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The Stratford Burger Hunt

A look at four local restaurants ready to meet your burger needs.

When burger time rolls around, you want to waste as little time as possible in getting to your destination of choice.

This week’s Stratford Patch hunt went around to different restaurants to find out the lowdown on where the tastiest burgers in town are lurking so that when the craving hits, you know where to take it.

-- 2850 Main St.

Entering Jake’s on an empty stomach, I had to make a hard decision that would plague me for the rest of the afternoon -- avoid the assortment of fries and hot dogs and stick to the meat. I scanned the menu advertising real hand-dipped milkshakes, hot dogs, specialty sandwiches, chicken, fries and salads, and my eyes landed on the burger of the month. It was a BBQ Crunch Burger. There is also a featured shake of the month, and it is mango.  

The turnaround was quick, although Jake’s is not a fast-food establishment. Every order is hand-prepared so that it is served fresh and hot and is never held under a heat lamp. For those seeking a prompt pickup, calling ahead or ordering on their website is encouraged.

The compilation served to me was a trifecta of crunch. I was impressed at the way the bun was crispy only on the interior with a soft, sturdy and flexible bun that was chewy inside but gave way to a toasted floor.

After breaking through the first wall, my teeth met directly with the homemade barbecue chips, stuck to the ceiling in tangy barbecue sauce. The chips offered a pillowy but crunchy texture. But what impressed me most about the BBQ Crunch Burger was the fact that the two beef patties were glued together with cheese. The burger itself, charred on the outside and tender in the middle, sat on a finely sliced bed of lettuce and tomato.

Bun N’ Burger -- 3696 Main St.

With my barbecue fix satisfied, I hit the Bun N’ Burger ready for a completely different taste.

I ordered a Russian Burger, which consisted of two patties served with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and a homemade Russian dressing. And like the burger’s namesake, its colossal frame mirrored the massive size of Russia perfectly.

The Russian dressing only added to its grandeur. The meat was not charred like the Crunch Burger, but was cooked thoroughly with enough attention given to the texture so that it remained moist.

The burger is also served on a kaiser bun, which in the long haul can be a burger eater’s best friend. Thick, durable and comfortable to hold, when served on a kaiser roll the grease is never likely to breach the bread and wind up getting all over your hands.

Bun N’ Burger, an original Stratford restaurant in business for seven years now, is not part of a chain, which adds to the charm and importance in Stratford burger lore.

Like Jake’s, Bun N’ Burger offers a whole menu of salads, specialty sandwiches and sides. Chicken and Angus platters are available for purchase. Bun N’ Burger also boasts a menu of seafood platters and is known as the home of the King Lobster Roll. I liked the unique additions of zucchini sticks, mini tacos and poppers on the side menu. 

They are open on Sunday and Monday, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. Calling ahead is also offered.

-- 940 Ferry Boulevard

Next I stepped way back in time, pulling up to Danny’s Drive-In for a double bacon cheddar burger.

Again, there were two patties stacked on top of one another. And what made this burger unique was the cheesy goo that seemed to permeate the meat from the top of the burger rather than in between the two slabs of robust meat. The cheese was very runny and yolk-like, and held everything together wonderfully.

Thick, stringy bacon strips lined the top of the burger and segued perfectly into a towering and chewy bun. The bun had a nice crackle to it on the outside.

Danny’s has been serving Stratford burgers since 1935. They are open Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Make sure to try some of their new menu items -- lobster rolls, Carolina pulled pork sandwiches and Piled High Pastrami, which is served on grilled rye with mustard and sauerkraut, and is available Monday through Thursday only. In addition to burgers and dogs, Danny’s serves a full menu of sandwiches, platters, salads, sides and frozen drinks.

Wendy’s -- 1105 Main St.

One thing burger lovers everywhere have is the old standby, open for business when all of the other restaurants close down for the night. My last stop of the day took me to Wendy’s where I capped off a greasy afternoon with more grease.

The Junior Bacon Cheeseburger is my favorite burger from this fast-food establishment. Its compact size and economical advantage make it a quick yet satisfying treat. Think of the JBC as a slimmed-down version of the product offered at Danny’s. The burger is cut thin, and the lettuce rests on top. The Junior Bacon has a sweet bun, which practically melts as you eat it and will never get in the way of destroying your burger.

As I mentioned, Wendy’s is open late -- until midnight on Sunday through Wednesday and until 1 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

In my opinion, these are the players dominating the Stratford Hamburger Court.

Do you know of a spot in town to get a good burger? Tell us in the comments section below.

Diann August 19, 2011 at 01:47 PM
When I want a good burger I go to the Blue Goose on Ferry Blvd. They are delicious and reasonably priced.
Gerald Baldino August 19, 2011 at 05:57 PM
How's the service at Blue Goose? Can they make it quick, or is it a place better suited for someone looking for a longer meal?
Dale August 19, 2011 at 06:07 PM
Jake's has not been in Stratford that long. Its only been here maybe 2 years
Gerald Baldino August 19, 2011 at 06:13 PM
Thanks, Dale.
Lisa Horch August 19, 2011 at 06:19 PM
Jakes has been incorporated since 1991. They've only been in Stratford for 2 yrs. Stratford is a culinary wasteland. A giant void.
Rusty Nail2 August 19, 2011 at 07:02 PM
The best place for a burger in Stratford? MY BACK YARD ON THE GAS GRILL! Get some lean ground chuck from the butcher, heat up the grill, season meat with spices, add some american cheese, a fresh roll, garden tomato, crisp lettuce, and some onion. Grab a cold beer and then sit in my lounge chair. Springsteen on the radio and then take my first bite! Can't beat it and it's 50% cheaper!!!
Gerald Baldino August 19, 2011 at 07:39 PM
I disagree. Stratford is not a culinary wasteland! I think Stratford has some of the best food around-- and quite a variety, too.
Gerald Baldino August 19, 2011 at 07:40 PM
And yes the back yard is a great place to eat a burger, Rusty Nail2. I think I might have to do the same today.
George E. Mulligan August 19, 2011 at 09:37 PM
Hamburg over $ 5 a pound. Steak @ $ 2.99. Let us eat steak? Lobster $ 4.99 this week. Not like idea of dropping lobster into the boiling pot. - Even plants are living things, reacting to different stimuli. A food chain exist, no matter what our feelings. - We no longer have to slaughter our beef, poultry, pork, game, fowl, or fish. - We do not have to think about our disconnects and unfortunate necessities.
Diann August 19, 2011 at 11:36 PM
I have gone there for lunch a number of times, ordered food, was served, eaten and left within a 45 minute time frame. I think that is reasonable for a restaurant of their size. One can sit directly at the bar, tables within the bar area or in the dining room.
Gary Peebles August 20, 2011 at 04:38 AM
Don't forget the Duchess Drive In on Access Road.
Dale Ellis October 06, 2011 at 07:11 PM
I'm on the track to becoming a vegan. Slaughter (inhumane 90% of the time) for our wants is wrong. We don't need meat to live nor do we need milk. The dairy industry is also cruel. There are plenty of wonderful milk substitutes out there.
nick February 21, 2012 at 04:52 PM
http://www.in-n-out.com/default.asp
nick February 21, 2012 at 04:53 PM
over priced times 3, service sucks when rarely busy, not that good....in-out would kick every ones ass back here-(I drive by on weekend early, washing car in back?)
nick February 21, 2012 at 04:53 PM
look at the bun, it looks terrible, how many onion rings? a joke, even jack in the box would kick there ass.............my home made burger would be better for about .50, cents.....to bad stratford did not at least go with a five guys
nick February 21, 2012 at 04:54 PM
usually when a bun does this it is old. just my opionion on this joint......should be 1.99 for burger and 2.29 for rings.........thats all they are worth to me

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