American, Beef, Burgers, North Carolina, Uncategorized

Hops Burger Bar- Greensboro, NC

This past weekend I got to make a very special trip to Greensboro, NC to see my sister and brother in law and it was full of extra tummy rubs…I’m going to be an aunt! It’s definitely all about the pregnant lady, but I made sure my food needs were known and I knew I had to try 2015’s best burger in the nation. Yes, this weekend we went to Hops Burger Bar.

Indeed they were named the best burger in the nation, a title not to be taken lightly. Over the years of having some pretty amazing burgers I’ve concluded for myself (sorry if you disagree, but this is my blog) that most burger places are kind of the same, but in a really good way! Having fresh quality beef and ingredients is the norm now and how amazing is that! Now it’s down to the variations and overall vibe and story of a place and Hops lives up to that expectation. 

With a couple locations they’ve obviously done well for themselves, attracting the crowds enough to need to expand. Upon walking into the Lawndale location the aromas of beef and hops fill the air. An array of chalkboards dazzle the board with what’s on tap and the burger of the month. A good size restaurant bustling the middle of a Friday…you definitely know it’s going to be good and worth it. 

The menu of burgers is a huge selection, from the many options of burgers they’ve concocted to being able to make your own made it a difficult decision on deciding what to order! I was literally stuck between three burgers and putting my favorite parts of all three on one burger was just not going to mesh well. So upon asking our waiter of his thoughts, I ended up with the fan favorite…The Spicy Goat.

As you can put together so far about the burger it has goat cheese along with applewood bacon, sweet and spicy pepper jelly and topped with lettuce. In the end it’s just really hard to pass up goat cheese! I’m so happy I got this burger because in one bite I was on goat cheese cloud nine. The biggest hunk of cheese sat in between the incredibly juicy burger and crisp fresh lettuce. The sauce had a tangy sweetness and then would finish with just the faintest spicy kick. The combination was superb, all the flavors melding well and complimenting each other. 

Perhaps the only thing that could steal the show would be the crispy fries. There’s a pretty extensive menu when it comes to the fries, but the classic ones are done perfectly…super crispy yet soft and warm on the inside. I loved the plain old fashioned, having tried the Parmesan and truffle ones they really weren’t winning me over. But look at these golden brown beauties:

Of course more and more restaurants are aware of dietary restrictions and choices, but it’s pretty cool walking into a burger place and seeing gluten free buns available as well as vegan friendly substitutes like veggie patties!

Hops Burger Bar lives up to their title of being the best burger in the nation. Although some time has past since they’ve been given that honor, they are serving up some really great, well made burgers. Like I said, I can’t wait to go back and try more!

American, Beef, Burgers, Uncategorized

Twisted Root Burger Co- Waco, TX

If you’re a fan of Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives” then you may have seen this Dallas based burger joint on tv. That’s right, this burger place is so good America got to see a chef chow down on one of their burgers, and so did I. This is Twisted Root Burger Co

Originating in Dallas, chefs Jason and Quincy expanded to build nine other stores in just over seven years. There’s no question they know their stuff and know good food. The store in Waco has a cool vibe to it, very high ceilings where they could easily build a second story for more seating. With projections of music videos, a big bar in the center of the restaurant you can tell this Waco store is a hotspot for the college town. With so many burger options, many being similar to each other with small changes, a solid Texan burger was just calling to me, so Big Tex it was. Cheddar cheese, guacamole, fried onion strips and chipotle sauce makes for one pretty amazing burger. Another really cool thing about Twisted Root, which reminded me of Tim Love’s “Woodshed”, is they offer different game, from buffalo to elk to duck. Now don’t get your hopes up, I didn’t try any of them, but having those options makes for a wide demographic of people who do enjoy game. 

Back to the burger: The beef was cooked nicely, spices enveloping your taste buds. The cheese and guacamole worked together harmoniously, the onion strings a nice addition. The fries were delicious, they weren’t particularly crispy if you’re a crispy fry kind of guy or gal, but they were seasoned nicely and tasted delicious. Also at Twisted Root they have a pickle bar, different variations of pickles from classic dill to ranch. They are free, amazing, and free. How could you pass that up? I highly recommended getting a shake as well, especially the peanut butter brownie. Wow. From creamy ice cream to brownie chunks it was mouthwatering. Do it, just do it and get that shake. 

Twisted Root is a really great place to catch up with friends, grab an amazing bite to eat, and enjoy the Waco evening. It’s super easy to get to, right off I-35, and certainly would make for a special lunch on the way to Austin. Pull over and grab a great burger and shake from Twisted Root Burger Co. 


