place is rather small, so if you come during rush hour you might consider eating outside at their picnic table. O'Rourkes is next on the list!

                          1. re: jquest619
                            Scargod Jun 10, 2009 07:04 PM

                            Can I get it rare or medium rare? If not I'm not interested.

                            1. re: Scargod
                              kattyeyes Jun 11, 2009 08:47 AM

                              Not so fast, Scargod. I'm a rare gal all the way--but steamed cheeseburgers don't come rare. It will be among the most moist and flavorful burgers you've ever tried AND they're on housemade buns. If not, you're out $3.50 plus tax for the experience (at O'Rourke's). Bring the SO up here for lunch during the week--I'll meetcha.

                              Interesting info on the history of the steamed cheeseburger here:
                              http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?s...

                              1. re: kattyeyes
                                Scargod Jun 15, 2009 06:31 PM

                                So I accepted Cat Woman's challenge and met her in Middletown for lunch at O'Rourke's. This was not pretty; there was cat fur mixed with snail slime before we parted company!

                                O'Rourke's is a neat diner with atmosphere and certainly has a devoted following. After 1:30PM there was a small line that formed, at one point. I think it is because of all the creative dishes they have, which mostly refers to their fantastic array of omelets.
                                The steamed cheeseburger is not in that category. I proclaimed it meatloaf with no soul. There it sat, a square of ground meat, with a large triangle of fancy, but unmelted cheese on top. The tomato was anemic, normal fare. The homemade bun was very good. Look at the pictures and judge for yourself.
                                I had clam chowder and found it under seasoned and watery. It had a high ratio of corn in it. Besides that, it was OK.
                                We agreed that the onion rings were overcooked and skimpy. By that I mean they would bread one skinny onion ring and fry it. There was nothing left of it when cooked except the batter.
                                We also agreed that the coleslaw needed work. Though visually attractive, it was sweet and soggy; swimming in a white sea. And, who's idea was it to serve coleslaw with a burger?
                                Service was sketchy, but passable. My chowder sat long enough under the heat lamps to develop a skin on top. The "bread" they served right away is really doughnut-like cake. One was plain and slightly sweet while the other was lemony and quite sweet. No butter was offered. No beer or wine at the diner, either.
                                I have been harsh, but I think O'Rourke's deserved it.
                                Given all this, I want very much to try breakfast there (and Cat Woman is fun to be with).

                                 
                                 
                                 
                                 
                                1. re: Scargod
                                  kattyeyes Jun 15, 2009 07:10 PM

                                  Oh, man! I was waiting for it and I was warned. I agree the onion rings were shaggy--they didn't have a generous coating and weren't tasty. I ate one and left the rest. The clam chowder was not in the same knock-yer-socks-off category as their broccoli and cheddar, which I love.

                                  I am tough to please in the coleslaw category, having been spoiled by Lenny & Joe's Fishtail (Westbrook & Madison) and West Side Supermarket (Rocky Hill)--two places that do coleslaw to perfection! Scargod is correct when he says this slaw needed work. "No, sir, I didn't like it!"

                                  But the burger--I have no issue with the burger. Moist, seasoned meat (no filler, just meat) topped with a generous block of melted McAdam cheddar. I was too hungry to notice if my tomato had anemia--it tasted good combined with the lettuce and mayo and steamy goodness of my sandwich.

                                  Perhaps the steamed cheeseburger belongs in its own category--a niche market of the greater burger kingdom. I don't think it tastes like bad meatloaf (a direct quote from Scargod). It's a Middletown specialty and a comfort food--for me, anyway. Though when I told my mom of our "he said/she said" story this afternoon, she laughed and said, "I wouldn't eat a steamed cheeseburger if you gave me one!" Clearly, they're not for everyone.

                                  I do love a rare burger--don't misunderstand. But the steamed cheeseburger will always hold a special place in this cat's heart. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go condition my coat and make sure all the snail slime has been removed. >^..^<

                                  P.S. The breads don't need butter, silly Scargod. They are really more like pound cakes.

                                  1. re: kattyeyes
                                    jquest619 Jun 16, 2009 03:45 AM

                                    Scargod, do yourself a favor and go for the original steamed cheeseburger at Ted's.....I do hope your experience there is better than at O'Rourke's!

                                    1. re: jquest619
                                      kattyeyes Jun 16, 2009 07:04 AM

                                      jquest619, I'm willing to bet that was Scargod's first and last steamed cheeseburger. Tex likes a char and you'll never get that from a steamer box!

                                      1. re: kattyeyes
                                        Scargod Jun 16, 2009 08:05 AM

                                        Yep. I'd have to be danged hungry! Hungry enough to eat a horse.

                                  2. re: Scargod
                                    stuck in Hartford County Nov 10, 2009 01:34 PM

                                    What kind of "cheese" triangle IS that? It, frankly, does NOT look like good eats! Maybe it's your camera...?

                                    1. re: stuck in Hartford County
                                      kattyeyes Nov 10, 2009 03:00 PM

                                      It's cheddar. Usually the cheese is meltier (how do you like that word?!) and looks more like this:
                                      http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/Steame...

                                      Actually looks like a fun experiment. I'd like to try it. Then again, I have a soft spot for steamed cheeseburgers.

                                      1. re: kattyeyes
                                        stuck in Hartford County Nov 11, 2009 05:03 AM

                                        OMG! That looks like the messiest thing EVER!!! How does one even begin to eat that? You steam it in a TUNA can? NO WAY. NEVER. But the gooey jack cheese (or muenster) looks awesome! Too bad Scargod's cheese was so odd looking- why a triangle? Also, cheddar never melts well.

                                        I don't understand the steaming concept, though. I see that the burger meat is steamed in it's own juices, and is very juicy, but b/c it never browns on the outside, how can it ever develop that flavorful beefy taste of a grilled or pan fried hamb.? I bet you can achieve a close approximation of your steamed burger if you cook it (over very low heat) in a small, covered, non-stick pan. Then nuke the jack cheese. Viola!

                                        1. re: stuck in Hartford County
                                          kattyeyes Nov 11, 2009 05:37 AM

                                          Sacrilege--not jack, but cheddar. :) And the clip I showed you is a way to do it at home. Restaurants have steamer boxes. I know because my uncle used to have one in his. We should kick off a steamed cheeseburger thread if anyone cares to know more. It is definitely a regional thing and those who didn't grow up with 'em just can't wrap their brains or mouths around 'em. Try one one day at O'Rourke's with a cup of soup. It's a relatively cheap experiment.

                                      2. re: stuck in Hartford County
                                        Scargod Nov 11, 2009 06:43 AM

                                        As I recall (and I could be wrong), it was cheese more like a cheese sponge. Rather firm and not that tasty a sponge. I was thinking it was something other than cheddar...

                                        1. re: Scargod
                                          kattyeyes Nov 11, 2009 07:12 AM

                                          I know you hated it, but it really is cheddar. Not only is that the traditional way to make it, but I've asked previously and they've told me. It should have been more melted than yours was...more like the other picture I posted in the tuna can! Maybe it didn't get over to you quick enough that day.

                            2. re: DonShirer
                              kattyeyes May 1, 2009 07:24 PM

                              Can't vouch for Ted's, but I do love a steamed cheeseburger at O'Rourke's. The burgers are moist, cheese is sharp and melted, they make their buns on the premises. Doesn't get much better than that.

                              -----
                              O'Rourke's Diner
                              728 Main St, Middletown, CT 06457

                            3. c
                              coldduck May 1, 2009 06:45 PM

                              Best burger in Connecticut is at Burger Bar and Bistro in South Norwalk.

                              6 Replies
                              1. re: coldduck
                                c
                                christiane314 May 1, 2009 09:56 PM

                                i've been to burger bar and wasn't really that impressed...i happen to love river tavern's hamburger, in chester, ct...i'm kinda afraid to ask why noone has mentioned max burger..i've also heard that mustard and ketchup in manchester is good.

                                1. re: christiane314
                                  b
                                  bmgsmg72 May 4, 2009 06:16 AM

                                  im not sure why no one has mentioned max burger but here is an article on it.
                                  http://www.courant.com/entertainment/dining/hc-alacarte0416.artapr16,0,2599867.story

                                  Im sure its a very good burger but from what it looks like its extremely expensive which kinda defeats the whole purpose of going out to getting a burger. Heres another article that says the price is 16-25 dollars to eat there. I will give it a try but will almost never go back at those prices unless the burger its amazing.
                                  http://connecticut.metromix.com/resta...

                                  1. re: bmgsmg72
                                    c
                                    coldduck May 4, 2009 04:05 PM

                                    Price definitely has to be a factor with burgers. Dressing Room in Westport has a spectacularly good hamburger, probably the best of them all, but it costs $25. Not an option.

                                    1. re: coldduck
                                      b
                                      bmgsmg72 May 4, 2009 06:10 PM

                                      Damn 25 for a burger thats like yankee stadium prices that place must be empty all the time just like the stadium is lol.

                                    2. re: bmgsmg72
                                      a
                                      aldente1 May 7, 2009 07:26 PM

                                      I have tried Max's Burger. It was excellent. I got the smaller version and substituted salad for French fries. The salad was delicious too.

                                    3. re: christiane314
                                      kattyeyes Nov 15, 2009 04:49 AM

                                      Well, christiane314, if you're still reading these boards...you were absolutely right. River Tavern's burger is right up there with the best burgers I've ever tasted--not just in Connecticut, but anywhere.

                                      Unfortunately, it was outweighed by such poor customer service and an unhealthy dose of attitude (ever actually feel UNWELCOME in a restaurant?), it left a bad enough taste in my mouth--as well as my dining partner's--that we will NEVER return. We eat out frequently and the service experience here ranks among all-time lows. It was a tie between this and the $#*tty meal we had at Angelico's Lakehouse back in May, which is really saying something!

                                      There are too many terrific restaurants in a 10-20 mile radius that know what service is and will not only make you feel like a guest in their dining room but gladly welcome you as a repeat customer.
                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6204...

                                  2. j
                                    juicemann2 May 1, 2009 08:36 PM

                                    Brick Burger @ Christopher Martins in New Haven is AWESOME

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: juicemann2
                                      Scargod Jun 10, 2009 07:09 PM

                                      I have to agree that this is one of the best burgers I have ever eaten! Cooked any way you want, they grind their own meat daily.
                                      Their's is a half pound burger grilled to order with your choice of toppings: lettuce, tomato, cheese, grilled or raw onion, mushrooms, peppers, bacon, cheese and mayonnaise. If you're man enough ask for the famous brick burger.

