Hook and Ladder Fire Station No. 13
Feb03

Hook and Ladder Fire Station No. 13

Hook and Ladder Fire Station No. 13 1313 California Ave  Salt Lake City, UT 84104 Ordered: mushroom & bacon cheeseburger with English fries. Rating: B As you know, I have had many a burger in my day. But only rarely have I had an “experience” when eating burgers. But when my wife and I went to Hook and Ladder we had an experience. I recently found a new store called NPS where they sell dented boxes of cereal and random things I don’t need at discount prices. Obviously this is my kind of store. After not spending nearly enough time there my wife and I were hungry so we decided to have dinner at a burger place I’d heard of called Hook and Ladder Fire Station No. 13 (I think everyone just calls it hook and ladder). We immediately loved the vibe; an old diner feel, but with history. The walls are plastered with black and white photos of fire fighters and the seating is all old antique benches that I could imagine in an old fire station. I don’t claim to know the whole story but this location apparently used to be a fire station, thus the name. However, all that resides in this location today is a burger place and a floral shop. It was a bit quiet in the restaurant so I put a dollar in the jukebox and enjoyed some Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd. The staff was grateful, singing along and tapping their feet. I had a good burger with a thick slice of ham on it and fries and my wife had some really amazing fish and chips. Serious, really amazing. We left with a “bye hon,” from one of the women behind the bar. Let me just say that I enjoy a middle aged woman calling me ‘hon’. I do, I just like it. When the hipster 25 year old waiter with half his head shaved calls my wife ‘hon’ it just doesn’t strike home like they think it does, it comes off as creepy. The lovely staff at Hook and Ladder are NOT creepy and they welcome everyone happily and gratefully. This is becoming a relic of the past and is almost never seen anymore. I’m so glad it still exists in some corners. Yes, I know I breezed past my burger review, I know. That’s because my story isn’t over. The next day I somehow convinced my wife into checking out the NPS store again. Like I said, I didn’t spend nearly enough time there. When we were done there it was around lunch time and wouldn’t you know it we found ourselves at Hook and Ladder again....

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The Best Burgers of 2015
Jan12

The Best Burgers of 2015

The Best Burgers of 2015 I could give you my excuses as to where I have been, but instead I’ll just say: “I’m back!” Yes, I took a break that was only partly not by choice. You all know that life is crazy and don’t need me to remind you, so suffice it to say that my life has also been insane. But now that everything seems to have slowed I can finally breathe and not a moment to soon. It’s time that I give you all my highly anticipated annual ‘Best of’ list. 2015 was a good year for burgers, which is kind of surprising considering that 2014 was also a very good year. I did a lot of traveling this year but in the end I only included one burger place that was out of state simply because the burger was THAT good. But other than that one burger the other four are all Utah made. Let me know if you agree with my choices   #5 – Main Street Cafe: Located in Hurricane, Utah (pronounced Hurkin for those of you who don’t know) this little cafe cooks all their burgers on an outside grill and they’re big and juicy. #4 – Penny’s: Why go to Stockton Utah? I really have no idea, UNLESS you want a great big homemade tasting burger. I recommend the Blue Explosion if you like lots of tangy blue cheese dressing. Big portions of real ingredients that just work. Their location isn’t. . . great, but trust me it’s worth the drive. #3 – From Scratch: In downtown Salt Lake there is a place that makes pizzas and burgers and they make all their food, you guessed it, from scratch. Yes, that is also their name but that is because they mean it. Everything they make is from scratch and you can taste it and it tastes like pure Joy. #2 – Hub and Spoke: Just off the beaten path of Sugar House is a great and hip restaurant that really makes great flavor combinations. Hub and Spoke takes chances and I have yet to taste one of their creations that didn’t hit the nail on the head. That aioli sauce that was on my burger. . . I could eat it like soup. And I have to mention the fries, they make my very favorite fries, EVER. Truly delicious food for those of you that like something different with great flavor combinations. #1 – Bootleggers: In Phoenix Arizona we found a rustic BBQ joint that makes a super amazing, delicious and glorious burger. I’m not a BBQ sauce guy but I will make exception when it’s done right and Bootleggers does it...

