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Torchy’s Tacos January 13, 2018

Posted by burgerandfries in Colorado, Tacos.
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Life is not all hamburgers. Well, that is the bad news. The good news is that there are tacos. And, really, if you think about it beyond the obvious, aren’t tacos just another form of hamburger? Like flat bread is basically pizza at heart. The same basic elements–some carb wrapped around meat and veggies and cheese and some sort of wet sauce of one sort of another. Of course, unless you eat at Del Taco, you don’t normally have fries with a taco. So there is that.

We were headed to Juicy’s on Arapahoe in the Denver Metro area but it was too late. Blame a little granddaughter born today–her cuteness–her button nose and the way she squeaks quietly when she sleeps–yep, that kept us visiting her and her parents at the hospital. (Yay grandchildren Another reason to be so grateful for life. Them and cheeseburgers and tacos.) Why do good burger places close early on weekend nights? It’s true wherever I go. One of those deep questions I struggle with. That, and why did the Browncoats have to lose? Not shiny.

But, Torchy’s Tacos. Yum. The Trailer Park taco. Good fried chicken on its own, let alone in a taco. Basically, what I learned, a good life lesson, I might add, is that something that tastes good on its own, like good fried chicken, or pulled pork, yeah, put it in a taco and raises the bar like an Olympic pole vaulter. The Washingtonian is not on the normal menu. But it is slow-cooked, pulled pork, including the obligatory pickle, at it’s best and rising to the top because it is in a taco. Needs to be on the regular menu.

Yeah, I was sad at first that the burger place as closed. But now I’m not at all unhappy. Yum.

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Twin Cities Burger January 11, 2018

Posted by burgerandfries in Colorado.
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So, it’s not actually in the Twin Cities. Rather it’s in Smashburger. Probably any of the locations including any in Minnesota, but for sure it’s in the one in Castle Rock. For $5 today. The best $5 burger I’ve had in a long, long time. (Not ever; I have had some pretty $5 amazing ones in roadside stands in the middle of nowhere. But how many quality $5 burgers exist anymore.)

Ok, in the last 3 months, I have had two burgers that have become, in my expert and long-time experience in enjoying burgers, the best I have ever had.  But while this was not the best ever, it certainly ranks in the top 10.  And the new Smashtots are the amazing side you never knew you wanted.  The tots might just make this in the top 3–they are that good.

What makes Twin Cities so amazing?  Cheddar and swiss cheese, fried onions and then the usual other accoutrements like tomato slice and lettuce.  And some kind of good sauce.  Potentially the greasiest burger I have ever had.  The bottom of the bag (it as to-go) was 100% grease. No open flames around this one.

Sorry I have been missing in action for so, so long.  But this burger got me back on the blog. It’s that good.

Oak – Boulder April 2, 2016

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Recently I was up in Boulder.  Actually I came down to Boulder from Fort Collins after being stranded there during a blizzard that was just a mite bit bigger than expected.

I had a lunch scheduled with Eliza Hammond of Sterling Rice Group. Apparently this is the place SRG takes visitors to.  So she suggested it. I can see why. It’s a fancy place–at least for a blue collar guy like me. But has its roots in real good, regular food.  They had a burger on the menu, so I just had to try it.

It was delicious. Definitely in my top 5.  But what puts it at the very top is not the burger itself, but the tater tots and homebrewed root beer that came with it.  The tater tots were perfectly square cubes of fried potato deliciousness.  And the root beer, well, I am not a big fan of root beer–give me a Mountain Dew any day–but this root beer was smooth and refreshing.

To top it all off, get a donut for dessert.  It’s a donut to die for, really.  Freshly made that day and I assume a different topping each day. It included the donut hole. But it wasn’t just any donut–it was more substantial and flavorful than any donut I have had before.  And I have had some great donuts in my day.

What could be better–burgers, tots and donuts? It’s like the trifecta of my kind of lunch.  I am definitely going back sometime soon. It’s worth it.

 

Takin’ Care of Business… March 10, 2016

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As a teenager, one of my favorite bands was a Canadian group that had come from the Guess Who–Bachman Turner Overdrive. My favorite song by BTO was not Taking Care of Business. It is the icon…

Source: Takin’ Care of Business…

Found the Best Burger Ever February 3, 2014

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So, full disclosure–my son works at this place. But despite that inherent bias, let me just say, my reaction to the burger is totally objective. I had a day recently where I had a morning appointment in Aurora, on the East side of Denver, then an afternoon appointment on the West side of Denver. In between I had two conference calls. So I started driving from the one appointment and just headed West. Ended up taking my conference calls in parking lots in the Cherry Creek area. It was past lunch time, and didn’t take much to realize that I was getting pretty dang hungry.  I looked at the map on my phone to figure out where I could stop and grab something to eat.  That’s when I realized Tony’s Meat Market was right on the way to where I was headed.

Tony’s Meat Market, if you are not a Denver resident, has been in South Denver for a long, long time.  The one I was headed to is a newer satellite and a market that includes a dining room.  My son started working there days just a couple months ago.  So I stopped in, at 950 S. Broadway.  (Sweet thing–there is lots of parking in their parking lot next to the building, as well as up and down Broadway.)

I said hello to my son–working behind the counter in full view.  Then ordered my burger.  It came out so quickly.  Test item one:  The fries.  Excellent fries.  (Pass on the onion rings.  That’s all I can say.)

The burger?

The Black and Blue

Tony’s Black and Blue

It’s very difficult for me to describe how amazingly delicious this burger was.  I got the Black & Blue, their take on the Bleu Cheese burger.  I got mine with Kobe beef and it was made medium rare–the way I like it.  And it really was medium rare.  (That is a rare thing to get it just how you ask for it.)

The first bite just melted in my mouth.  I don’t know how to describe it other than like hamburger ice cream, but not like that because sounds sort of gross, because this tasted just amazing.  It was almost creamy–the bleu cheese and grilled onions combined with the burger itself to just explode with a creamy, salty, perfection in a cheeseburger taste.  I believe I have found the best burger on the planet. Or at least the best burger within my orbit.

2013 in review December 30, 2013

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,400 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 23 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Freddy’s – Castle Rock November 18, 2013

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In our office we have a Friday Lunch tradition. We try to stay close to the office, so we are pretty much limited to Castle Rock. Freddy’s moved in a while ago and I have avoided it. The crowds. And it is fast food. Even if fast food with a great reputation. Well, we went there finally. The burgers–they are good enough. Nothing to write home about, but definitely better than most fast food places. The fries–that’s another story. The fries are shoestrings and they are tasty. Really tasty. Beyond tasty. Yum. And the other great thing–their custards. Oh yeah. I had a Concrete. It’s like a mix of a milkshake and a spoonbender. I think next time I will get lots of fries and a Concrete. Perfect combination.

Turkey Trot? November 18, 2013

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So, funny story: Last week I decided that if I signed up for a race that would be good motivation. So I did just that. I signed up for the Turkey Trot right here in beautiful Castle Rock. My thought was that I would have a month or so to get ready and I should be able to do a 5k, right? Then about an hour after I signed up, money is paid, I suddenly realized the race is on Thanksgiving. And that is less than two weeks away. And I haven’t run in 3-4 weeks. So today at lunch I went for a run. I did 3 miles (almost a 5k) and if the time I did it in is anything close to what I do the Turkey Trot in, well, then, I will be a total turkey.

Sea Level is for Sissies. And lung cripples. October 22, 2013

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So I was in San Diego. After learning I had pleurisy, I had to take a break from running. And walking. A weekend of no strenuous activity was ordered by the doctor. I found myself at a conference in San Diego. The weather was warm. And the altitude was non-existent. Warm, oxygen rich air.

So I took a couple warm-up walks and the lungs felt good. So I went for a run along Ocean Beach. Albeit so early in the morning that it was still dark. There is nothing quite as sad as running near a beach in the dark.

Just the same, I was able to run 4 miles (4.25 miles exactly) without stopping to rest or walk. It was great. And I know it is all due not to my great stamina and perseverance, but to sea level and 80 degrees.

Still it felt good.

Everything Tastes Better with Bacon October 22, 2013

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I was recently an attendee at the QRCA Conference. (#qrca – Qualitative Research Consultants Association. Moderators. Ok, “Thinking Partners” – just to show I was listening.)

Anyway, that was more about the least relevant part of this. Well, it was relevant because at these conferences they have “dine-arounds” where a small group of conference attendees congregate at a local restaurant for dinner and conversation. It is one of the many things I like about these conferences. (This really, as far as my experience carries me, is the best conference out there. By a large margin.)

Well, on the first night of dine-arounds at the San Diego Conference, a small group of us went to a place called Slater’s 50/50. The appeal was their burgers. If I am serious about my quest to find the best cheeseburger, then I better take an opportunity like this, right? To set it up. During the conference day, sheets are on a bulletin board with sign-ups for different area restaurants. Most of the restaurants are nice, pricey and feature some actual cuisine, normally foreign. When I saw that one of the places was a burger place, well, it was calling my name. I was the first to sign up.

2013-10-16 20.38.12The appeal, in addition to just serving burgers, is that Slater’s features a 50/50 burger–a patty made up of 50% beef and 50% bacon. I tried their Hawaiian. (You can build your own or choose from some popular combos. I preferred the latter. After all, as a market researcher, it is my job to make recommendations not decisions. So the fewer the decisions, the easier.)

The burger was good. Really good if the criteria is how messy it is. And I mean, really, who couldn’t like a burger that included spam. The real spam. Not email.

But the best thing about Slater’s? Not the burgers. Not the fries. (Though they were also excellent.) No, it’s a condiment. Yes, really. A condiment.

Bacon Ketchup.

 

2013-10-16 20.15.00

I don’t know if I need to say anymore. It’s simply ketchup with bacon added.

This is beyond description. I was lost for words to describe it. It is for the condiment world the equivalent of dark chocolate.

We ordered more fries just to get the ketchup. That’s how good it is. It is simply amazing.

So special thanks to all who joined with me at Slater’s 50/50 in San Diego for the QRCA dine around. You know who you are.

(PS Outnumbered really is the best TV show for parents. Hands down.)