                                    2. m
                                      mpierce64 May 2, 2009 07:54 AM

                                      Burgers, Shakes and Fries in Greenwich/Byram. A little different (not traditional buns) but pretty tasty.

                                      1. w
                                        Waquoit May 2, 2009 12:23 PM

                                        I like Catsup and Mustard in Manchester. But a buddy of mine insists that Teddy's Pizza in S. Windsor has a great burger.

                                        1. MacshashRIP May 5, 2009 05:27 AM

                                          Ted's: A decent burger on an ordinary, boring untoasted bun out of a bag.
                                          Plan B: They have a great burger called "The Squeeler". It's 50% beef and 50% pork. Makes for a great flavor. Red Robin: I've been here once and had a really good burger. Not great atmosphere...it's like a Chili's or Fridays, but the burger was good. Joe's in Canton: Excellent, huge burger, but pricey and didn't come with fries. Haven't been to JGarlic's yet. Wood and Tap: They sometimes over cook it (I'm afraid to order medium rare), but this is currently my favorite burger. They grate the cheddar cheese and put it on the burger unmelted in a big mound. I think this is the secret to it, although the meat itself has a great flavor.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: MacshashRIP
                                            kattyeyes Dec 19, 2009 01:29 PM

                                            We went to Plan B for lunch today. Quick summary:
                                            EXCELLENT burgers + EXCELLENT service = BEST BURGER IN CT for us.

                                            I had a "black and blue" burger, which was a special today--Cajun blackened seasoning and blue cheese, carmelized onions and garlic mayo with lettuce and tomato. IT WAS OUTSTANDING!

                                            The menu says you can order burgers two ways--some pink or no pink...well, I said, "Can you make mine as pink as humanly possible?" And they did! Housemade bun. Good fries. Friendly and attentive waitstaff who genuinely seemed to care how we liked our lunch.

                                            My guy had the Tavern Classic and added cheddar to it. It came with lettuce, tomato, onion and special sauce. We were both wowed.

                                            Extensive beer selection--two pages of bottles, not to mention the long list they had on tap. We REALLY enjoyed it and are only sorry we didn't get there sooner. Plan B will definitely be our go-to burger spot from here on out.

                                            BIG THANKS to all who recommended Plan B!
                                            http://www.planbburger.com/flash.html

                                            P.S. We arrived around 11:40 today for lunch (early)...by the time our burgers had arrived, the place was packed. I asked, "Is it always this busy, or is this a big rush before the storm?" Our waitress smiled and said, "It's ALWAYS this busy." I can understand why!

                                            -----
                                            Plan B
                                            120 Hebron Ave, Glastonbury, CT 06033

                                          2. MacshashRIP May 5, 2009 05:29 AM

                                            I forgot.....went to the new Max Burger and was disappointed with the food and service. The tap list was poor as well, particularly compared to the always interesting tap list at Plan B.

                                            17 Replies
                                            1. re: MacshashRIP
                                              b
                                              bmgsmg72 May 5, 2009 11:49 AM

                                              I dont think ill ever go to max burger not at those prices. To me for quality, price, amount of locations, service i will always go to Ruby Tuesdays i just find it hard to beat. A regular burger all you can eat fries for like 6 bucks cant beat it. I still have not tried Joey Garlics i will go soon though but ive only heard amazing things about it.

                                              1. re: MacshashRIP
                                                c
                                                christiane314 May 5, 2009 11:21 PM

                                                you're kidding mac.....what did you eat? the courant raves about it...i wonder about articles in papers sometimes....for beer, i love to go to half door

                                                1. re: christiane314
                                                  b
                                                  bmgsmg72 May 6, 2009 06:33 AM

                                                  Of course the Courant is going to rave about it it has the Name Max in it. I find it hard to believe a place like Max Burger will stay in business very long when people can just go to red robin or ruby tuesdays for half the price. And if people did spend money on the burger at that point i would just say go buy a steak!

                                                  1. re: bmgsmg72
                                                    r
                                                    ratbuddy May 6, 2009 10:47 AM

                                                    Like it or not, there is a market for better burgers. Go read http://aht.seriouseats.com/archives/2... for a great inside look at one. I'd pay $26 for that in an instant. Yes, there is Ruby Tuesday and Red Robin. There's also McDonalds and Burger King, if you want to go even cheaper. You couldn't pay me enough to eat a burger from any of those chains.

                                                    1. re: ratbuddy
                                                      b
                                                      bmgsmg72 May 6, 2009 01:24 PM

                                                      Im sure that there is a market, however its not very large not in this ecomony atleast and at 26 bucks i will stick with a steak at that price

                                                      1. re: bmgsmg72
                                                        r
                                                        ratbuddy May 6, 2009 04:53 PM

                                                        If cost is that much a factor, why not name your thread 'cheapest burger in CT' and be done with it?

                                                        Chrism, you haven't yet found a really good burger in central CT? Have you tried Joey Garlic's in Farmington? It's the best burger I've yet had..

                                                        1. re: ratbuddy
                                                          b
                                                          bmgsmg72 May 6, 2009 06:17 PM

                                                          Cost is not that much of a factor its more the principle of the burger then anything else. The burger was invented to be a cheap quick thing to eat. And if its not broke dont fix it. Maybe i dont have an advanced burger taste i just could never see spending that much money on a burger no matter what they put on it.

                                                          1. re: ratbuddy
                                                            b
                                                            bmgsmg72 May 6, 2009 06:24 PM

                                                            I cant wait to try Joey Garlics and their burger is only 7 bucks. But when i did say best burger i should have said best all around burger which would include everything from price to parking at the restaurant. Like for example im not sure if you have heard of a burger chain called Flamers, but there where i go to school in South Carolina the price is great like 7 bucks for a double burger fries and a soda but theres almost never any parking because there is no lot only street parking which is something that i hate dealing with so that is why i dont go there very much.

                                                        2. re: ratbuddy
                                                          c
                                                          chrism23 May 6, 2009 02:44 PM

                                                          There was an article in todays New York Times Food section (5/6/09) about a bunch of people in Manhattan, the Burger of the Month club, who are dedicated to finding and evaluating the best burgers in NYC. They have a web site, burgerrankings.com These folks are very SERIOUS. Can we also be somewhat serious. A chain restaurant, like Ruby Tuesdays or Red Robin, shouldn't even enter this discussion. They are average at best. .

                                                          I am off tonight to see if I can get a table at Max Burger for the first time. If there is a wait, I walk away. Given its newness in trendy West Hartford, at 6:00 PM on a Wednesday night there is probably a wait.

                                                          I am hoping they will be good. Because I have yet to find, after decades of searching, a really good burger in Central Connecticut. Which is ridiculous, you would think someone can get the formula down. Right now the best I can find is at Arugula in West Hartford. Their burger comes with real blue cheese, roasted red peppers and portabello mushrooms, which are a little much, and great fries. They also have a superb wine list of inexpensive big reds that match the burger. Its also a pretty funky place, Its very good but not great.

                                                          While on the subject, and this thread is getting some takers, which is good, I like onion rings with my burger. I tried a thread on where to find onion rings in Central Ct a few months ago and got 0 responses. Anyone have any ideas on that while we're at it.

                                                          1. re: chrism23
                                                            b
                                                            bmgsmg72 May 6, 2009 06:42 PM

                                                            Well the Counter burger has fried onion strings. Joey Garlics just have fried onions not the rings. I would say your best bet is to buy a deep fryer and do it yourself. The best investment i ever made was a good deep fryer which will only set you back about 100 for a pretty good one. Waring always makes really good products i would recommend that first. But then go online and find a good Onion ring batter. There is about 5 million of them lol. My fav ones always involve beer because i always get to drink some when im making them lol. I love making home made french fries as well. I always double deep fry mine because i like mine extra crispy. But just make sure if you do buy a deep fryer its not a cheap one because the cheap ones do NOT keep the right temp which will effect how good your food comes out.

                                                            1. re: chrism23
                                                              c
                                                              christiane314 May 7, 2009 06:43 PM

                                                              hey chris...thanks for liking the arugula burger! i don't have roasted peppers on it, though...it's a black angus hand formed burger, onion marmalade, roasted portobello mushroom & blue, on a grilled bun, smeared with a sun dried tomato pesto & arugula....stop in and say hi!
                                                              christiane

                                                              1. re: christiane314
                                                                c
                                                                chrism23 May 9, 2009 02:06 PM

                                                                sorry, I always remember something a little sweetish on the burger and confused the sweet of the onion marmalade with roasted red pepper. I usually try to be absolutely accurate with these little missives.

                                                                1. re: chrism23
                                                                  c
                                                                  christiane314 May 9, 2009 03:49 PM

                                                                  no problem chris...i'm just glad you enjoy it! actually, the burger and 1/2 paninos are all i sold at lunch today!

                                                              2. re: chrism23
                                                                Veggo May 15, 2009 08:11 AM

                                                                chrism23, the Glenwood Drive In in Hamden has not fancy but excellent charbroiled "cheeseburger, works" and hand cut and floured onion rings that are really good. They also have hot buttered lobster rolls and whole belly Ipswich fried clams, so you will leave not having something you like.

                                                                1. re: Veggo
                                                                  Scargod Jun 15, 2009 06:14 AM

                                                                  Growing up in Dallas, my crowd thought a good burger was a greasy grilled (griddle) drive-in burger. Toast the bun on the grill for a minute and lettuce, pickle and mustard. Is the CT/New England slant on that any different? Are the steamed burger fans in a minority?
                                                                  Nowadays, I like to have a juicy burger that is not cooked to death. Those are rare.

                                                                  1. re: Scargod
                                                                    kattyeyes Jun 15, 2009 06:44 AM

                                                                    I think we're a minority (steamed cheeseburger fans)...but only because there are only how many places that make them anymore? I'm lucky--I grew up with them in my own family.

                                                                    I think everyone should try one at least once if they're within driving distance of a steamed cheeseburger (and CT's not that big, so...). They are uniquely Connecticut and damned tasty if I do say so myself (having eaten them both at my uncle's place--now closed--and O'Rourke's Diner in Middletown).

