22 N Bridge Ave
Red Bank, NJ 07701
New Jersey is known for a lot things like reality shows about the Shore, miles and miles and miles of expensive toll roads, Viagra, no left turns, unlawful pumping of gas, the highest auto insurance rate in the United States and the 2nd most dangerous place to live in America; Camden. It’s no wonder so many people are excited to live there. But seriously though, if you like eating fast Food or enjoy casual dining, the Garden State has a lot to offer. Whether is a Pork Roll, Taylor Ham, Sliders, Scrapple, Tomatoes, Corn, Heroes, Rippers, Tomato Pies, Disco Fries and so many other items, NJ offers a cornucopia of sought after eats.
One such New Jersey dining staple has its origins in Long Branch, NJ when the very first Windmill Restaurant opened in 1964. A favorite of NJ native Bruce Springstein, The Windmill serves Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Sandwiches and Salads or as they call it, “Gourmet Fast Food.” The main draw to The Windmill are their Hot Dogs which are Kosher style and flat grilled. For those most intense Windmill fans, you can purchase packed Hot Dogs or even full BBQ packs to cook at home. With 9 locations, The Windmill is the 2nd largest 2nd largest Wiener Dynasty in the state, making a true staple of the NJ dining lifestyle.
While recently in NJ for business, I happened upon a location of The Windmill and as I joked on social media, “NJ might be stronger than the storm, but I’m not strong enough to resist The Windmill.” I immediately pulled over, marched in and ordered a Chili Dog and a Cheeseburger with Onions. When they say “fast,” they mean it. Your food, cooked to order is up in minutes. You can watch the employees fire up the grill and flame cook the Burgers right in front of you.
The Windmill Hot Dog isn’t some wimpy stadium wiener. The big, thick and extra long Franks are cooked on a griddle, turning over and over to get a nice smoky flavor reminiscent of a summer picnic.. The Dogs have a nice snap to the bite with a nice, juicy and Beefy flavor. The Chili has a little bit of smokiness and a nice strong Tomato taste which really reminds you, that you’re eating in New Jersey. The White Squishy Bun is no match for this hefty Dog and it’s toppings and is guaranteed to fall apart as you eat it. You’ll want to make sure to give a good lean into it while eating.
The Windmill’s Burger is a single patty, about 4 ounces that comes on your choice of a hard or soft Bun. The hard rolls is like a Kaiser and no matter what anyone in NJ thinks, there is a better bread alternative to it for every Sandwich. Go with the classic White Squishy along with some cooked Onions and a slice of American Cheese. No need for anything else if you’re looking for a classic American Cheeseburger. The open flame grilling of the Patty, much like the Hot Dog, gives it a smokey tastes that you’ve come to expect at a backyard BBQ or summer picnic.
Chomping on Burgers and Dogs at your local Windmill is old school NJ dining at it’s finest.
THE BURGER COUNTQUEST
August 20, 2013