The NYC Good Beer Passport – Survey Results

The NYC Good Beer Passport – Survey Results

i_love_new_york_beer_heart_nycIt’s official, you like Beer. But not just any old Beer, you like Craft Beer and when possible, you want it made locally.  At least that’s what I can gather after the 4th year in a row of organizing a Beer passport that’s focused on the great Bars, Restaurants, Shops and Breweries around the Big Apple.

The 2014 NYC Good Beer Passport, with a lot of help from Beermenus, offered 48 Craft Beers from 48 businesses around NYC from July 1 to September 1 for only $35. If you made it to all 48 locations that’s a whopping $00.73 cents a beer. Not only is it a great value but you found out about all kinds of great places to drink great Craft Beer in all 5 boroughs. But wait, that’s not all, tell ‘em what else they did!

By purchasing a NYC Craft Beer passport you helped local businesses at a time of year when business takes a dip due to summer vacations. You also helped to raise money and awareness for great local charities like Food Bank for New York City, as well as the Heritage Radio Network, home to Beer Sessions Radio. You beerrific efforts also spread the word of great local Craft Beer focused organizations like the Good Beer Seal, July Good Beer Month and the NYC Brewers Guild. In essence, by drinking local this summer, you helped local. (Scroll to the bottom to learn more about each.)

So with that, I asked everyone who purchased The NYC Good Beer Passport to take a few minutes of time and give their feedback. I was hoping a few of you would be up for helping us understand the effects and improve future versions. But not just a few of you responded, nearly 40% of people agreed to participate. Keep in mind that number is based of the purchase population and some of you bought multiple passports. Either way, that’s a huge sample size and I appreciate the time you took to fill it out.

So how about we take a look at what you had to say!



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  1. Alphabet City Beer Company
  2. St. Gambrinus Beer Shoppe
  3. The Owl Farm
  4. Proletariat
  5. Mission Dolores



  1. The Jeffrey
  2. The Ginger Man
  3. Top Hops / Blind Tiger / Alewife / Fools Gold (all tied)
  4. Rattle N Hum



  1. Longer redemption period
  2. Additional passports at other times of the year
  3. More details like a map
  4. Smartphone app instead of punchcard
  5. More participating locations
  6. Expand outside NYC (Jersey City most commonly asked for)
  7. More bars offering flights
  8. Public events / meet ups planned around the passport locations


I would sooner improve the wheel.” – Dylan H

You are awesome. Who needs  a wheel when you have the NYC Good Beer Passport?!?!



So from the bottom of my heart and on behalf of my awesome partner Beermenus, as well as all the great organizations, Bars, Restaurants, Brew Shops and Breweries, thank you, especially the 5 redemption locations who dedicated a lot of time and effort to making sure people got their Passports. Thank you for supporting local, appreciating local and being a local. I read every single tweet and Instagram post with the #GoodBeerPassport and tried to respond / like/ retweet as many as I could. A special thanks goes out to The Beervengers who started a blog just to track their progress on the passport. It’s a pretty fun read if you have the time. Lastly a big high-five to Marc from Branch Marketing Collective for not only designing the poster but also joining me on almost every place I visited on the passport.

Participating Locations:

  • 508 Gastrobrewery
  • Adobe Blues
  • Alobar
  • Alphabet City Beer Company
  • Ambrose Hall
  • Banter
  • Bar Great Harry
  • Bar-Coastal NY
  • Beer Culture
  • Bronx Ale House
  • Carroll Place
  • Clinton Hall
  • Coopers Craft and Kitchen
  • Distilled
  • Draught 55
  • East Village Tavern
  • Glorietta Baldy
  • Gun Hill Brewing Co.
  • Heartland Brewery – Empire State Building
  • Houston Hall
  • Idle Hands Bar
  • Jimmy’s No. 43
  • John Brown Serious BBQ
  • Keg No. 229
  • Little Town NYC
  • Malt & Mold
  • Mel’s Burger Bar
  • Mission Dolores
  • Pacific Standard
  • Proletariat
  • Pushcart Coffee Chelsea
  • Randolph Brooklyn
  • Route 66 Smokehouse
  • St. Gambrinus Beer Shoppe
  • Singlecut Brewery
  • Sunswick 35/35
  • Taproom 307
  • The Brooklyneer
  • The Bronx Beer Hall
  • The Double Windsor
  • The Gibson
  • The Pony Bar HK
  • The Pony Bar UES
  • The Queens Kickshaw
  • The Owl Farm
  • The Vanderbilt
  • Two Door Tavern
  • Woodrow’s


About Beermenus
We created a way to browse and search beer menus so you never have to wonder where to find your favorite beers. We also keep a list of the best upcoming craft beer events.

About The Food Bank For NYC
Food Bank For New York City recognizes 31 years as the city’s major hunger-relief organization working to end food poverty throughout the five boroughs. As one of the country’s largest food banks, our mission is to end hunger in New York City by organizing food, information and support for community survival and dignity. As the city’s hub for integrated food poverty assistance, Food Bank tackles the hunger issue on three fronts — food distribution, income support  and nutrition education— all strategically guided by its research.

About Heritage Radio Network
There is no network like the No one brings together food and culture content like we do. Support and you support the most progressive voice for food and culture radio in America. is committed to archiving, protecting, and advancing our country’s rich food culture through programs that give voice to America’s leading food professionals, farmers, policy experts, artists, and tastemakers. The marriage between radio and Internet allows us to transmit our message like never before. The Internet gives our followers the choice of when, how, and where they listen. We have over one million listens a month and reach over 200 countries around the globe. Our social media outlets and podcasts keep our tech savvy listeners engaged, while the easy-to-use website is accessible to all. All of our shows are entered into a permanent archive creating a database of discussions on food and culture. Our archives provide an enduring record of national culture in its most basic form, food. is a 501c3 non-profit organization that relies on the support of listeners like you!

About The Good Beer Seal
The Good Beer Seal endeavors to separate the wheat from the chaff by identifying bars that serve quality craft beer and demonstrate a commitment to the community in which they do business. A Good Beer Seal Bar is independently owned and operated and has a unique sense of place; making it more than just another watering hole. A Good Beer Seal Bar is destination-worthy. In addition to offering at least 80% craft domestic/ special imported beers, a Good Beer Seal Bar engages its staff and guests in educational offerings regarding the history and originality of the beers it serves. A bar that earns a Good Beer Seal will be active in its local and global community through responsible stewardship and charitable actions. If The Good Beer Seal is on the door, good business practices, good atmosphere, and good beer is inside.

About The NYC Brewers Guild
The mission of the New York City Brewers Guild is to advocate for and promote awareness of its local brewing members; to increase the visibility of local beers through marketing, events, and consumer education; and to foster a healthy, ethical, and growth-focused craft beer industry throughout the city. A 501[c]6 nonprofit business association, the NYCBG was founded to advance New York City’s brewing industry and thereby lessen human misery.

About Burger Conquest
Burger Conquest is a blog written by sales marketing strategist, David “Rev” Ciancio about Hamburgers, Craft Beer travel and marketing. Rev has written about more than 600 Burgers, been featured on numerous different TV shows and named an “Expert Burger Taster” by The Learning Channel. Burger Conquest is also the home to The Burger Week  an annual delicious celebration of all things Burger in New York as well as South Florida.

Posted in Bar, Beer, Brooklyn, East Village, Harlem, New York, Queens | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How To Use The New FourSquare App – To Find a Great Burger

How To Use The New Foursquare App
– To Search and Find a Great Burger

Foursquare is now two apps, Foursquare and Swarm. One is for getting recommendations, the other is for finding your friends who are sharing their location.

Confusion over? Chances are no, you’re still a little cloudy.  I agree, it’s pretty confusing considering Foursquare used to do both at the same time. However the people behind Foursquare decided these were too different of needs and split them into two apps. Either that or they got the server that housed Foursquare wet and it split off another Mogwai. Hopefully they are able to keep from doing uploads after midnight so we don’t end up with a Gremlin app that lets you check-in and simultaneously destroy a small town around the holidays.

If you want to check-in to places, share your location or photos and find your friends while competing for Mayor Crown badges, use Swarm. You’ll want to use Foursquare now as a recommendation engine to find places, businesses and things to do. It’s like a highly customizable version of Yelp in app form that will not only learn your preferences over time but also source suggestions based on your network. Pretty cool eh? Let’s dig in.

Here’s a step by step “how to use the new Foursquare app to search” instruction using photos of a Burger I recently ate with my buddy George (who also happens to be my lawyer) at the Pound and Pence in NYC’s Financial District.

Pound & Pence
55 Liberty St
New York, NY 10005

The London Burger – a 10oz Certified Angus Beef® Steakburger from Burger Maker cooked with Fullers Beer and topped with Onions, Thyme, Cumin, Gouda Cheese & Caramelized Onions.

Download the Foursquare app onto your iPhone or Android device.

1. Open the app on your phone, you’ll be on the search screen.


2. If you’re located in the area where you want to find something, skip down to #3. If not, tap on “Within 1.0 miles of you.” You will be taken to a map screen where you can physically drag to the area you want to find a Burger. You can make the area larger or smaller by swiping two finger tips on the screen together or apart. You can also search other areas by taping “Search for a location” and typing in a city or a neighborhood. Once you’ve honed in, tap “Done.”

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3. Once you’ve chosen, you’ll be taken back to the main screen. Here you can scroll through the main categories like Lunch, Dinner, Coffee, Fun and more. Popular laces in your search area that fit the category will start to auto-populate. You can also type out a more specific search, like “Burgers” by typing it into the “Search Foursquare bubble.


Need more than 1 qualifier? You can type it into the search at the same time. I was looking to take my buddy George out for a Burger and Beer, so I searched both words.


Want to narrow down your search by price, features, whether you have checked in there or not and other qualifiers? All those options are available to help you customize and narrow down your search.

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4. A list of places that fit your search will populate the screen. In this case, I found Pound and Pence, an authentic English-style pub known for great food in a relaxed atmosphere.


5. Once you’ve selected a location you can find all of the following information to help you:

  • Address
  • Description
  • Phone Number
  • Menu
  • Hours
  • Reviews
  • Tips
  • Map with travel time
  • Link to delivery

and just about anything you need to know about the business.

