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May 1, 2009 07:51 AM

Best Burger in CT

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?

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  1. 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

      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

        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

          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. 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

          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

            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

              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

              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

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

              2. re: hotwing

                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) 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!

                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

                  Not O'Rourke's steamed cheeseburger?

                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                    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

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

                    1. re: Galemieux

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

                  1. re: cheereeo

                    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

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

                    17 Replies
                    1. re: DonShirer

                      That would probably be Food Network magazine, as mentioned at and reviewed at

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

                      1. re: ratbuddy

                        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

                          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

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

                            1. re: Scargod

                              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:

                              1. re: kattyeyes

                                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

                                  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

                                    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

                                      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

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

                                  2. re: Scargod

                                    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

                                      It's cheddar. Usually the cheese is meltier (how do you like that word?!) and looks more like this:

                                      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

                                        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

                                          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

                                        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

                                          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

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

                              6 Replies
                              1. re: coldduck

                                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

                                  im not sure why no one has mentioned max burger but here is an article on it.

                                  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.

                                  1. re: bmgsmg72

                                    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

                                      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

                                      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

                                      Well, christiane314, if you're still reading these 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.