We have another AHT reader recommendation thanks to Tommy Salami (tommysalami on AHT/Serious Eats). He reviews movies on his blog Pluck You, Too! and you can find him on twitter @tommysalami. Thanks for sharing the burger love, Tommy! As for everyone else, if you want to share some burger intel, here's how to do it. —The Mgmt.
118 Wilson Street, Newark NJ 07105 (map); 973-465-9795; krugstavern.com
Cooking Method: Griddled
Short Order: Juicy 12-ounce burgers that beat most bar and diner fare, but may be too big for their own good.
Want Fries with That? Decent fries; fresh oil. The onion rings are good as well.
Price: 3/4 lb beef burger, $6
Krug's Tavern has been a "Down Neck" institution since 1932. Owned by relatives of "Raging Bull" Jake LaMotta, it looks like any "old man" bar, but inside you'll find a memorable 12-ounce burger. You can see the burgers begin life as big meatballs in the chiller behind the bar, before being smashed on the griddle and cook to order. Grab a beer or some onion rings while you wait—it takes a while to cook a 12-ounce patty, even if you want it rare. The onion rings are crisp and tasty, not too greasy, and golden—the sign of fresh oil in the fryer. Each table gets a cup of pickles and hot cherry peppers, which compliment the burger well if you don't eat them all while you're waiting.
The meat is packed loosely and gets a decent crust from grilling while staying juicy inside. Served on large sesame seed buns matched to the patty's size, they are a double handful of beef flavor. The juice doesn't pour out, but you won't get the dry mouth feel you might expect from a large burger. The bun manages to keep everything together and lend a classic taste.
I opted for bacon and cheese, neither of which overpowered the unseasoned beef. The bacon was good quality and the cheese was good old yellow American, the tried and true topper for burgers everywhere. Together, they made an impressive, classic pub burger.
Krug's makes a big burger that blows the hefty hockey pucks served by some pubs and diners out of the water. It's an old school big burger that doesn't sacrifice flavor, and it's hard to beat the price. While most travel to the Ironbound section of Newark for Portuguese seafood and rodizio, don't overlook this unassuming little historic tavern. They have a classic burger that I find myself returning to again and again.
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