Posts Tagged ‘Burger’

Ruben James – Cheese Burger & Chicken Tortellini Soup

September 19, 2008

Almost a year ago I posted about some of my favorite wings at Reuben James in Burlington Vermont. Unfortunately they don’t also have free burgers, but they do have inexpensive ones.

Reuben James - Burlington, Vermont

Reuben James - Burlington, Vermont

I have a cold, so I ordered some chicken noodle(tortellini) soup.

Reuben James - Chicken Tortellini Cup

Reuben James - Chicken Tortellini Cup

The soup was decent, nice chunks of celery, some onion, chicken pieces and plain tortellini. I recently slurped some MSG infused classic Campbell’s Condensed chicken noodle, RJ’s broth was noticeable MSG free. However it’s not house made as confirmed by the staff, I’m guessing the soup is a Sysco product based on evidence of Sysco boxes in the kitchen. Also of note: locally made Westminster crackers come with.

Reuben James - Cheese Burger

Reuben James - Cheese Burger

Reuben James is open for lunch on Thursdays and Fridays, and they usually have a few sandwiches “on special”. Lately they’ve had their normally $5.50 cheese burger for $4.00 (come with chips + pickle). The cooking temp was more medium-well then medium, but it still had a touch of pink, and the burger is large maybe 1/2 lb affair. Djon mustard is available on request and the corn-mealed bun is fresh. Swiss cheese at no charge rounds out this bargain sandwich.

I rate the also inexpensive burger at VPB as slightly tastier and ethically sound (local beef), but in these pocket-pinching times a $4 cooked to order 1/2 lb.  burger is a welcome lunch choice. Oh and the cup of soup was $3.

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Vermont Pub and Brewery – Swiss Burger & Meslun salad (honey chili vinaigrette)

June 10, 2008

Vermont Pub and Brewery - Burlington Vermont
Vermont Pub and Brewery – Burlington Vermont

Vermont Pub and Brewery in Burlington Vermont, known to locals as “VPB” or the “the pub” is great place for pub food and good pints of beer. It’s also a fun place to watch Red Sox games despite the smallish TV. Also when they aren’t Sox games on you can pick the game, I was enjoying watching the Eurocup while eating my lunch.

Vermont Pub and Brewery - Swiss Burger
Vermont Pub and Brewery – Swiss Burger

First off, this is an Angus burger, second it’s from local Shelburne Laplatte River Angus farm. Thirdly the burger is grilled, and cooks nail the temp you ask for 9/10 times (I like mine medium-rare). Finally the bun is toasted, and I like lettuce / tomato onion that comes on the side. It’s a 1/3 pound burger so you still have some room for beer, home made onion rings, sweet potato fries, or salad.

Vermont Pub and Brewery - Mustard
Vermont Pub and Brewery – Mustard

Whats so special about their mustard? Well it’s blended in house, it tastes like a mix of ground Dijon and whole grain Dijon, it’s got nice texture and kick.

Vermont Pub and Brewery - Mesclun Salad with Honey Chili Vinaigrette
Vermont Pub and Brewery – Mesclun Salad with Honey Chili Vinaigrette

I love this salad, pumpernickel and white croûtons, mesclun greens, carrot juliennes that are complimented by the great house dressing. The honey-chili vinaigrette shouldn’t be missed, perfect mix of sweet, acid and spice, just awesome.

The burger is an amazing $4.95 or $5.70 with cheese, the salad is $3.50, this is one of the better deals in town (pre-tax). (more…)

Al’s French Fries – Double Cheese burger, hot dog, pint of fries.

April 2, 2008

Al’s French Fries - South Burlington Vermont
Al’s French Fries – South Burlington Vermont

Al’s French Fries as noted on their website, is a local institution. One of the first times going to Al’s French Fries, I remember my grade school classmates on a field trip choosing McDonald’s over “Al’s”. I was surprised; this is one of my earlier memories of seeking out better food.

Al’s French Fries - Double cheese burger, hot dog, pint of fries.
Al’s French Fries – Double cheese burger, hot dog, pint of fries.

Their fries are perfect hand-cut real potatoes, fried fresh in front of you, not over salted, crispy on the outside and mushy on the inside. Vinegar is on the all of the tables for the fries; Al’s is where I first learned of this french fry condiment. I got my food to go, in colder weather Al’s will also give you a box to put over your food. I look their take out box / tray. It soaks up the grease and prevents errant fries from escaping, also condiments can be mounded directly on the cardboard.

Other that the awesome fries, the double cheese burger was nice, tasting more “real” than a chain fast food alternative. It’s fun watching the grill / fry cooks produce your order right in front of you. Finally the hotdog was good as well, I’m glad Al’s now stocks sour kraut, I’ll bet this was a McKenzie dog.  Both the dog and burger buns are from the local Koffee Kup bakery on Riverside Ave in Burlington, the outside of the buns are toasted on the grill (dry) and produce a nice crisp bite when eaten.

The only french fries that touch Al’s are Beansie’s which is seasonal bus, parked near the Burlington Police station in the summer. I saw their bus about a month ago:

 Beansie’s -Burlington Vermont
Beansie’s – Burlington Vermont

Al’s is a must, you may also be able to catch one of their french fry stands around various events in Vermont, if you can’t make the trip to Burlington.

The double cheese was $2.69, the hotdog $1.29 + .50 cents for kraut, and the pint of fries $1.95 (all pre-tax). I should have one gotten a cup of fries, I had to give the rest of my fries away to my appreciative co-worker.

Shopping Bag Inc’s, “Sczibek Sizzler”

December 19, 2007

I was going to get a cheese steak from V.T. Famous Philly Cheese Steak in Burlington Vermont’s ONE, but they were closed today. So instead I went up the  (north) street to Shopping Bag Inc a grocery/ convenience store, that also sports a grill. 

Brown Bag Inc’s, Grill
Shopping Bag Inc’s Grill

You need to see the cashier after deciding what to order, after paying you give the scrap of paper with your order to the grill cook. I decided to go with the “Sczikek Sizzler” and small fry.

Shopping Bag Inc, Sczibek Sizzler and small fry
Shopping Bag Inc’s – Sczibek Sizzler – half pound burger (fresh), toasted sesame bun, dill pickles, bacon, red onion, lettuce, tomato, Montreal seasoning, American cheese, mustard, ketchup and mayo. (and small fry).

Yes it does look like the burger might eat the small fry… this is a massive burger. The cook (who may be Sczibek’s name sake) asked me “if I had the rest of the day off?” I started asking him why (fearing that preparation of the burger would exceed my lunch break). He then informed me that “I would need to take a nap after eating this”, you too now have been fore-warned.  This burger is a guilty-pleasure, nice alternative to fast food. The Montreal steak seasoning was a good choice, however the burger was a little over salted for my taste but the mix of flavors and the freshness of the ingredients kept me interested until the end of the huge burger.

The fries were not so good, over salted and the oil tasted like it hadn’t been changed recently, which CAN be a good thing, but wasn’t in this case.  The burger was a very reasonable ~$5 with tax and the small fries ~$1.65