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If you are already at the location and want to share a photo and or leave a tip or review of your own, you would do it from this screen as well. Just check-in by hitting the Swarm button or tap the review button in the upper right corner. The Foursquare app allows you to share multiple photos at once.


Constantly searching for the same thing or just want to customize your recommendations? Tap “Profile” in the lower right corner and then swipe the top of your profile to the left until you see your tastes. Tap them and you can select things you like.

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Want to know some of my suggestions and tips on where to get a good Burger (and other tasty eats)? Check out my profile on Foursquare.


Posted in Bar, Beer, Burgers, Certified Angus Beef, Financial District, Gourmet Burgers, Hamburgers, New York, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Cattle Call – Chef David Forbes from Joe’s American Bar and Grill

The Cattle Call – Chef David Forbes from Joe’s American Bar and Grill 

The Cattle Call – All the beef that’s behind the people who make & connect us to the Burgerverse.


I have been in the business and worked at Joe’s for 20 years. I have a passion for training and developing my people, and finding innovative ways shake up American food.

Name: David Forbes


Where do you live: Attleboro, MA

Favorite style of Burger: Traditional American with a twist

Favorite Childhood Burger: Wendell’s in Norton, MA 

Burger that haunts your dreams at night: The Blue Ox Sin Burger.

What is the one Burger you’ve always wanted to try but still have not: Mac Attack from Boston Burger Company.

The secret to making a great Burger: Starts with the great grind of meat

Under no circumstances whatsoever, what should NEVER be put on a Burger: I think you can put anything on a burger, but my definition of a burger is beef.

If you could eat any Mythical Creature which would it be: The Liger from Napoleon Dynamite.

If you could have a Burger with anyone alive, or dead, fictional or real, who would it be and where would you take them: I’d take Dale Earnheardt Jr. to Joe’s American Bar & Grill.

Name one Burger in LA that for once, people should get off a plane and go eat instead of In-N-Out: I have never been to California!

Please use this space to talk about or plug anything else you want: We have come in 2nd place in Boston Magazine’s Battle of the Burger three years in a row, we are really looking forward to claiming number one next year!

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How To Become Mayor In Swarm App

How To Become Mayor In Swarm App

What’s up with the new Foursquare and what is Swarm? If you’re like me (and just about anyone else who doesn’t work at Foursquare), you’ve probably had or have this question. If you’re really like me, you also want to know what happened to badges and why can’t you be the Mayor of a location anymore. For some of us, badge hunting and Mayorships were what made the game of Foursquare pretty fun. At one point I was the Mayor of NYC and those are some pretty big bragging rights as far as the social web goes.


I liked badge hunting and Mayorships so much that it once got me banned from earning them.


Perhaps that’s how this happened…


But I digress.

Foursquare recently took checking in and finding your friends and broke it off into a new app called Swarm. Swarm works just like Foursquare used to in terms of checking into places, seeing where your friends are located but has removed badges. There are still Mayorships but they work differently. Now a location can have multiple mayors based on your own friends network. If you are the person amongst your friends on Foursquare who has checked into a location more than anyone else, you will receive a crown.  Once you have that crown, you can add it to check-ins in the app.


When your friends see you in their feed, they will see the little crown on your check-in and be instantly aware of your boss status.


Badges work much in the same way now. You don’t earn them by playing a check-in game and unlocking them, they appear when you go to make your post. They are based on the type of location you are checking into. You can then add them to your check ins. See the little Burger icon to the lower right my profile pick below?


Here’s a step by step “how to become the Mayor and use badges in Swarm app” instruction using photos of a Burger I recently ate at the White Star Bar in Jersey City, NJ.

White Star Bar
230 Brunswick St
Jersey City, NJ 07302

How_to_Become_Mayor_In_Swarm_App_white_star_jersey_city_burger_conquest_1365White Star Cheese Burger – 8 oz. Pat La Frieda burger, Balthazar bun, American cheese, Thick Cut Bacon and Caramelized Onions with a side of Fries.

First off, you’ll need to find out how close you are to becoming the Mayor amongst your friends.

1. Search for the location you are looking to become the Mayor of in Swarm. In this example, we’ll use Idle Hands Bar in NYC since I am one of the owners.


2. Just below where it says “view in Foursquare,” you’ll see how many check-ins you have in that location. Tap the arrow on the right side. You’ll be taken to a screen that shows you the Leaderboard.

Looks like I have 6 more check-ins to do to beat Marc, which will be pretty hard to do since he is also one of the owners. Jay from East Village Eats, I am coming for you.


3. Check-in, check-in, check-in but remember, only one check-in per day counts towards your Leaderboard count. If you’re not in the top contenders list, Swarm will show you where you rank against your friends in that category. See below when I checked into White Star Bar in Jersey City for the first time. It showed me that I need to catch up with Josh the Foodie Magician if I want to be the top with check-ins at restaurants.

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If you want to add a badge or your newly found Mayor crown to your check-in, follow along.

1. Click on the location you want to check-in to on Swarm. Along the top you will see the badges.


2. In this example, I was checking into White Star and eating a Burger, so I wanted to use the Burger badge. Tap on the icon you want and it will be added to your profile picture.