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Millcreek Grill and Bar
Oct26

Millcreek Grill and Bar

Millcreek Grill and Bar 2020 E 3300 S SLC, UT Ordered: Bacon Blue Cheeseburger Rating: B- Firstly, sorry for not writing in such a long time. I could go on and on about all the reasons why I seem to have been absent in the last few weeks but between a very successful comic con and so many other things. . . Well, let’s just say life went and got crazy on me. But now I’m back! Thank you so much loyal readers, I haven’t abandoned you I swear. I usually tend to have a burger place in mind and at least have a general plan of what I’ll order, but this particular week I didn’t have any place in mind. What does one do at a time like this? Yelp, one yelps. While scanning through burger results on yelp I came across a newly opened grill that was right across the street from my favorite comic book store as a kid, Dr. Volts. And since my last post was about my comic con costume I decided that Millcreek Grill and Bar would be more than appropriate. Millcreek Grill and Bar is full of wood panels and beams and has a kind of wood cabin tavern fee. Very cool vibe, though for some reason the location seems strange to me. I honestly can’t put my finger on it completely but something about the location just feels odd. I wish I could explain it, maybe it’s nothing so take that with a grain of salt. I could tell the servers were a bit frazzled, which was more than understandable being as it was their grand opening and all. As such I didn’t hold their frazzle-ness against them at all. Everyone was very nice and, like I said, the vibe was great. We even happened to visit when they had live music. Nothing like some Bluegrass music to go with your burger. All those things are great, but I’m there for the burgers. I ordered the Blue cheese bacon burger and my wife can’t not order anything with the words ‘mac and cheese’ in its description so just guess which burger is her’s. The burgers are beautiful, just look at them, THOSE are pretty burgers. However, they were unforgivably dry. Which really is such a shame. I mean, just look at the burger. All the components seem to be so well thought out. Yet, it was dry. That being said, the burger was fine, I mean I didn’t spit it out or anything. I really wanted to give them a better review but in the end a dry burger is no fun to eat....

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Hub and Spoke Diner
Aug17

Hub and Spoke Diner

Hub and Spoke Diner 1100 E. 1300 S. Salt Lake City, UT Ordered: Wood Grilled Hub Burger Rating:A+ My very favorite burger places to visit are the old diners that look like you need to take a toothbrush to the never-swept tiles in the corners, where the waitress calls you “Hon” and the music is all pre-1990’s. However, every once in a while you find a place, a hipster-ish kind of place that makes a damn good burger.  Hipster places often make me feel uncomfortable and sometimes judged. I will admit that was my primary feeling when I entered Hub and Spoke Diner but it was short lived, very short lived. Not only was the staff very competent, pleasant, and non-judgy, the food was amazing. Seriously, so good! I have often preached that burgers don’t need to be “fixed”. I roll my eyes at these places that try so hard to be creative yet their burgers end up being no fun to eat. However, Hub and spoke found a way to do some very subtle tweaks to their burger and fries that made my eyes roll back in my head. First, they of course have fresh and high quality ingredients, then each component on the burger has its own specific taste and each adds to the dish. All of that alone would make a great burger but then their homemade mayo, ahem I mean “aioli” makes the burger stand above the rest. Rarely would I ever recommend gray mayonnaise to people but this is the exception. The mayo is actually a smoked onion aioli which I could have eaten like soup. so so so good! But wait there’s more! I can now honestly say that Hub and Spoke makes THE best fries I have ever had in my life. In my life! If you go there and decide you just aren’t in the mood for a burger and say you order the flapjacks (so good), or pie (also very good) you should also order the fries on the side. I mean it, they have perfected the freedom fry. They snap as they should, and they crunch as they should and they are almost black from being fried so long. I’m pretty sure they invented those fries just for me. I’ve been asking for them for years and finally I’ve found them. I was honestly on the fence on whether I would rate their burger as a A or an A+ but the fries did it for me, and they’re the reason I finally decided to give them an A+. So get up, Go, eat, and be delighted....

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Penny’s
Jul28

Penny’s

Penny’s 7760 Highway 36, Stockton UT Ordered: Blue Explosion Rating: A If you don’t mind a little bit of traveling to get an amazing burger, then Penny’s should shoot to the top of your list. That is unless you live in Stockton, Utah. But I’m going to go out on a limb and say you don’t live in Stockton, because almost no one does. Actually, Penny’s isn’t even in Stockton, I mean technically it is but it’s actually located on the highway out of town between Stockton and Dugway. (Yeah I know, just Google it.) This place really is in the middle of nowhere and unless you know a little bit of history its location will be a bit of a head-scratcher. Why build a restaurant in the middle of a desert in the middle of a low traffic highway? Well, from what I heard there used to be factory or a mine or something real near that location and the workers used to frequent the only restaurant nearby, Penny’s. The factory closed down years ago, but Penny’s stayed put and loyal patrons are still keeping them in business today. It’s a good thing too because Penny’s makes a damn good burger. However, my day did not start at Penny’s is started a couple miles up the road at a gun range where my wife and I and another couple got some good shooting practice in. That’s what Tooele county is good for after all, good old hill billy fun. A couple hours, a few hundred rounds, and two boxes of skeet later we were craving hefty amounts of man-food. How convenient that just a couple miles away was just that place to satisfy that craving. Penny’s has a very simple yet rustic theme: pennies. Every wall and counter top is adorned with copper and/or pennies of some kind, It’s quaint. Three of the four of us ordered the Blue Explosion burger which should tell you something about the burger. A soft Kaiser bun with a half pound patty, thick sliced ham, thick sliced bacon, and a creamy blue cheese dressing. It was very very good. I could not have thought of a better end to my morning of target practice. Their fries were fresh cut and also very good. My wife ordered her burger with tater-tots because she’s 5 years old at heart and if you can get past all the grease they soak up, they’re pretty good as well. I liked this burger so much that I implore you, nay, I order you to take a little road trip out of your way and give them your business. You will not be disappointed....

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Poplar Street Pub
Jul13

Poplar Street Pub

Poplar Street Pub 242 S. 200 W.  SLC, UT Ordered: The Prosciutto Burger Rating: B Life at my house has been crazy lately. Recently, I’ve been trying to switch jobs and in order to make the transition to the other job I had to intern part-time there while also working my current job. It has been a busy time for me. Working two jobs and slaving, SLAVING over a burger blog was taking its toll on me and needless to say my friends and family were beginning to wonder where I was because they never saw me anymore. Right when I was at my most busy my Sister Lizz texted me and said she was missing me and wanted to take me out for a burger as she had just found out about my blog (word travels very slowly in my family). We made the date, I had one free hour on Saturday, if I woke up an hour early. Sleep was a big deal at this time but I was willing to make the sacrifice, after all I missed my sister too. Saturday came aaaaaand I slept in, in fact I forgot about the lunch date until the next weekend. After grovelling, she agreed to try again the following Saturday. Saturday came, I woke up an hour early and headed to my sister’s house and she didn’t answer. All the lights were out, we had missed each other again. Or so I thought, after 10 minutes of knocking she came to the door looking like she had just woken up, because that’s exactly what had happened. This time she forgot, so in my book I think we’re even. Anyway, we laughed about it and she put herself together and we went out to Poplar Street Pub. We took a seat on their big patio out back and each ordered a burger, I ordered the Prosciutto Burger and the garlic fries. The fries were floppy, wet, and disappointing but the burger was pretty good. It’s a very fresh burger with a good thick patty, crispy fried onions, and a generous portion of cured pork on top. It was a pretty good burger, maybe a touch dry, but I would recommend it to anyone. But even better was the company. Thanks sis! Sorry for standing you up, but I’m glad we were able to make it work eventually. Keep me posted for when you want to take me out again. And good news, the internship hired me full time so I quit my other job. I can live life again! For those of you working multiple jobs, I salute you. Working more...

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