Wing-Off 23 The Blue Room vs. Bar-Coastal

From the same people that bring you Burger Conquest, we bring you the New York City Wing-Off. A crew of men on a search for the best wing in NYC. In round 2 of the NYC Wing-Off, any Wing goes regardless of sauce, style & size. Service, ambiance, beverage selection, price and other menus have no factor but they sure do count for a good time! Also, NO WOMEN ALLOWED!!

THE CONQUEST
In January of 2007, 2 men had an argument over where to get the best hot wings in New York City. The debate grew intense and while an audience watched, they agreed to battle it out, wing vs. wing, to see who was right. Some rules were established, some friends were invited and some wings were eaten. In the end, everyone had so much fun that we decided to do it again, and again and again. Thus, the NYC Wing-Off was born.

It’s been years in the making with only one goal in mind, find the best medium and hot wings in NYC. Along the way we have had some fantastic wings, we’ve seen amazing wings be defeated by slightly more amazing wings and we were even invited into a kitchen to design our own wing recipe; “Don’t Stop Believin” sauce, we’ve donated to cancer research and now we can say, we have found the best hot wings in New York City.

The bracket challenge to crown a champion for the best medium and hot wings in New York city came to a close on Saturday, September 25, 2010. On that day, Bar Coastal was crowned the winner and awarded the Burger Conquest Hot Golden Cock Trophy. The NYC Wing-Off has been reborn in 2011 but with a new twist. In the past we only judged on medium and hot wings but now, we re-start and ALL flavors are eligible for judging.

WING-OFF 23: Saturday, February 8, 2014
 - Atomic Wings vs. Atomic Wings

The Blue Room
http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-blue-room-new-york
1140 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10021

Bar-Coastal
http://barcoastal.com
1495 1st Ave
New York, NY 10075-1355

The Wing-Off crew is no stranger to rivals. I mean really, how many “best Wings” can there really be out there? Not that many to tell you the truth. The problem with Hot Wings is that any restaurant or bar can serve them but very few of them do this coveted Food item justice. Because you have a frier and a bottle of Frank’s Red Hot, does not make you a Hot Wing wizard. It takes the right Chicken, the appropriate cooking temperature, exact crisp to juiciness ratio, a finely curated, multi-dimensional Sauce, clean cooking Oil and even when you have that, you still have to master consistency which is the hardest part of it all. So when we are set out to find the best Wings, we take all of this into consideration.

That’s why when I recently met Adam Lippin, I knew exactly what the next Wing-Off would be. Adam is the founder of Atomic Wings. If you’re a Wing fan in NYC, you’re familiar with Atomic. Atomic Wings has been on the scene since 1981. His mission was simple, to bring the great flavors of Hot Wings that are found in upstate NY, back down into the NYC area. Since then, they’ve expanded into all 5 boroughs, Long Island, CT, NJ & PA. In Manhattan, you can find them at places like Down The Hatch, Westside Brewhouse, Matt’s BBQ and their own stand alone locations. You can also take them on head to head at 2 of the oldest bars to carry Atomic Wings; The Blue Room and Bar-Coastal. After a long talk about Hot Wings with Adam, that’s exactly what we set out to do.

THE BLUE ROOM
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The Blue Room is a classic NYC dive bar with mismatched seats, uneven tables, cheap beers, friendly staff and a complete lack of pretension. If you’re going to The Blue Room it’s because you either want some cheap Drinks along with great tasting Hot Wings or you want cheap Drinks while watching sports and then eventually probably ordering Hot Wings. If serves the purpose of fulling your need to unwind at the end of the day with some Beers and Hot Wings.  The menu at The Blue Room is 100% Atomic Wings because it’s actually a separate business. This means at the end of your meal, expect 2 checks.

We decided to try our taste buds at a couple different flavors since the Atomic menu is robust with so many choices. We nailed it down to Lemon Pepper, Thai Chili and regular old Medium Hot Wings. It was only a matter of minutes before our table was filled with fried-Chickeny goodness (note, we were the only table ordering Food at the time.) Sauces aside, all the Wings were hot, crispy, a little juicy and more the most part, pretty good.

No rookie Wing action here. In terms of the sauce, the Medium, as per it’s name, was right down the middle. The Lemon Pepper really struck a chord. It’s such a simple concept but done the right way it has a little sweet, a little sour & a little bitter. The Thai Chili were good too with a decent tang. They were definitely the messiest of the 3. The winning moment might of been the crispy Waffle Fries dipped into a concoction of all 3 sauces mixed with Blue Cheese. Try it.

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BAR-COASTAL
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Jason Catlin is the freaking man. If you have ever been to Bar Coastal and met Jason, you’ll agree. It takes a special kind of person to not only run a bar in NYC but one that also has great food, great atmosphere, drinks for almost all crowds and also be successful. Jason is that man and most of the time, he’s in the bar, greeting people, saying hello, testing Wing sauce recipes or standing behind the bar serving drinks. The guy has stories for days and is a true, true, true fan of bar Food and culture. So much so, that we’ve even invited him out to join the Wing-Off crew.

He’s also the only person ever to win a “best Wing in NYC” trophy from the Wing-Off crew.

Bar-Coastal has all the standard Wing sauces but also a number of their own that Jason created himself after years of working with Atomic Wings. You can order them as traditional Chicken Wings, Boneless or as Pork Wings which are more affectionately called “Porkers.” Every Wing that comes out of the Bar Coastal kitchen is damn near perfect. After just one bite through the crunchy skin and into the juicy meat of a hearty Wing, you’ll know right away that Bar Coastal does not skimp when it comes to their Wings. Be sure to order the off-menu “Kerry’s Way” sauce on your Wings for an extra sweet and savory experience.

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WING-OFF 23 OFFICIAL WINNER – BAR-COASTAL!
You probably didn’t have to read past the Bar Coastal review to know who won this one. The Blue Room makes some excellent Wings and in general, you can trust the Atomic Wings name to deliver true Buffalo style Wings. As proof, check out the Wing-Off Historical and you’ll see that Atomic Wings at Down The Hatch is in part responsible for this club. You won’t be let down at any of their locations, especially The Blue Room. As for Bar Coastal’s Wings, plain and simple, they are some of the best in NYC. You don’t have to take our words for them but if you’re reading this, why wouldn’t you?

Click here for the Wing-Off Historical.



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Burger Burger – The 4th Ever Polar Brrrger Club

Burger Burger
http://www.burgerburgerny.com/
77 Pearl St
New York, NY 10004

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THE CONQUEST
“I’m a little confused as to what happens once people meet at the spot. Can you tell me how this event works?” I received this communication via email from a representative at a news agency. “Do all participants eat outside in the snow?” continued the email.

Once a year, when and IF there is a massive blizzard, snowpocalypse, polar vortex, snowmageddon (or whatever you checked into on foursquare) I organize an event called the “Polar Brrrger Club.” It’s a play on the name of the Long Island based group of people who bathe in freezing cold waters, AKA The Polar Bear Club. Whereas they strip down to their skivvies and dive into the icy cold Atlantic Ocean, we gather outside in wintry conditions and eat Hamburgers. The wearing of Hawaiian shirts at the gathering is encouraged but not enforced.

As the reported “thundersnow” piled down upon New York City, I was quickly putting together plans to host the 4th ever Polar Brrrger Club. This time it was to happen at Burger Burger in the Financial District. The restaurant’s only dining area, other than a small counter inside where you order, is a patio out in front, right off stone street. Perfect..or is that brrrfect?