3. If you want to add text or a photo to you check-in, add them below the badges and then tap “Check In.” You can also share your post to Facebook and Twitter from this screen.


4. The badge, text and photo will appear along with your check-in.


Now everyone knows that I went to White Star Bar and ate a Burger. Probably not much surprise in that.


Know of a good Burger in Jersey City or anywhere in NJ for that matter, that you would recommend? Go here and tell me.

Posted in Bar, Burgers, Gourmet Burgers, Hamburgers, New Jersey, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How To Use Hashtags To Instragam Like A Boss – Tags For Likes

How To Use Hashtags To Instragam Like A Boss
- TagsForLikes App

Have you ever looked at someone else’s Instagram account and wondered how they got so many followers when they’re not even famous? Every single post has likes for days, in fact it seems like they have all the likes. Well nobody likes a person who’s jelly so let me show you how to avoid going to Jelly School.

Chances are they have great content and great looking photos. Without great imagery that draws you in and engages your eye, you have nothing. But let’s assume you’ve figured that out already and are looking to get more likes, more followers and more engagement. What you need are hashtags and you don’t just need them, you need to hashtag like a boss.

A hashtag, according to, is “a word or phrase preceded by a hash mark (#), used within a message to identify a keyword or topic of interest and facilitate a search for it.” Hashtags make it so that messages, or in this case images, can be grouped together and searched. The idea being that people who are interested in looking at pictures of delicious Burgers on Instagram, can search the hashtag #Burger and see a stream of Burger photos.

If you use can master the use of proper hashtagging, you will gain more likes, more followers and more engagement. I do this with the help of an app called “TagsForLikes.” It allows you to search and save popular groupings of hashtags that make sense to put under photos that fit a certain theme.

Here’s a step by step “how to hashtag like a boss using TagsForLikes” instruction using photos of a Burger I recently ate at Smashburger in Paramus, NJ.

556 Rte 17 North
Paramus, NJ 07652

“New Jersey” from Smashburger with Applewood-Smoked Bacon, Blue Cheese, Grilled Onions, Haystack Onions, Lettuce and Mayo on an Onion Bun with a side of Veggie Frites.

1. Download “TagsForLikes” to your mobile device on iPhone or Android.

2. Open the app and you will be in the Categories page.

3. Tap in a search for the theme you are looking for which in this example would be “Burgers.” TagsForLike for the most part is not that granular so you have to think a little more broad stroke so we will use “Food.”

4. When the category comes up that you are looking for, tap on it. It will take you to a page with a group of hashtags.

5. Tap “Copy Tags” and they will be saved to your clipboard. Tap “Categories” and then “Cancel.” Next tap “Custom.” You will then be taken to a screen where you can create your own customized hashtag grouping by tapping “New Custom.”

6. Tap the text in the top bar to edit the category name, which in this case is “Burgers.”

7. Once you’ve changed the name, you can start to build your hashtag group. TagsForLikes will automatically include a couple of their own tags which you can copy over or delete. Double tap the screen and copy in the hashtags you copied from the categories screen. You can then also type in additional tags that relate to your subject.



9. When you are ready to use the hashtags on an Instagram post, just open up the group and tap “Copy Tags.” You can then include them in your Instagram post.

10. Remember to keep your tags relatable to the content. It’s bad Instajuju if you hashtag a picture of your Cat with #Burger if there is no Burger in the photo. But you can do things like “instafood” where you use “insta” and then add your category afterward. TagsForLikes lets you have many different groups so if you are posting French Fries or Burgers or Shakes or Hot Dogs, you can have a group for each one.

11. The last tip I will give you is this; Avoid using hashtags in with the text in your post. Post them as a comment. That way it’s easier on the eyes for people who follow or find you to read the message. It shows that you care and are a Instamaster.

Here’s my Burger hashtag group:

#burger #burgers #burgerlovers #burgertime #hamburger #food #foodie #yummy #instafood #foodstagram #foodporn #burgerporn #nom #yum #fresh #tasty #foodie #delish #delicious #eating #foodpic #foodpics #eat #hungry #foodgasm #foods

To show you an example of how using TagsForLikes can help you master the art of Instagram likes, check out this example. Here’s a post I put on Instagram of a Classic Smashburger. I purposely did not include any hashtags and at the time of this blog post, I had 69 likes.

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To contrast, here is an Instagram post of a Schweid and Sons Burger that Stephen from Taproom 307 and I made at the annual Belgium Comes To Cooperstown Festival at Brewery Ommegang. On this one, I included by Burger hashtag group. At the time of this blog post, it had 97 likes.

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And now for some #BurgerPorn; here’s a close up of the Burger. how_to_use_hashtags_instagram_tags_for_likes_apps_burger_conquest_smashburger_schweid_and_sons_bctc_9967

Which by the way, I think we perfected the ultimate Breakfast Burger on this one. Try it for your self:

  • Schweid and Sons “Custom Blend” – Certified Angus Beef® Chuck and Brisket Ground Beef
  • White Cheddar Cheese
  • Thick Smoky Bacon
  • Dippy Egg, (aka over medium)
  • A piece of Romaine Heart Lettuce
  • Sriracha
  • Martin’s Potato Roll

According to my buddy Sean from The Bronx Brewery it was  the “Best. Breakfast Burger. Ever.”

Have a question or want to share a Burger photo with me? Follow me on Instagram and include @BurgerConquest in your posts. I try to like every photo of a Burger I see.

For a comprehensive list of descriptions of all the regional specialty Burgers at Smashburger, check out

Posted in Burgers, Certified Angus Beef, Festival, Gourmet Burgers, Hamburgers, New Jersey, New York, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Where Is The Best Burger In New Jersey?

Where Is The Best Burger In New Jersey?

The Burger Conquest started in 2008 when I ate a Burger at Arthur’s Tavern in Hoboken, NJ. When I ate that Burger, I knew I had to tell the world about it. At the time I was living in Manhattan, I was working in Weekhawken, NJ so most of my reviews were about Burgers in the city but the occasional NJ Burger made it’s way in here like the White Manna, Blitzburgers and Rossi’s Bar and Grill.

Since then the Conquest has taken me to places like Oregon, Amsterdam, Florida, London, Arizona, Argentina, Texas, Italy and more. Very recently though, I relocated back to the Garden State. Now that I am here, I am looking to eat more Burgers in NJ so I am asking you for help. I am looking for the best Burgers in New Jersey and I want you to tell me where they are.

Please submit your favorite Burger joint in the form below. I will take the top 10 or 20 or so and post them on the site. Together we will create the best Burger in New Jersey list. Maybe we will even put a little Burger crawl event together where we visit the best of the best.


Posted in Best Burger in New Jersey, Best Of, Burgers, Gourmet Burgers, Hamburgers, New Jersey | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How To Schedule A Facebook Post – Habit Burger Grill Fair Lawn NJ

How To Schedule A Facebook Post

Did you know that you could compose Facebook posts to your Facebook brand page and schedule them to go live at a later date and time? This means that if you needed a post to go live at a time where you were going to be in a meeting, asleep or enjoying a delicious Burger…you could write it before hand, set the time you wanted it to go live and go on about your day.

This is incredibly helpful when the timing of a post is crucial. What if you know that you get a high level of engagement in the middle of the night (maybe your content is relevant in another far away time zone)? This could help you to make sure you maximizing your posts.

Here’s a step by step “how to schedule a Facebook post to your page” instruction using photos of a Burger I recently ate at The Habit Burger Grill and a blog post I wrote about Certified Angus Beef. I’ll show you mobile first and then from a browser next.

Habit Burger Grill
3101 Promenade Blvd
Fair Lawn, NJ 07410
        how_to_schedule_facebook_posts_burger_conquest_habit_burger_fair_lawn_nj_0704Double Charburger with Cheese, Mayonnaise, Lettuce and Caramelized Onions on a Toasted Bun with Tempura Green Beans on the side.


1. Download the Facebook Pages app to your mobile phone if you have not already.
*Note: You cannot schedule a post from the regular Facebook app.

2. Open the app and go to your desired page (in the case that you are managing more than one page, tap the 3 bars in the upper right corner and select your page.)


3. Tap the square at the bottom of the screen. A new screen will pop up giving you an option to choose what type of post you would like to create. Tap which type of post you would like to create, I chose to post a photo.


4. Create your message. You can include tags to other pages, location information, a web link and additional photos if you would like.


5. Once you’re done composing your post, tap the clock icon on the tool bar below the post. A scheduler will pop up. Scroll to the date, hour and time you would like the post to go live. Posts must be scheduled at least 15 minutes into the future. When you are done, tap “Schedule.”


6. You will be returned back to the composition view but at the bottom of the post, you will noticed that it says “This will be posted on XX/XX/XX, XX:XX (your selected date and time.)


7. Proofread your post to make sure it’s exactly what you want to post and then tap “Post” in the upper right corner.


8. Your post is now scheduled and you will be taken to the Activity tab.


9. If you want to make any changes, you do that while in the Activity tab. Tap on “Scheduled Posts” to view and alter.



10. Once you are done with your edits, tap “Save (title of post)”.



11. Once the post goes live, you will receive a notification in your personal Facebook feed.

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12. Click here to see the post on the Burger Conquest Facebook page.

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1. Go to your Facebook page and compose a post. You can include tags to other pages, location information, a web link and additional photos if you would like.

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2. Click on the clock icon on the tool bar below the post. A scheduler will pop up.

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3. Click on the calendar icon to select the date, then type in the exact time that you would like the post to go live. Posts must be scheduled at least 15 minutes into the future.

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4. When you are done, tap “Schedule.” A pop up will appear to let you know that your post has been scheduled. Click “Close” if it’s ready to go.

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5. Click here to see this post on the Burger Conquest Facebook page.



Have you had a Burger from The Habit? Let me know what you think of it on the Burger Conquest Facebook page.

Posted in Burgers, Fast Food, Hamburgers, New Jersey, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What Is Certified Angus Beef®?

What Is Certified Angus Beef®?

