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Aug 30, 2009 12:59 PM

Rare Burgers in Durham?

My cousin just moved to Durham and loves her burgers rare. I heard that Watts Grocery serves them up that way --if requested. Is that right? Where else?

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  1. One of the things I most dislike about North Carolina (along with the tax on newspapers) is that the state mandates that all hamburgers be cooked to a temperature that translates to well-done (probably 165 degrees). It may be that you can go to Watts Grocery store and get a rare burger, but I wouldn't advertise that fact too much---they may get a visit from the State Health Inspector, and everybody's fun will end.

    4 Replies
    1. re: mrwaterslide

      Any restaurant in NC that grinds their own meat can cook their burgers to any temperature they wish.

      1. re: jimingso

        Does anyone know whether Watts Grocery grinds their own meat?

        1. re: TerryG

          Watts Grocery grinds its own meat, and I think it's grass-fed to boot.

          Look forward to going back there this week sometime. They have a great pimento cheese option for the burger!

      2. re: mrwaterslide

        155 degrees, which is right on the upper edge of medium well, i think.

      3. The Federal grinds their own meat and therefore can cook the burgers to order. I get them medium rare and they are the next best thing to home grilled. There are lots of other good things to order as well a great beer selection.

        13 Replies
        1. re: PeterB

          it would be nice to compile a list of these places around the triangle. there are quite a few places you wouldn't expect who grind their own and can cook it as you wish.

          1. re: chili367

            For instance, Ted's Montana Grill.

            1. re: walras

              Ted's will do bison burgers rare, but not regular burgers. Extra couple of bucks for rare.

              1. re: yahooer

                It costs extra to cook the meat for a shorter period of time? Huh?

                1. re: rockycat

                  Bison burgers cost $2 more than beef.

            2. re: chili367

              In Raleigh, Players Retreat and Raleigh Times both spring to mind.

              1. re: cackalackie

                Also in Raleigh some of the "fill in the blank" tap rooms grind there own meat

              2. re: chili367

                Bin 54 in Chapel Hill grinds their own beef, and makes a very nice burger that I like to order at the bar. Acme in Carrboro has also cooked my burger to order for me in the past.

                1. re: cheinonen

                  Jo & Jo's, Bull McCabe's & Dain's Place in Durham also grind their own meat, I believe. I believe it was Jo & Jos where I had a burger with an egg on top. Well, my son ordered it. I just helped him eat it. It was quite tasty in an excessive sort of way.

                  TerryG, send your cousin to Wimpy's. They don't grind their own meat, but their burgers are great!

                  1. re: Tom from Raleigh

                    Did Joe & Joe's reopen someplace else? Pretty sure Bull McCabe's moved into the location that Jo & Joe's used to be in. I haven't tried the burger at Bull McCabe's yet because I keep ordering their awesome steak and cheese. It was be ordered with their pepper relish. Awesome!

                    P.S. While I like my steak medium rare I like my burgers to be medium to medium well. A bun with pink stained juice is unappetizing to me for some reason.

                    1. re: bbqme

                      Of course, you're right. Jo & Joe's closed quite a while ago and Bull McCabe's is in it's place. I had the burger with the egg and bacon at Bull McCabe's. I don't get to Derm as often as I'd like.

                    2. re: Tom from Raleigh

                      The Man vs. Food episode of Durham last night specifically showed Wimpy's grinding their own burger meat.

                      1. re: ToothTooth

                        Glad to hear they do. I just assumed they did not.

              3. More really good burgers cooked to order are:

                Raleigh - Porters
                Cary - Abby Road

                1. Sandwhich does a fantastic burger, cooked to order, on Thursdays through Saturdays. Best burger I've had in the Triangle, although I haven't been to Dain's or Watts.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Remsleep

                    I know this is not in Durham, but the Corner Bar in Cary has 10oz burgers served rare to well done, ground in house, on a pretzel roll! My favorite is the avocado, grilled onions, and cilantro mayo burger...never eaten mayo before until here! Also, all their appetizers are made in house from scratch, even the Loaded tater tots! Also, I like City Beverage for their tres bien burger with veal demi, and gruyere! I want to try Watts soon.

                  2. Had a very fine medium rare burger at Bull McCabe's last night. Also some excellent onion rings.