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HISTORY

THE BURGER
Burger Burger is a long standing customer of Burger Maker and use our 6 oz Certified Angus Beef patty to make all of their Burgers. The Burgers at Burger Burger (that’s fun to say) are fresh, never frozen and cooked on a char grill to the temperature of your choice. You can order just a plain Cheeseburger or choose from the long list of unique specialty Burgers on the menu. I opted for the “Bill Burger” with American Cheese, Sauteed Onions, and Horseradish Cream Sauce on an English Muffin. Once everyone who showed up to participate got their Burgers, we headed out and diner al fresco while freezing our bums off in 16 degree weather.

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Fun fact: Burger Burger was the site of the 3rd ever Burger Conquest!

For more about the Burger itself and some other photos, check out Brad Garoon’s review on Burger Weekly.

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BURGER FAMOUS
When I moved to NYC in 1996 it was because I wanted to live in a city that no matter how hard I tried, I could never beat it. 18 years later and the challenge is still never ending. However this little event helped me to climb the ladder a little. After eating the Burger, I checked my email and found one from 1010 Wins / CBS requesting for an interview.  I was flattered and honored. Not only did they post a story online but it also made the radio broadcast. Listen:

Dear Bucket list

We’re one step closer to being done. We can now add “be the subject of an evening news as fluff piece” to the list.

First NY1 and now 1010Wins / CBS. Good Morning New York – you’re next.

Rev

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Thanks to Burger Burger for hosting the event and being great sports about the whole thing.

Thank you to the Clubbers willing to forgo warmth in exchange for tasty burger fun: Fletcher, Dana & George Motz from The Food Film Fest, Squigs of The Happy Hour Guys, Marc “the Bacon Jew,” Adam Poch from Big Brother 13, John & Kelly from Burger Maker, Brad from Burger Weekly and Pauly 3k Beers.

Thank you to the bro’s at Gothamist who always take the time to promote the event and find a new way to poke fun at our fun. I sincerely appreciate it.

Thank you to Burger Maker for not only supporting my Burger lifestyle but for treating all the Polar Brrrger Clubbers to lunch at Burger Burger. I wouldn’t have taken the job if I didn’t firmly believe you make the best beef in the business with intense attention to quality and consistency.



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The 4th Ever Polar Brrrger Club To Happen at Burger Burger NY

THE POLAR BRRRGER CLUB RETURNS!

New York City-based blog Burger Conquest announces the fourth ever Polar Brrrger Club.

January 22, 2014
1:00 pm

Location: Burger Burger, NY
77 Pearl St, NYC

Rev Ciancio Burger Conquest Polar Brrrger Club

As the 2nd invading polar blast of 2014 is set to take NYC again, the scared and weak will flock to grocery stores and bodegas to stock their refrigerators. For the rest of us, the hungry and courageous, we will gather once again for the 4th ever “Polar Brrrger Club.” Hosted by David “Rev” Ciancio, the Director of Marketing from Burger Maker and founder of the Burger Conquest blog, this event happens when a significant snowstorm descends upon the Big Apple.

Fueled by a potential 8-12 inches of “thundersnow“, the event is happening Wednesday, January 22 at 1:00 p.m. EST. All fearless burger junkies are encouraged to dress up in their best Hawaiian shirts and sunglasses (not a requirement) and battle the blizzard to enjoy a fresh Certified Angus Beef burger from Burger Maker at Burger Burger. Burger Burger is located at 77 Pearl Street in New York City’s Financial District. The Rev will be standing just inside the restaurant in a black jacket, Hawaiian shirt, gray hat and sunglasses.

The first 10 people in line will receive free Burgers courtesy of Burger Maker. Anyone who shows up and participates in the 4th ever Polar Brrrger Club by eating a burger at Burger Burger will receive a free can of soda from the restaurant

The first ever gathering of the Polar Brrrger Club took place on Friday, February 26, 2010 drawing quite a crowd of burger fanatics ready to brave the elements just to get their burger fix. Several of New York’s most important eaters joined in the freezing cold burger fun. 

The 2nd ever Polar Brrrger Club  happened on December 27, 2010 attaching the attention of Gothamist, and Channel 7 WABC New York as well as Nearsay.com.

The 3rd ever Polar Brrrger Club went down on February 9, 2013 with spotlights from from Eater and Gothamist.

“New Yorkers are a tough bunch and we aren’t going to let a couple of snowflakes get in the way of our need for Burgers,” declares Rev Ciancio. “Have fun waiting in line at your local grocery store so you can stockpile water and bread, the rest of us will be crushing life by eating a fresh Certified Angus Beef burger downtown at Burger Burger.”

#Hashtag for this event will be #PolarBrrrger

Burger Conquest, the Glorious Pursuit of Delicious Burgers was started by The Rev as an attempt to find the best burgers in the world, while enjoying adventures with his friends and colleagues. As of January 21, 2014, Rev has eaten and written about 665 Burgers as well as started the NYC Wing-Off, a battle to find the best Hot Wings in NYC. Rev and the Burger Conquest have been featured on The Travel Channel, Food Network, NY1, Fox News, Thrillist, Grubstreet, Serious Eats, A Hamburger Today, Metalsucks, Alternative Press, Metal Hammer, SiriusXM, The Mayhem Festival, The Warped Tour and many other media outlets.

Contact: Rev Ciancio rciancio@burgermaker.com



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12 Days of Burgers – The Best Burger Conquests of 2013

Wow. Seriously, I am blown away. While this blog was really just the story of my life as told through the eating of Hamburgers, it’s turned into way more than I could’ve ever expected. With each year of writing Burger Conquest, I’ve always set a new goal. I wanted to keep the site fresh, interesting, fun and on some level, useful. 2013 proved to be the colossal year of the blog yet. It saw my biggest TV appearance, the largest Burger event I’ve ever thrown, the introduction of The Cattle Call, an interview series where I got to interview some of my biggest heroes in the Burger business, my first Burger review ever in Ireland and in the biggest of news, a job working in the Burger business.

Every moment of this blog and especially this year was a Burgery dream come true.

76 Burgers reviewed in 2013

At the end of 2013, THE BURGER COUNTQUEST is at 665 Burgers.

So, in the tradition of “12 Days of Christmas” I give you the final tally in my “12 Days of Burgers,” the 12 best Burger Conquests of 2013.

12. Step by step ordering instructions on how to have an absolutely grandiose and delicious brunch in Portland, OR. This was really just the kick off to my friend Nick’s bachelor party where I had an awesome timeTasty n Sons – Epic Level Brunch
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11. There’s a lot of great reasons to take a road trip to New England and we experienced most of them in a 24 hour jaunt themed around locations that inspired the TV show “Family Guy.” Combine that with a Burger 70 years in the making and you have:  The Brohd Trip 5 – A Family Guy Themed Road Trip to New EnglandThe_Brohdtrip_New_England_Providence_Portsmouth_Gloucester_Burger_Conquest_062913_5979The_Brohdtrip_New_England_Providence_Portsmouth_Gloucester_Burger_Conquest_062913_6017

10. There are a lot of things I can call myself that others said first, and thanks to Friendly’s, I can add “local celebrity” to that list. All jokes aside, it was a pleasure and an honor to be a judge for their annual contest. Friendly’s – Build Your Own Burger Finals
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9. Many people have promised to take me to eat the Burger, but only George, Seth, Nicole and Artie from The Food Film Festival delivered. AKA; the only time I’ve ever interviewed myself. Minetta Tavern – This Is One of the Best Burgers EverMinetta_Tavern_Burger_Conquest_George_Motz_051813_5725Minetta_Tavern_Burger_Conquest_George_Motz_051813_5726

