Southern burger chain heads to NJ thanks to former New York Giant
We're no strangers to fast food here in New Jersey. We have a pretty good – though not great – selection of chain restaurants that are always there for you in a pinch, or when you don't feel like cooking.
Now you can add one more option to the list.
A burger chain from the South is coming to New Jersey, thanks to former New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, a Paterson native.
Cruz announced his intention to partner with Krystal, a burger chain headquartered in Atlanta.
According to RestaurantNews.com, the first restaurant will be built in Paterson, but the partnership involves Cruz opening up a total of five restaurants in New Jersey by 2023, branded as "Victor Cruz's Krystal."
RestaurantNews.com goes on to report that in addition to slapping his name on the Krystal logo, Cruz will deck out the restaurants with memorabilia from his football career.
I wonder which location will have the original rendering of the infamous boat photo.
I'll still never forgive you for that, Victor. Apparently, he'll never forgive himself either. He recently told E! News, "That photo will haunt me for the rest of my life.”
As far as the food is concerned, I am excited to see how these burgers stack up against the heavy hitters we already have throughout New Jersey.
Krystal specializes in small square burgers, so it appears as though White Castle would be its most direct competition.
But while Krystal might be new to us, it isn't new to the South. The restaurant was founded in 1932 during the Great Depression, in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Since then they've expanded to 10 states with nearly 300 locations.
Before we take a look at the menu, let me just preface it by saying the menu is not a guarantee. Sometimes when restaurants make the jump to a new part of the country, some of the magic is lost.
Who could forget the unmitigated disaster that was the Steak n' Shake experiment in Hamilton, Mercer County? If you don't recall the Florida-based burger chain dipping its toes in NJ waters, that's because they brought less than half of their famous menu with them. And it closed permanently less than three years after it opened.
First, let's take a look at Krystal's burgers.
Chili Cheese Pups: Baby hotdogs covered in chili. You can also get your Pups without all the bells and whistles.
They recently changed up the fries.
The chicken sandwich.
And for dessert, how about some Glaze Bombs.
There's way more where that came from. See the full menu here.
There has yet to be any official word on when Victor Cruz's Krystal will make its debut in the Garden State, or exactly where in Paterson the restaurant's first NJ location will be.
New Jersey welcomes the new burger chain with open arms.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 producer, writer, and host Joe Votruba. Any opinions expressed are his own.