06 September 2012

Spun out @ The Vortex. Again.

 The Vortex was consistent once again with delicious burger goodness.  A recent trip to the original Vortex location in Little 5 Points to devour the Coronary Bypass created with this ½ pound burger, four slices of cheese and four slides of bacon.  The wonderful meat sandwich was juicy and tasty.  Not to mention the ambiance and selection of beers that complete the full burger bar experience.  A definite stop when in Atlanta.

28 July 2012

The cheeseburger at the Clevelander at Marlins Park

The new Marlins Park transplanted some of the south Beach feel into the stadium by landing a 2nd Clevelander destination.  The restaurant/club area brings a VIP feel with really cool field seating just behind the left field wall, a pool just feet away as well as club-like bottle service with an outdoor area for cornhole and beer pong.

The food at the Clevelander was very good.  The cheeseburger was fresh and classic served with sweet potato tots, complete with lettuce, tomato, onion and a pickle on the side.  Try the pizza if you go too.

27 July 2012

Don't be artisocial

Has artificial social eroded the exponential adoption trajectory of social media and social networking?  It's time to back off artisocial.  And what does this even mean? 

Artificial could be defined as lacking spontaneity or forced and Social as devoted to or characterized by friendly relations; and in the sense of social media and social networking, collaborative and seeking or enjoying the companionship of others.

artificial + social = artisocial and could be defined as unnatural devotion; companionship that was not generated from spontaneity. 

Arguably, some of the best things about the social media and social networking environments, tools and features are their collaborative, crowdsourcing and social propagation components.  Key examples are “like” buttons and hashtags such as #Stampthispostingwithahastagsootherscanfinditeasily.  Artisocial marketing has started to erode these core engaging and likable aspects. The “Like” button works so well because it is juvenile and with the click of a single button one can identify themselves with a brand, idea or concept amongst their social peers.  The insertion of the marketer and that a reward will be given for liking something not only erodes this natural and organic social activity but actually destroys the foundation of being spontaneous and natural.

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Marketer, Please stop asking your customers to “Like” you.  Have you considered that they may not be that valuable to you if they are only liking you because you have asked them to or are giving away a prize?  Please direct them to your product or your social media page and let them “Like” you naturally.

In addition, just because your organization started a blog under the guise of a well respected leader doesn’t mean that some of your intended readers won’t see right through the false figurehead authoring.  Blogging also needs to be real with a real author behind the content in order to produce the desired outcomes.  Otherwise, it is also artisocial and eventually will lose respect.  Make calculated choices about others authoring content for someone else and publishing it through a blog forum or risk wasting a lot of time and energy.

Much of the true success of social media and social networking has been due to the dedication and engagement from the pioneers and social ambassadors having a clear understanding of what social is.  Artisocial may sincerely cripple this.  Don’t be artisocial.

06 May 2012

Where has personal space gone?

It seems as if about a centimeter a month disappears from what should be acceptable and appropriate distance between strangers.  Why do some people feel the need to stand so close behind someone else in public situations?  Are they really that oblivious that they are nearly on top of you?  Are they that rude?  Or are they just plain stupid?

02 May 2012

Burgers from Montgomeryville, Miami and Sandy Springs

Amercian Star Diner in Montgomeryville, PA was a destination hoping to improve recent burger adventures in the Lansdale area, but proved once again disappointing.  A classic diner location with a classic menu complete with a classic burger turned out pretty boring.  Definitely edible and only just that good.  Old school iceberg lettuce, a fair patty and well melted cheese, but only to be stamped with regular and far from special.

Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink in the design District in Miami, Florida presented a much better burger.  Not even in the same category as American Star or diners in general.  This burger had high expectations to meet from a recent mention in the 25 best burgers.  Presentation was right on lined by a distinct variation with it's yellow tomato slice atop crumbled and melted Vermont white cheddar cheese.  The burger is very good and ‘genuine’ none the less, but a few ounces short of award winning or chalking up on a favorite list.

The burger at 5 Seasons Brewery in Sandy Springs, GA was good.  Tasty and hit all the staple requirements of the American burger sandwich but nothing was special about it.  A meal for sure, but the beer is much more of a draw.

21 March 2012

BURGERFI...my new favorite

Oh BURGERFI.  I have driven by your burger joint at Commercial and AIA a few times over the past few months and reserved my visit for a random day.  The day finally came.

I now wish I stopped by the last few times I saw you metal roof in my rear view.

The menu was endless.  But, this is probably the worst thing I can say about BURGERFI

I ordered a double with cheese, a beer, cheese fries and split onion rings with my friends.  The best thing about BURGERFI was actually not the burgers or the hot dogs or the cheese sauce.  It was actually the service.  Stellar.  I felt as if I wasn't even in south Florida.  Where did these people come from?  Someone must have one hell of a glass half full, have ready Danny Meyer's book or is just a natural.  Service this good is not just a by product of a new restaurant.  The management is really onto something here.

The ambiance was cool but modern integrating classic burger joint stuff.  Old school light bulbs hung from polished ice picks.  Stools, benches and chairs were all over for the patrons.  A list of beers and custards complimented the options.

My cheeseburger bun had the logo burned on.  I'd sum up or classify the burger as superior fast food.  No temperature asked but all the right standards, cushy, pillowy soft bun, cheese melted to perfection, patties grilled some where in between medium, Shake Shack and the burgers you remember as a child that were just what you wanted.  Awesome.

I could not resist getting more food after round one tasted so good.  I just couldn't leave without eating more.  I ordered a Chicago dog and outside of my experience at Portillo's recently I don't know how to measure up a Chicago dog, but this is now it.

BURGERFI, I'll be back.

P.S.  Please keep the service level this high.

21 February 2012


BURGERS & SHAKES in Miami Beach, FL

It has many of the right ingredients but just not all there yet. The set up is right on.  The menu is great.  But, the burger needs a little more time.



I was skeptical when I wasn't asked for a cooked temperature.  You know, mid-rare, medium, well, etc...  I opted for the B&S Burger with cheese, bacon and a fried egg.  The bun was good but not the best match.  My egg was fried and not sunny side up as preferred.  The patty ended up medium well.

Overall a good lunch but not worth a drive, but maybe a step away from the beach.

30 January 2012

Enter Stage Left. Exit Very Happy

Foods, restaurants and definitely burgers rarely live up to how good you remembered them being from the last visit.

Consistency and high quality is part of the reason that Stage Left lives up to their burger reputation. The other reasons are the meat, cheese, bacon and the bun.

Go to Stage Left in New Brunswick, New Jersey and order a medium-rare burger to get a mound of a burger perfectly seared all around with the classic seal locking all of the best juices in. The size and shape of the resulting patty conclude that no amateur is pressing these parties on the grill top. The final product comes out with a super pink tartare like center while the outer edges are a medium-well crust.

The cheese is a wonderful 3 year old Vermont Tillamook to add the perfect tart and variation in between the sirloin and crispy bacon.

Strips of salty bacon peek out from under the bun's cap as if you were supposed to pull on them or maybe that is just the charm of the salt flakes around the rim of each strip.

This perfect sandwich is all put together with lettuce, tomato, red onion and surrounded by a great bun.

Stage Left is a phenomenal stop for the burger aficionado. Make sure to sit at the bar as burgers are not served in the regular dining areas.