8. Only 2 Burgers I ate all year made it into my “best of” list and this one in particular is the best one I’ve ever had in Brooklyn. The meal embodied every reason this blog exists: to eat delicious Burgers with people I love. Two 8 Two Bar and Burger – One Of The Best Burgers Ever
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7. Some might say battling a massive snowstorm just to eat Burgers and Hot Wings as well as drink Beers all over the state of NY is a foolish thing to do. To the 13 of us that did it, we would disagree. It was one of the most fun road trips of all times, including seeing Niagara Falls and Rick James’ grave. The Brohd Trip 4 / Wing-Off 20 – 881 Miles Just To Eat Hot Wings
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6. The 3rd iteration of Burgers at the bar I co-own with Rob Morton and Marc Schapiro, Idle Hands Bar, came to us from Chef Dennis Hatzinger. The Chuck, Brisket and Hangar blend patty is totally upping our Burger game and I urge you to try it for yourself. Idle Hands Bar – Welcome Chef Dennis and a House Ground BurgerIMG_0158Chef_Dennis_Hatzinger_Burger_Conquest_Idle_Hands_Bar_NYC

5. It was one of the biggest Food sensations of the year and I can proudly say I was able to help it happen. Keizo Shimamoto’s Ramen Burger, featuring Beef from Burger Maker, exploded onto the scene delivering a unique experience that tastes as good as they say it does. Ramen Burger – How To Skip The Ramen Burger Line
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4. I got a little more Burger Famous in 2013 thanks to George Motz. I beat his  nearly impossible challenge of finding a great Burger in NYC that he had not eaten prior, so that he could do it for an episode of Travel Channel’s Burger Land; Korzo Haus. Then I threw my own viewing party. Burger Land Viewing Party with Burgers and $10 Weyebacher Tasting
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3. There is nobody I enjoy traveling and eating with more than my wife (and accomplished novelist), Cara Lynn Shultz. I’m honored that the last Burger to be reviewed on this site was not only amazing but with her in Dublin while celebrating our anniversary. Bonus, our guide of what to do with 3 days in Dublin. Bobo’s Gourmet Irish Burgers – Best Irish Food and Dublin To Do List
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2. What was once a funny idea became a reality in 2012. In 2013 it became a tradition; NY Burger Week. 7 days of awesome Hamburger events turned into 2,549 Burgers served at 8 different events with the help of a whole heck of a lot of awesome Burger friends. 2nd Annual NY Burger Week By the Numbers
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1. 1,909 days and 665 Burgers reviewed later and I still haven’t given a 10 out of 10 rating on this blog. My glorious pursuit of delicious Burgers will continue on but no longer as a Burger blogger as I am now the director of marketing. Burger Maker – The Next Conquest
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If I could conceive the type of high-five that turned instantly into a fireworks show, I would extend it to everyone who has ever laid eyes on this website or supported my Burger madness. Since I haven’t figured out how to do that yet, please accept this legen- wait for it…-dary virtual version of the fireworks-five as a sign my extreme gratitude. Expect a whole lot more Burger insanity from me in 2014.



Posted in Beer, Best Burger in New York, Best Of, Brohd Trip, Brooklyn, Burger Famous, Burgers, East Village, Event, Festival, Gourmet Burgers, Hamburgers, Ireland, New York, NY Burger Week, Queens, Road Trip, TV, Wing-Off | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Burger Maker – The Next Conquest

Confession time: My favorite food in the whole world is Venison.

This blog may cause you to think otherwise, but when I started it, I knew that “eating Bambi” wouldn’t be the most appealing of subjects. So instead, I decided to write about my favorite food to eat with others, Hamburgers.

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It goes back to July 20, 2008 when I asked a large group of friends to join me for Burgers and Beers at PJ Clarke’s. Every year on July 20th, I follow a similar ritual. It’s a tribute to my late Father who absolutely adored Eating with friends. The date is his birthday. It was at the aforementioned dinner when I suggested to my friends that we start a Burger club with a corresponding blog. The intention would be to use the blog as an excuse to Eat and Drink together. I like to refer to this as my Flux Capacitor moment, a nod to the instant Doctor Emmet Brown thought up the idea that eventually lead to a Delorean that could travel through time.

But it wasn’t until October 16th of that same year when my glorious pursuit of delicious Burgers took the form of a blog called Burger Conquest. On that date, a bunch of friend’s and I gathered together at Arthur’s Steakhouse in Hoboken, NJ to share a Burger meal. The Burger at Arthur’s was so darn tasty that I had to tell the world all about and on October 17, 2008, BurgerConquest.com went online.

Since then it’s been a wild, wild ride that’s taken me all over the world where I’ve eaten what feels like every imaginable Burger possible while meeting some of the greatest people on Earth. Burger Conquest has not just been a blog, it’s been a conduit to meeting other Burger fanatics. Through it I became a part of the Food Film Fest, attended many popular Burger events, hosted Burgercons, created off-menu Burgers, helped build businesses like That Burger & Grill ‘Em All, made several television appearances, raised money for charity, and even launched NY Burger Week; a week long celebration of Hamburgers in New York City. That’s pretty amazing to me, considering all I ever intended it be was a reason to eat Burgers with friends.

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BURGER CONQUEST – THE STATS

So what’s the point I am trying to make here? Good question.

I’m announcing my retirement from writing reviews on Burger Conquest.

Yes you read that correctly.

On June 27, 2009 I was attending the Brooklyn Burger n’ Beer Garden at the NYC Food Film Festival when I ate a Burger that blew me away. In fact, the quote I used was “If I could present to you exactly how I think a great burger patty would taste, it would be this burger.” That’s the Burger that caused me to meet Jamie Schweid, SVP of Burger Maker. In case you aren’t familiar, Burger Maker, Inc. is a privately held hamburger and ground beef processor located in Carlstadt, N.J., supplying the highest quality of product and customer service in the food service industry. Burger Maker offers a range of quality products including Certified Angus Beef, Angus Chuck, Prime and Ground Chuck patties and ground beef in vacuum bags. The company is run by Jamie, his brother Brad and their father David, 3 of the 4 generations of Schweids to be in the business.

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Whether it was enjoying their product, eating a Burger together, talking business or working with them as sponsors to both the Food Film Festival and NY Burger Week, I’ve developed a great relationship with Jamie, Burger Maker and their Meat. I even had the chance to tour the Burger Maker manufacturing facilities and watch their entire process from receiving to production to testing to shipping happen. I was able to witness first hand just how high of standards of quality, control, cleanliness and professionalism they maintain to run their business. I admire any person or company who does what they do because they love and believe in it. I’ve learned this is most certainly the case at Burger Maker.

That’s why when they offered me a position at the company in late 2013 as the director of marketing, I had to accept.

With almost 20 years background in marketing, branding and sales along with 5+ years of Burger appreciation logged on Burger Conquest, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, the position is a perfect mix of things I’m incredibly passionate about. My role there will be to provide marketing support to our customers and help build the Burger Maker name as a producer of the highest quality Hamburger Meat.

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So while this may be the end of reviewing Burgers on the blog, at least for the time being, it’s certainly not the end of my glorious pursuit of delicious burgers. In fact, this is a gift. I am being given an opportunity to take my love of both marketing and Hamburgers and be a part of the industry that’s inspired some of the greatest moments and relationships in my life. Through that, I can help elevate the industry and the Food that I love to eat with others. Now I’ll have the greatest opportunity ever to appreciate eating Burgers with others. I’m honored to become a part of a great family business that has been built on a history of high-quality product and best in class customer service.

My only hope is that I can man the position with justice.

So here it is, time for what would be Burger review #666, which unto itself is a number that has its own implications. But there is some crazy fate happening here that I’d like to run through.

