“Anybody who doesn’t think that the best hamburger place in the world is in his home town is a sissy.”

Calvin Trillin

I may enjoy vegetarian meals sometimes and I love fresh vegetables but when you come down to it- I’m a meat girl & I love burgers. I was so excited when I got an email from Juicy Burgers & More (5 New Karner Road, Guilderland & 15 Trieble Ave # 3, Ballston Spa) to come and try out their restaurant. When we as a general public think of burgers the first places to come to mind are those ingrained since birth like McDonalds, Wendy’s or Burger King and even if those are the burgers you eat most often, I hope you realize that there’s more out there to burgers. If not, do I have an experience for you to have!

I had heard of Juicy Burgers and knew where they were located in Guilderland but for whatever reason I just hadn’t made it over there to try it, until a week or two ago. Juicy Burgers was developed by Bobby Mitchell who bought Wheatfields in the early 90s and later opened Doc’s Steakhouse in the early 2000s- both in Saratoga. After leaving the area for a year he returned with a passion for burgers. In 2008, Juicy Burgers in Milton opened and the Guilderland location opened in 2009. Though they are looking to expand to eventually all 50 states, they’re taking it slow and making sure each location is perfect and up to the same standards as the first 2 locations.

The Sunday before I stopped by they were doing a fundraiser for the Cystic Fibrosis foundation where they donate 10% of the proceeds. Personally, I’m passionate about the community have it be either my local neighborhood or the entire Capital District and I was curious if this fundraiser was a one time occurrence or something they’re going to continue to do. Their response was that they “believe giving back to our communities is one of the most important things” and are open to fundraisers every Sunday at either location.

More about staying local, I had asked if they were ever open to using local ingredients in their products and though the answer wasn’t the one I was hoping for, it did make sense. Juicy Burgers hopes to spread over the whole country and in order to keep their product consistent they would have to be able to get their products from the same source wherever the next store may open. “We strive to be as consistent as possible with our product everyday, from how your burger is cooked, to the shredded lettuce and slices of tomatoes you put on it” so they receive all their food from US Foods that way a Juicy Burger in Guilderland and maybe a future location in California would be the same product.

When I walked in, I was really impressed. This was my first time inside a Juicy Burgers so I didn’t know what kind of restaurant to expect. It was very clean, I was very impressed and it also is a lot bigger than it looked from the outside. I walked up to the counter and met Leonard who helped me through the ordering process. They have a screen that allows you to create your own burger if you know how to do so or one of the employees can help you through the process. I only had one problem with the ordering process. When they asked how I wanted my burger I was ready to tell them “medium rare” but my only options were RED, PINK and BROWN. Leonard explained that red was like rare, pink was probably what I was looking for a brown was well-done, which made sense so I ordered a pink burger. I decided to try the Roasted Red Pepper burger ($7.25)which had roasted red peppers, basil pesto, fresh mozzarella cheese and I added caramelized onions because they’re my favorite. My favorite part (well, before I tasted the burger) was the option of half & half fries. I got the half Yukon Gold & half Sweet Potato fries option but you can mix either of those with onion rings ($2.99) if you want to try more than one or want 2 kinds of sides.

I met with the other guys working: Jake, Taylor, Ryan & Leonard who helped me create the burger and they were all very attentive, making sure the burger was cooked right. I was so excited to taste the roasted red pepper burger! It was delicious. As I was sitting at the table there was an ad for the fried ice cream and I wish I saw that before because that’s one of my favorite desserts and I’ll have to go back and try that. I think the first thing I thought when I tasted the burger was “That’s why it’s called Juicy Burger” because the juices with each bite just melded all the beautiful flavors together. I liked the fact that the ingredients on this burger are usually individually very strong but instead of one overpowering another they just went well together, each bite was a mix of onion, pepper, cheese and pesto. From those of you who read my blog normally, you know that I love my garlic. The only fault I can think of with this burger is that personally I would’ve liked the pesto to have more of a garlic flavor but my spectrum of garlic is very different from the everyday customer I assume. You can also see in the pictures how thick the rolls are. I hate when I’m eating a burger and those delicious juices tear it up to shreds and I’m left with either a gooey burger roll or none at all. This roll was strong enough for the burger, the surface layer of the bread absorbed some juice but still left a hefty structure to continue eating with. Overall this burger was delicious. I wanted to try a salad with ahi tuna on it but how can you go to some place called Juicy BURGERS for the first time and not have a burger? Next time, as much as I still want to try a salad with ahi tuna, I tink the Cajun Burger is calling to me.