Friday, October 23, 2009

Bobby Flay's Burger Palace


Today my girlfriend & I did my friend Jeremy a favor & drove him home to his house in Garfield, NJ. He had recently told me about Bobby Flay's Burger Palace, which is located in the Bergen County Mall in Paramus, New Jersey. It's only about an hour drive, with traffic, so I said what the hell, I really want to check out that burger place out. The menu's pretty neat. The only thing you can really order is burgers, so I thought that was pretty rad.


I wanted to keep things simple, so I went for the chain's, I don't wan't to say "signature" burger, but I got the Cruchburger, which is a burger with double American cheese & potato chips. I say this is kind of their main burger, because you can "crunchify" any burger on the menu by putting potato chips on your burger. I got the burger medium rare (all their burgers are usually cooked medium, but I like mine raaaare,) & it was perfect. They give you a lot of different sauces on the table (chipotle ketchup, burger sauce, jalapeno hot sauce) but I kept it real with the ketchup. I tried the burger sauce, but it was really weird. It was this like really dark brown color, but it was really sweet. Not my cup of tea. The chips were good too. Really like any time there's potatoes on my burger. I also ordered pickles on it, cause that's just how I do. Overall I was really happy I went with this burger.
Sarah got the Dallas Burger, which is a spice crusted burger with coleslaw, Monterey Jack, BBQ sauce, & pickles. I was going to get this burger if not for the Crunchburger, so I was excited that she ordered it so I could try it. We also got an order of fries & an order of onion rings to share, because I have a serious fry addiction. This burger was soooo good. Not really a fan of coleslaw, but it was tasty. The BBQ sauce was kind of weird, but I love all BBQ sauce. I'll probably order this next time I go.

Jeremy got the Bobby Blue Burger, which is a burger with blue cheese, bacon, lettuce, & tomato. I'm pissed because I didn't get to try this one. Not really a fan of burgers with blue cheese on it, but I really want to try to try everything.


So overall, I'll definitely be going back to Bobby Flay's Burger Palace. Although they don't serve any beer, it's a great place to go for lunch. It's pretty moderately priced as well; Sarah & I ate for about $30. I'd say it's worth the drive, & the Jersey drivers.


Last night, we were supposed to have our first beer tasting. We brewed a Pale Ale, Sarah's first brew actually, about 2 weeks ago, so we planned this whole party where Sarah would make food & we would all drink the beer. Well, of course she goes to check the beer yesterday, & it wasn't done fermenting yet. Just our luck. We still had people over, & Sarah still made food. She made these AMAZING sliders, with Vermont cheddar, rosemary, garlic, all on the griddle. & then homemade french fries (so mad I didn't take any pictures, especially of all the adorable sliders.) & since we didn't have any of our own tasty beer to drink, we had to pick up the Saranac beers of winter. Oh & some Sam Adams Oktoberfest & Boston Lager. Super delicious evening. We also brewed our second batch of beer: Oktoberfest! So hopefully we can do our real beer tasting soon. I know I can't wait to try it. I made beer bread with it & that was really good, but it's not the same as drinking it. I feel like it's like my kid or something performing in a play. It makes me so nervous! I guess I'll just have to wait [im]patiently.


So maybe I should have had a like introductory section or something, before just diving right into this thing.
My name is Stephanie & I'm 23. I decided to make this blog because I really wanted to start a burger blog. I've been reading so many of them lately & I was thinking "You know, I like burgers. I should do that." But then it occurred to me that I'm too picky to write a burger blog.
See, here's the thing, I LOOOVE burgers, but it really depends what's on it. I don't like onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, what else is there really to put on a burger, you ask. Trust me, there's plenty. I know I'm a big baby & that if I even TRIED these things I would probably like them, but after 23 years if it hasn't happened yet, it aint gonna happen. So then I thought, well I also really like beer, & I'm starting to know more about it, so why not a burger/beer blog? So that's the birth of this. It's not really so much all the things I ingest, just the burgers & beer.