  • This blog was inspired by my late father and was conceived on his birth date.
  • The blog was born on October 16th, a date that often falls during the NYC Food Film Festival.
  • The blog is how I met George Motz and Seth Unger who later asked me to become a part of the Food Film Festival.
  • I met Jamie from Burger Maker through the Food Film Festival….on my Mom’s birthday.
  • I got offered the job at Burger Maker after I had reviewed 665 Burgers on the website.
  • Burger Maker is located at 666 16th Street in Carlstadt, NJ
  • January 6th, 1969, was my father’s first official day on the job with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the company that he worked for until he retired in November of 1992.
  • I am posting my retirement of this blog on January 6th, 2014 with a final review that happened in November of 2013.

Coincidence? Karma? Destiny? Couldn’t say for certainly but I am sure it does mean my Dad will continue to be constant influence in my life.

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Thank you to every single person that has ever read, shared or influenced this blog in any way, shape or form. There are way, way, way too many to list and they’ve all been thanked many times in the course of this site already. A few special mentions do need to be made here though: I would like to thank my family for all the support and foundation they helped to give me. There is no possible way I could ever put into words the intensity and amount of appreciation I have for the support my wife Cara gives me. She is the most magical, hilarious, fun and heart-filled person I have ever met. I’m really glad she loves Burgers. I send massive amounts of gratitude and love to my family in The Food Film Festival. You are among my favorite people to eat with and without you, this opportunity would’ve never happened. To the Schweids and everyone else at Burger Maker, I could not be more excited to join you on this tasty, delicious glorious pursuit of delicious Burgers.

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TL;DR – This blog is changing direction because I am going to work for a company that makes Burgers.



Posted in Best Burger in New York, Burgers, Food Film Festival, Gourmet Burgers, Hamburgers, New Jersey | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Cattle Call – Stefanie Parks from 24 Dollar Burger

The Cattle Call – Stefanie Parks from 24 Dollar Burger

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

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I grew up in Columbus, Ohio. Not exactly what you would call a “foodie” town. I’ve always loved food and been very adventurous when it comes to trying new dishes, but it wasn’t until I moved to Chicago after college that my passion for food and restaurants really began to evolve. I started 24 Dollar Burger because my friends and family were always asking me where and what to eat. Currently, I’m traveling the world (my other passion in life) searching for some awesome adventures and the best food out there. So far, the parilla in Buenos Aires and pretty much all of the street food in SE Asia have taken the cake.

Name: Stefanie Parks

Website: www.24dollarburger.com 

Where do you live: Currently, in Bangkok, Thailand. I’m from Columbus, Ohio but before moving to Asia, I lived in New York and Chicago.

Favorite style of Burger: Big beef burgers with lots of delicious toppings, medium. And, I always love a good pretzel bun.

Favorite Childhood Burger: I remember eating a lot of 99 cent Junior Bacon Cheeseburgers from Wendy’s. I grew up in a kosher household (believe it or not) and I was always sneaking those babies (don’t tell my mom!).

Burger that haunts your dreams at night:I literally dream about the burgers from Kuma’s Corner in Chicago. No matter what combination you get from there, every one I’ve tried has pretty much been the best burger I’ve ever had. And their bun… to die for!

What is the one Burger you’ve always wanted to try but still have not:  The Luger Burger at Peter Luger Steak House.

The secret to making a great Burger: AI have never claimed to know any secrets about how to cook a great burger – just how to eat them!

Under no circumstances whatsoever, what should NEVER be put on a Burger: It’s hard to imagine anything that I would NEVER want to see on a burger, but the one and only thing I cannot stand is cilantro so I would definitely keep that away from any burger that I’m putting in my mouth. Other than that, I say sky’s the limit. Never say never.

If you could eat any Mythical Creature which would it be: Dragon sounds like it might be pretty good. Maybe also a Chimaera from Harry Potter. It’s a creature with the head of a lion, the body of a goat and the tail of a dragon. Lots of options (and yes, I looked this up).

Name one Burger in LA that for once, people should get off a plane and go eat instead of In-N-Out: Haven’t spend much time in LA so can’t speak to any great burgers there. In fact, the only time I’ve had In-n-Out was actually in Phoenix. It was awesome though.

Please use this space to talk about or plug anything else you want:
24 Dollar Burger is a community of people who love food and want to share their search for the best restaurants and best meals across the country and around the world. 24DB is always looking for new writers. Visit our website at www.24dollarburger.com for more information or just to learn about some really awesome restaurants.



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Wing-Off – 22 White Horse Tavern vs Cowgirl NYC

From the same people that bring you Burger Conquest, we bring you the New York City Wing-Off. A crew of men on a search for the best wing in NYC. In round 2 of the NYC Wing-Off, any Wing goes regardless of sauce, style & size. Service, ambiance, beverage selection, price and other menus have no factor but they sure do count for a good time! Also, NO WOMEN ALLOWED!!

In January of 2007, 2 men had an argument over where to get the best hot wings in New York City. The debate grew intense and while an audience watched, they agreed to battle it out, wing vs. wing, to see who was right. Some rules were established, some friends were invited and some wings were eaten. In the end, everyone had so much fun that we decided to do it again, and again and again. Thus, the NYC Wing-Off was born.

It’s been years in the making with only one goal in mind, find the best medium and hot wings in NYC. Along the way we have had some fantastic wings, we’ve seen amazing wings be defeated by slightly more amazing wings and we were even invited into a kitchen to design our own wing recipe; “Don’t Stop Believin” sauce, we’ve donated to cancer research and now we can say, we have found the best hot wings in New York City.

The bracket challenge to crown a champion for the best medium and hot wings in New York city came to a close on Saturday, September 25, 2010. On that day, Bar Coastal was crowned the winner and awarded the Burger Conquest Hot Golden Cock Trophy. The NYC Wing-Off has been reborn in 2011 but with a new twist. In the past we only judged on medium and hot wings but now, we re-start and ALL flavors are eligible for judging.

WING-OFF 22: Sunday, November 17, 2013

White Horse Tavern
https://www.facebook.com/pages/White-Horse-Tavern/106004742836371
567 Hudson St
New York, NY 10014

Cowgirl NYC
http://www.cowgirlnyc.com
519 Hudson St
Manhattan, NY 10014

WHITE HORSE TAVEN
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To be honest, this wasn’t supposed to happen. While out on Wing-Off 21, we had some extra time before a scheduled stop and decided to pop into a Bar for a Beer. That Bar was the White Horse Tavern. It’s perhaps one of the most famous drinking establishment’s in NYC, originally opening in 1880. Before it became known as popular location in the literary world because authors luke Dylan Thomas frequented the place, it was a bar serving Longshoreman. The White Horse Tavern went on to become a familiar haunt to names like Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison, Hunter S. Thompson and more. It still stands today serving up Drinks and Foods to those who enter through it’s doors, including those hungry for Hot Wings.

The White Horse isn’t really known for it’s Food but does offer a menu with general Pub items. They only Wings on the menu are “Buffalo Wings” which are served deep fried and sauced. The Wings aren’t particularly big, in fact, we all took noticed of the fact that they were on the small side. None the less, they were crispy and had a nice bite to the skin. They use a standard hot Sauce that’s not too hot, a little buttery and has the standard Buffalo Sauce. If you’re looking to take down a whole plate of Wings after a couple of frothy Beers, these will most certainly get the job done.

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COWGIRL NYC
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Like I said before, Wing-Off 22 was not in the plans. After leaving Fatty Crab during Wing-Off 21, we decided to pop down the street and say hello to our friend Kevin at The Cowgirl NYC. Originally opening in 1989, The “Cowgirl” is a Country Western Restaurant located in New York City’s West Village offering a menu of South Western inspired eats like Cajun Fried Shrimp, Enchiladas and an excellent bag of Frito Pie. Country Western stars like Reba, Bonnie Rait and Dolly Parton have all been patrons. It’s a cozy spot to grab a Drink, a Bite to eat or to gather with family and friends. They also have Wings.

