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Where Can I Find New Jersey’s Best Hamburger

Flickr user: BurgerAustin
At the very start, I must make clear that my quest is in its infancy. My son and I were talking recently about hamburgers and he remarked that either Five Guys or Bobby Flay’s Burger Palace was the best burger he had had. I assured him that while both are good, there were better burgers to be had. So now we are combining our weekend trips for his travel hockey team with a quest to find Jersey’s best burger.

This past weekend he had a game in Hackensack; after a quick Google search, I was happy to discover that several people on Yelp! found a good burger joint up there. After his game Saturday, we made our way to the restaurant; I had read in the reviews that there was almost always a line to get in, especially during peak times and we arrived there at six, but there was no line outside. To be sure, it was packed inside, though. The place is unbelievably small; whatever you’re imagining, its smaller. The counter is a horseshoe with the rounded part facing the front door and also containing the grill where the burgers are cooked. We were lucky to get two seats at the counter; there are table tops jutting out of the wall serving as tables, but more people are standing than sitting.

They take your burger order separately from your fry and drink order, so we ordered a cheese fry and two orange sodas while we waited for the cook to yell, “Next!” You’re on the honor system both in regards to who’s next and in paying. We ordered six doubles (they’re sliders), four with onions, two without. We had a front row seat to watch the burgers get cooked (with a whole lot of onions on the grill). So after all the positive reviews and expectations, it was finally time to taste the burger. Now, I’m not a professional food critic and I don’t have a gourmet’s palate, but whoever on Yelp! gave this place such high recommendations should have his taste buds revoked. The burger was absolutely nothing special; in fact, it was rather tasteless and chewy. If it weren’t for the onions there would be no flavor at all, outside the slightly sweet bun.

I was really disappointed after looking forward to the trip to Hackensack all week. The fries are of a variety you can get at any grocery store, but I wasn’t there for the fries. Oh, well, next Saturday we’re in New Brunswick and I’m prepared to search for the best burger joint in that area.

What is your favorite New Jersey burger joint? Share your picks in the comment section below.

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