The Hungry Wanderers

Eating and exploring our way through the world

Posts Tagged ‘Burgers’

Exploring our curiosity for In N Out

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on June 8, 2010

Since arriving in Las Vegas, the Husband and I have wondered what all the hubbub is about with In-N-Out Burger.  We’d heard from all sorts of friends and acquaintances from the west coast that it’s the “best burger” in the world (or at least the fast food world) and that they crave it when they can’t have one.  When they come home, it’s one of their top to do items while in the area.  Well, to us that sounded like a lot of hype that we needed to check out.  When our friends and family were in town last week, they also wanted to see what all the rave was about so we decided to get a quick meal before heading out to Red Rock Canyon for a hike.  What better way to fuel a hike than a burger? 😉

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Using our trusty Google Maps, we determined which location was the quickest from the house (the one near Galleria and Costco on Sunset) and made our way there.  It was a beautiful day and the place was crowded.  Being as sunny as Las Vegas normally is, we decided to sit inside to avoid anyone getting sunburned while we ate.

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The basic menu is quite simple.  We also heard from friends that there’s a “secret” menu which you can actually find easily online.  The Husband and I each got a Cheeseburger, an order of fries to share, and a grilled cheese (from the secret menu) for the Husband.  The burgers come with lettuce, tomatoes, and “special sauce” and come with the option for onions.  The grilled cheese is essentially the cheeseburger without a burger.

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Verdict? We’re not sure what all the hubbub is about.  It tasted fresh and we generally liked the addition of lettuce and tomato (though truthfully I prefer my cheeseburgers to be meat, cheese, and bun… anything else hides the flavor of the basics).  I was impressed with the fact that the special sauce was on a separate bun from the cheese.  A pet peeve of mine when it comes to cheeseburgers is when condiments (which I generally don’t want) are ON the cheese – totally ruins the cheese! (Who knew someone could have such strong feelings on cheeseburger composition?!?!) 

With the grilled cheese turning out to be a cheeseburger without meat, the Husband was a bit less impressed there as well.  We liked the fries, but didn’t love them – that might be because we’re so used to traditional fast food fries.

I enjoyed the packaging of the food.  The fry holder had all sorts of fun facts about In-N-Out Burger.

IMG_2371 At the end of our meal, our friend Michelle decided to get a milkshake which in turn enticed the Husband’s sister-in-law and myself to do the same 🙂 I can’t remember the last time I had a milkshake! They had the basic flavor options and while I would normally go with strawberry when given the chance, I went with chocolate.  It was good, but actually slightly too thick for my taste.IMG_2372

Overall, we enjoyed our first In-N-Out Burger experience but don’t feel it was anything to rave about.  While it tasted fresher than McDonalds, Burger King, etc., it doesn’t stand up to Five Guys in our books 🙂 I don’t imagine we’ll be back any time soon, if ever.  However, if you’ve never been to one, it’s worth checking out.  The service, at least at this location, was great.  The staff was all very friendly and the food came out in a relative manner to the crowdedness of the place.  I’m glad we’ve checked this off of our to-do list!



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Maca’s, McCafe, McDonalds

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on March 11, 2010

When discussing all of the menu options to expect and try during our stay here in Australia, one of the places the Husband’s brother insisted we try is McDonalds.  Now normally, I would generally not consider having “American” food while traveling overseas – I would much rather eat the ethnic foods of the area.  However, he insisted we try it to taste the differences between Australian McDonalds (or Maca’s as they call it – lots of slang here) and our American version.

We wanted to be able to taste it while in the Sydney area in order to have the experience with Jeff (the Husband’s brother) so when planning our drive to Hunter Valley (the closest wine country to Sydney), I suggested we get McDonalds for lunch.  As generally expected, they are everywhere, just like at home.  We decided to drive a bit and we pulled off at a highway rest stop to see what the talk was all about.

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One of the unique things I’d noticed about the McDonalds in downtown Sydney was that many of them had a McCafe sign similar to the one above.  At home, all this has referred to is the coffee they now sell (if I understand correctly).  Well, in Australian McDonalds, there’s actually another counter specifically called McCafe.  I didn’t notice it at first, once inside, but did once we sat to eat our lunch.  There was a counter, right next to the normal counter, serving pastries, desserts, coffees, and cappuccinos.

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For my lunch, I decided to order the main items I would normally get at McDonalds at home (all of these together would be eaten on my more hungry days).  I ordered a Crispy Chicken Snack Wrap and a plain Cheeseburger Happy Meal.

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First, I loved that they have actual boxes for the happy meals.  I don’t quite remember when American McDonalds completely stopped doing this, but I miss them!  Overall, the food tasted better in our Australian McDonalds.   Unfortunately, the cashier couldn’t understand what I meant when I said I wanted a plain cheeseburger (even after explaining that I wanted meat, cheese, and a bun).  Once I scrapped off as much ketchup mustard, pickles, and onions that I could (so pretty much the top bun and about half of the cheese), I really got to taste the flavor of the meat and cheese.  More flavor and the cheese was creamier.  Definitely a better choice than the American one.

As for the fries, I think they tasted generally the same – perhaps a little less greasy than the American version.

In regards to the Crispy Chicken Snack Wrap, the Australian version had a crispy chicken finger, lettuce, and what I think was mayonnaise in a flour tortilla.  The American version is preferred here which has cheese and ranch instead of mayo.  It wasn’t bad though.

Just asking the Husband right now what he thought, and he very much agreed with the meat and cheese analysis.  More flavorful and creamier respectively – definitely better than the American version.

Now back to our originally planned food consumption – as un-American as possible 🙂

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Birthday Party at Big Daddy’s Burger Bar

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on February 27, 2010

Last night, our group of friends all met up to celebrate Emily’s birthday at the Big Daddy’s Burger Bar in Ballantyne.  After tasting the awesome burgers at their location in Dilworth a few weeks back, we were excited to try out their second location as well as hang out with so many of our good friends before we head off on our big trip to Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Australia! (Be sure to check back over the next few weeks to see what we’re up to!)

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The group planned to meet at 6:30, but because of awful traffic, the Husband and I didn’t arrive until 7! 😦 When we arrived, there was a table for 10 and it was full 😦 But, thanks to Kath arriving early and the awesome staff, we were able to join the group and wait about 10 minutes until the table next to us emptied and we could join it up with the rest of the group.  My only group shot and it wasn’t a very good one…

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Joining the part was Caitlin & Jason, Kate & Nate, Casey & Emily, Kath & Matt, and Michelle & Ben.  The only ones missing were Diana & Dan and Kelsey & Eric.  We feel to blessed to have found such a great group of friends here! We’re going to miss them quite a bit when we move to Las Vegas but hopefully they will all come to visit!

So, as I mentioned before, not too long after we arrived the party next to us left and we were all able to sit at one big table 🙂 At that time, the Husband ordered a beer sampler and the table began ordering appetizers.

First to the beer… The Husband ordered (from left to right) Flying Dog Tire Bite Golden Ale, Brooklyn Brown Ale, Bell’s Two-hearted, and Sweetwater 420. I don’t know about you, but I love samplers – beer samplers and wine flights.  Being able to try a little bit of a few instead of a lot of one is just the greatest!

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Around the table, appetizer-wise, the group had fried pickles, chips and pimento cheese dip, and mac n cheese.  Can you guess who got the mac n cheese?!?! 🙂

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There were three options of mac n cheese to choose from in the appetizer/starter section – Plain, Bacon Cheeseburger, and Pimento Cheese.  We went with the Bacon Cheeseburger and it was heavenly 🙂 It reminded me of my visit to S’MAC in New York City. Yum!

The burger menus are slightly different between the two locations and I had a lot of difficulty trying to decide what to have.  I knew right off the bat, though, what my side would be: tater tots!

IMG_2026 Yum! Just like elementary/middle/high school 🙂 It came with this spicy, smoky, dip which was delish!

As for my burger, I debated for a long time.  I thought about getting a salad with a burger on top, but for some reason was overwhelmed by the menu and never actually focused on the salads.  Most of my friends did and they looked delish (check out Kath and Emily’s blogs for pics of theirs!).  I ended up going with the Western Burger.  It was a buffalo burger topped with Monterrey Jack cheese, fried onions, and bbq sauce.  It was good.

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The Husband ordered Buffalo Chicken Sandwich and added a fried egg to the top.  He assumed the chicken would be fried and would have been happy with that, but was pleasantly surprised that it was grilled chicken.  He really enjoyed this.  On the side, he ordered their homemade chips (since he enjoyed them so much at the Dilworth location) but they were just okay this time.

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Knowing we would all be heading to Tasty-Yo for dessert, we all skipped ordering any dessert at Big Daddy’s but as I noted in our post for the Dilworth location, I highly recommend the banana pudding.  And, for readers new and old, we highly recommend Tasty Yo.  Check out our posts for our tasty reviews 🙂 (pun intended)

Oh, and I can’t forget to compliment our server, Matt! He was so very on top of things and I was impressed at his service to the group of 12 of us.  Thanks Matt for a great night!

Big Daddy’s Burger Bar – Ballantyne
15105-A John J. Delaney Drive
Charlotte, NC 28277
704-919-2700

Big Daddy's Burger Bar on Urbanspoon</a>

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Big Daddy’s Burger – Dilworth

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on February 3, 2010

A few weeks ago, I was craving a burger and the Husband and I had plans to go out to dinner with some of his coworkers that were visiting from out of town.  They ended up bailing on us, but some friends quickly filled their spots! I had heard lots of good things about Big Daddy’s Burger Bar and immediately chose them as where I would get my burger fix.  They have two locations, one in Dilworth on East Blvd and one in Ballantyne.  We didn’t coordinate ahead of time, but luckily we all showed up at the same one!

IMG_1786 We were surprised and impressed that there was a wait on a Tuesday night.  We hung out outside for a short bit until our table was ready and enjoyed the energy inside.

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While perusing the menu, I enjoyed the simplicity of the place settings.

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The menu was amazing – it took me forever to decide.  I ended up choosing the White Hut which was two 100% grass fed hormone-free beef patties (Underwood Farms, which I love, was listed for at least one of the burgers), carmelized onions, American cheese, cheddar cheese, and a steamed bun.  This burger melted in my mouth! It hit the spot perfectly.  I really do believe that 100% grass fed beef is better than any other type of beef and there’s a distinct taste difference – if you haven’t tried it, you must!

IMG_1790 With the burger, we got a choice of french fries, sweet potato fries, house slaw, onion straws, tater tots, housemade potato chips, or macaroni and cheese.  (The mac n cheese is special right now and not on the menu – if it hadn’t been there, I would have gone with the tater tots!).  The mac n cheese was not one of my favorites.  Too much cheese in relation to the pasta.  It didn’t stop me from finishing the plate though! (Warning – it’s a large side! Definitely shareable!)

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The Husband ordered the Blue Cheese, Bacon, and Tomato Stack which was two beef patties (he actually asked for one beef patty and one portabella mushroom), blue cheese spread, tomatoes, and bacon.  He ordered the housemade chips with pimento cheese dip (we really have fallen in love with pimento cheese – thank you the South!).

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All put together… look how tall it is!

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I had to take a picture of the Husband attempting it 🙂

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He really enjoyed this burger, but wishes he hadn’t gone with the beef/mushroom swap.  His recommendation – if you order this, go with both beef patties!

I’m not totally sure why, but we decided to go with dessert and I’m glad we did!  The Husband ordered a Cookies & Cream Milkshake.

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I decided to try the Banana Pudding.  I think I’ve only had banana pudding once or twice before and never in a restaurant.  This stuff was amazing! It was made with real bananas (I’ve imagined banana pudding as mostly smooth, like chocolate pudding).  I was very impressed and took half home to enjoy the next day.  Yum!

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I can’t believe we waited this long to check out Big Daddy’s Burger Bar! If you’re vegetarian or don’t eat red meat, don’t think you need to steer clear.  They have lots of options for all eating types and we recommend you check them out.

Big Daddy’s Burger Bar
1626 East Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28203





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