You’ve seen the symbol right? Perhaps at your local Grocery store in the butcher section or the Meat counter? Or maybe you saw it on the menu at your favorite Steakhouse or Burger joint. According to a 2013 Firebox Research and Strategy report, 94% of people surveyed recognized the logo. That makes it the #1 most recognized brand of Beef in existence.


We all recognize the logo and we assume that it probably means the Beef associated with the logo is better than the other Beef available but, what does it really mean?


I recently got invited to pay a visit to the Certified Angus Beef® Education and Culinary Center to find out first hand. The CAB® ECC is located in the North East part of Ohio in the Micro City of Wooster, OH. According to the last US census, Wooster has about 25,000 residents and is most known for the being the home of the College of Wooster as well as an agricultural center for the state.

I got to spend 24 hours immersed in all things Certified Angus Beef® from understanding the brand, to their connections to Cattlemen, to learning about how they distinguish cuts of beef, to tasting the difference, I learned first hand the answer to the question, what is Certified Angus Beef® ?

And now I’m going to share it with you.


Certified Angus Beef® is a trademark.
At the end of the day, that’s all that they own. They don’t own Cattle, they don’t own farms, they don’t have restaurants or any of that. They own a trademark but arguably, it’s one of the most significant trademarks in the business. But it’s not the trademark that makes the difference, it’s what’s behind that trademark.


Certified Angus Beef® has their own Doctor of Meat Science
I got to spend several hours with the enigmatic Meat Scientist, Dr. Phil Bass. Phil has a masters degree in animal science from Polytechnic State University and a doctorate in the same from Colorado State University. He doesn’t just love Beef, he is one of it’s most important spokesmen.


Dr. Phil broke down an entire side of Cattle, explaining which parts were which and what muscles are used for which cuts of Beef. Once we he was done fabricating and butchering section after section, he had a little surprise in store for us. Dr. Phil asked the class to reassemble the side back into it’s natural position. It was the largest puzzle I’ve ever got to put back together.


For Cattle to be considered “Angus” they must have at least 51% Solid Black Hair.
It starts with the Cow. Not all Beef can be graded by the CAB® specifications. It only applies to the Angus breed. For it to be considered as Angus, more than half of it’s hide must be a solid black color.


Certified Angus Beef® only works with “farmers and ranchers across the country who are committed to caring for their cattle and producing safe, wholesome beef for your family and theirs.”
Certified Angus Beef® Vice President Mark McCully escorted our group out to Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute.


While on the farm, we were introduced to Dr. James Kinder. He is a leading expert in animal sciences, including a deep history in extensive research on animal husbandry. Dr. Kinder walked us through how CAB® partnered ranchers humanely care for and breed Angus cattle for the program.


While there we got walk through a Temple Grandin designed cattle facility. Temple Grandin is one of the most important people in the history of the livestock industry as a leading American doctor of animal science. She is a professor at Colorado State University, best-selling author, an animal advocacy leader and a consultant to the entire business.

Her work has lead the industry to create humane living and growing conditions for animals. Among all of this, she also has a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized more commonly known as Autism.  If you want to learn more you can visit her official website or see the 2010 HBO film that tells her story.

After meeting with Dr. Kinder, Mark walked us out into the lovely pasture at Ohio State ATI where we got to walk amongst the grazing cattle.

So now that you understand the “Angus” portion of the CAB® brand, let’s talk about the “Beef” part.

Only Choice, Premium cuts of Beef or above can be considered for CAB® qualification.
Beef is graded into either Select, Choice or Prime with the latter being the highest of quality. Graders look at 2 main things: quality grades for tenderness, juiciness and flavor; and yield grades for the amount of usable lean meat on the carcass. There are 3 main grades given to Beef that is considered for consumption (taken from Wikipedia):

  • U.S. Prime – Highest in quality and intramuscular fat, limited supply. Currently, about 2.9% of carcasses grade as Prime.
  • U.S. Choice – High quality, widely available in foodservice industry and retail markets. Choice carcasses are 53.7% of the fed cattle total. The difference between Choice and Prime is largely due to the fat content in the beef. Prime typically has a higher fat content (more and well distributed intramuscular “marbling”) than Choice.
  • U.S. Select (formerly Good) – lowest grade commonly sold at retail, acceptable quality, but is less juicy and tender due to leanness.

Independent USDA Cattle Graders determine if beef meats CAB® specifications
No one who works for CAB® does the actual grading. It is only their job to uphold and market the standards. The USDA does this on their own.

Certified Angus Beef® has 10 quality specifications
Dr. Phil showed us exactly how the USDA graders determine whether the cattle is worthy of the CAB® brand by going through all 10 quality specifications. Grading is determined by the amount of external fat and it’s done a the ribbed surface between the 12th-13th ribs.