                                                                    1. re: Scargod
                                                                      d
                                                                      danieljdwyer Jun 15, 2009 07:16 AM

                                                                      To give you an idea of what a small region this phenomenon is confined to, I grew up in the northeastern part of Fairfield County, a stone's throw from the Valley. The first time I ever heard about steamed cheeseburgers was when I was 22 and working a summer job in Middletown. I ate lunch at O'Rourke's pretty often that summer, and the first time I tried one, I couldn't believe I'd never heard of something so good.
                                                                      My family has been in the New Haven area since the Potato Famine, originally north of New Haven, but now mostly on the shore around the line between New Haven and Middlesex Counties. So, I figured at least one of my relatives had to have heard of the steamed cheeseburger. I asked around that summer at a family cookout, but no one knew what I was talking about.
                                                                      So, most people in southern Connecticut, at least as far north as Wallingford, have probably never heard of the steamed cheeseburger. I can't say for sure, but I think it's also fairly unknown north of Hartford, west of Waterbury, and east of the Connecticut river.
                                                                      As for the Connecticut slant, I'd say there is a good split between cooking on a griddle and on a grill, though I'm not sure most people even know how their burger is being cooked. It's typical for a burger to be cooked through. All the burger places in my area growing up, and most of the ones I like elsewhere in the state define "the works" as: lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion, ketchup, mayo, and mustard. Most good places also have at least one specialty burger that is nothing like the works, usually simpler and involving peppers.

                                                        3. EastRocker May 12, 2009 09:38 AM

                                                          come down to New Haven and try out Prime 16
                                                          http://www.prime16.com/
                                                          and while you are here you could also try Louis Lunch, not necessarily the best burger, but certainly the most historic.

                                                          7 Replies
                                                          1. re: EastRocker
                                                            b
                                                            bmgsmg72 May 12, 2009 07:55 PM

                                                            Prime 16 has some really good prices for a place that has prime in their name. $8.95 build your own burger with fries thats a really good deal compared to a max burger. I am assuming that they would be put in the same high end burger class? or is that wrong?

                                                            Ive heard some very bad reviews about Louis Lunch is it even worth it to try?

                                                            1. re: bmgsmg72
                                                              EastRocker May 13, 2009 08:22 AM

                                                              Prime 16 is definitely a high end burger, I quite like the lamb burger and the cowboy. Their beer selection is also amazing.

                                                              I think Louis is worth trying just for the atmosphere, and I do like their burgers for their simplicity.

                                                              1. re: EastRocker
                                                                w
                                                                Waquoit May 15, 2009 07:43 AM

                                                                Any place that brags about the people they throw out (Louis) is not a place where I am going to grace with my business.

                                                                1. re: Waquoit
                                                                  Scargod Jun 10, 2009 07:12 PM

                                                                  Nor if you go there just for the atmosphere. Anyone want to be a sardine for a steamed burger? I think you can't ask for catchup...

                                                                  1. re: Waquoit
                                                                    c
                                                                    cheflee17 Nov 10, 2009 07:30 AM

                                                                    Louis lunch is basic (they will never throw anyone out) so dont be "scurd"

                                                                    Prime 16 is really really good!! back wgen they had the meatloaf muffins...mmmmm wish they didnt change chefs cause they were RIGHT!!!!

                                                                    -----
                                                                    Prime 16
                                                                    172 Temple St, New Haven, CT 06510

                                                                  2. re: EastRocker
                                                                    s
                                                                    sevendust Dec 20, 2009 08:07 PM

                                                                    I agree! Louis is where it all began and you really do not need any condiments even though you can't.

                                                                2. re: EastRocker
                                                                  cheereeo May 13, 2009 08:48 AM

                                                                  Per my note above from May 1 - DITTO!

                                                                3. cheereeo May 13, 2009 08:47 AM

                                                                  Did you all see this . . . News Channel ran contest: Plan B Won with Five Guys coming in second.
                                                                  http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/around_...

                                                                  18 Replies
                                                                  1. re: cheereeo
                                                                    EastRocker May 13, 2009 08:50 AM

                                                                    I don't get what all the hype is about five guys. It's a fine fast food burger and all. But any place that won't make my burger medium rare doesn't make my ist.

                                                                    1. re: EastRocker
                                                                      d
                                                                      danieljdwyer May 15, 2009 12:00 PM

                                                                      I don't think it can even count as a fast food burger when a burger, fries, and a drink runs you over $10. If they had a dollar menu I'd consider eating there again. It's incredible that they win all kinds of "best value" awards. Any local burger place is a better deal. Prime 16 is actually less expensive, as the fries come with the burger. Five Guys just has nothing going for it.

                                                                      1. re: danieljdwyer
                                                                        b
                                                                        bmgsmg72 May 17, 2009 01:27 PM

                                                                        Five Guys Prices are awful and they offer no discounts at all ive never heard of a place not offering some sort of a discount. This is what they say on their website about it:
                                                                        Q: Does Five Guys offer coupons or discounts?

                                                                        A: Five Guys does not offer any coupons or discounts. Heck, employees at the Five Guys can only get free burgers if they are working in the store! Why? We strive to serve the highest quality product possible, at a reasonable price, everyday! We do not discount the price of our product because we refuse to discount the quality of our product.

                                                                        Even high class steakhouses like mortons offer some sort of a discount ive seen a couple of five guys go out of business in south Carolina because people are not willing to pay ten bucks plus for a burger thats called "fast food"

                                                                        1. re: bmgsmg72
                                                                          r
                                                                          ratbuddy May 19, 2009 07:14 AM

                                                                          Would you prefer they take the approach of other chains, where the prices are ridiculously inflated, and the market is flooded with 'coupons' that serve only to bring the prices down where they should be to begin with?

                                                                          Five Guys offers good value for the quality of the food. Want frozen fries? Plenty of cheaper places willing to sell them.

                                                                          1. re: ratbuddy
                                                                            b
                                                                            bmgsmg72 May 19, 2009 01:59 PM

                                                                            People like to think they are saving money no matter if the prices are inflated and sometimes they might even get a good deal. 5 Guys is a little full of them selfs because they do not serve the "highest quality possible", Their meat its not prime so thats a lie right there. Im not asking for a huge discount maybe just like a 1 dollar off if you buy the fries and soda together. And there have been a couple of 5 guys where i go to school in South Carolina that have gone out of business because it is just too much money to go there. I do like five guys i think its the best fast food burger there is but just not at the prices they want to charge. I mean you can go to rubys and get a fries and soda for 8 and the fries are unlimited at 5 guys the same thing would be around ten.

                                                                            1. re: ratbuddy
                                                                              l
                                                                              LAC06488 Jan 29, 2012 02:28 PM

                                                                              Five Guys makes a decent burger for the money (Federal Road Brookfield) I like the idea that you can get a junior and save room for the excellent fries- fresh potato taste, thin crispy and salty. Huge portions. Zeeburger has good burgers as well at a higher price point. At an even higher price point is any burger made with Greyledge Farm beef....Mayflower Inn and GW Tavern in washington Depot

                                                                              1. re: LAC06488
                                                                                DavidA06488 Jan 29, 2012 03:06 PM

                                                                                Try the one in Newtown. Not so far to go. Generally get the regular burger "all the way" and share fries with whoever is along.

                                                                                1. re: DavidA06488
                                                                                  bagelman01 Feb 19, 2012 11:46 AM

                                                                                  FYI>>>
                                                                                  the Newtown and Brookfield Five Guys are owned by the same operator. Far superior to Orange or New Haven. The chain has standards which must be followed and the locations are 'shopped' by secret shoppers working as independent contractors for a company called Marketforce, but not all locations are equal in their performance.

                                                                                  1. re: bagelman01
                                                                                    kattyeyes Feb 19, 2012 11:50 AM

                                                                                    I'm very fond of the one in Middletown, while we're chiming in on favorite locations...GREAT customer service, always an enjoyable burger and can't beat the price (I'm a "little cheeseburger" kinda girl).

                                                                                    1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                      DonShirer Mar 7, 2012 04:35 PM

                                                                                      I've been to Middletown 5Guys twice, and while the burgers are pretty good (I prefer the Junior), I've had better ones, just not in CT (except for the ones my DW makes at home!). Their fries are pretty good (and bountiful) too.

                                                                                      1. re: DonShirer
                                                                                        kattyeyes Mar 7, 2012 07:44 PM

                                                                                        I think the little cheeseburger is under $4, so at that price, with smiling service and Sirius radio over the speakers, I'm a happy kid to grab one of these vs. Mickey D's.

                                                                                        One day I'll get back to River Tavern in Chester to see if their service is any better (I'm willing to concede I hit them on a bad day a few years back), because that really was among the stellar burgers I've eaten in our state, along with Plan B, which is near and dear to my mooing burger-loving heart. :)

                                                                                        But for an economical quick bite I could bike to if needed, I am all about the little cheeseburger at Five Guys in M'town!

                                                                                        P.S. Let's face it, NOTHING beats a homemade burger. NOTHING!

                                                                                        1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                          kattyeyes Mar 8, 2012 05:39 PM

                                                                                          Ah, almost--a little cheeseburger is $4.39--and still a great deal!

                                                                                    2. re: bagelman01
                                                                                      DavidA06488 Feb 19, 2012 12:15 PM

                                                                                      Good to know. They both are good places. I just responded because LAC06488 and I are from the same town (I guess by the ZIP code), and Newtown is closer than Brookfield. Anyhow, both stores do a great burger and fries. I love it that the "regular " size fries fill a regular size soda cup, then they dump a condiment container of fries into the bag on top of the fries order. If you like fries, aside from the good quality, the quantity they give you is great value.

                                                                              2. re: bmgsmg72
                                                                                stuck in Hartford County Nov 10, 2009 01:31 PM

                                                                                Why the heck would you need a coupon for a burger that's better and less expensive than McD's?

                                                                                1. re: stuck in Hartford County
                                                                                  kattyeyes Mar 7, 2012 08:02 PM

                                                                                  You wouldn't. Unless you were pazzo!

                                                                            2. re: EastRocker
                                                                              g
                                                                              GoodFoodie Jun 15, 2009 07:33 AM

                                                                              I COMPLETELY agree with you EastRocker. Do not understand all the hype about Five Guys. It's a decent burger, sure, but it's expensive and it's not great. Certainly not compared to In 'n Out on the West Cost. In 'n Out would probably would make a burger medium rare if you ask they are so wonderful. I know this post is about CT Burgers but have yet to find a match to In 'n Out. If you know anyone from the West Coast then you probably know the almost magical lure, and charm of this company. It's cheaper than FiveGuys (by far) and hands down, better quality, better tasting.

