2018-06-29 The Railcar Cheeseburger and Other Random Unrelated Drama.. 4 🍔👍🏻

Yesterday I met one of my former coworkers for a happy hour drink at a place called the Railcar. I probably meet up with Her about once every six weeks or so. We first met at my last job and as fate would have it, we started on the exact same day in 2012. We were on different teams but got it off pretty much right away.

She was very much my confidant, for both work related rants and personal issues. Toward the end of my relationship with Matt she was the one who said something that I took to heart. One afternoon I had had a lunch Meetup with him where my already broken heart was crushed into a thousand small shards because I said “I love you” and he walked away leaving me unrequited. It was such a stabbing pain and I cried my eyes out all the way back to the office. Arriving back to work, Sam and I crossed paths at the front doors. She recognized my state (trying to pull that shit in and get it back together) and she said to me “..you deserve better. You deserve someone who can’t wait to talk to you everyday, someone who is excited to see you..” There was more to it, but in my delicate state, that’s all I remembered and it finally sank in.

That was a turning point for me. A huge step forward acknowledging the truth in her words. Of course now I know how it feels, to have a person who wants me like that in my life. It’s glorious.

Anyway, Sam outlasted me at that job but in the end it was very much the same end to the same story. They use you until they loose you. Endless human capital out there in the world apparently, but a terrible way to operate. Her story is not mine to tell but I can say this much… she’s worlds happier where she is now. And what’s more, the weight of the world and the fate of the company is no longer hanging in the balance and depending on the success of pushing past limits week in and week out. We do our jobs well and then we clock out. Get in and get out and leave the drama in the cube.

Well Hell – is this a post about my life struggles or a cheeseburger review or what?😜 Getting to the point now…

So we met at Railcar to do our regular catch up session and tell the stories of the day. It was good. I’ve had their Happy hour cheeseburger before and have been remiss in actually writing about it. What I can say is that it’s one worth repeating.

It’s a little smaller than a normal restaurant burger. It’s bigger than a slider but not nearly the size of that half pound beast I had at Garbos. It’s because it’s their happy hour special and just a slightly smaller version of their dinner entree offering..

THE RAILCAR WAGYU BURGER
red top farms ground short rib, bacon apple jam, red onion, romaine lettuce, brie cheese, garlic aioli

One thing I would comment on right away is that it is really tough to grill a smaller party and get it right. So easy to overcook, but this one is spot on. The only change I requested from the standard was swapping cheeses. I had cheddar instead of Gouda. Typically I would say hold the lettuce too but since this is not my first Rodeo at the Railcar, I know they don’t overdo it like they do at some places. Some places pile on the lettuce like they think you wanted a salad instead of beef. Either that or there’s not a lot of substance and they are making the burger look bigger using a giant stack of green. Totally unnecessary. Railcar gets that. There’s just enough lettuce to add some fresh texture and crunch and it serves as an excellent topping to hold onto the sauce, which is quite tasty in its own right. A little sweet and a little savory… nothing at all akin to ketchup and mustard which is a good thing.

The cheese was melty and the bun was slightly toasted. My only complaint would be that it could use a slightly larger portion of cheese. Being a happy hour treat it’s served solo so at some point I’ll have to try the full entree. In any case, it’s a solid 4 and I’ll definitely be back for more.

(I’d go back again anyway since this spot is a regular meet-up location for Sam and I). 😊

Until Next Bite,
~Miss SugarCookie

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2018-06-25 The Key West Garbos Cheeseburger.. 4.5! 🧡🍔

My Key West vacation might be over, but I’m not closing the book until I capitalize on the opportunity to do a review the two Cheeseburger experiences I had on my journey. All I have to say about this first one is “move over burger boys, you never stood a chance”. In all fairness, my score of 4.5 is somewhat biased due to the overall experience. This was truly a Cheeseburger in Paradise.

Mid-way through our trip I mentioned to JS that I’d like to find a delicious burger and like everything else in my life right now, it was “ask and you shall receive”. No sooner did the words slip from my lips, and he was hot in the case finding the perfect place. That place turned out to be the Blackfinn Bistro.

That afternoon we drove the familiar route from our condo to where all the hustle and bustle of the Island starts. The island is small, 2 miles by 4 miles. Lots of people get around on bikes and scooters and parking a car is a serious bitch, so once we found a spot and paid for it, we were committed. The bistro was a short two or three blocks away and when we arrived we were met at the door by a printed page that indicated the establishment was closed for an indeterminate amount of time for renovations. What??!! It would have been nice for them to put that on their web sight. Epic fail.

Not to worry, Jim was Johnny on the spot with a backup plan. Soon we were off on foot to find Garbos, which was number 2 on his list. We walked almost 2 miles, which if you are paying attention, is most of the distance across the island. When we arrived we found a dive bar and nestled in back of that lot was a tiny food truck. That’s Garbos.

The reviews of this place are great and they are known for their spectacular fish tacos, but that’s not my game. Nope.. for Miss SugarCookie it’s all about the Cheeseburgers. There’s only 1 on the menu.. the Umamiburger:

UMAMIBURGER

1/2 pound angus, topped with a heirloom tomato, applewood bacon, chipotle gouda then served on a brioche bun. If you are feeling a little adventures ask for the Landon Calrissian.

Since I don’t care for chipotle flavor, I had them substitute their smoked Gouda instead. It was a Gouda choice! 😜 After we ordered, we had a seat inside the bar and had them pour us a couple of cold ones while we waited. There was no AC and it was damn hot out. I was sweaty, hot, and hungry from our little walk across the island and so when they placed it in front of me, I dove right in (after getting a quick pic for posterity of course).

Can you say “amazing”? Say it with me… “Amazing”. Like the Universe was rewarding me for all my good deeds, this burger was perfect for me. The burger was cooked to my liking, medium rare and had just the right amount of juicyness. The Gouda cheese was melted on the patty and topped with bacon and tomato, also at just the right proportions. The brioche bun was delish. This burger was proof that if done right, no sauce is required. I would not have wanted it any other way. It’s also proof that a food truck can turn out food just as good or better than any fancy Bistro. Sorry Blackfinn, you loose.

My 4.5 rating out of 5 is a comprehensive score that takes the experience into account too. That’s why I’m saying there’s a little bit of bias in it. I mean, having something that you love with someone that you love in a wonderful place is tough to top.

Well done Garbos.. if I ever get back to the Keys, I’ll be paying you another visit. Maybe next time I’ll get the fish tacos instead. (Hahaha, fat chance).

Enjoying Every Bite,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-06-07 The JS Cheeseburger 🍔- A Solid 3.75

3.75 Out of 5. I’m going to try not to focus too much on the fact that my rating scale is flawed and needs some refinement and just roll with it.

I had another JS burger experience last night and it’s the 4th or 5th time so it’s about time I broke down the facts and shared about it.

First, the beef.. Nebraska grass fed obtained from the local Whole Foods, cuz that’s how we roll. No spices, just smashed into patties and cooked on a medium/high gas flame grilll. Five minutes each side and I get to hang out and talk with the cook while he works his magic.

Once the burgers are done, it’s back to the kitchen so the assembly can take place. For mine, it’s two slices of cheese, one aged white cheddar of unknown origin and one Kraft medium orange cheddar (white on the bottom and orange on top). Dill pickle slices and Dijon mustard on top of that. All between a gluten free ciabatta bun. There were als more dill slices on the side with lays potato chips. Delicious!

On the down side.. The burger was cooked a little more than I like it and the post grill prep of the rest of the food took too long and by the time we sat down to eat, it wasn’t very hot anymore.

On the plus side, I really was in control of my own toppings and got to snuggle up next to my sweetie when we were done eating and continue watching our new show. We finished “Lost In Space”, which was great, and started “The Colony”. Last nights got we got through episode 3 and so far so good. But this isn’t a review of TV shows, it’s a review of a Cheeseburger. 🍔 😜

This particular time, I’m giving it a 3.75 because it’s still better than most but there’s definite room for improvement. I’ve had 4s and even 4.25 here before but that was under different circumstances. Nameley a different bun. The quality of the bun is on me. I’m gluten free right now and that’s mostly so I stop eating so much bread and pasta. I wouldn’t even be having gluten free bread if it weren’t for the fact that eating a burger without a bun is against my religion. So for this I have to make an exception.

The great news on this one is that I’m gonna have lots of opportunities to improve the score. I’m seeing a long happy future with JS perfecting ‘our’ cheeseburger.

After dinner and the show, we jumped in the car and did a loop around the city to watch/follow a pretty bad-ass thunderstorm. It came from the north and bypassed the west part of town so we headed east. We ended up seeing a couple intense cloud to ground lightning strikes and were pretty close to the action. By the time we finished the loop it had dissipated and I was so tired I fell asleep on the couch. It was a great night. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Another Burger in the Books,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-02-01 Welcome to February.. Seriously

It’s one day closer to spring and I just can’t wait. I guess that’s why they say patience is a virtue. I have virtues when it comes to some things, but patience isn’t one of them.

I don’t like to wait. For anything. I’m all about instant gratification. If I get a craving for chocolate.. I just want to go for it. That’s part of what is making this Whole 30 so challenging. It’s also part of why I’m doing it. I’ll be curious to see if I slip back to all my old behaviors when it’s over and done with.