After a couple of Drinks and laughs, the inevitable happened, we decided to place an order. The Cowgirl offers BBQ Style Wings “with a hit of Citrus served with our zesty Dip.” In terms of Sauce, they aren’t slathered like a text book Hot Wing. They are pretty tasty though and almost have baked in like flavor. It’s more about the subtleties of the sauce than it is about an over pronounced heat and tanginess. They’re really good, so good in fact, that we got a 2nd order.

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WING-OFF 22 OFFICIAL WINNER – COWGIRL HALL OF FAME!
After eating at all 4 places in one day, we started our normal discussion about which Wings we like best and how they measured up against one another. In those talks, we agreed that it was unfair to it all 4 in battle and instead, break it up into 2 different official Wing-Offs. In doing so, The White Horse Tavern was measured against the Cowgirl. Hence, the first ever Impromptu NYC Wing-Off. Both Wings are good and only a couple blocks apart so why not try both?

Click here for the Wing-Off Historical.



Posted in Bar, Beer, Hot Wings, New York, Wing-Off | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wing-Off – 21 Distilled New York vs Fatty Crab

From the same people that bring you Burger Conquest, we bring you the New York City Wing-Off. A crew of men on a search for the best wing in NYC. In round 2 of the NYC Wing-Off, any Wing goes regardless of sauce, style & size. Service, ambiance, beverage selection, price and other menus have no factor but they sure do count for a good time! Also, NO WOMEN ALLOWED!!

In January of 2007, 2 men had an argument over where to get the best hot wings in New York City. The debate grew intense and while an audience watched, they agreed to battle it out, wing vs. wing, to see who was right. Some rules were established, some friends were invited and some wings were eaten. In the end, everyone had so much fun that we decided to do it again, and again and again. Thus, the NYC Wing-Off was born.

It’s been years in the making with only one goal in mind, find the best medium and hot wings in NYC. Along the way we have had some fantastic wings, we’ve seen amazing wings be defeated by slightly more amazing wings and we were even invited into a kitchen to design our own wing recipe; “Don’t Stop Believin” sauce, we’ve donated to cancer research and now we can say, we have found the best hot wings in New York City.

The bracket challenge to crown a champion for the best medium and hot wings in New York city came to a close on Saturday, September 25, 2010. On that day, Bar Coastal was crowned the winner and awarded the Burger Conquest Hot Golden Cock Trophy. The NYC Wing-Off has been reborn in 2011 but with a new twist. In the past we only judged on medium and hot wings but now, we re-start and ALL flavors are eligible for judging.

WING-OFF 21: Sunday, November 17, 2013

Distilled New York
http://www.distilledny.com
211 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013

Fatty Crab
http://www.fattycrab.com
643 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014

DISTILLED NEW YORK
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Distilled New York describes itself as an “American Public House.” This is a harken back to our colonial and European roots. A Public House was a tavern or pub that served modest Food & Drinks and served as a central location for the community to gather. Whether it was to get a fill after a long days work or to discuss important political matters, people’s social lives revolved around them. Today, Distilled New York takes this idea by serving gourmet Food, unique Cocktails and Craft Beer in a relaxed and open environment. Grab a seat at the bar, a table in the dining area or for the Food focused, there’s even seats centered around the kitchen.

Seeing as we are in round two of the NYC Wing-Off, any Wing goes, not just Hot or Medium. For today’s Wing-Off I wanted to focus on restaurants that served something way off the normal scale, which is why we chose Distilled New York. They serve Korean style Gochujang Wings with Point Reyes Blue Cheese. Korean Wings are covered in a light batter and fried, sometimes twice, to bring out an extra crispy bite in the skin. The sauce that Distilled New York uses is based on Gochujang, a Korean Red Chili that is very savory and pungent. It’s turned into a paste and then applied to the Wings.

Oh man. These are some awesome, awesome Wings. The Skin is just absolutely perfect; light and airy yet with a great crunch to the bite. It’s more like a mini piece of Fried Chicken than a Hot Wing. The meat inside is juicy and tender. You could tell they are using high quality Meat. The sauce has hints of Pepper, Chocolate, Coffee, Sweets and is just a little bit spicy. After only one bite, we called our server over and asked for another order. Although the Wings didn’t need it, the Point Reyes Blue Cheese was some of the best we’ve ever had. It was extra thick, very creamy and busting with stinky Blue flavor. Marc almost smuggled a ramekin out the door with us.

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FATTY CRAB
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Come to New York. We have it all. You can find just about anything you want here. With such a large population of people from ethnic backgrounds that literally stretch around the globe, there isn’t some segment of the planet that isn’t represented inside the 5 boroughs. Because there are so many parts to our city, a mish-mashing of Foods happens frequently. Add Malaysian cuisine, which itself is a mish-mash of Malay, Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, Thai and Arabian culinary influences to our tasty melting pot and you’re going to get some awesome eats. That’s where Fatty Crab comes in. Their menu which features both traditional and inspired interpretations changes frequently to accommodate seasonal items and right now, including an array of different Hot Wings.

As it pertains to Wing-Off 21, Fatty Crab featured a Tandoori spiced Chicken Wing with Yogurt Curry Sauce and Cilantro. Sounds good right? It was! If it’s flavor you are after, this once is a dance for your taste buds. The array of Spices used in making the Wings at Fatty Crab represent all the different flavors and ethnic cuisines that come together to represent what Malaysian food is all about. It’s a savory taste bomb on a very wet and juicy Wing. The tangy Yogurt Curry Sauce works to both spice up and cool down the spicy heat in the sauce. Unique would be an understatement in describing these.

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WING -OFF 21 OFFICIAL WINNER – DISTILLED!
I say this every time and honestly, it’s the truth; both of these Wings were tasty as anything and are worth you are eating. This whole competition is about eating, enjoying and comparing the best of the best, so the stakes are very very high.  … I say that every time too. Congratulations to Distilled New York for winning Wing-Off 21, Fatty Crab gave you a serious run for the money.

Click here for the Wing-Off Historical.



Posted in Bar, Beer, Hot Wings, New York, Wing-Off | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bobo’s Gourmet Irish Burgers – Best Irish Food and Dublin To Do List and Tep Wireless Review

Bobo’s Gourmet Irish Burgers
http://bobos.ie
22 Wexford St
Dublin 2, Ireland

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THE CONQUEST
I love Burgers. Way to overstate the obvious, I’m know.  When I eat them it makes me happy. But it’s not just the Burger that I love, it’s sharing them with other people that I love the most. Enjoying a meal together is a sign of peace, love and understanding. It’s the most universal interaction of commitment we can have with another person. Meals bring people together for something they need to do, which is eat but it also helps to build relationships and understanding.

My favorite person of all times to eat Hamburgers with is Cara Lynn Shultz. She’s an accomplished author, a loving caregiver to animals and one of the brightest, most caring and funniest people on the planet. She’s also my wife and I sincerely cherish every minute our life together. Through that, we’ve shared a lot of great Burgers. Some with my Mom, some with her Mom, some with my Step-Mom, some with her cousins, some with her best friends, some with our best friends, some with others affected by Hurricane Sandy, some paired with her book “Spellcaster,” some in California, some in Mexico, in Argentina, in Italy, on road trips, some at weddings, at baseball stadiums, some at international food festivals, some for her birthday, on my birthday, with lizards and sea lions, at amusement parks, at restaurants that define the history of the American Hamburger, some on television with Buddy the “Cake Boss,” and so on and so on and so on. Cara’s passion for life, love and people also encompasses a deep appreciation for culture, travel and Food. That’s why I enjoy sharing meals with her so much.

To celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary we decided to travel. Both of us have Irish blood in our bodies and call a lot of their traditions and culture into our daily lives. We’ve both visited Ireland but never together and have always talked about doing it. When the conversation came up about how to celebrate, Cara suggested a quick jaunt to Dublin which got an immediate “I’m in” from me. As we started to plan the trip, I of course started to do some research on the best Burgers in Dublin.

Irish Burgers and Pub Food go hand in hand. You’d be hard pressed to find a bar without a Burger on the menu. Burgers are a hearty comfort Food meant to warm up and fill the belly as well as the soul. It’s food perfect to eat while relaxing with a pint at the end of the day. That’s sort of the central idea behind items like Lamb Stew, Roast Meat and Potatoes, Fish and Chips and Shepherd’s Pie. That being the case, there aren’t really just a lot of stand alone Burger spots in the country. But there is one place whose sole purpose is to serve up tasty, delicious, fresh, locally sourced, all day long; Bobo’s Gourmet Irish Burgers.

This all day diner, with 2 locations, serves up a large menu of Burgers with a choice of Beef, Chicken, Pork, Lamb, Fish and Vegetarian patties. You can top them with about anything you like or choose from menu combinations  including something traditional like “The Dubliner”- a Prime juicy Beef Burger with Beef Tomato, Iceberg Lettuce, Old Dubliner Cheddar Cheese, Fried Onion, Gherkins, Tomato Relish, and BoBo’s Special Sauce, or something a little more crazy like “The Sun Blush” - Prime juicy Beef Burger with Chorizo, semi Sun Dried Tomatoes, Mozzarella, Rocket, Black Pepper and Garlic Aioli or a Sandwich that you would only find in Ireland like the “Grace O’Malley” – Chunky Fillet of Fish with Mushy Peas, Grilled Tomato, Iceberg Lettuce, Fried Onion, and Tartare Sauce. Most Burgers come with your choice of Chubby or Skinny Chips (French Fries) either of which can be ordered regular, with Coleslaw, Curry Sauce, Mushy Peas or Aioli. Wash it all down with a perfectly poured pint of Guinness a selection from their Wine list, something else Bobo’s specializes in.

THE BURGER
Cara knew from the moment we got off our red eye flight, I was ready for a Burger treat at Bobo’s. She however had the smart plan to go out sight-seeing around town, walking from place to place so that we could build up a good hunger and totally appreciate all that was Bobo’s. It was a great call. By the time we got there, I was ready to eat 100 Burgers. We both ordered  The Bacon Cheese Burger – Prime Juicy Beef Burger with Cured Smoked Bacon, Old Dubliner Cheddar Cheese, Iceberg Lettuce, Beef Tomato, Onion and Mayonnaise. It wasn’t long before two super huge and awesome looking Burgers landed on our table.

All of the Burgers at Bobo’s Gourmet Irish Burgers have 7oz patties made from quality young heifer meat under 20 months old. All the Beef they use is fully traceable, 100% Irish and very importantly, never frozen. You’re pretty much guaranteed a great Burger and based on the one I had, it most certainly was. You could taste the freshness in the ingredients. The Beef had all natural, grass fed flavor. Add to that proper smoked and cured Irish Bacon (a personal fave) with the salty, intense aged flavors of the Cheddar and you’re already eating a uniquely Irish Burger. The Mayo added a nice layer of flavor while keeping the Sandwich juicy and also protecting the integrity of the freshly baked Bun.

I had to stop myself from wolfing the thing down in just a few bites. I did notice that while I was eating it, everything else around me ceased to exist. All that mattered was the tasty Burger. As I looked around at others eating Burgers at Bobo’s, it wasn’t just me. Pockets of silence happened at every table once bites were taken. When it came to the Fries, which we got both kinds, I was a little more partial to the skinny Chips. However, I suggest adding Malt Vinegar to the Chubby Chips or a side of Curry Sauce.

The Burgers at Bobo’s Gourmet Irish Burgers are everything I hoped they would be; fresh, delicious and bursting with local flavor and shared with my favorite person to eat Burgers (and anything else with!)

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THE BURGER COUNTQUEST
665 Burgers

November 8, 2013


DUBLIN TOUR GUIDE

Never been to Dublin or looking for some places to check out? Here’s a list of pubs, sights to see, things to eat and places to check out.

SIGHT SEEING

Book of Kells Old Library
Trinity College, College Street, Dublin 2
http://www.tcd.ie/Library/bookofkells/

The Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript Gospel book in Latin, containing the four Gospels of the New Testament together with various prefatory texts and tables. It was created by Celtic monks ca. 800 or slightly earlier (Wikipedia.) Located at the center of Trinity College, this piece of history is worth seeing for the amazing amount of talent and work that went into creating each of the hand made books.

You’ll also get a chance to walk through The Long Room, the largest library in all of Ireland. The library is a legal deposit which means it has the rights to receive published material in the Republic of Ireland free of charge and the only one in the country with similar rights for the United Kingdom. The room is decorated with busts of some of the most respected philosophers, writers and thinkers in history as well as the oldest harp in the country.

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St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Saint Patrick’s Close, Dublin 8, Ireland
http://www.stpatrickscathedral.ie

Also known as The National Cathedral and Collegiate Church of Saint Patrick, Dublin, St. Patrick’s is the larger of Dublin’s two Church of Ireland cathedrals. It’s also the largest church in the whole country. The building, as it stands today, was built between 1191 and 1270 and currently has one of the largest organs in the world with more than 4,000 pipes. The cathedral is filled with artifacts, sculptures, burials and some of the most beautiful stained glass in the world.

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Molly Malone Statue College Green
Grafton & Suffolk Streets, Dublin 2
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molly_Malone

If you’ve been in an Irish pub on St. Paddy’s Day here in the US, you’ve heard the song and know all about the Cockles and Mussels as well as the wheel barrow. The versus of the song “Molly Malone,” tells the tale of a lady who sold fish by day and pleasures of the flesh by night. In 1988, to celebrate Dublin’s first millennium as a city, Jeanne Rynhart built a statue of the lady in song.

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Phil Lynott Statue at Bruxelles
7-8 Harry St, Dublin 2, Ireland ‎
http://www.bruxelles.ie/index.php/history

Outside Dublin’s “cosmopolitan pub” Bruxelles, you’ll find a tribute to one of the greatest rockers of all time. It’s a statue of lead singer and vocalist of the Irish rock band, Phil Lynott. He was the front man, vocalist and bass player for the band Thin Lizzy. The man was a legend and the band penned many, many great rock anthems like “The Boys Are Back In Town,” “Jailbreak” & “Waiting For An Alibi.” Phil died from pneumonia after collapsing on Christmas Day in 1985 from prolonged drug and alcohol abuse. His legend lives on in the music and with the statue built by Paul Daly.

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Old Jameson Distillery
Bow Street, Smithfield Village, Dublin 7
http://www.tours.jamesonwhiskey.com

In 1780, John Jameson purchased the Bow Street Distillery and whiskey history was changed for ever. A Scotsman and former attorney, in 20 short years he grew the company to be one of the largest distillers in the world. At the turn of the century it hd become the 2nd largest one in the country, producing more than 1,000,000 gallons yearly. In 1966 Johnny J & Son merged with Cork Distillers and John Powers and moved all production to Cork. While the original location still stands, no whiskey is made there. It has been preserved though and is open for tours of the original facility.

It’s one of the coolest things you can do while in Dublin. They preserved the building and some of it’s equipment very well and give you a great insight into the basics of how whiskey is made. The Old Jameson Distillery also features a bar where you can sip all kinds of Jameson drinks, a restaurant where you can have a tasty pub meal and gift shop that carries everything from Chocolates to clothing to bottles of Distillery Reserve 12 year old Jameson, which can only be found there. Whiskey fans, locals, tourists & historians will all enjoy a visit.

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Day Tours Unplugged
Afternoon tour to Wicklow Glendalough
http://www.daytoursunplugged.ie/groups/half-day-tour.712.html

Day Tours Unplugged - Part 1, Monastery

Getting outside of Dublin to see the beautiful and green, Irish countryside is easy to do. It may have a deep history and rich in life but it’s not a very big town. With some help from the people at Day Tours Unplugged, you can hop into a small van with a couple other people and escape to Wicklow Glendalough. Wicklow is a county in the province of Leinster. Known as the “Garden of Ireland,” it was originally founded by the Vikings and houses the ancient Glendalough Monastery.  Glendalough translates from Gaelic into “Glen of Two Lakes” is a glacial valley and was founded by a hermit priest, St, Kevin, in the 6th Century. It was partially destroyed in 1398 by British Troops chasing rebels.

The gateway into the monastery is totally unique and one of the most important monuments in the country. The double archway is still preserved as is the round tower, the cathedral and part of the Priest’s house. One of the most unique structures located there is St. Kevin’s Church also known as the “Kitchen.” The building is nearly 1000 years old and it’s original stone roof only had to be repaired for the 1st time, 3 years ago.

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Day Tours Unplugged - Part 2, Lakes & Tavern

Just beyond the grounds of the monastery are two beautiful lakes. Films such as “PS I Love You” and “Brave Heart” were filmed there. Pop into the Glendalough Tavern, part of the Glendalough hotel for a pint and a bite to eat.

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Day Tours Unplugged - Part 3, Lough Tay

Once your time in Glendalough is over, everyone hops back into the van. The driver (ask for Martin if he is available) then takes you on a winding path along the military roads built to chase rebels to Lough Tay. It’s a small lake, located at the top of the mountains. The lake with is dark waters from a peat covered floor and white sandy beach resemble a pint of Beer from the brewery which also happens to own the land: Guinness. After a few minutes to observe the lake and take a few photos, the driver returns you quickly and safely back to downtown Dublin.

Totally worth doing.

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Ha’penny Bridge
Wellington and Ormond Quay, River Liffey City Centre, Dublin 2
http://www.yelp.com/biz/hapenny-bridge-dublin

Made of cast iron, the Ha’penny Bridge was built in 1816. It’s a footbridge that connects two sides of the Liffey River which runs through Dublin city. For the first 100 years of its existence, a toll of half of a penny was required to cross it. This is how it got it’s modern name. The cost of the toll was removed in 1919 and it’s been free to cross over since.  It’s an important piece of history in the city and absolutely beautiful once the sun sets.

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REFINED DINING

Sheridan’s Cheesemongers
11 S Anne St, Dublin 2, Ireland
http://sheridanscheesemongers.com

Ireland is well know for it’s dairy products due to the vast amount of cattle and natural environments. There’s no better place to get your Irish Cheese fix than Sheridan’s Cheesemongers. Know in advance, that you can’t eat it there and nor can you take the Cheese on the plane ride home. However, if you plan to consume it while on the ground in Dublin or live in the area, you’re in luck. They have some of the best, freshest and local Cheeses available. While you can’t take any with you, if you’re in the area, it’s worth stopping by just to browse and sniff! You can however easily take home some of their Crackers.

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Darwin’s Restaurant
80 Aungier Street, Dublin 2
http://www.darwins.ie

If you’re after a more formal and fancy meal, make a reservation at Darwin’s Restaurant AKA The Food Haven. The family run restaurant plays off a theme based on Charles Darwin’s ‘Origin of the Species’ so expect to see portraits of primates up on the walls. Darwin’s specializes in contemporary international cuisine which to Cara and me says “big Steaks.” All the Beef, Poultry, Lamb and Game Meats are certified organic, fresh and local and is cut by their in house butcher. It’s pretty much a lock that you are going to have a tasty meal if you eat here.

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The Winding Stair Restaurant & Bookshop
40 Lower Ormond Quay, Dublin 1, Ireland
http://winding-stair.com

If you like Food, even in the least amount, eat at The Winding Stair. If you at all consider yourself to be a Foodie, Serious Eater, Food Fanatic or some other food obsessed nickname for yourself, relish in all that is fresh, local, delicious and amazing at The Winding Stair. This independent bookstore, one of the oldest surviving ones in Dublin,  focus on smaller titles, local authors & fiction … and has an amazing restaurant above it. Everything they serve is made with care, precision and with as many local ingredients as possible. The cozy environment will make you feel like you’ve been invited to someone’s house for a special gathering of Food & friends. Everything I ate from the  Ham Hock, Green Beans, Chicory Salad with a perfectly cooked Crispy Egg to the amazing Wild Irish Venison “cushion” with Root Vegetables, Quince and Garlic was absolutely outstanding. Plus you can wash it all down with interesting Wines, Local Beers and Gourmet Coffees. There are fancy restaurants for fancy people but then there are places like The Winding Stair where Food is made by Food people for Food people.

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PUBS

Eating, drinking and relaxing at the local pub is not only an Irish tradition, it’s an institution. As one of our cabbies put it “how would I know what’s going on in the community if I didn’t go to the pub?” Dublin is not short on pubs so figure out what you’re looking for and head on over. Here’s a few suggestions;

The Ginger Man
40 Fenian Street, Dublin 2
http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-ginger-man-dublin-2

This is a great, high-energy pub with a friendly staff and lots of laughter. Think of this as your living room away from home.

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The Hairy Lemon
41-42 Stephen Street, Dublin 2
http://www.thehairylemon.ie

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Known for a very lively atmosphere, The Hairy Lemon is the kind of place you want to go unwind with a group of friends.

The Cobblestone
77 King St N, Dublin
http://www.cobblestonepub.ie

This was one of our favorite pubs in the whole city. If you’re looking for a loud, crazy, over the top, tourist destination or party go somewhere else. The Cobblestone is a local hangout mostly known for nightly performances of Trad music. If you fancy a pint, some good Irish music and a chat in a comfortable pub, look no further. They have a couple of good local craft Beers on tap and a very friendly staff.

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The Black Sheep
61 Capel Street, Dublin 1
https://www.facebook.com/theblacksheepdublin

Ireland has an interesting Craft Beer scene happening. If you want to sample the best of it, head to The Black Sheep. Not only do they have a large array of local Beers on tap, they also have a large fridge filled with Craft Beers around the world. The space is rather large, boasting 2 floors and several seating areas as well as a very savory and delicious pub menu. If I lived in Dublin, you’d find me here quite often.

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Neary’s
1 Chatham Street Dublin 2
http://www.yelp.com/biz/nearys-dublin

Neary’s is a comfortable lounge with 2 sides to sit on. There’s one reason to choose Neary’s over another establishment; civilized conversation. It’s a little quieter, a little order and a lot more comfortable than some of the high volume party bars in the area.

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Horseshoe Bar at the Shelbourne Hotel
27 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2
http://www.marriott.co.uk/hotels/travel/dubbr-the-shelbourne-dublin-a-renaissance-hotel/

Looking for something a little more upscale or some unique cocktails? Head over to the Horseshoe Bar at the Shelbourne Hotel. It’s elegant, friendly and award winning. They have a very large list of drinks to choose from but the one to get is the “Award Winning” cocktail; “The No. 27. It’s a stirred drink with Bourbon, Herbal Liquor, Honey & Fresh Lemon Juice with a dash of Bitters. It takes a moment to make so be patient but when you get it, tell me if you too think it tastes like an Orange Lifesaver’s Candy. Whether you go with the fancy drink or a beer or your choice, the bar staff will be happy to bring you a small bowl of crunchy snacks.