                                                                            3. re: cheereeo
                                                                              cheereeo May 13, 2009 09:28 AM

                                                                              Well, I think the NBC Channel 30 (WVIT) debates (so-called Golden Locals) are skewed as they put the two places up for debate initially and then have viewers vote on those two only I guess. They did the same thing for Pepes vs. Sallys, when clearly many think there are other places around that may be better. The also did Yankees vs. Red Socks--he he!

                                                                              1. re: cheereeo
                                                                                stuck in Hartford County Nov 10, 2009 01:29 PM

                                                                                Sorry, I missed your post and posted sorta the same thing later. The fact that they only gave us 2 choices was the impetus for our (my son and I) own best burger quest last summer. We had a blast!

                                                                            4. EastRocker May 13, 2009 08:53 AM

                                                                              oh and in the Summertime Burger Shack category I have to give a shout out to my hometown favorite, Clamps.
                                                                              http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overv...

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: EastRocker
                                                                                h
                                                                                HunterJay May 13, 2009 12:50 PM

                                                                                We tried Clamps last year for the first time - wasn't bad, but don't know if I'd make a special trip for it.

                                                                                Did anyone mention the Sycamore in Bethel? I love their French style burger and root beer?

                                                                                1. re: HunterJay
                                                                                  EastRocker May 15, 2009 10:36 AM

                                                                                  its a good stop if you are in the area to go to Lake Waramaug, Kent Falls etc.

                                                                                  The Sycamore is classic, and then you could stop at Dr. Mike's ice cream

                                                                              2. 0
                                                                                02sbxstr May 15, 2009 02:03 PM

                                                                                For those frugal chowhounders out there, Max Fish in Glastonbury is offering a happy hour menu at the bar with fantastic bargains. Offered are calamari, cheeseburgers, cup of chowder and many other munchies for $2. And the servings were NOT meager. The cheeseburger had to be 6 - 8 oz. I ordered 2 expecting sliders but our waitperson advised me I might want to reconsider. Every night from 4 to 6 and the last hour of service. $5 minimum bar tab and no substitutions but well worth it in my opinion. Other Max locations are offering other menus.

                                                                                1. Scargod Jun 10, 2009 07:20 PM

                                                                                  Christopher Martin's or Prime 16 in New Haven. Any place that cannot serve a rare or medium-rare hamburger from fresh ground meat (with a decent bun), is not going to get my attention. Greasy/not greasy/good fries, fancy toppings, etc. are all irrelevant. Even if it is "just a hamburger" I don't want a skinny piece of overcooked or steamed beef. I am as adamant about my burgers as some are about a good dog!

                                                                                  1. masha bousha Jun 11, 2009 09:39 AM

                                                                                    One of my favorites--the Dagwood at the Sycamore Drive in, in Bethel. I saw it featured on a retired Food Network show a few years ago and finally went there last summer. From what I recall, it's two thin patties with lettuce, tomatoes, onions and cheese on the bun. They make their own (killer) rootbeer too...and lastly it has a car hop service.

                                                                                    1. t
                                                                                      TastyNewEngland Jun 13, 2009 10:38 AM

                                                                                      My favorite burgers in CT are at Five Guys (my local one is the one in Avon), Goldburgers in Newington, The Counter in West Hartford, Ted's in South Windsor, the one with the crown of cheese at Shady Glen, and then Plan B in West Hartford/Glastonbury.

                                                                                      I haven't been to Max Burger yet but probably will soon. I'm still amazed that people find the steamed burgers at Ted's in Meriden edible, nevermind tasty. Wet, gray ground beef on a chewy, cold, depressing bun is not my idea of a good time.

                                                                                      Given I'm the first person to mention Goldburgers in downtown Newington I'd say that's the #1 place I'd wish people would try. Really good folks running the place, really delicious food.

                                                                                      http://www.yelp.com/biz/goldburgers-n...

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: TastyNewEngland
                                                                                        w
                                                                                        Waquoit Jun 14, 2009 10:30 AM

                                                                                        I have a buddy from S. Windsor who insists that Teddy's makes the best burger around. Nice to see someone else agrees. I'll have to give it a try.

                                                                                        1. re: TastyNewEngland
                                                                                          r
                                                                                          riffjamer Dec 1, 2010 05:51 PM

                                                                                          where exactly is Goldburgers in downtown Newington?
                                                                                          and where is Joey Garlics in Newington?
                                                                                          we moved to Daytona in June of '07
                                                                                          thats why I'm cuious

                                                                                          -----
                                                                                          Joey Garlic's
                                                                                          372 Scott Swamp Rd, Farmington, CT 06032

                                                                                        2. a
                                                                                          AWeeHeavy Jun 21, 2009 06:08 PM

                                                                                          In my opinion Plan B has the best burgers not to mention an amazing selection of micro brew beer. I've probably tried 2/3 of the choices on the menu and haven't found one I don't like. From the classic bacon and cheese, to garlic mayo & sauteed onions, from the squeeler to the buffalo chicken burger they all rock!

                                                                                          Wood-n-Tap has a great burger and might be the best in the Hartford area if not for Plan B. I've been to Max Burger but only once, the burger was very good but the cost and wait will mean it will not be regular stop.

                                                                                          I did meet the owner of Plan B once sitting at the bar in Simsbury, so additionally I feel good about supporting Plan B and it's associated restaurants. Wood-n-Tap feels more anonymous and of course Max does have that corporate polished feel.

                                                                                          From the comments above I will need to make a stop at Joey Garlics, love the pizza now I need to try the burger.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: AWeeHeavy
                                                                                            b
                                                                                            bmgsmg72 Jun 21, 2009 07:42 PM

                                                                                            Make sure when you do go to Joey Garlics it is not on a busy night like a Friday or Saturday. The Restaurant is very small and extremely crowded. I went on a Saturday night once i felt very cramped. The burger itself is really good very different then anything you will get at wood n tap because of how the meat is so freshly ground. However, when i ordered my burger 3 out of the 4 toppings i ordered did not come on it. My server never came back to ask how everything was so i just ate it. Personally, i believe the atmosphere and the service at wood n tap is far better then Joey Garlics. Also, wood n tap has many more burger options and they have sweet potato fries which are amazing.

                                                                                          2. stuck in Hartford County Nov 10, 2009 08:07 AM

                                                                                            Last summer, NBC 30 (in West Hartford, CT) had this "Golden Local" award contest in our area, and one of the topics was best burger. I can't remember the two places that were vying for this "major" award, but my son and I were spurred on to determine this for ourselves. We had a ton of fun tasting cheeseburgers in, and around, the Hartford area. His favorite was the cheeseburger at the Wood and Tap. I thought it was too big, and preferred 5 Guys. We also both loved Plan B. The Counter seems really expensive for a basic cheeseburger (w/o any other toppings except onion) and fries (or in my case, quite possibly the best onion rings in the world), plus soda. The bill consistently came to $35. Wood and Tap and Plan B a bit less. Good burgers don't have to be really expensive.

                                                                                            Does anyone know who won that "Golden Local" award , anyway?

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: stuck in Hartford County
                                                                                              r
                                                                                              ratbuddy Nov 10, 2009 10:43 AM

                                                                                              Look about 12 posts up ;)

                                                                                            2. c
                                                                                              ctchica Nov 11, 2009 09:56 AM

                                                                                              I, too, love a great burger. The places I have been to where people told me the burgers were good but I thought "Meh" - were Shady Glen in Manchester. Locals RAVE about this place. I've lived in the area 8 years, went once and never went back.
                                                                                              I LOVE Ted's Montana Grill in Evergreen Walk for their Bison burger - YUM. And I love Plan B's Salmon Burger. Double YUM.
                                                                                              I've been to Five Guys in Farmington, only a few minutes from my parents house, and I was NOT impressed. Greasy and just boring.
                                                                                              I have not tried Joey Garlic's which is just down the street but now I'm intrigued! I have been to Red Robin (again in Manchester) and I love their burgers.
                                                                                              Another place I'm not sure mentioned here but it's on Main Street in Willimantic and the restaurant is in an old bank or post office. - Main St Pub? They have good burgers.
                                                                                              There is also Harry's in Colchester - it's a stand only open in the Summer. It's on Rte 85 and it's mobbed with people who drive from out of state - so you know they've got to have a decent product. On my places to try.
                                                                                              Have been to Catsup and Mustard in Main St. Manchester. Good solid decent food. I like their different dipping sauces for the fries.

                                                                                              -----
                                                                                              Ted's Montana Grill
                                                                                              500 Evergreen Way Unit 500, South Windsor, CT 06074

                                                                                              Shady Glen
                                                                                              7 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA 01376

                                                                                              Joey Garlic's
                                                                                              372 Scott Swamp Rd, Farmington, CT 06032

                                                                                              Plan B
                                                                                              4 Railroad St, Simsbury, CT 06070

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: ctchica
                                                                                                t
                                                                                                TheLastEmotion Mar 13, 2012 09:09 PM

                                                                                                The main selling point of shady glen is the crispy cheese which is good but I agree the burgers are meh.

                                                                                              2. c
                                                                                                chefstu Nov 15, 2009 05:58 AM

                                                                                                I had a really great burger at Central Steakhouse last week. 8 meaty ounces of angus beef, home made roll and home made french fries. Burger cooked medium rare as requested, juicy and flavorful. I'd say 80/20 angus chuck. To top it off the roll and fries were spot on. At about 10 bucks it wasn't the cheapest burger around but it was one of the best I've had in a long time and well worth it IMHO.

                                                                                                -----
                                                                                                Central Steakhouse
                                                                                                99 Orange Street, New Haven, CT 06510

                                                                                                1. Bette Nov 25, 2009 12:14 PM

                                                                                                  I had a good burger at Hops (in Newington), with a great stout beer. It's a microbrewery restaurant.

                                                                                                  http://www.hopsrestaurants.com/home/o...

                                                                                                  I'm going to try Joey Garlic based on what I have read here.

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Bette
                                                                                                    kattyeyes Nov 25, 2009 02:04 PM

                                                                                                    Hops closed this week, FYI. Check this board for details.

                                                                                                    1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                      Bette Nov 28, 2009 12:21 PM

                                                                                                      What?? I was just there a few weeks ago! The place was plenty busy.

                                                                                                  2. r
                                                                                                    ratbuddy Nov 25, 2009 05:57 PM

                                                                                                    Gotta say, since this thread started, I've had Plan B a few times, and it wins, as far as I'm concerned. Yeah, they screw up the order quite often, but the meat is so good, I don't even care.

                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: ratbuddy
                                                                                                      kattyeyes Nov 25, 2009 06:13 PM

                                                                                                      I've walked by Plan B in Glastonbury at least a half dozen times en route to Sakura. Just checked their menu. Can you please explain:
                                                                                                      "Order “Some pink” or “No pink‟*"...I'd read this to mean I can't order a rare burger. They sound delicious and have gotten good reviews here, but anything less than rare (unless it's a steamed cheeseburger) doesn't appeal. Please say it isn't so.
                                                                                                      http://www.planbburger.com/menu.html

                                                                                                      1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                        r
                                                                                                        ratbuddy Nov 26, 2009 01:47 PM

                                                                                                        I always order no pink and the burgers have always been perfectly juicy and just cooked through. If you can get beyond the rare thing, you might be pleasantly surprised by a delicious burger. Plus, they have disco fries, and the green beans are really tasy. Crunchy as heck and just salty enough. Mmmm.

                                                                                                    2. r
                                                                                                      RonZombie Nov 27, 2009 12:54 PM

                                                                                                      Nick's Char Pit in North Haven has a good Burger.

                                                                                                      1. e
                                                                                                        eat2win Dec 19, 2009 02:15 PM

                                                                                                        My top 5 Burgers in Connecticut:
                                                                                                        1. Joe Pizza/Joey Garlic
                                                                                                        2. Shady Glen
                                                                                                        3. 5 Guys
                                                                                                        4. Louis Lunch (New Haven)
                                                                                                        5. Max Burger (Tell them NO SALT)

                                                                                                        1. kattyeyes Jan 28, 2010 02:11 PM

                                                                                                          Hey, Connecticut! Now that we're reunited (and it feels so good!), chime in with your votes for the best burger in The Land of Steady Habits!

                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                            h
                                                                                                            hungrykids Jan 28, 2010 02:50 PM

                                                                                                            "now that we're reunited" we just need to pull the fairfield county posts from the "best burger" tri-state thread and move it here and see how they stack up against the former best burger thread...

                                                                                                            it will be interesting to see how many of us can actually compare the ffld cty burgers w/ those in other parts of the state.

                                                                                                            i'll start by saying that all you non-ffld cty folks need to take a drive down to greenwich to Burgers, Shakes, and Fries to try one of my CT favorite burgers. (Since it's in Byram and therefore less than a mile from the NY state line, you may want to plan some other activities while you're in the area! That's a long way to drive from Storrs just to taste a burger... but I'm not driving in the other direction for a burger, either.)

                                                                                                            1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                              JenJeninCT Jan 28, 2010 02:58 PM

                                                                                                              I'm with you, katty- I live in New Haven county and work in lower Fairfield County, so I was forever straddling the fence between the the New England and the Tristate boards. I, for one, and am quite happy to unite with my fellow nutmeggers. I am also with you in that I want a rare burger!

                                                                                                              When Bridge House in Milford opened, the burger was GREAT, served on a crusty bread(its a distant memory now!), but it has since declined, and is served on a pedestrian hard roll and isn't on my faves list anymore- pity, too, because its about 2 minutes walk from my school, and 5 min drive from home. Flipside in Fairfield has a tasty burger, and a lot of variety (including a burger that is somehow equally horrifying to me and appealing to my SO that is served between 2 grilled cheese sandwiches), but I have yet to have 1 that wasn't overcooked. I have had very good burgers at Archie Moore's (Milford and Fairfield), The Corner Pug in W. Hartford, and yes, 5 guys(even though it wasn't rare). My SO is obsessed with trying a burger at the Orange Ale House, and as its his birthday weekend, I'm acquiescing and taking him Saturday, despite that I have heard nothing good about them- anyone??

                                                                                                              Plan B is definitely on the "road trip" list, as is River Tavern and the place that replaced Hops once they get the beer-making underway.

                                                                                                              1. re: JenJeninCT
                                                                                                                c
                                                                                                                christiane314 Jan 28, 2010 08:00 PM

                                                                                                                the burger between two grilled cheese is served everywhere nowadays...it is currently on the menu at max burger in west hartford...

                                                                                                                river tavern has the BEST burger on the PLANET...i love that place...it is definately tops on my list

                                                                                                                1. re: christiane314
                                                                                                                  JenJeninCT Jan 29, 2010 02:39 AM

                                                                                                                  Really? We go out a lot, and this is the first place I've seen it in CT.

                                                                                                                  Maybe I can talk him into a road trip to River Tavern....

                                                                                                            2. cush876 Jan 29, 2010 03:52 PM

                                                                                                              If you ever travel to monroe, ct, you MUST try Zoar Drive-In's "Zoar Burger"! Its's on rt 34 in Monroe, right on Lake Zoar.

                                                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: cush876
                                                                                                                r
                                                                                                                ratbuddy Jan 29, 2010 04:16 PM

                                                                                                                Must try it why? Because it's good, or because you work there, or ???

                                                                                                                1. re: ratbuddy
                                                                                                                  kattyeyes Jan 29, 2010 04:22 PM

                                                                                                                  Where is danieljdwyer when we need him? I know the Lake Zoar Drive-In is a favorite of his...PAGING DAN, COME IN, DAN...
                                                                                                                  http://www.lakezoardrivein.com/

                                                                                                                  Now, who knew there was such a place as Stevenson, CT? :) You truly learn something new everyday. And cush876, by all means, please tell us more.

                                                                                                                  1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                                    bagelman01 Jan 30, 2010 10:07 AM

                                                                                                                    Katty,
                                                                                                                    In the 80s I commuted to Danbury from New Haven 7 days a week for 6 years. The Lake Zoar Drive In was a favorite stop. Now, I live in Trumbull, and my 22 year old daughter frequents the place. I went with her recently and the Zoar Burger is good, just too well done fro me.

                                                                                                                    1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                                      jfood Jan 30, 2010 01:14 PM

                                                                                                                      K

                                                                                                                      There jfood was, describing a steamed burger and mrs jfood told him her mom used to make them when she was a kid and the local drug store making as well. Jfood describved you pictures and no less than 30 minutes later the Travel Channel has the place in Meriden.

                                                                                                                      1. re: jfood
                                                                                                                        kattyeyes Jan 30, 2010 02:34 PM

                                                                                                                        jfood, don't you just love when things like that happen? Some sort of happy hamburger synchronicity. ;)

                                                                                                                        1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                                          jfood Jan 30, 2010 06:21 PM

                                                                                                                          there is a greater power, and mrs jfood has a direct link there. :-))

                                                                                                                      2. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                                        d
                                                                                                                        danieljdwyer Feb 1, 2010 06:06 AM

                                                                                                                        Not just a favorite, but my absolute favorite.
                                                                                                                        Now, I don't usually like any grilled meat well done, not even chicken or pork. But the burgers here are a whole different thing. Like souvlaki or smoked brisket, it's better for being well done. I love a nice thick, juicy bloody rare burger, made from top quality fresh ground beef, but this is a whole different ballgame.
                                                                                                                        To start with, the rolls, which are from Chaves Bakery in Bridgeport, are fantastic. Way too many places that would otherwise be in contention for best burger use a crappy roll, or don't pick them up fresh every morning like Mike does. Mike, the owner, by the way, is the kind of dedicated, friendly business owner that chowhounds should love to give their business to. You'll find him personally manning the grill the majority of the time they're open.
                                                                                                                        It is a thin, 4 oz. burger patty, but even a plain burger is plenty flavorful. The flat top grill has been seasoned by decades of grilling bacon, burgers, and the other items on the fairly extensive menu. The specialty burgers are all well designed, with a good balance of complementary toppings. I'd say the Zoar Burger is my favorite, but they're all great.
                                                                                                                        The fries and onion rings are also great, my favorite being the waffle fries. They frequently change the fryer oil, and use one fryer for items that might impart flavor to the oil (like the seasoned waffle fries) and a separate fryer for plainer items (like the crinkle cut fries). The hot dogs are also among my favorites in the state, the cole slaw is very good, and the breakfast sandwiches and hash browns are the best I know.
                                                                                                                        It's only about ten minutes from Exit 11 on 84, and well worth the detour if you're passing by.

                                                                                                                        1. re: danieljdwyer
                                                                                                                          stuck in Hartford County Feb 1, 2010 10:31 AM

                                                                                                                          I go by that exit e/o weekend, so I'm definitely going to give it a try. Thanks for posting.

                                                                                                                          1. re: danieljdwyer
                                                                                                                            DavidA06488 Sep 20, 2011 11:19 AM

                                                                                                                            After reading the posts on it, I had to try the Lake Zoar Drive-In. Looks like a small closet with a door, but the food was great. I almost drove past it it is so small. I had the Double Dam Burger (The place is next to the Stevenson Dam) with the chipotle mayo, and steak cut fries. I ate the fries first, and couldn't stop eating them - crispy crunchy outside and creamy inside. The burger was great as well, even though it was only faintly pink inside (I generally like my beef just this side of mooing).Mike was there along with a staffer and both were charming and highly interested in my reaction to their food. I believe you when you say they change the fryer oil frequently, because the fries had not a hint of off taste or of old oil. I will bring friends to this place. 10 minutes on Route 34 from exit 11 on I-84. Very easy to find.

                                                                                                                            -----
                                                                                                                            Lake Zoar Drive-In
                                                                                                                            14 Route 34, Monroe, CT 06468

                                                                                                                    2. JenJeninCT Jan 30, 2010 05:17 PM

                                                                                                                      No road trip in the cards today, so we ended up at Orange Ale House as originally planned. I was pleasantly surprised with the food- the atmosphere was exactly what I expected- half sports bar, half pool hall.

                                                                                                                      SO had the "Chubby Burger", which has bacon, cheddar, a fried egg, "special sauce", and comes served on a garlic butter grilled hard roll with LTO, cole slaw and fries for 8.99. It came rare as ordered and the bite I had was quite tasty. He was very happy with it. His Sam Adams was surprisingly high at $5 for a bottle with no glass offered (or requested).

                                                                                                                      I had the pulled pork sandwich, served with the same accompaniments as the burger. I regretted ordering it as soon as I did, because I was thinking it was going to be like Sysco Tub-o-pulled-pork, but it was freshly made and very good and tender. The sauce (served on the side, the sandwich comes unsauced)was a little thick and gloppy, but tasty. I put most of my cole slaw on my sandwich- it did ok as a sandwich topping, but I didn't like it enough to eat the rest with a fork. Fries were crisp and decent, but were very lightly battered, and I'm kind of a purist when it comes to fries- potatoes, oil, salt- I'm all set. My meal was $7.99, and my coke was again surprisingly high at $3 served in a disposable plastic cup.

                                                                                                                      Service was good, all of our needs were attended to quickly and politely. We will definitely go back- the food is good to very good and a fantastic value for the dollar. Drinks, not so much, but not so out of line with local prices that it would keep us away. If you don't mind the pool hall vibe, give it a try.

                                                                                                                      -----
                                                                                                                      Orange Ale House Cafe Menu
                                                                                                                      517 Boston Post Rd, Orange, CT 06477

                                                                                                                      1. d
                                                                                                                        danieljdwyer Feb 1, 2010 06:29 AM

                                                                                                                        As stated above, Lake Zoar Drive In in Monroe gets my vote for best: http://www.lakezoardrivein.com/
                                                                                                                        Also in Monroe and on the opposite side of the delicious burger spectrum, The Smithy has a fantastic gourmet burger. The burgers are hand formed from high quality beef ground in the kitchen. They use the trimmings left over after cutting the tenderloin and short loin into steaks. The rolls are great, from a local baker. The burger is great by itself, and even better with sauteed mushrooms and grilled onions. The standard cheese is American, but I like it with the Swiss they use for French onion soup, or sometimes one of the cheeses they have on the cheese block. http://www.smithyrestaurant.com/
                                                                                                                        Prime 16 in New Haven is also great, with a good selection of specialty burgers made with very good meat and pretty good rolls: http://prime16.com/default.aspx
                                                                                                                        Caseus in New Haven uses top quality meat, a pretty good roll, and the best cheese I've come across on a burger in a restaurant: http://www.caseusnewhaven.com/info.html
                                                                                                                        Louis Lunch in New Haven and Ted's in Meriden are my favorites, but deserve mention.

                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: danieljdwyer
                                                                                                                          philbkr Feb 7, 2010 12:10 PM

                                                                                                                          Just for the record, The Smithy is open Tuesday-Sunday, 5PM, according to the web site. No closing time is given.

                                                                                                                          1. re: danieljdwyer
                                                                                                                            bagelman01 Feb 8, 2010 02:31 AM

                                                                                                                            Dan>>>I know you no longer lie in the area, and don'y know how long it is since you last ate at the Smithy, but it has gone downhill.
                                                                                                                            My wife and I live 6 minutes from there and used to eat there weekly. The last three times it was just plain bad. Meat was dry and tasteless. My wife gave them three strikes and you're out. I wouldn't have given them a third chance, The buns were stale as well.

                                                                                                                          2. Tartuffo Feb 2, 2010 06:28 AM

                                                                                                                            The Wagyu beef burger at Napa and Co. in Stamford is fantastic. Comes with red onion jam, aged gouda, black pepper mayo, and a side of rosemary fries. The meat is nicely charred on the outside, just right medium-rare reddish-pink on the inside, it is very moist, succulent. But the toppings really make it: savory, smokey, rich: delicious. Yeah, expensive at $26, but worth it IMO.

                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: Tartuffo
                                                                                                                              stuck in Hartford County Feb 7, 2010 09:37 AM

                                                                                                                              Holy Toledo! $26 bucks?! That's crazy for a burger-I don't care it it's got diamond bits in it. Ridiculous. Wood and Tap and Plan B have great burgers for about $10 or less. Heck, even 5 Guys burgers are great and they're like $3. Shameful in an economy like this. Didn't we just bail out all those banks that you pass in Stamford along I 95? Donate the $26 to Haiti and go to 5 Guys.

                                                                                                                              Nothing personal, though. I'm glad you enjoyed your meal. I just have a philosophical issue w/ridiculous prices for things that ought to be cheap. Like a hamburger.

                                                                                                                              1. re: stuck in Hartford County
                                                                                                                                r
                                                                                                                                ratbuddy Feb 7, 2010 02:53 PM

                                                                                                                                I also can't fathom why anyone would want to take a wagyu burger and hide the flavor behind so many strong flavored toppings. Give me some plain old ground chuck and maybe a slice of american cheese or two.

                                                                                                                                1. re: ratbuddy
                                                                                                                                  jfood Feb 7, 2010 03:47 PM

                                                                                                                                  You guys in mid-state shoulld come down and try some of the great food in FFD county before commenting negatively on it. Just sayin'

                                                                                                                                  1. re: jfood
                                                                                                                                    kattyeyes Feb 7, 2010 03:56 PM

                                                                                                                                    Is the Napa burger your vote for best in state, jfood? Or BSF? Or...?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                                                      jfood Feb 7, 2010 04:21 PM

                                                                                                                                      jfood has only eaten one burger outside of FFD county, at Carole Peck's, so it is unfair to comment on such a large data set.

                                                                                                                              2. re: Tartuffo
                                                                                                                                b
                                                                                                                                bbqlover Jul 7, 2010 07:01 PM

                                                                                                                                I will also vouch for the Burger at Napa and Co. If anything was ever worth the money, their burger is it....it's simply amazing!

                                                                                                                              3. j
                                                                                                                                JayCT Mar 30, 2010 01:38 PM

                                                                                                                                The best burger I have had recently is at Piatti in Glastonbury. They have a stuffed burger that is fresh and delicous. It comes with a side of salad or fries and is $8. Can't beat that. Jay

                                                                                                                                1. l
                                                                                                                                  lenorelenore May 18, 2010 03:44 PM

                                                                                                                                  Just tried Goldburgers in Newington. Maybe this isn't too chowish, but if you're sort of poor, and sort of trying to keep calories down (and not vegetarian!) I recommend one slider and a small diet soda--I think it was like 3.50. The slider was actually great! The restaurant inside is grim--too-loud music, uncomfortable seating; however, sitting out at one of the sidewalk tables on a nice spring day was really nice. Also, it's a short walk to the (great) Newington library.

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: lenorelenore
                                                                                                                                    l
                                                                                                                                    lizzb Feb 19, 2012 11:07 AM

                                                                                                                                    Thanks Lenore - for the tip about Goldburgers (STILL haven't tried it...!) and also because I work at the (great) Newington library...!

                                                                                                                                  2. s
                                                                                                                                    straymoose Jul 7, 2010 01:09 PM

                                                                                                                                    My wife and I went to Georgie's Diner in West Haven and had one of the best burgers in the state, and at a price that won't kill you. Not your ordinary diner burger. They use the same supplier that supplies Peter Luger's burgers (so they say). Half inch thick char grilled half pound burger cooked the way you like it. The meatloaf is like no meatloaf I have ever had at a diner either. The diner itself is a refurbished 1950's style diner. The owners choose to step it up a couple of notches over ordinary diners by serving gourmet tasting food and quality with a somewhat typical diner menu. They are also a vegetarian enclave. A very good one from what I hear, but not my thing so I can't comment first hand.

                                                                                                                                    1. b
                                                                                                                                      bodiewoo Sep 20, 2010 06:14 AM

                                                                                                                                      When I was a teenager there we would travel to Westport on a Friday night to get what I still refer to as the best burger ever. On the Post Road was a BBQ 'd hamburger place called BIG TOP......They were about a buck more than Duchess at about $2.00 and in the 60's that was a good piece of change............BUT sooooooo worth it. I am now 65 and I'm still looking for a burger to even come close. My wife always says when we find a new place "is it like BIG TOP?" The answer still is "nope". they had a flavor all it own. I think there was one in New Haven as well. Please before I die.........give me that jewel of a burger again.

                                                                                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: bodiewoo
                                                                                                                                        bagelman01 Sep 20, 2010 03:45 PM

                                                                                                                                        Yes it was on Whalley Avenue in New Haven near the 3 Judges Motel. In the early 2000s they attempted a comeback but lasted only a few months.

                                                                                                                                        Big Top Shoppes---home of the Adams Basket and better than their burgers, their steak sandwich.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: bagelman01
                                                                                                                                          f
                                                                                                                                          foodieandy Sep 29, 2010 08:25 PM

                                                                                                                                          I loved Big Top!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: bagelman01
                                                                                                                                            BiscuitBoy Sep 30, 2010 06:48 AM

                                                                                                                                            Also a Big Top in Hamden, in the caldor (now kohls) section...going waaay back before BiscuitBoy could drive...or ride a bike

                                                                                                                                            1. re: BiscuitBoy
                                                                                                                                              Veggo Sep 30, 2010 07:05 AM

                                                                                                                                              Ah, you youngsters! Bagelman01 and I go back to the days before Caldor, before the Mart, just the Plaza, Sears, McDonalds, and the Colonial House. Everything else on Dixwell was fields, and the original Reilly's and Glenwood were white clapboard buildings before they burned down.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Veggo
                                                                                                                                                BiscuitBoy Sep 30, 2010 07:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                I also remember the older kids talking about the sleigh house, sort of across from where the amc dealer used to be...The Mcd's was a walkup at the time too. Venice bakery was (and is) always there, thankfully

                                                                                                                                                1. re: BiscuitBoy
                                                                                                                                                  Veggo Sep 30, 2010 08:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                  The Sleigh House! In those days, women were not allowed to sit at a bar, nor smoke while walking on a public sidewalk.
                                                                                                                                                  I could ride my bike the length of Shepard Ave. to the duckpin lanes at the Plaza, and stop at McD's for 2 burgers, fries, and a coke for 50 cents.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: BiscuitBoy
                                                                                                                                                    bagelman01 Sep 30, 2010 08:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                    The McD was where Popeye's is now. It was uinit number 60.

                                                                                                                                                    The Big Top occupied space that was originally Aunt Jemima's Pancake house.
                                                                                                                                                    Later it was Big Top, Lender's, Applebees, and now an IHOP having gone full circle from pancakes to pancakes..
                                                                                                                                                    The AMC is now an auto glass place.

                                                                                                                                                    Venice is the survivor............still great bread, and stuffed bread with eggplant on Friday's during Lent.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: bagelman01
                                                                                                                                                      s
                                                                                                                                                      shark_attack Sep 30, 2010 04:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                      I used to eat often at the Big Top in Westport where the McD's is now (talk about real estate prices taking their toll on the consumer)

                                                                                                                                                      And yes, their burgers were fresh-ground greasy flavorful wonderfulness....And yes, the steak sandwiches were great....And the grilled chicken was great......
                                                                                                                                                      and everything was greasy, and you sat outside in the sunshine, and the food was so casual, and so so good.

                                                                                                                                                      They didn't have 20 dollar burgers.......their burgers were $2.25 and they were better:)

                                                                                                                                            2. re: bodiewoo
                                                                                                                                              p
                                                                                                                                              Plate Feb 22, 2012 10:08 AM

                                                                                                                                              I, too, loved the Big Top...and also Chubby Lane's right down the street.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: bodiewoo
                                                                                                                                                m
                                                                                                                                                Mikelawyr2 Jun 26, 2012 09:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                Bodiewoo, I know exactly what you're talking about. Big Top was Where It's At.

                                                                                                                                                "Cheese and a frank . . . TRAVELIN'!"

                                                                                                                                                Anyway, I have good news. I recently found that Indescribably good Big Top Char Taste -- or something pretty darn close -- at City Limits Diner in White Plains. It's closed for renovations until fall. Try it!

                                                                                                                                                Speaking of famous CT restaurant lingo, this one's from Jimmie's at Savin Rock: "Clam One! Lobster Roll Three!" Knee deep in seagulls and trash -- man, was it good!

                                                                                                                                              2. s
                                                                                                                                                sevendust Dec 7, 2010 05:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                Definitly Ted's in Meriden is the best for taste. I would not even consider Red Robin a good burger place due to it being a chain. One owner places are traditional and definitly worth trying.

                                                                                                                                                1. louuuuu Dec 15, 2010 11:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                  Surprise Sleeper. Mostly a sandwich, salad, and soup takeout place, Katie's of Stamford has come up with what Chef Phil calls his "Beauty Burger" -- 7 oz with cheese, carmalized onions, lettuce and tomato with special sauce (would guess mayo/catsup/soy). Cooked to order, it travels well. I brought back to the office 10 minutes later still warm, juicy, and deeply flavored. Phil has a great touch with all his offerings, but ordering and waiting can be chaotic.

                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: louuuuu
                                                                                                                                                    s
                                                                                                                                                    Scotty100 Dec 15, 2010 02:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                    I finally made it to the new burger place in Darien last night. I was impressed. Great space and the addition of the bar with craft beers at excellent prices is the cherry on the cake. Burger quality remains strong as ever. Good job all round.

                                                                                                                                                  2. e
                                                                                                                                                    eddie964 Dec 17, 2010 07:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                    At the corner of Eagle and Nicholl streets in the East Rock section of New Haven, there's a bar called Contois. To call it "nondescript" is a major understatement: It has no sign and no neon. (My brother lived literally across the street from it for weeks, and was astonished when I told him there was a bar there.)

                                                                                                                                                    Anyhow, Contois is an old cop bar that used to revel in its anonymity. Cops would go there to be with other cops. Period. Strangers were discouraged and ladies weren't allowed. (This was so the cops' wives could rest easy: If their husbands were at Contois, they weren't out chasing skirts.) They've loosened their policies a bit, but it still feels more like a members-only blue-collar social club than a bar.

                                                                                                                                                    Anyhow, the owner, Bill Contois, is a massive former Navy SEAL and ex-cop who looks to be made out of granite. He often works the bar on weekends, and when he does he sometimes fires up the grill. The burgers that come off that grill are the best I've ever eaten. They're huge, seared on the outside and juicy in the middle, topped with cheese and caramelized red onions if you ask for them. The Contois burger has become my personal gold standard for burgers. The only ones that have even come close were from my own kitchen.

                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: eddie964
                                                                                                                                                      louuuuu Dec 17, 2010 08:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                      You say "he sometimes fires up the grill" ... Are they flame broiled?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: louuuuu
                                                                                                                                                        e
                                                                                                                                                        eddie964 Dec 17, 2010 08:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Actually, no. Sorry, didn't mean to mislead.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: eddie964
                                                                                                                                                          louuuuu Dec 17, 2010 08:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                          No problem. Welcome to these boards and look forward to reading more of your posts. Your debut was really good... nothing better than a secret, authentic gem.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: louuuuu
                                                                                                                                                            n
                                                                                                                                                            newhavener Dec 19, 2010 05:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                            I tried the new steamed burger place in New Haven around the corner from Louis' Lunch a couple of months back, and it was really good. Reasonable prices too. My first choice for a burger now that the Doodle is gone.

                                                                                                                                                            -----
                                                                                                                                                            Louis' Lunch
                                                                                                                                                            263 Crown St, New Haven, CT 06511

                                                                                                                                                    2. e
                                                                                                                                                      epiffani Dec 19, 2010 09:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                      GoldBurgers in Newington, CT. Best burger I've ever eaten. Homemade pickles, and the meat is so succulent and juicy. So delicious.

                                                                                                                                                      1. c
                                                                                                                                                        Capt Jim Jan 12, 2011 12:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                        Hands Down best burger in New Haven (and maybe CT) is at....Caseus! The cheese (bleu or cheddar) is out of control...not surprising, considering this is also a gourmet cheese shop, but the Painted Hills all natural grass fed beef from Oregon plus the chef's secret (shhh!) puts this burger over the top. A perfect 10! It's up there with Bistro Ten 18 in NYC and Underwood Cafe in Sonoma. A real treat!

                                                                                                                                                        -----
                                                                                                                                                        Sonoma
                                                                                                                                                        206 Worcester Rd, Princeton, MA 01541

                                                                                                                                                        1. k
                                                                                                                                                          kari326 Jan 16, 2011 10:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                          If you're ever in the SONO area, The Bewhouse has a really good burger.....

                                                                                                                                                          1. DonShirer Sep 23, 2011 04:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Went to Christy's restaurant in Westbrook last night. DW raved about her burger (I had the Philly Cheesesteak wich) but wouldn't let me have a taste. Both were large portions as were the yummy sweet potato fries.

                                                                                                                                                            I haven't been there yet, but the menu of designer burgers and sliders at Jack Rabbit's burger house in Old Saybrook has my mouth watering. The Boston Burger and the Pepe Le Pew are calling to me.

                                                                                                                                                            -----
                                                                                                                                                            Jack Rabbits
                                                                                                                                                            254 Main St, Old Saybrook, CT 06475

                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: DonShirer
                                                                                                                                                              d
                                                                                                                                                              debvil Mar 13, 2012 06:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                              My vote goes to Jack Rabbits - just went and it was wonderful. Boomerang burger was delish, fries & shakes good too...

                                                                                                                                                            2. s
                                                                                                                                                              Stylo Jan 31, 2012 10:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Plan B is okay. Not the best, but better than most chains.

                                                                                                                                                              For me, Prime 16 is the absolute king in CT.

                                                                                                                                                              Honorable mentions to Louis' Lunch (for pure meaty flavor) and Dive Bar in West Haven (surprisingly good and unassuming with amazing LI Sound view). Beach Bar in Norwalk is also pretty decent. The burger at LeFarm in Westport is amazing, but also $20.

                                                                                                                                                              1. d
                                                                                                                                                                duds Feb 1, 2012 03:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                I have been going to Goldburger for a couple of years and they have consistently exceeded Plan B, The Counter, Jakes, etc...in every way. They have the menu staples made with freshly ground beef or chicken but what really sets them apart is their specials. They look for what is available and then find an always delicious way to use it. A recent example was the use of a freshly smoked turkey in empanadas. The prices are reasonable for the quantity and quality, certainly more so than the aforementioned franchises.

                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: duds
                                                                                                                                                                  f
                                                                                                                                                                  foodwallguy Mar 6, 2012 07:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  Goldburger is everything you'd want in a burger place. The dogs are really good too. They even have food challenges! Now I'm hungry. I'll have to make it a point to get to Newington today.

                                                                                                                                                                2. l
                                                                                                                                                                  lizzb Feb 19, 2012 11:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  We just ate at Lepri's in Ellington last night and really enjoyed it. A great neighborhood place (don't let the strip shopping center location deter you!) Sat at the bar while we waited for our table (about 30 min - it's a very busy place on a Sat night) and one thing we noticed, was that although the place was packed, you could still have a conversation with your friends. Whatever they did with the acoustics in there, works. (I like a lively restaurant as much as the next person, but I hate it when you have to scream to talk to the person next to you...!) Anyway, get a plain old burger, and you will find that it is fresh, fresh, fresh - comes from one of a number of farms right in the area. Delicious!! You can put all kinds of toppings on it, or choose from one of their specialty burger suggestions. Regular burgers were $8 I think, while a Kobe burger was $12. They also come with a side - the hand cut fries and the onion rings were delicious, but we didn't care for the sweet potato fries - they coated them in brown sugar - just too sweet for anyone over the age of 6! Anyway, give it a try - it was a fun evening and I'm still jonesing for more of those fries...!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. p
                                                                                                                                                                    Plate Feb 22, 2012 10:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    How about the Shake Shack? I've eaten there once, and the burger was among the best I've eaten. It's served on a brioche bun with fresh lettuce and tomato...it was way better than it had to be.

                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Plate
                                                                                                                                                                      DavidA06488 Feb 22, 2012 11:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      I was there a week ago, and agree about the Shake Shack. A 4 oz. pattie medium done, crispy at the edges, and with a sauce that puts the golden arches to shame. The fries are pretty good as well. The price is competitive with the forementioned golden mess. Not bad for a much better burger.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. e
                                                                                                                                                                      Explore Mar 5, 2012 08:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Want a real hamburger . . you've got to try Pop's Burgers and Fries in Plantsville. Still new - only open a couple of months. Awesome fries - cut right there and hambugers are huge Great value for the money. They have milkshakes too. Basically, you haven't eaten a burger till you've eaten at Pop's.

                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Explore
                                                                                                                                                                        g
                                                                                                                                                                        Gender Mar 5, 2012 09:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        Had a great burger at Station Eats in downtown Stamford. The set p and ordering process is strange but quality is great. The chili has a great kick too.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Explore
                                                                                                                                                                          g
                                                                                                                                                                          gleng1 May 18, 2013 05:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          Well... talking about the best burger is like like talking about the best or pizza or barbecue -- lots of different styles and passions run high.

                                                                                                                                                                          Just came from my first meal at Pop's and it was swell. The roll is a bit firmer and is square. Burger is big and juicy. I thought the fries were absolutely fine, but not life-changing. (Talk about setting the bar high!) Service is slower than a fast-food restaurant as it should be -- it's all cooked to order.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. DonShirer Mar 13, 2012 07:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          You might be interested in this review of three upscale burger joints in Southwest CT.

                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.examiner.com/food-in-new-y...

                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: DonShirer
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                                                                                                                                                                            straymoose Mar 13, 2012 08:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            Five Guys is good, for a typical squished roadside type burger. but since when is it considered upscale?

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: straymoose
                                                                                                                                                                              DavidA06488 Mar 13, 2012 02:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Not.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: DavidA06488
                                                                                                                                                                                MacshashRIP Mar 15, 2012 09:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                I am switching my allegiance from Wood and Tap over to Goldburger in Newington. I was there the other day and, oh my god, was it heavenly!

                                                                                                                                                                          2. p
                                                                                                                                                                            pain au chocolat Jul 7, 2012 10:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            The juicy-ness of a mouthwatering Shack Burger- hands down for quality, blended meats and price. Will even drive to Westport for it.

                                                                                                                                                                            Plan B was really good only been there once, but would go again. I liked their sauces and their service, but I just didnt like the noise which is obviously nothing to do with the food, mostly.

                                                                                                                                                                            I really want that Wagyu burger now, thanks Tartuffo!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. l
                                                                                                                                                                              Luddy Sep 23, 2012 03:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Bar Bouchee in Madison has the the best burger I have ever had. It is a high end French Bistro with a bun to die for and made with Foie Gras. Ive hated Foie Gras in the past when Ive eaten it on its own....but when combined with the burger and bun it was a perfect blend of beef and rich flavorful foie.gras. No sauce or usual condiments needed, and due to the foie gras expect to pay a premium. If you are a foodie it is one of the best restaurants in CT and frankly you'll be tempted to not order the burger the menu is that good. Jacques Pepin frequently dines there so you know it's got to be good.

                                                                                                                                                                              In New Haven I personally like Prime 16 for the best burger joint and the beer tap menu is superior with beers from local breweries all around the country. Prime 16 has a $5 burger from 2-4pm Mon-Fri and quality is on par with plan B which is another favorite of mine. The only complaint I have is it is a little dark inside Prime 16.

                                                                                                                                                                              Also oddly enough the Mohegan Sun has Bobby's Burger Palace (Bobby Flay)....which I expected to pay $11 for but the burgers were $6-$7. Granted you have to pay $3 extra for fries but there is enough to share one order.

                                                                                                                                                                              As far as the other joints mentioned (like Joey Garlics and the Counter) I haven't been there but thanks for mentioning it I'll check it out!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. w
                                                                                                                                                                                wallingfordfood Apr 19, 2013 09:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                Best Burger in CT right here in Wallingford called Knuckleheads on Center St.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  chaz Apr 24, 2013 06:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Another vote for Clamp's, Rte 202 Northville Section of New Milford CT-Opens Memorial Day wend

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                                                                                                                                                                                    Capt Jim Apr 25, 2013 03:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Nothing beats Caseus in New Haven. If you haven't had their burger, you haven't lived. Period. Almost impossible to get in....you'll need to call a week ahead for reservations. Try the Capt Jim's OMG burger....it's not on the menu, but if you ask for it, it's way over the top....painted hills grass-fed beef from Oregon, gouda cheese, sliced avocado and sauteed morel mushrooms....unbelieveable!

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                                                                                                                                                                                      polentachili May 20, 2013 07:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      The Bacon Cheeseburger at The Black Rabbit in Lakeville, CT

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. cheereeo Jun 3, 2013 09:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Just wanted to send an update that Prime 16 opened an Orange, CT location. YES!! Where good ole Jacob Marley's was back in the day--on the Post Road between Home Depot and KFC in the Leslie Pool Plaza. So excited. I think they are going to do excellent here--a lot better than all the others who have tried to fill that Jacob Marley void after the original owner died.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. b
                                                                                                                                                                                          brittanynicola Oct 19, 2013 11:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Try Brandi's Burgers and Dogz they're new and in Branford, CT . Very unique combos, great prices, amazing pulled pork & an extensive local beer collection

                                                                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: brittanynicola
                                                                                                                                                                                            Chris VR Oct 20, 2013 06:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Based on comments on their Facebook page and Yelp, Brandi's is out of business.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Chris VR
                                                                                                                                                                                              bagelman01 Oct 20, 2013 07:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Closed in July..............
                                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.branfordseven.com/business...

                                                                                                                                                                                              So much for one hit wonders post about this NEW restaurant

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Chris VR
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                                                                                                                                                                                                brittanynicola Oct 20, 2013 06:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                https://www.facebook.com/BrandisBurge... - they're still open & amazingg!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: brittanynicola
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                                                                                                                                                                                                  donovt Oct 20, 2013 06:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  That page was last updated in April. The last few comments from other people are about it being closed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: brittanynicola
                                                                                                                                                                                                    bagelman01 Oct 20, 2013 07:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    When did you eat there last? It seems amazing that you are contradicting the news report.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: brittanynicola
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                                                                                                                                                                                                  chefstu Oct 21, 2013 06:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I can assure all that unfortunately Brandi's is closed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  In spite of having great freshly ground and cooked choice chuck burgers with house made potato buns, Hummels dogs and an interesting, delicious menu.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  There were landlord issues and just not enough local support, I am sad to say.

                                                                                                                                                                                                3. b
                                                                                                                                                                                                  bodiewoo Oct 21, 2013 07:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  If it isn't a Big Top char burger.......nothing else comes close

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. junescook Oct 22, 2013 07:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    The last couple of times I've been there, I've been enjoying the Signature Burger at White Horse Pub in Marbledale. They make it with a mix of sirloin, brisket and short rib and top it with bacon and a nice blue cheese sauce. The only thing I do not prefer about it is that they put it on a brioche bun which I'm really not crazy about -- just taste bland to me somehow. Next time I'm going to request it on one of their regular rolls.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.whitehorsecountrypub.com/m...

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I order it medium rare to get it nice and pink throughout.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: junescook
                                                                                                                                                                                                      kattyeyes Oct 22, 2013 07:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I had to refresh my memory as to where Marbledale is. ;) That sounds fab--and I LURVE a brioche bun. I hope I remember this should I find myself out that way. I would order it mooing. Mmmmm!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      ETA: Is this not one of the funniest threads on our local board? Four years old, still going strong, strewn with posts from people who showed up here JUST to talk about burgers in Connecticut and places that no longer even exist. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                                                                                                                        DavidA06488 Oct 22, 2013 07:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Not to go off topic, but their other food is great, too. But, their burger is so good, and I prefer it on the the brioche bun and as you say, mooing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                                                                                                                          junescook Oct 24, 2013 03:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          It's on 202 west of Litchfield and just past the light at the road that goes to Lake Wauramaug. (You could stop in Bantam on the way back and get ice cream at the Arathusa Dairy).

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: junescook
                                                                                                                                                                                                            kattyeyes Oct 24, 2013 06:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh, now wouldn't that just top the day with a big, fat cherry! :D

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                                                                                                                              DavidA06488 Oct 25, 2013 04:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Friday and Saturday nights they have a prime rib special that's great and their moules frites are excellent. But yes, their hamburgers are the best. This is the time of the year to go sit by the fire, otherwise, sitting on the deck by the river in the summer is a wonderful way to spend a weekend lunch or dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: DavidA06488
                                                                                                                                                                                                                kattyeyes Oct 25, 2013 04:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                You're trying to get me to drive there faster, aren't you? It's working. And I'll report back for sure when I go--hopefully sooner than later. Thanks to both you and junescook for the tips!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  DavidA06488 Oct 25, 2013 05:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My pleasure, even vicariously.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: junescook
                                                                                                                                                                                                              kattyeyes Oct 26, 2013 05:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hey, just by the way, in case anyone wanted to wander and visit Arethusa Farm while out that way. I was seriously considering a road trip today. FYI only:

                                                                                                                                                                                                              "9/10/13 – Arethusa Farm Saturday Visiting Hours Have been Discontinued Till November 16, 2013, Due To The Busy Show Season!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                              They're still open. You just can't see the cows. And because I'm such a fan of their milk, I thought it would be a kick to meet the "ladies" of the farm, so I'll hang tight till I can round out my trip with first a meeting with, then an eating of, the bovines. NOT THE SAME ONES, of course! ;)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.arethusafarm.com/farm/cont...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                junescook Oct 26, 2013 06:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                You will meet the ladies who provide for all of the products of their dairy. I don't believe they have any beef cattle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: junescook
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  kattyeyes Oct 26, 2013 06:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh, exactly--and that's exactly the sign I was referencing when I mentioned "the ladies." It's just slightly twisted (however unintentionally so) to think, "Hey, let's go see cows THEN go for a nice burger!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I did pick up a half gallon of their most excellent milk today, too. There is really no other like it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. kattyeyes Nov 20, 2013 05:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Katty's got another one--and lucky me, right in my hometown at Taino's Smokehouse. We're big fans of their brisket, so I usually wouldn't think to order a burger. But tonight, I was in a burger mood and wished I didn't have to drive so far to get a stellar one. HA, now I don't!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. RARE--of course, no problem.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Their fries are outstanding. They remind me of the fries my uncle used to make. It's the highest compliment I can give to any real-deal, we-cut-em-up-here-and-fry-em kinda fries. If only they came with a little cup of mayo instead of packets, but fine.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. I wanted to try the Smokehouse burger, but I caved after hearing the description and tried the special: bacon and a fried egg with lettuce, tomato and some kind of Cajun mayo with chopped onions and pickles. It's right up there with Prime 16 in my book. And it's the kind of burger you really ought to share. But I ate THE WHOLE THING. At first bite, the yolk oozed and it was just EXCELLENCE the whole way through. I'm not even a big fried egg fan, but in the mix with the bacon and the burger, it just made it that much richer. Fanfreakin'tastic, this was. You'll wanna try it if you appreciate a serious burger. MOO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.tainosmokehouse.com/MenuIn...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. hungrytommy Jan 11, 2014 08:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I recently went to Shady Glen and I don't get what people like about the burger. The meat was meh, the bun was meh, and the cheese, which I thought was going to be an incredible experience, was less than good. I tried it on its own. I tried folding it up and eating it with the burger. I could not find a way to make this burger taste good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I will say the coleslaw and the shake were great. (The fries were terrible). Do people actually like the taste of the burger or is it just fun and interesting? Nothing wrong with fun and interesting. I enjoyed my visit I just can't believe it is one of the best burgers in the state.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            www.hungrytommy.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: hungrytommy
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                                                                                                                                                                                                              debvil Jan 17, 2014 05:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              totally agree!

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