Posts Tagged ‘Burgerhunt USA’

 

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I couldn’t talk to someone in Deland about burgers without them asking, “have you been to the airport bar?”. After hearing the same thing over and over again, I thought it might be worth dropping by for a look.

We’d been out shopping all day for Christmas presents and had planned to catch up with Melissa, she had suggested doing lunch at the Airport bar – I’m seeing a pattern here – Melissa might like burgers almost as much as I do… We dropped by Melissa’s house to meet bailey the adorable dog who slobbered all over Lucy – they’re best friends now – and then we set off on yet another food adventure.

After driving around in circles for a while – thanks Google – we eventually found the bar. By this stage we were all ravenously hungry and ready to order everything off the menu. The girls got a few appetisers – but I just wanted this burger I had heard so much about. The port burger “all the way” is the burger to get here I’d been told. It’s a 1/2lb beef patty, with lettuce, tomato, onion, ketchup, mustard and spicy mayo. I added cheese and bacon. The burgers come in a Kaiser style bun, slightly crunchy bun, that’s more savoury than sweet – a nice change from a lot of the super sweet buns you get here. The other difference here was that the burgers came pre-sauced and assembled, always a good sign. You also got a big pickle spear on the side – yes pickle!! How I love pickled goodness.

Moving on, one thing that I found interesting/annoying was that the burgers came served on plastic plates with plastic cutlery. Why? What’s wrong with a normal plate and some real knives and forks??? Am I not to be trusted with the “good” crockery? It’s not like they can say – hey, it’s a bar, people get drunk and break stuff… Why give us drinks in glass then? I guess they were the “nice” plastic plates, and the plastic knife was pretty good. But seriously, don’t they care about the environment?

Cutlery issues aside, this is a bar in a small American town down south after all- they’ll probably accuse me of being a pretentious snob (an accusation probably not without some truth to it) – Anyway, burgers not cutlery is what we were here for.

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So the burgers came out and mine came with chips like I had ordered – only I meant fries, because chips in the USA mean the cold packet crisps variety (stupid translation issues from Australian to American). Funnily enough I really liked my chips, so an accidental win! The burgers are a good size, half a pound of juicy beef – twice ground, cooked medium(ish) ** side note – I think I need to order pink instead of medium, because every time I’ve ordered a burger medium here it’s been closer to medium well, maybe a hint of pink.  Regardless, it was a juicy patty that was encased in melted American cheese. The first bite, you get a big mouthful of beef patty. It’s a good honest burger patty – Well seasoned, good fat to meat ratio, strong beefy flavour, nice and tender – it reminds me of a good home made burger. The bun even backs up that feel – it’s not a standard bun as mentioned, rather it’s like something you might pick up from a bakery instead of a supermarket – slightly crusty, a bit too much bread for a burger bun, but a nice change from the mass market feel soft buns you get in a lot of places. The lettuce, tomato and onion did their job nicely, as did the sauces – which were generously applied to both sides. The crispy bacon was well worth adding, but then I would say that, because – bacon. I added in some chunks of pickle that I cut up with my plastic knife – which did a really good job for a plastic knife so I should stop complaining.

Overall, this is a nice burger, nothing really to complain about – I felt like I had gone to someone’s house for an awesome BBQ and they were dishing up some good homemade burgers. However, there’s also nothing that really propels this burger to that next level. Nothing that stands out and says – this is the burger that you want to go out of your way to get. I’d give it an 8 – good, very good even, but not quite great.

Airport Restaurant & Gin Mill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Katie had a hair appointment in New Smyrna and Kathy suggested I come along since there was a really good burger at a place called Breakers. I’d been there before and had an OK grouper sandwich, so I wasn’t jumping out of my skin to go there for a burger. However, it was a good chance to get up and about and I thought it might be nice for Lucy to see the Atlantic ocean.

New Smyrna is very much a holiday spot, lots of little tourist gift shops, cafes, bars and restaurants, it a nice town by the beach, much nicer than Daytona Beach and about a 35 minute drive from Deland. We wondered around while Katie got her hair cut, bought a couple of stocking stuffers for under the Christmas tree and finally caught up with Katie.

Breakers seems more bar than restaurant to my Australian eye, there’s a long double sided bar running through the middle of the place and then great views of the ocean from pretty much anywhere you sit. There’s a fair few of TV’s scattered throughout the bar which spoil the view in my opinion, but I guess familiarity breeds contempt as the saying goes.

We got a table off to the back so we could seat Lucy in a High chair and then perused through the menu – well, the burger section of the menu… A friendly waitress was helping us out in no time – what’s with all these competent waiters and waitresses? Surely we could ship a couple over to Australia? Oh wait, if they come by boat…. Anyway

Up the top of the Breaker Burger section you will spy a long list of awards that the burgers here have won – it’s an impressive list, but it does put the pressure on right from the start. I was expecting big things!

Katie and I both opted for the Bacon Burger, which is the cheeseburger topped with bacon, lettuce, tomato and onion, for $10.50 and Kathy went for the cheese burger, no lettuce or tomato. We all ordered our burgers medium – in America it’s all about choice, including how you want the meat cooked. The waitress also asked if we wanted mayo on the side. Kathy also wanted some changes and the waitresses didn’t miss a beat – if you want to change something here they just get it done. Not like back home where the waitress would give you a confused look and then pretend like you never asked – Ah, I love America…

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All burgers arrived “open”, which I hate, as I’ve mentioned before, it can mean really dry patties, however, here they were encased in nicely melted cheese. The benefit of the open burger is that I can sauce as I like – I went for equal parts ketchup, mayo and mustard – the holy trinity of burger sauces. To be honest I would have loved a good house made burger sauce, but that’s just not really how they do things in this part of the world.

Once assembled, the burger looked the part, a nice soft white bread bun, a little on the sweet side as all bread is here – which suited the burger well.  The first bite in you got a really nice juicy burger – the beef was grilled and it had that lovely flame grilled kind of flavour. While most of my patty was a little on the well done side, it was thick enough and still juicy enough not to matter all that much. Kathy’s burger was much pinker than mine and I think we could have swapped  patties and been very happy. The beef is well seasoned, chuck style beef, so you get that really strong, beef flavour – a great burger patty flavour. The bacon was crispy and delicious – good God I love American bacon. Why don’t we have this at home?? The lettuce was crispy and the vidalia onion was exactly what was needed to balance the juicy meat. The thick slice of the tomato was fresh and juicy.  I was disappointed that once again – no pickle. What the?? But otherwise there was nothing to really complain about.

All up this was a quality burger from start to finish – simple in its presentation and planning, but very well executed. A great example of the standard American burger.

I’d give this burger an 8.5 – definitely a place I’d come back to for a burger… And lets be honest, I probably will.

USA burger hunt success.

Breakers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato