Burger Heaven in The City

Hey ya’ll! I survived my first graduate school midterm. I feel pretty good about it, but there were a few true or false questions that kind of sent my brain through a loop. Especially because one of the questions we had never talked about, but oh well. I feel happy with my success so far as a graduate student and hope that I will continue on with it. We are only allowed to get two Bs in a certain number of classes to continue on the program, so I’m super motivated to do awesome. Anyways I am going to share with you an awesome review of the best burger I have had so far in NYC. Bareburger. There are a ton of locations in the city, but we ended up going to the location on 46th st. It was such a fun atmosphere. We only had to wait a few minutes, so that was nice, especially because the third person in our party was running late.

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The menu was huge. It was really hard to pick because there were so many delicious looking options. You could order a premade type of burger, which came with a bunch of toppings and a general theme, and then you could choose the type of meat that you wanted with it. There was also the build your own burger, which you could pick toppings, bun, and meat. The different themed burgers looked so good, and each even suggested the type of meat that tastes best with those toppings. While we waited for my friend to show up, Carrianne and I ended up looking through the menu and debating back and forth over what we were going to get. While we waited, Carrianne got a ginger soda, which was delicious and we ordered an appetizer.

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We ended up getting sweet potato croqs. These were sweet potatoes with sharp cheddar cheese and they are deep fried. They were served with habanero chipotle mayo and stone ground honey mustard. These were little fried balls of heaven. The sweet potato texture was smooth and the bread crumbs gave a nice crunch to it. The cheese inside made it very creamy. The sauces were amazing. I definitely couldn’t pick a favorite. They ended up giving us two other sauces, which were BBQ and a spicy ketchup. There was a good amount in the basket, which was nice. We ended up eating this so quickly. We were starving. They were served really hot too, which is a nice thing because apparently some establishments don’t serve hot food.

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Aren’t these so cute? They were the regular ketchup and dijon mustard containers. I loved that the restaurant actually had a bear theme to the whole place. There were bear heads (not real ones) on the walls, that were painted different colors and patterns. It just made the ambiance of the restaurant really fun and entertaining. There was so much to look at and see.

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I was debating over getting the big blue bacon or the maui wowie. I ended up choosing maui wowie because I can’t resist pineapple and turkey bacon. The burger came with smoked mozzarella, pineapple ring, turkey bacon, fried onions, fried roasted red peppers, and buttermilk ranch. Bareburger recommended getting the burger wild boar, but I ended up just getting beef with mine. I ordered my meat medium and got it on a brioche roll. The bread was amazing. It was toasted to perfection, so it wasn’t soggy when the burger and sauce soaked through. The meat was cooked exactly as I ordered and was extremely juicy. The toppings were the most appetizing combination ever. The crunch and smokiness of the turkey bacon went well with the sweetness of the pineapple. The spice from the peppers was cooled off by the buttermilk ranch, which also gave the burger a nice creamy texture when you bit into it.

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I mean just look at this burger. It is heaven staring right back at me. I can’t wait to go back to try more burgers. This place sort of reminds me of Hopdoddy in Austin, TX, which is one of my favorite burger places ever, so this obviously means that Bareburger is legit. The best thing about this place is that there is more than just burgers on the menu. They have a breakfast brunch menu, breakfast paninis, and so much more. I pretty much have decided that I am going to go here at least once a month, so that I can enjoy a new thing on the menu every time!

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We ended up splitting a large basket of onion rings and fries. The onion rings were the bomb. The breading on the onions were seasoned and fried perfectly, meaning they weren’t too crunchy or soft. The onion rings were so good that I wish we just would have ordered an entire basket of onion rings. Not that the fries were bad because they were actually golden and crispy, but soft on the inside. I just loved the onion rings so much that it was sad when there were no more left. Of course they came with more types of dipping sauces, which was awesome.

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Carrianne ended up getting the Big Blue Bacon. It had Wisconsin Blue Cheese, country bacon, sauteed mushrooms, fried onions, and bacon marmalade. The burger was recommended with ostrich, but she ended up getting beef. She ordered her beef to be medium well. Also she ordered hers on a brioche bun. She was in a burger coma as she chewed through hers. She said it was delicious. The bacon marmalade had a sweet, yet smoky flavor that went nicely with the cooked vegetables. The cheese was also not overwhelming, which was nice. My other friend ended up getting the same burger as me, but without the buttermilk ranch. After our meal, our stomachs were so full that we could barely walk. We ended up going along the water, but our stomachs were so full that we had to sit on a bench for a good amount of time before we could continue our journey. All in all, I recommend bareburger as a must if you are visiting NYC or if you live here and haven’t already gone! It is a burger paradise.

What is your favorite topping on a burger?
What is the craziest meat you have ever had a burger with?

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A Day Trip to Toledo

Hey ya’ll! I hope everyone has been having a fantastic weekend. Mine has been pretty relaxed. I’m still trying to figure out everything for graduate school, but I will let ya’ll know as soon as everything is final! I love sharing all my happy news with the community. Ya’ll are such a wonderful group of supportive people! Anyways on to the fun stuff: Spain. The third day in Spain, we ended up taking a day trip to Toledo. Lets just say that this was a very interesting experience. Not thinking about it, we went to the train station in Madrid, called Atocha. We ended up sitting for about an hour and a half in this DMV sort of place. You drew a number and waited and waited and waited until your number was called. It was very odd because we had 535 while they were on like 745…hmmm luckily they did not start all over again at 1 or I may have killed someone. We were smart though and got our tickets for the next trips at the same time!

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So what is there to do in Toledo? Well not very much because that is why it is the perfect early afternoon day trip. The main thing to see is this Alcazar, which is sort of a castle like structure. My dad told stories about how you could walk around throughout the castle, but in 2013 this was not the story. The Alcazar has been updated, so it is now a museum inside. I was definitely not a fan of this. It would have been much cooler to walk around a castle than look at boring exhibits (trust me the exhibits were super boring). There were beautiful views though from the gardens, so that was nice. After we left the Alcazar, we ended up going to an old Sephardic synagogue. I did not take any pictures there, but it was very beautiful. I love seeing old synagogues that have survived terrible times for its people. Finally we were getting to eat (we didn’t eat breakfast), so my stomach was eating itself at this point. We ended up going to this cute place called Tapas 24.

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A nice cold gazpacho came along complimentary with the meal. It was delicious. I am not a fan of gazpacho, but this one was a very simple one. The flavors were very subtle and the texture was enjoyable. Trust me when I say that I have had some weird gazpachos, so I was happy that I could enjoy this dish. It was a refreshing way to start the meal off.

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This sort of looks like a bunch of random things piled on top of each other. However this is an endive salad topped with cherry tomatoes, arugula, shredded carrots, thinly sliced beef, and a delicious dressing that I’m not sure exactly what it was. When you take a look at it, the beef actually looks like red cabbage leaves. The beef was such a nice addition to the salad. We split the salad, but I could have eaten an entire one by myself for my meal. I was surprised that I liked it so much. My brother liked it a lot too.

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Oh another plate of foie gras? Why yes, we are pretty much addicted to that delicacy. I love the taste of foie gras. It is so delicious. I think this one had some thinly sliced ham on it, but I can’t exactly remember. My brother pretty much ordered foie gras wherever we went, but I never complained. When I eat it, I feel sort of sophisticated or that I have a very exquisite palate. I probably do have a great palate since I eat anything haha This dish was delicious though. The meal kept getting better and better.

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Tuna tartare. Gosh how I love raw fish. Lindsay needs her fix of raw fish every once and a while. It is so good. This dish was super interesting because the tuna was on top of guacamole. Ummm yes. As a Texan, we love ourselves some guacamole. This was a little taste of home in my mind. It was delicious. I like that they serve theirs with toast rather than chips. Less salty and more of a focus on the flavors in the dish.

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My brother of course had to get a cheese plate. What I liked about this dish was that the cheese came along with different flavored jams (not pictured). That was my favorite part: mixing the jams with each cheese. At this unfortunate moment in my life, my camera was sitting in my lap. It slid off my lap and crashed to the floor. From then on, it was broken. I had to use my iPhone for the rest of my trip pictures, which upset me a lot. What can you do though? Nothing. I also missed taking pictures of our dessert (a marzipan souffle) and our last dish, which was some shrimp paella sort of thing. After our meal, we walked around a bit and then went to the train station to catch our train back to Madrid.

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They really love their castles in Spain. It was interesting. There were castles probably in every city we visited. The thing about Toledo was that it is super hilly, so if you are every going to go, bring some comfortable walking shoes or money for cabs. You will definitely want one of those options. After we finally made it back to Madrid it was around 7 pm, and we were so exhausted. We ended up not going out to eat that night, but instead going to bed early since we were meeting a 9 am train to go to Cordoba! I hope you enjoyed my day 3 of the trip!

Have you ever seen a castle before?
Would you want to live in a castle?

Hop To It

Hey ya’ll! I just got back from Austin. I couldn’t post while there because I realized I forgot my camera plug at my apartment. Total fail. That tends to happen when I pack to go somewhere. I always forget something, and I get this feeling that I did, but I can never remember what I forgot until I’m already halfway away. Oh well. It was a pretty nice weekend. The highlight was definitely going to Hopdoddy’s, which is a nice burger bar in Austin.

There are two locations in Austin. The original one that is on South Congress, and this newer location on Anderson Lane. I go to the Anderson Lane one since it is down the street from where I live. Seriously best day ever when I got the news that they were getting a Hopdoddys in my neighborhood. My mom, brother, and I decided to go after my CT scans because I could only have clear liquids before, so I was starving.

I ordered the Janis Joplin. It is a hemp seed patty with avocado, bean sprouts, tillamook cheddar, and horseradish honey mustard. This is one of the best veggie burgers I have ever had. The bun is soft and has the perfect sweet, nutty flavor. The actual patty is extremely tasty, and filled with a variety of flavors. The toppings go perfect with this burger, and you definitely know you are eating the healthiest of everyone at the table.

My mom ordered the Primetime. It is Texas Akaushi Beef with caramelized onions, brie cheese, truffle aoili, and steak sauce. This is one of the fancier burgers they have on the menu. I think it is quite delicious (although I don’t eat red meat anymore), and the brie cheese is to die for. Whoever thought of putting that on the burger alongside the aoili, three points for you.

My mom and I split an order of fries. One of my favorite parts of Hopdoddys is that they have tons of sauces. Horseradish honey mustard, some chipotle BBQ sauce, and sassy sauce (their special).

My brother got the Greek, which is lamb, feta cheese, arugala, pickled red onions, tomato, cucumber, and tzatziki sauce. He said it was pretty amazing. He especially loved the feta cheese on top of it.

My brother also ordered a milkshake. The milkshakes here are life changing. This is the sea salt and caramel. It was amazing. The sweet and salty combination was perfect. I would definitely order this one next time I’m there. Although all of the milkshakes are good. I also got a t-shirt when I was there that says: “We spank our patties and they like it”. I really can’t wait to wear that around and get weird stares.

I hope everyone has been having a fantastic week!

Where is the best burger you have ever had?
What would be on your perfect burger?