Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Steve's Sizzling Steaks: Blaze Burger





The Burger Battle of the Best continues...
Yeah yeah yeah. I went to a steak joint that is a Northeast Jersey institution and I ordered a hamburger! I've had Steve's Sizzling Steaks many times and they are unique- marinated in Maggi sauce, the salty smokiness is not for everyone but I find it delicious. They don't put that on the burgers, but next time I'm gonna ask them too. I had the Blaze Burger, a half pound of ground round on a soft Kaiser roll, many times as a child when my Dad took us here, and I wanted to see if it was as good as I remembered. I was not disappointed.
Steve's is an old hunting lodge turned bar that's been around since 1936. The bar area is decorated with dozens of steins and hunting rifles across the ceiling, and every inch of the wood paneling is covered with a taxidermied critter, a fish trophy, a snakeskin, or a rack of antlers. What would you expect from a guy who fished with Ernest Hemingway? The hardwood is soaked with the testosterone of the golden age of manhood and merely drinking a beer here has been known to increase male fertility. In the old days they served steaks and burgers. That's all. Now they have chicken, appetizers, and shrimp available. But when you go to a place called Steve's Sizzling Steaks, you know cow is on the menu.
My stepfather and I had a few beers- they have Samuel Adams, Boddington's and Blue Moon along with the usual tap fare- and ordered up. He got the New York strip. It comes with a good-size salad that made me wish I'd ordered one. But the meat came soon enough. The Blaze Burger, cooked on their fire grill, is charred but still juicy when ordered medium, as it should be. I got mine with Swiss and fried onions; the usual cheeses are available, as is bacon. You get steak fries and a few onion rings with your burger, and the lettuce, tomato & pickle on the side.
Before I get to the burger, let me say their onion rings are nice and crisp, good flavor. But their steak fries are some of the best. All too often steak fries are mushy and undercooked, but Steve's has been cooking them for ages. They come with every steak, on the sizzling metal plate, soaking up the sweet juices. As I watched my stepfather dig in to his juicy steak I began to regret my order, but it was love at first bite. They make a good bar burger. I'd put this a hair above the Cloverleaf Tavern, which is my median for good burgers in the area, because the big roll keeps things neat and tastes good too. The burger has a good sear on it for flavor, and like I said, it isn't dry or too firmly packed.
So if you go to Steve's and don't feel like having one of their 24oz. porterhouses or their juicy ribeye, you can safely grab a burger instead and you won't be disappointed. They may not be in the top echelons of burgerdom, but they don't slouch on it just because the signature is steaks. We'll return here for steaks soon, the next time Firecracker gets the carnivorous urge. And I'll tell you how damn good their FlatIron steak and Filet are. Steve's is on Route 17 in Carlstadt:

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