So now I know I got you intrigued to what is my DREAM burger. I really hate to say it, but a chain restaurant totally holds this title. At Cheeseburger in Paradise, it's all about the Barbecue Cheddar Burger. First off, my burger must ALWAYS be medium rare; love a pink center. Then with the melted cheddar, & the barbecue sauce, & fried onion strings, & the pickles. Mmm. It's so good. Super messy, but super tastey. Now, I know you're saying, "Wow Steph, that's really original," (sarcastically, obviously) but hey, I like what I like. I will take a barbecue cheddar burger any day of the week.

So...what got me started on this burger quest? There's only one man responsible for that, & that would be my father, Mr. Tom Bowen. I know he's my dad & all, but this guy is a great cook & probably one of the coolest people I've ever met. He can make the simplest thing probably the best meal of your life. He's turning vegetarians back since 2008. (haha little inside joke there, but it did happen.) & who would be the one to get him started but his mom, my lovely grandmother. Some of my first memories are from my grandparents house, eating their famous "alligator" burgers (didn't really mean anything, that's just what my grandma called them.) So throughout my short time, I guess you can say I've had my share of burgers. Whether they were from McDonald's, "alligator" burgers, Bubba Burgers (one of my personal favorites), or even some wimpy ass sliders, they have all powered me to where I am today, sitting here, typing this, with a burger skull & bacon-bones on my leg.

Yea, I know it's funny. That's why I had to have it. (I actually found the picture on an article for fat America haha!)

So where does beer come into this?
Well, I've been reborn. I was your average, underage girl, drinking what every other person in the world drinks right? Bud Light. Little did I know. It took until I met my fiance that she started introducing me to what we like to refer to as GOOD BEER. I mean, I was so used to my High Lifes & PBRs, I really had no idea there was such a vast world of beer out there. So needless to say, we've gotten pretty into craft beers, especially anything from Vermont. We took a trip last year to Vermont & got to go to a couple of the breweries (Long Trail, Magic Hat, Rock Art, 3 Needs, Vermont Brewing Company,) & it was amazing. Truly inspiring. People out there put such love & dedication into their products, & that's everything throughout the state, not just the beer. But after tasting how good beer can be fresh, we knew that we had to start homebrewing. I'm not even going to sit here & act like it's me brewing the beer, it's my girlfriend. I'm a wonderful helper, but it's definitely all her. I mean, we're not pros or anything, we've only done one brew so far, but I see this as something we'll be doing into our old age. If you're in need of a new hobby, I would definitely suggest reading into this. If you are, I'd pick up Microbrewed Adventures by Charlie Papazian. It gives you a good insight into the world of homebrewing, & gives you tastey recipes too.

So I don't want anyone thinking that I'm some kind of pro, or that I think I am. I know I don't know shit. I know I'm learning. I'm trying to broaden my horizons, so hopefully I can, & I'll try to keep track of my trials & errors.

I'm always open for suggestions too, so if you can recommend a place or beer for me to check out, e-mail me!

Well, that's probably as good as an intros gonna get. Hopefully I'll be eating burgers soon so I have something to write about!

Monday, October 19, 2009


Let's keep this short & sweet.This one's about beer;
primarily the Saranac Beers of Winter.

First, I'd like you to meet my fridge.

This is where I keep my beer, obviously.

I randomly started taking pictures of the random beers I was trying.
There's this excellent beer store in Chester, NY that has a lot of beers I haven't seen, but heard of, one of those being Liberty Ale from the Anchor Steam Brewing Company, from San Fransisco, California. My girlfriend & I rented this DVD called Beer Nutz, where these 2 guys go around checking out different breweries in different towns, & this was one of them. I believe it's one of the oldest breweries in the US. Tastey beer. Nifty bottle.

I'd check it out if I were you.

So as I was saying in the beginning; Saranac Beers of Winter.
So delicious.

This is actually the 2nd time we've picked this up. What got us hooked: the Maple Porter.

I was really skeptical of this beer at first; maple's not exactly the first thing I think of when it comes to beer, but it's seriously my absolute favorite winter beer. The maple taste is absolutely perfect.

This whole 12-pack is chock full of really tastey beer. There's the Rye IPA, Winter Lager, & my 2nd favorite, the Big Moose Ale. I'm not usually a fan of a variety pack with 4 beers or more, but this one has to be the best. All the flavors of the different beers really go well together. All together I have to give them a 4.5 out of 5, mostly for the Maple Porter.

So that's what I've been drinking. Can't really complain.