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Does anyone serve steamed cheeseburgers anymore?

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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. 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

      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

        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

          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

            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

              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

                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

                  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

                    Stewart's Rootbeer of Pulaski Highway.

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

        2 Replies
        1. re: kimfair1

          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

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

          1. Moodys was a White Tower, not a White Castle.

            2 Replies
            1. re: jgg13

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


              1. re: MC Slim JB

                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. 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. Where is the closest White Castle to Boston, anyway?

                2 Replies
                1. re: tamerlanenj

                  NYC, I believe.

                  1. re: tamerlanenj

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

                  2. 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

                      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

                        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

                          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

                            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

                              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

                                a "rocky point park" truck?!?

                                i would so eat there.

                                1. re: hyde

                                  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

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

                                2. re: MC Slim JB

                                  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

                                    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

                                      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

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


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

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Reverend30

                                    The Simpsons? :)

                                    1. re: Trumpetguy

                                      Yep: http://vimeo.com/25346200


                                  2. 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. 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

                                        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. 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