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Does anyone serve steamed cheeseburgers anymore?

MC Slim JB Feb 22, 2012 06:52 PM

A friend asked me about this: I replied that our last White Castle closed many years ago (it's now Moody's Falafel Palace), and I don't think I've ever seen anyone steaming burgers outside of that franchise. I can imagine this happening in some old-timey joint in the remote suburbs, or someplace in Rhode Island or Maine, or some such.

He further qualified: "Not just slider-sized ones, but full-sized 'steamers'." Those I have definitely *not* seen.



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  1. yumyum RE: MC Slim JB Feb 22, 2012 06:55 PM

    I think the closest we have is Ted's in Meriden, CT. I actually LOVE these burgers, perhaps for the novelty factor, even though I'm a grill / char girl at heart. They aren't mini, though. If they were, I'd prolly eat 5 or 6 at a setting, so that's fine.

    8 Replies
    1. re: yumyum
      MC Slim JB RE: yumyum Feb 22, 2012 07:30 PM

      Ted's is definitely the kind of place he's talking about, and one I'd never heard of. Thanks!


      1. re: MC Slim JB
        yumyum RE: MC Slim JB Feb 22, 2012 07:32 PM

        Get out! Google it. The steam trays they use are vintage and so are the regulars. You'd actually love the place. I do.

        1. re: yumyum
          MC Slim JB RE: yumyum Feb 22, 2012 07:44 PM

          Yeah, I don't think I've ever done anything vis-a-vis Meriden except cut through it while driving to NYC. I had no idea Ted's was so famous! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted%27s_...


          1. re: MC Slim JB
            Gordough RE: MC Slim JB Feb 22, 2012 07:53 PM

            I once stopped for Ted's when I was in the area. The burgers are rather interesting. I found the best part to be the gooey cheese they used. The burgers themselves are indeed juicy but I will always much prefer grilled. Definitely worth a stop though.

            1. re: Gordough
              monkeyrotica RE: Gordough Feb 23, 2012 05:03 AM

              Definitely the cheese that makes Ted's burgers. It's a white Vermont cheddar I believe, just a little sharp. It's the only thing that will get me to visit my inlaws in Meriden.

              There is a place in Baltimore, a root beer place, that also served steamed cheeseburgers, but they don't have "the machine" that Ted's has. Just doesn't taste the same.

              1. re: monkeyrotica
                total13 RE: monkeyrotica Feb 23, 2012 05:22 AM

                Ted's rocks but you gotta go with half the cheese, it gets a little excessive. My fave Connecticut burger is at Shady Grove, with the extra cheese that overlaps the burger and gets fried on the grill.

                Do you have the name of the Baltimore place?

                1. re: total13
                  Nab RE: total13 Feb 23, 2012 06:06 AM

                  Huh, I did not know half-cheese was an option. I agree, it's far too much a gobby rubbery mess.

                  Ted's and the other CT places mentioned in emmanths link do not steam-griddle like WhiteCastle but rather cook them entirely by steam alone. Then they remove the patty leaving behind all the juices. Ted's is dry as the Gobi desert, but I still love sitting at the counter watching the whole hyptonic opperation.

                  1. re: total13
                    monkeyrotica RE: total13 Feb 23, 2012 07:28 AM

                    Stewart's Rootbeer of Pulaski Highway.

      2. k
        kimfair1 RE: MC Slim JB Feb 22, 2012 07:36 PM

        While certainly not chowworthy, The Sunset Grille steams their burgers in beer.

        2 Replies
        1. re: kimfair1
          tamerlanenj RE: kimfair1 Feb 23, 2012 05:44 AM

          I was going to post Sunset. You know, it's far from a board favorite but the burgers, when cooked to the right temperature, are actually pretty darn good.

          For the best steamed burgers ya gottta head to New Jersey. White Rose System!

          1. re: tamerlanenj
            RUeating RE: tamerlanenj Feb 27, 2012 12:12 PM

            Yes. Nothing better than a double with cheese, mayo, ketchup, a bacon double with cheese mayo ketcup, & a grilled cheese.

            Man, I miss the rose.

        2. e
          emannths RE: MC Slim JB Feb 23, 2012 04:52 AM

          Couple of other options in CT at the bottom of this thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/797144

          1. jgg13 RE: MC Slim JB Feb 23, 2012 05:45 AM

            Moodys was a White Tower, not a White Castle.

            2 Replies
            1. re: jgg13
              MC Slim JB RE: jgg13 Feb 23, 2012 05:49 AM

              Whoa, a White Castle knockoff chain! I did not know that existed!


              1. re: MC Slim JB
                jgg13 RE: MC Slim JB Feb 23, 2012 06:11 AM

                Yeah, although I'm not sure that their burgers were white castle-esque. That's the only one that I know of here in the Boston area, but I've seen a few other ex-WTs in other cities.

            2. t
              tamerlanenj RE: MC Slim JB Feb 23, 2012 05:45 AM

              Oddly, every shack and corner joint in Maine steams their hot dogs (the bright red kind), but nobody ever thinks to steam the burgers.

              1. t
                tamerlanenj RE: MC Slim JB Feb 23, 2012 05:49 AM

                Where is the closest White Castle to Boston, anyway?

                2 Replies
                1. re: tamerlanenj
                  jgg13 RE: tamerlanenj Feb 23, 2012 06:12 AM

                  NYC, I believe.

                  1. re: tamerlanenj
                    Karl S RE: tamerlanenj Feb 23, 2012 09:47 AM

                    The one in Mt Sinai, Long Island, east of Port Jefferson...take the ferry.

                  2. justbeingpolite RE: MC Slim JB Feb 23, 2012 05:49 AM

                    Roadfood did a thing about Connecticut steamed burgers a few years ago. I think the sites gone pay-for-use, but this link may work:


                    12 Replies
                    1. re: justbeingpolite
                      jgg13 RE: justbeingpolite Feb 23, 2012 06:13 AM

                      I could have sworn that Kenji did something about the CT steamed burgers on the food lab, but now I can't find it. That was useful info, I know ...

                      1. re: justbeingpolite
                        MC Slim JB RE: justbeingpolite Feb 23, 2012 06:23 AM

                        Serious Eats purportedly once hosted a video excerpt on steamed hamburgers from the "Hamburger America" documentary, but it appears to be gone now. Then there's this recent bit, about a steamer joint in New Orleans: http://aht.seriouseats.com/archives/2...


                        1. re: MC Slim JB
                          jgg13 RE: MC Slim JB Feb 23, 2012 06:29 AM

                          Ok, perhaps I'm not crazy after all. I have this vague recollection of them not liking those burgers very much but Did It For Science.

                          1. re: MC Slim JB
                            BostonZest RE: MC Slim JB Feb 23, 2012 07:01 AM

                            I used the Serious Eats book to track this one down. In the book's section on regional burgers the Steamed Burger entry mentioned Ted's Restaurant in Meriden. That helped me find Kenji's piece.

                            There are a few CT, and RI menu items I'd love to see more of in Boston. This might be a perfect summer pop up or food truck theme. RI clear clam chowder, more hot lobster rolls without mayo, clam cakes and amusement park red chowder, ripper dogs...

                            It would be great to offer visitors the regional New England food specialties in one place located in Boston.


                            1. re: BostonZest
                              jgg13 RE: BostonZest Feb 23, 2012 08:12 AM

                              Yep, that's the one. Ya know, I skimmed that this morning and said "Nope, not it!". That's what I get for CHing before the proverbial morning coffee.

                              1. re: BostonZest
                                hyde RE: BostonZest Feb 24, 2012 03:49 AM

                                a "rocky point park" truck?!?

                                i would so eat there.

                                1. re: hyde
                                  BostonZest RE: hyde Feb 24, 2012 07:04 AM

                                  Chowder and clam cakes! Or shore dinner fixins. I have made the chowder at home. The recipe is online. And, I used to make clam cakes back when I fried at home.

                                  1. re: hyde
                                    Scruffy The Cat RE: hyde Feb 26, 2012 06:51 PM

                                    Where's the "like" button? It would be awesome.

                                2. re: MC Slim JB
                                  Gordough RE: MC Slim JB Feb 23, 2012 09:58 AM

                                  I've had the burger at Clover Grill in New Orleans. I recall it being cooked under a hubcap on a griddle and not purely steamed like Ted's. In any event, the burger at Clover was excellent and my non red meat eating wife even took a bite (the only time in 10 years of marriage I have seen her eat red meat - ah NOLA)

                                  1. re: Gordough
                                    jgg13 RE: Gordough Feb 23, 2012 10:44 AM

                                    Oh, I've been there ... can't be too many places using hubcaps. Sadly I had enjoyed Bourbon St a bit too much that night to really remember that burger well enough to describe it.

                                    1. re: Gordough
                                      tamerlanenj RE: Gordough Feb 23, 2012 11:17 AM

                                      Arent' most steamed burgers steamed in this fashion? I.e.e, with a lid over it on a griddle, and a bed of onions?

                                      1. re: tamerlanenj
                                        monkeyrotica RE: tamerlanenj Feb 23, 2012 03:52 PM

                                        Perhaps, but Ted's in Meriden uses an unique burger steaming device.


                                3. r
                                  Reverend30 RE: MC Slim JB Feb 25, 2012 03:28 PM

                                  Steamed Hams - not in Utica, no...it's an Albany expression.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Reverend30
                                    Trumpetguy RE: Reverend30 Feb 25, 2012 03:50 PM

                                    The Simpsons? :)

                                    1. re: Trumpetguy
                                      MC Slim JB RE: Trumpetguy Feb 25, 2012 04:09 PM

                                      Yep: http://vimeo.com/25346200


                                  2. KWagle RE: MC Slim JB Feb 25, 2012 11:57 PM

                                    Years ago I ate at the Cozy Inn in Salina, Kansas. (Hasn't everybody done that at some point in their lives? Sheesh.) It was mentioned in one of the Sterns' books. Very much like White Castle, quite good if you like that kind of sandwich. But, they're small burgers, not full-size.

                                    I think I'm going to have to take a road trip to Meriden....


                                    1. m
                                      marais RE: MC Slim JB Feb 26, 2012 06:39 PM

                                      Slim, really the only domain for steamed hamburgers that there ever was is in the Connecticut Valley, and Ted's in Meriden is a great example. White Castle sliders are not steamed burgers, but rather griddled and served on steamed buns, though never as successfully and as tastily as their more worthy relatives, originally from Chattanooga and now enjoyed throughout the American South, at Krystal. I have been known to have made plans to stop over at Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson for a sackful of Krystal cheese sliders, a sweet reminder of my Tennessee childhood.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: marais
                                        tamerlanenj RE: marais Feb 27, 2012 05:22 AM

                                        There is some steaming "effect" from covering the burgers on the griddle, but you are right..

                                        This "lid steamed" or "griddle steamed" genre is very popular in my home state of New Jersey: White Manna, White Rose System, White Diamond....yes, they almost all have white in the name.

                                      2. Niblet RE: MC Slim JB Feb 27, 2012 12:02 PM

                                        I noticed that Poe's Kitchen has one on his late-night menu called a Harvey WineBurger: Flatpatty Steamed on the Griddle with Red Wine, Caramelized Chile Spiked Onions, Texas Toast, American Cheese, Chive & Jalapeno Mayo

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