Rodeo Goat- Fort Worth, TX

The West 7th Area of Fort Worth has become a center of social masses, from the number of restaurants and bars to little shops to the gigantic Movie Tavern in the center. Everyone is there on a Saturday night, and why not? It’s the perfect area to get a group of friends and get a good bite to eat. However, just a few blocks down on Bledsoe and Currie is Rodeo Goat. 

Now you’re probably thinking this place probably serves organic goats milk and cheeses or something. Nope, almost the opposite. It’s a higher end burger place! It’s a great casual place to go to with friends, however beware! They don’t take reservations so be sure to get there an hour before you want to eat so you can get your name down. They are pretty good at getting people in and out, but it’s also worth the wait. They have outdoor seating too so if you can stand the Texas heat in the summer, go for it. 

Upon walking in you definitely get the cozy, bar feeling. There are stools and bar tops for seating so it’s pretty casual. Be aware that they are stools, so no backs, and ladies there really isn’t a place to put your purse other than your lap.

We ordered our food right away, since we had been waiting a while (which I highly suggest, just speeds the whole process a bit in this kind of place). The burgers are all pretty different, from each other and from your typical burger. You can also substitute a beef patty with chicken, turkey, quinoa, or veggie burger, they truly cater to all which is refreshing! 

I ordered the Cowboy Murrin, with bacon, jalapeƱos, tomato, fried onion, pickle chutney, cheddar, and homemade BBQ sauce. See what I mean by “not your typical burger”? All the burgers have at least five toppings on it. Now a crowd favorite is the Chaca Oaxaca, just a FYI if the Cowboy doesn’t appeal to you. 

The food came out in a pretty timely manner for being a Saturday night, and our server was awesome! He was super chill and got us covered and did it all timely.

The burger was pretty damn good. I would say the beef itself wasn’t amazing (compared to the burger at Wahlburgers; see previous post) but also not awful, and all the toppings and everything together worked in perfect harmony. The flavors were all there and they all worked together. The bun was really good surprisingly, it almost overshadowed the burger itself.  The pickles that were on the side were also amazing, you could taste how fresh they were, definitely made in house. 

Overall I was impressed with Rodeo Goat! I would definitely go back and try some of their other burgers or menu items (what are these Goat Balls?) and enjoy watching the game and being with friends.


American, Burgers

Wahlburgers- Hingham, MA

We all know who Mark and Donnie Wahlberg are, but do you know of their brother Paul Wahlberg? A very talented chef, Paul Wahlberg has two restaurants located in Hingham, MA directly across from each other. His first place, Alma Nove, after their mother Alma Wahlberg, is described as serving Mediterranean cuisine. His other restaurant, teamed with his famous brothers, is Wahlburgers.

Located in the picturesque Hingham Shipyard, this classic looking burger joint is serving up some great American cuisine. From their famous burgers to delicious frappes, Wahlburgers is certainly more than a tourist, fan craze. Upon walking in, you’re greeted with a giant smile and immediately feel comfortable. You have two options: sit down, waitress served dining or order at the counter and find a sit. We opted for the sit down option and sat outside. 
The atmosphere is quite lovely. When we went, it wasn’t crowded as we expected. It was a pleasant day so sitting outside was wonderful. They have a great little outdoor seating area equipped with a fire pit and couches. Our server was incredibly friendly and answered all of our questions when asked. It was a great experience and the staff was wonderful, obviously well trained by Chef Paul and his team. 

Firstly, the iced tea was very good. You could tell it was freshly brewed and it tasted great. I went with my mom and we both ordered the BBQ Bacon Burger (Donnie’s favorite) along with sweet potato tots. The food came out in no time and looked delicious. 
Let’s start with the tots: read the fine print. They have added sugar to them so if you’re expecting something like sweet potato fries (like me) you may not like these. They are different than you expect, and want. They needed a lot of seasoning and ketchup. They were cooked perfectly though.
Donnie’s BBQ Bacon Burger was really good. You could tell the meat was very good quality and the bun was equally as good quality. The classic combo of bacon, jalapeƱos, BBQ sauce, and avocado is hard to go wrong with, but Wahlburgers did a fabulous job with it. The burger itself was cooked perfectly and was accompanied with the perfect amount of each ingredient. The only downside is the size of the whole thing, it’s a bit on the smaller size. Some people have complained that the restaurant charges a big price for what you get, but I think it’s very reasonable for the ingredients and quality of food you are getting. 

Overall, I thought Wahlburgers was fantastic. I was shaking because I couldn’t even bear the thought of seeing the stars of the TV show of the same name, but sadly no one was around. I’m sure next time I will ask if Chef Paul is in, but whether you see a celebrity or not you’re going to have a great time at Wahlburgers.