Marbling and Maturity
1. Modest or higher marbling – for the taste that ensures customer satisfaction
2. Medium or fine marbling texture – the white “flecks of flavor” in the beef that ensure consistent flavor and juiciness in every bite
3. Only the youngest classification of product qualifies as “A” maturity – for superior color, texture and tenderness

Consistent Sizing
4. 10- to 16-square-inch ribeye area
5. Less than 1,000-pound hot carcass weight
6. Less than 1-inch fat thickness

Quality Appearance and Tenderness
7. Superior muscling (restricts influence of dairy cattle)
8. Practically free of capillary ruptures (ensures the most visually appealing steak)
9. No dark cutters (ensures the most visually appealing steak)
10. No neck hump exceeding 2 inches (safeguards against cattle with more variability in tenderness)


Certified Angus Beef® Brand licenses partners to sell CAB® Branded product
You can open a Grocery Store, Food Distributor, Butcher Shop or Restaurant tomorrow but you could not just start offering CAB® Beef to your customers or put their logo on your menus and catalogues. CAB® has a rigorous program to allow business of those types to become partners and offer up CAB® branded Beef. Quality is King in these parts so only those businesses who are committed to excellence in taste, flavor, freshness and safety are awarded a license.


Certified Angus Beef® does not make money through licensing
How much does a license cost you ask? It’s free. That’s right, if you want to serve or sell it, the only commitment you need to make is to excellence. Once that’s proven, CAB® grants you a license. The Ranchers and Producers pay a fee to CAB® and that is where they get their funding.

Certified Angus Beef® is a not for profit business
The company is subsidiary of the American Angus Association, and every dollar that comes into the company, is spent on maintaining, building and marketing the brand.

Included in that are amazing CAB® Steak Sticks from Gary West Meats when you visit the ECC. Trust me, these are incredibly delicious!

Certified Angus Beef® has a locator on their website
Ok. Now you understand what it takes for a cut of Beef to be labeled CAB® worth. So now what? Go to the and check out their locator. It will help you to find Grocery Stores & Restaurants in your area that are licensed partners.



Certified Angus Beef Mission Statement:
Increase demand for registered Angus cattle through a specification-based, branded-beef program to identify consistent, high quality beef with superior taste.

TL;DR – I went to Certified Angus Beef® Education and Culinary Center and learned that CAB® is a trademark that is used to brand Beef with the highest quality and superior taste. Its obtained by working with cattleman and ranchers who care for their cattle and licensed partners who maintain similar standards of quality and safety.

I also took a selfie with cows. 


Certified Angus Beef® brand is not just a business, it’s about a passion for quality. I walked into Wooster, OH as a CAB® partner but I am leaving as a brand advocate.

– Rev Ciancio

Here’s a little bit of fun. It’s Dr. Phil Bass hour long fabrication session in almost it’s entirety, squished down into a :28 second gif.

Posted in Certified Angus Beef, Gourmet Burgers, Grocery, Ohio | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Boston Magazine Battle of the Burger Presented by Amstel Light 2014

Boston Magazine Battle of the Burger 
Presented by Amstel Light 2014

It happens every August in Boston and the Chefs and Restaurants who participate do not take it lightly. They Boston Magazine Battle of the Burger calls together the who’s who of Burgers and pits them against one another in a competition of taste and presentation. People who attend the massive event get to taste as many of the Burgers as they want and then vote for which one they think is the favorite.


The whole thing is made possible by Amstel Light, the official Beer of the Burger and it it is one delicious and fun time.


Here is a photo recap and description of all the Restaurants, Chefs & Burgers that were a part of the event.

First the winners:

CHAMPIONThe Blue Ox Restaurant
The Sin Burger by Chef Matt O’Neil
Applewood smoked bacon, Swiss cheese, truffle aioli, lettuce, tomato

1ST RUNNER UP: Joe’s American Grill
The Cure by Chef David Forbes
Ground steak burger from Burger Maker, aged cheddar, Joe’s famous baby back ribs, tobacco onions, sunny-side-up egg, chipotle onion jam, arugula on a brioche bun

2ND RUNNER UP: Lincoln Tavern and Restaurant
Kobe Sliders by Chef Nicholas Dixon
America Wagyu, muenster cheese, bacon aioli, sunny-side up quail egg, Rob Roy’s bun

The rest of the Burgers:

Five Napkin Burger
Pimento Burger by Chef Andy D’Amico
Pimento cheese burger with bacon, griddled onions and pickled jalapenos

A&B Salem
The Double Scotty by Chef Thomas Holland
Two 5 oz. patties served with sliced Red Delicious apples, smoked gouda cheese, Niman Ranch applewood smoked bacon and arugula on a toasted potato roll

Boston Burger Company
Hotmess by Chef Paul Malvone
Certified Angus Beef, American cheese, homemade 1000 island, bacon, red onion, pickles, jalapeno’s, shredded lettuce and sweet potato fries

Ceia Kitchen + Bar
Ceia Signature Kobe Burger by Chef Patrick Soucy
Kobe Beef with Manchego, Serrano, heirloom tomato, housemade paprika aioli and Chef Soucy’s Farmer’s Reserve Ketchup

Davio’s Steakhouse
Davio’s Steak House Burger by Chef Rodney Murillo
Davio’s burger, cheddar, onion rings, pickles, steak sauce

Foundry on Elm
Andouille Burger by Chef Alex Jenkins
Grilled andouille and beef burger, charred smoked paprika red onions, local honeycomb, dijon whole grain aioli on a black pepper brioche bun

Kings Bowl America
Texas Burger by Chef Andre Bautista
Delicious brisket, sirloin and chuck burger grilled to perfection and topped with house-smoked pulled pork, pepper jack cheese, bacon, pickles, homemade coleslaw and smokey BBQ sauce, served on a soft potato roll.

Big Boy Burger by Chef Paul Barker
100% ground beef burger layered with onion rings, American cheese, bacon & BBQ sauce served on a fresh baked roll

Precinct Kitchen + Bar
Precinct Burger by Chef Olivier Senoussaoui
Dry aged beef seasoned with cracked black pepper and fleur de sel, Vermont cheddar cheese, Nueske’s bacon, served on a fresh brioche bun

Fatty Pollo by Chef Jonathan Schick
Chicken burger with avocado relish, chermoula aioli, and candied bacon served on a brioche roll

Bruschetta Burger by Chef Greg Weinstock
100% Angus beef topped with chopped tomato, basil, garlic, red onion and evoo, fresh mozzarella, arugula and vin cotto, served on a grilled garlic-butter brioche bun

Shake Shack
MeisterShack by Chef Mark Rosati
100% all-natural Angus beef cheeseburger topped with crispy ShackMeister Ale-marinated shallots and ShackSauce

Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill
Sweet Onion Smoked Burger by Chef Jason Gronlund
A unique smoked burger topped with house made caramelized onion bacon jam, creamy havarti cheese, pickled shaved sweet onions, sea salt and cracked pepper, tomato, and bib lettuce on a house baked butter grilled roll

Tasty Burger
Tasty Burger Classic Bacon Cheese by Chef Brian Reyelt
An American classic: the bacon cheeseburger, all Natural certified humane beef patty from Burger Maker, melted cheese, crispy certified humane bacon, L, T, P, O, K, M, on a fresh baked bun

The Met Back Bay
The Farm Burger by Chef Kathy Sidell
Secret blend beef burger from Burger Maker with Vermont Tarentaise cheese, candied maple pork belly and onions with tempura avocado, fried egg, sriracha mayo, housemade onion brioche bun
Amstel_Light_Boston_Magazine_Battle_of_the_Burger_081314_0268 Amstel_Light_Boston_Magazine_Battle_of_the_Burger_081314_0273

Union Bar Grille
Union Lamb Burger by Chef Dolly Bourommavong
Harissa lamb burger with Narragansett ‘Salty Sea’ feta, tzatziki, pickled red onions and frisee, on buttery brioche

OFD (Originally from Dorchester) by Chef Paul Wahlberg
8 oz. patty with bacon, swiss cheese, sauteed mushrooms and homemade tomato jam on a potato roll

Zebra’s Bistro and Wine Bar
Zebra’s Challah Slider by Chef Brendan Pelley
Kinnealey proprietary blend burger topped with aged Vermont cheddar, crispy house-smoked bacon, miso aioli, and pickled red onions served on a fresh challah bun

And the best thing to ever happen to Fenway?

Thanks to Bill & Dan from Burger Maker for a fantastic, tasty & fun filled evening.

Posted in Beer, Boston, Burgers, Event, Festival, Gourmet Burgers, Hamburgers, Massachusetts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How To Create and Share a Flipagram Video – Bobbys Burger Palace

How To Create and Share a Flipagram Video

While scrolling through your social network feeds, have you seen people posting brief movies made of a series of pictures, perhaps with a text title? You can easily create these yourself with an app called Flipagram. It allows you to take a series of photos taken with your smart phone and piece them together in a series where you can control the order, the speed and even add a soundtrack to them.

Here’s a step by step “how to create a Flipagram”using photos of a Burger I recently ate at Bobby’s Burger Palace.
610 Bergen Town Center
Paramus, NJ 07652

The “VEGAS” Burger from Bobby’s Burger Palace:
– White American Cheese / Fresno Red Chiles / BBQ Crunch

1. Download the Flipagram app to your iPhone or Android Device and sign up for an account.

2. Open the app and click “Start.” From there you will be given an option of where would like to source the photos from which could be your camera roll, Instagram or Facebook.


3. Once you’ve selected the destination, a feed of photos will appear.


4. Tap each photo you would like to include in your video. Once you’ve selected the photos you want to use, tap “next.”


5. Rearrange the photos in the order you would like them by tapping and dragging each photo to the order you want them in. You can also tap “Sort” at the bottom left side of the screen to have them automatically sorted by date, selection order or to be shuffled.

6. Once they are in the order you would like them to appear in your movie, click next. You’ll be taken to a screen where you can add music, adjust the frame speed, apply visual filers and add text (also known as the title.)


7. Once your movie has been created, tap “Finish” and you will be given the option to share your video via various social networks or to send as email & message. The file will automatically save to your smart phone’s camera roll that way if you aren’t ready to share, you can do it later.


8. Did you forget to add a photo or wish you could add more once you are already done? No problem. Go to the “Library” tab in the Flipagram app and it will allow you add moments and share the video.


Here’s the Flipagram video I created. It demonstrates how a Burger Lift can save your Burger Bun from utter destruction.

Click here to see what the video looks like on Instagram.

Posted in Burgers, Gourmet Burgers, Hamburgers, New Jersey, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment