Monday, September 21, 2009

New Juicy Burger in Guilderland. Mmmm... Burger Juice.

So I stopped by the new Juicy Burger in Guilderland (155 a little north of 20 in that plaza with the Kem cleaners) during their Grand Opening the other night. Thought maybe you might like to hear my thoughts. This was my first Juicy Burger experience, I have not been to the Balston Spa location.

Walking in, the decor is a little more posh than your standard burger joint, very modern and spare with big screen tellies around the space. You order at the counter (friendly young lass when I was there) and then have a sit down at a table until they bring you your food. You can eat in and be presented with actual dinnerware or take your prize to go.

I ordered 2 burgers, their classic cheeseburger for the very classic Mrs. Dave and a bleu cheese burger for myself, medium rare of course (menu link here). In addition, I got a couple beverages and two orders of their Yukon gold French fries. The fries come in 1/2 lbs orders served in paper bags. I like the paper bag thing, it brings back memories of when my dad would take me to Jack's Diner on central and get me a greasy bag of krinkle cut diner fries to go. The whole meal is pictured above. Lets talk about the price here, 24 and change for the lot. A little steep in my book and I'm no pauper. Compared to other pseudo-fast food burger joints (Five Guys I'm looking at you) this is very expensive.

Burger verdict: Well, we have a case of truth in advertising here. This was possibly the juiciest burger I have ever had. The thing was very literally dripping with juice. I tried to capture it in the below photo.

Maybe you can see the juices that have dripped onto the burger wrapper. I don't know how they do this, possibly some sort of science or chemistry afoot. Perhaps it is simply their cooking methods, I have heard they have some super broiler thing that seals in the moistness. Maybe they use the old couple o' ice cubes in the center of the patty trick, I don't know. The real standout of the burger sandwich is the bun. It is dense and moist without being too dense and it holds up well against the torrent of meat juice released by every bite of burger. One thing I will say, mine was a touch bit salty, but this may have been the bleu cheese.

Fry Verdict: I hate to say it folks, my socks were not knocked off. Don't get me wrong, these were good fries, but I am still on about the 24 dollar thing. Not 24 dollars worth of good. I guess using the Five Guys comparison is not out of place as they are probably the most comparable establishment in the area, and Five Guys fries win. No contest. I will have to try the sweet potato fries and onion rings at Juicy Burgers as the fries were not tasty enough to justify the carbohydrate bomb they represent.

Juicy Burgers is literally right up the road from me so I hazard that I will be making return trips when I get that rare hankering for a burger. Do they offer my Platonic ideal of a hamburger sandwich? No, but they are really very decent and I am hard to please. However if you are closer to Five Guys, go to Five Guys. Better product for less money. Sorry Juicy Burgers, I wanted to love you. Unfortunately, you are only my late night burger booty call.

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  1. Thanks for the heads up. Now I have another place to try on the way to or fro the Guilderland Public Library.

    I was surprised by two things:

    1) Looking at the menu, one can get a straight burger and fries and be out for under $10. That doesn't sound too far out of line from 5G.

    2) You and the wife each get the same kind of fried side when trying out a new place? I know she's not into your shenanigans, but I would hope she would go half-sies with you on an order of frings.

    Looking forward to trying them out. Because it's pretty badass for a place to put a plain burger on the top of its burger menu.

  2. Yeah, I guess I ordered her the bag of fries for symmetry's sake. We had a bunch left over. Pre tax on burger (wit' cheese), fries, and soda is 11.15$. Maybe I am wrong, and it is probably the fact that we share an order of fries (if we get them at all) at Five Guys, but I feel like the bill is less there.

  3. My household gave the place a try on the opening night as well. We intended to get a pizza from Marissa's, but were sidetracked.

    A few comments:
    Burgers can be ordered Red, Pink, or Brown. If a burger joint has the cojones to stand up and offer me a rare burger, I'm going for it.

    1/2 lb of fries sounded like a lot to me. They offer a mix-n-match where you can combine half orders of either Yukon fries, Sweet potato fries or onion rings. We had Yukon and onion, one combo order for two people. The fries were good, but the rings were fantastic. Nice thin slices of onion that did not slide out of the crisp casing when I bit into it.

    My S.O. ordered his burger "brown" (ground beef scares him a little bit). It was also incredibly juicy. The woman working there (manager, maybe?) told us that their super-hot broiler technology cooks the burgers from above, and I guess super high heat + cooking from above = major juiciness.

    Burgers were 1/3 lb. I had a plain burger with lettuce and tomato. S.O. had a build-your-own with cheddar and bacon. We're not light eaters, and we left after two burgers, one order of mix-n-match fried stuff and a couple of sodas pleasantly full and $18.00 lighter.

    As we were leaving, we saw a man who looked particularly owner-ish talking to an employee outside. I asked how long they'd been open, only to find out it was opening day. I told him we'd come with pizza intentions, but were swayed. He even gave Marissa's a plug, saying that they had great pizza, and I promised we'd be sure to visit both Juicy and Marissa's again in the future.


  4. Gawd, I just re-read my comment, and I sound like a shill. I'm not. I guess I just got a little excited, since I only eat 1 or 2 burgers a year, and this one rocked my world a little bit.


  5. Yikes, that is a bit much for me price-wise... in all likelyhood I'd have to have a few glasses of something vaguely alcoholic before thinking it was a really good idea. So thank you for your input! If you had flipped out and raved wildly, then I think I'd be convinced.

    Although Kerosena makes me think I should have a few drinks (nice review!)

  6. Mr. Dave, you've got to be kidding, or being paid by Five Guys. Five Guys burgers are crap compared to Juicy and anyone who tries both will surely agree. I give the fries award to Five Guys, but Juicy's onion rings are darn good.


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