Now that I’m nearing the end, ive started thinking about how I might alter my permanent eating behaviors. Ive thought about staying gluten free or dairy free or sugar free. (Haha.. just kidding on that last one 😂)

Seriously though. One of my goals was to tame my sugar dragon. 🐉 I didn’t make that term up.. it’s actually what they call it on the official site and chat boards. If dragons were rated like earthquakes mine would probably pop off the Richter scale at a solid 5. If Charles had enough sense in 1935 he’d probably design a 10 point scale to try and curb some of that decimal nonsense. No self respecting rating system operates on a 5 point scale anymore. Well except maybe girls that evaluate Cheeseburgers on their anonymous blog. 😉

Seriously though. I guess lots of rating systems still operate on a 0 to 5 star selection. I just don’t find it easy when you’re the person who has to choose and you don’t have half stars to choose from. With 5 points, there’s a huge difference between 5 and 4.

Think about it. 5 is like saying something is 100% and let’s be real, there’s not a lot of things that are just THAT good. I almost never rate anything a 5 because there’s always room for improvement and I reserve that for some instance where I’ve been so blown away by whatever it is. Like “BAM – That’s a 5!”

Then, just one tiny little star away from that is a 4. That’s 80% which is arguably a C grade. In some peoples eyes, this is like a B, but then what happens when you get to 3 and that’s 60% which is a very low D.. almost an F and so then your left with 2 and 1 which are 40 and 20 and both clearly F’s. I know it’s not really comparable, but I think that is part of the problem with a 5 point scale. Theres just to wide of an interpretation. You might see 2 or 2.5 or 3 as average, but someone else might not.

Anyhow, I met this guy on Bumble recently and he actually does reviews of places (and specific food) around town and he’s got this rating system that judges the food on five categories and each category the top score is 10. What you end up with is a score from 0 to 50 and that’s pretty legit. Perhaps I should rethink my whole strategy for rating Cheeseburgers. Because I know that is of monumental importance to the universe. Ha!

But Seriously. I need it to be spring already and I need to get to February 7th already and I need to figure out what is going to happen after that. I know the whole point of this thing is a reset of the system, but since I don’t feel better or look better or weigh less or anything, my inclination is to say screw it. That would probably be a bad idea, I am sure. After depriving ones self of one of their favorite things for so long, it is hard not to think about that being the very first thing you go for again.

Failing at Being Serious,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-10-08 Five Guys Burgers and Fries.. 2.5

How many guys does it take to make an above average cheeseburger? More than Five Guys apparently. 😛

Of all the burger joints in all the world, how did THIS one become a national chain?

For starters, the atmosphere is “meh” at best, very fast-food-ish which I guess might be what they were going for considering you order at the counter. They get a plus in my book for the peanuts, but it seems really odd and not necessary unless they are expecting people are so starved when they arrive and have to wait in a long line (which we did not thank goodness).

The menu was also meh.. it’s a burger joint, so that’s their main thing but very one-trick-pony in that you order a single or a double and then choose any toppings you want. This philosophy is OK for people who eat a lot and consume a lot of toppings, however, me and my people don’t so having to pay for someone else’s toppings with that outrageous price point was incredibly off-putting.

Case in point.. Z gets a single hamburger, plain (YES I said PLAIN??!) and we pay just as much for that (5+ bucks) as my cheeseburger with onions and pickles and peppers and tomato and mustard and cheese. Just wrong. Same story for C only a touch worse because he did not even get a burger, he ordered a hot dog. What is wrong with my children?!

Anyway, for that price I would expect a really great cheeseburger because that’s the caliber of place this is. It’s a step above fast food and a step below an average dine-in, serve you at the table restaurant. Sadly, the burger fell short of average.

The bun was OK, there was not enough cheese (IMO), and nothing so special about the seasonings or the toppings. I’m writing this 24 hours past my experience and I can’t think of a damn thing noteworthy to say about it. Hence the below average rating.

I’m not quite done with my rant about the price though. The entire meal, which consisted of two “small” burgers, a small fry, two drinks and a hot dog came to 30 dollars. WHAT???!!! How in the Fuck did that happen? I’ve never in my life spent 30 bucks at a fast food place for me and my kids before and quite literally don’t even spend that much when we go to a restaurant normally. I could have had three complete burger meals at Red Robin for that price which would have all included bottomless fries.

Oh, and speaking of the fries, they are terrible. Overly seasoned and not crispy enough at all. I originally wanted to score this a 2.75 but now that I’ve remembered everything, I am going to go with a 2.5.

This is an over-rated franchise,
With prices that make me agonize
Burgers that won’t win any prize
And just down-right terrible Fries.
I’ve given this place one to many tries.
Time to say never again.. to Five Guys.

Never Again!
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-09-17 Austin: The P.Terry’s Cheeseburger.. 3

Saturday morning we went to the soccer fields to watch Rebecca’s daughter play her very first soccer game ever. It was hot, and muggy, and the sun felt like it was burning our skin. And that was before it was even 11AM. When it was over, we decided to grab a quick bite to eat and the choice was a burger place I had never been to before.. how perfect.

P. Terry’s is apparently a local Austin chain and I’m not sure if it extends anywhere else outside the city limits. We did the drive through so I have no comment on the restaurant itself, but from the looks of it, I would have put it on par with a regular fast-food burger chain. I was pleasantly surprised that it exceeded my expectations.

I had a regular single cheeseburger which normally comes with lettuce, tomato, and special sauce but I elected to skip the lettuce. I was assured that the sauce was good, so I was ok sticking with that. I also added pickles.

When we arrived home, I dig right in and it was gone in about three minutes. I was apparently hungry. So hungry that I hardly took the time to savor it and really give a lot of thought to it, but I would not have devoured it so fast if it was not good.

Rebecca tells me that all the ingredients are fresh and that they cook your food when you order which is rare for a fast food place. If I was comparing it to other “drive-through” places, I would probably rate it higher, but my rating scale is all cheeseburger experiences from a wide variety of places ranging from basic to high-end. With that in mind, I’m giving it a 3. I concur with my friend, the special sauce was really good.

If I lived here, I would go back, but when I compare this cheeseburger to my home town “Runza” Cheeseburger, it was not as good. One of these days I’m going to have to pay Runza a visit again just so I can write about it. Hmmm.. maybe one day this week.

Enjoying Life, One Cheeseburger at a Time,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-07-29 It’s a Doozie.. 1.5

Yesterday I had plans to take the kids to go have lunch with my Dad and his wife and they live across the river in Council Bluffs, Iowa. I let them pick the place and of course, they pick someplace in Council Bluffs because for some reason they rarely come across to this side of the river for anything. They picked a place that I guess is relatively new down in the Manawa lake area called Doozies. I had not heard of it before and had no idea what to expect.

When we arrived, which was about 1:20 in the afternoon well past a typical lunch rush we were surprised to walk in and find the three or four booths they had inside already occupied. Well, there was one “three quarter” bench right by the door with no one at it but the table was clearly dirty. The kids sat down there while I stood by the wall to look at the menu. It’s one of those places you order at the counter and they bring your food to you.

I was pleased to find that besides ice-cream being their main go-to, they also had cheeseburgers and sandwiches and fries and the like. There was one gal sort of rushing around in a very stressed out way cleaning off a high chair and I let her know about the dirty table and she said she was getting to that next.

Z elected to get the chicken strip basket, C had a grill-cheese basket, and I of course ordered a single cheeseburger, no basket). It was the same gal at the counter who took our order and she again seemed a little put off. The place started to fill up behind us and the kids went outside to a larger umbrella table that would accommodate all five of us.

My dad and his wife were a touch late but it was OK because it took a long time for our food to come out and by the time it did, all of the tables outside had filled up too. I was shocked to see such a crowd in the middle of the afternoon on a Friday, but perhaps that meant it was a place worth coming to. Sadly that was not the case.

The food was sub-par. The burger I ordered was not good and the kids did not seem to care for theirs either. The fries were greasy and limp. The burger was completely underwhelming. Nothing special about any of it. It was like they went to the grocery and got all the right ingredients, but somehow it just didn’t come together.

It was a 1/3 pound lifeless patty probably fried up on a flat-iron and devoid of any seasonings. It was done well through and piled with tomato, cheese, pickle, and onion, which also seemed to be void of flavor. I mean, pickles and onions have a distinct flavor but I couldn’t taste it. Z had a side of ranch for her chicken strips which the stressed-out lady at the counter made me choose and so I ended up dipping the burger in that which had at least some flavor.

In all fairness, I ordered it without the “Doozie” sauce which I guess is a catsup/mayo combo or something, so perhaps that would have been better but I don’t like catsup or mayo. I would say the next time I will try it, but I am never going back.

At one point my Dad’s wife made a comment about “this place affecting Cristy Creme’s business”. In my head I’m thinking, this place can’t touch Cristy Creme, but I kept that one to myself. Now that the idea is in my head, we might just have to do that one next time we are back in CB.

Anyway, Z refused to eat her chicken fingers after the first couple of bites and told me in the car on the way home she found several hairs in her food. C ate all of his grilled cheese, but as usual had nothing to say about it. Neither one of them even made a dent in their fries which makes a statement as well.

When we were on vacation we went to that really terrible burger place in a town just off the coast and I didn’t write a review of it because I felt it wasn’t worth it, but I’ve now decided that I should take the time to hash over the bad as well as the good in order to properly fill out the scale of possibilities. Considering the food, and the place, and the service, I would probably only go as high as 1.5 on this one.

My grand recommendation for Doozies is to stick with the ice cream. We did not have any, but it most certainly has to be better than their food (and it is tough to server bad ice cream).

One and Done,
~Miss SugarCookie