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The Porterhouse Brewing Co
16-18 Parliament St, Dublin 2, Ireland
http://www.porterhousebrewco.com/

With 3 locations in Dublin, you’re never far from Dublin’s oldest microbrewery. (They also have locations in Cork, Wicklow, London & NYC.) The one in Temple Bar is the oldest, originally opening in 1996. It’s a bit of a party scene but the vibe is very friendly and the Beers are great. They quite often have live music which always makes for a fun Dublin pub experience.

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The Merchants Arch Bar and Restaurant
49 Wellington Quay, Dublin 2, Ireland
http://merchantsarch.ie/

Temple Bar can be a bit of a whirlwind if you’re not ready for it. For us New Yorker’s, it’s like drinking at bars in Times Square on a Saturday night. In fact, the locals refer most of them as “Shamrock” Bars, which means “for the tourists. If you’re up for some music and a cold pint on Sunday night, check out The Merchant’s Arch. It’s a younger crowd but they feature local musicians playing a mix of modern rock, trad & pub tunes. We had an absolute blast drinking cold pints and signing along to the talented local bands they had playing. The building itself is something to see as it’s one of only two surviving Nineteenth Century Guildhalls in Dublin.

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To my dear wife Cara,

If I haven’t already gone and made a complete public display made of gush, this should put it over the top. You are my favorite person to laugh with, eat with, travel with and in general share life. I could’ve ended that sentence after person and it would’ve meant the same.

Thank you for everything, not just eating Hamburgers around the world with me.

I love you to no end.

Blueberry Pie.

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Tep Wireless
https://www.tepwireless.com

As Americans in a foreign country, one of our main concerns was the high price of staying connected while using our mobile devices. You can call your US provider and buy data access while abroad but it usually comes at a high price for very little connectivity. Our other options were to either rent a local mobile device which we would have to share it and still then pay by the minute to connect. Also seemed kind of silly to buy a device that we would use for only 3 days.

Our last option would be to just hope to find WiFi here and there, but then what, pay an exorbitant fee to connect for 15 minutes here and 15 minutes there. After exploring all these options, we found a service that absolutely solved our problems and at an affordable price; a Tep Wireless MiFi (personal wireless device.)

Our trip lasted 4 days and we paid less than $100 to rent a Tep Wireless MiFi that came with all the following attributes:

  • Free shipping to you
  • Free return shipping
  • Tep Wireless MiFi device
  • Unlimited access to MiFi
  • Connect up to 5 devices at one time (at one point we had 2 iPhones, an iPad and a laptop running off it.)
  • Carrying case
  • All connection wires
  • Fast customer service

The only issue was keeping it charged but finding power points is a heck of a lot easier than trying to find free WiFi. Or you can do what we did, for $17.99, we purchased a Intocircuit T5000 5000mah External Battery Pack. You can get up to about 2 full charges of an iPhone and it also works on the Tep Wirless device. I fit all of this into one jacket pocket.

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I have to say I was completely impressed with the Tep Wireless device and service, especially for the price. I’d definitely suggest it as an option for travelers in the same scenario.



Posted in Burgers, Gourmet Burgers, Hamburgers, Ireland | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Two 8 Two Bar and Burger – One Of The Best Burgers Ever

Two 8 Two Bar and Burger
http://www.two8twoburger.com
282 Atlantic Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11201

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THE CONQUEST
4 years ago I ate some Burgers that changed my life forever. After having a great time at the Brooklyn Burger n’ Beer Garden at 4th the NYC Food Film Festival, I approached festival director George Motz and festival producer Seth Unger and offered my help. I told them how much fun I had at their events and about my background in marketing and branding. I wanted to be a part of this awesome event where you get to “taste what you see on the screen.” The very next year at the 5th Annual NYC Food Film Festival, I helped them to curate their opening event “Cheers To Burgers and Beers.” At the end of the night they asked if I could help out every night running the bar and beer program for the Festival.

Since then I’ve come on board as the festival’s official Beer Sommelier and help to oversee and run the digital and social marketing for the Festival. It’s a completely unique event that also happens annually in Chicago and Charleston. In each city we visit, we help raise money for a local Food charity. It’s a truly fantastic event to attend. I’m honored to be a part of the Festival but moreover, I’m excited to call the people behind it “family.” Seeing as how I don’t share blood relations with them and out of respect for those who do, let’s call the Food Film Festival my “Burger Family.”

One of my favorite things to do in life is eat tasty Food and the best way to enjoy it is with friends and family. The FFF crew always makes time to eat together to not only enjoy tasty Food but also enjoy each other’s company. This year, instead of reviewing the Food Film Fest on the blog, I’m going to talk about our pre-festival meal. It turned out to be one of the top 10 Burgers I’ve ever eaten in my whole life.

Where the borders of Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill, Downtown Brooklyn & Brooklyn Heights all meet you you’ll find a bar. At first glance, it looks like any other Brooklyn bar; wooden stools, bar counter, beers on tap, liquor bottles, tables in the back, waitstaff, kitchen, etc. A closer look reveals that this is no ordinary corner tavern. Two 8 Two Bar & Burger does one thing and they do it really, really well; Hamburgers. Sourcing their meat from local butcher, Los Paisanos, where the Beef is ground fresh daily and turned into 5 ounce patties. The menu also offers Lamb, Turkey and Veggie Burgers as well as a double Patty option or the 9 oz “Pub Burger” for those with extra hunger needs. Not to be overlooked, French Friy menu at Two 8 Two is also no joke. Choose from regular or Sweet Spuds with the options for Chili and Cheese or Greek Style, with Feta Cheese and Oregano.

THE BURGER
Most importantly, the signature “two8two Burger” Hamburger comes topped with roasted Poblano Chiles. If you’ve never had them on top of your Burg, you are missing out. It’s a Southwestern specialty that adds flavors of smoke and heat to your eating experience. It’s certainly a trigger point for me and I will travel to eat them. Not many restaurants in NYC offer them and very few know how to do them right like Two 8 Two. The Burger also comes with Cheddar Cheese and two8two sauce.

After only 1 bite, I called over our waiter and immediately ordered a 2nd one. I knew there was no way I was going home without getting as many of these in my face as I could. The Beef is juicy, just a little sweet and has all natural Beef flavors. The sear on the Burger is just right adding the right amount of savory flavor to round it out. The melty Cheddar cradles the flavors and balances out the heat and smoke from the Poblanos. The two8two sauce has a nice tang to it and should not be overlooked as an important element in the overall flavor of the Sandwich.

My 2nd Burger arrived, this time with the additions of Bacon and a Fried Egg, which are two of my favorite Burger toppings. However in this case, totally unnecessary. Don’t get me wrong, it was just as excellent as the first but the signature Burger totally holds its by itself. It’s one of George Motz’s favorite Burgers in Brooklyn and it only took one bite for me to agree. When owner Billy Thanopoulos came over to say hi, I only had one thing to say;

“The signature burger at Two 8 Two Bar & Burger with roasted Poblano Chiles is one of the top 10 Burgers I’ve ever eaten.”

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To everyone in this picture, especially those of you who have I’ve gotten to do this with for 3 years now, you’re the best Burger Family anyone could ever ask for. It’s an honor to work on this very special thing we have together.

THE BURGER COUNTQUEST
664 Burgers

October 20, 2013



Posted in Bar, Beer, Brooklyn, Burgers, Food Film Festival, Gourmet Burgers, Hamburgers, New York | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment