Roach Burgers

Discussion in 'Restaurant Reviews' started by Ken Anderson, Apr 2, 2016.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    Okay, Roach Burgers wasn't the actual name of the place but that was the name that pretty much everyone used for it, and I'd never be able to remember what the actual name was. Roach Burgers was (or perhaps still is) in the little town of Edcouch, Texas. It was a one-man operation, and I think he only opened when he had bills to pay. But not every night, and sometimes he'd go for a week or two without opening.

    I don't remember Roach Burgers ever being opened during the weekday. Perhaps this was to avoid visits from the Health Department. All he served was hamburgers, cheeseburgers, and chili and, like the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld, he'd get upset if you asked for anything else, or even for special orders. He made them one way, and that was the way they came.

    Generally, he would open for a couple of hours after the bars closed at 2:00 am. We had an ambulance station in Edcouch, and Roach Burgers was across the street from the fire station, so the fire dispatcher would let us know if Roach Burgers was open, often over the dispatch frequency.

    Despite the name, I have never seen an actual roach there. The place was reasonably clean, but more like a regular home kitchen than what you might normally see in a restaurant kitchen.

    The burgers were well done, which happens to be the way that I like them anyhow, and they were greasy, but they were very good, as was the chili.

    Despite his odd hours, when he was open, there would be a line of people waiting for a genuine Roach Burger.
     
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  2. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Supreme Member
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    Funny how those type of places serve pretty decent food, although I would have gotten the "No Hambuger for you"
    Reply like in Seinfeld because I like mine medium rare. There was a period after that big ecoli outbreak that almost hamburgers were cooked well done. That seems to have eased up.

    There was a Mexican restaurant in Chicago that wasn't a franchise that served the best carnitas ever. Just don't go in the bathroom there and you won't worry to much about your food. :)
     
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  3. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    I don't like even a hint of pink in my meat. I don't order steak in steakhouses, although I like steak, because they don't seem to understand that well-done means that I don't want it to be bleeding anywhere. If I have to send it back, then it has already grossed me out. Roach Burger burgers were great, though.
     
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  4. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Supreme Member
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    @Ken Anderson
    My friend Greg Sanchez, who grew up in Farmington, NM, was one of 5 brothers. Two of them became police officers. ('Nuther story). Greg's folks experienced firsthand the confiscation of their stock during the Depression, cows & chickens, etc., by authorities who took them back to Albuquerque to feed the hungry. Greg's family was self-sufficient, a tribute to their heritage from Spain, from which they had emigrated. Consequently, hatred of government was prevalent in the family.

    Off topic, I know, but it explains why Greg & his brothers were ever-wary: trust came to them with difficulty. Neither brother remained in L.E., having despised the graft and corruption they found there. Greg warned me once, "NEVER RETURN FOOD IN A RESTAURANT TO THE KITCHEN!" He explained in detail why. I won't repeat it.
    Frank
     
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  5. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Supreme Member
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    The burgers were probably good because they were made from real fresh hamburger not that frozen stuff that they call hamburger these days.
     
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  6. Hedi Mitchell

    Hedi Mitchell Veteran Member
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    Me too. this is how you order a steak in Texas, and have no pink..well done dead! Odd looks but they get it :D
     
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  7. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Supreme Member
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    Fudruckers took a huge hit when the “well done” edict was passed. One of their main stocks in trade was that you could order how you wanted the burger and get it that way.

    Note: Jack in the Box had to close it’s doors for a few years because it was one of it’s stores in California where 6 or 7 people died from Salmonella in undercooked burger. It was because of that incident that a law was imposed upon all restaurants regarding what cooking temp was acceptable for serving ground beef.

    Eventually, the laws lightened up and now there has to be a sign posted or a warning given on a menu suggesting that undercooked meat might be hazardous or something to that degree.
     
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  8. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Supreme Member
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    If I recall correctly even after they eased up on the well cooked hamburgers, the ones on the children's menu still had to be cooked well....don't know how it is now.

    Grandsons are gourmets and stop eating the kids menu fairly early...maybe the youngest still does.

    The two oldest ones here are like their dad....like it very rare.

    I would say my daughter is the only one that has to have it not still mooing...she likes it pink...no bloody juices. :)
     
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  9. John Brunner

    John Brunner Senior Staff
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    I remember the first Fuddrucker's in Annandale VA. They had a big window that looked into the refrigerated area where they butchered the sides of beef. It was right there for you to watch as you stood in line. At some point, they boarded it up because of the snowflakes. Or they stopped butchering on site.

    There used to be a Jack-in-the-Box in Merrifield VA. It was the only place that was open after the bars closed. Even on a good day it was nasty.
     
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  10. John Brunner

    John Brunner Senior Staff
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    I've ground my own burger from chuck roast using the attachment for my stand mixer.
    It makes a BIG difference in flavor.
     
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  11. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Supreme Member
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    Strange coupling.
    Prior to a California based Jack-in-box incident of serving salmonella laden burgers and the subsequent deaths of 7 people, Fuddrucker’s was able to prepare burgers that were temped to the guests wishes. e.g. rare, medium well etc.
    After that incident, all the burgers had to be prepared well done which is part of the reason there are so few Fuddrucker’s left and the reason Jack-in-the-box had to close down totally for a couple of years.
    Even now, the rule of thumb for all restaurant that serve their burgers less than well done is to have a sign or place a disclaimer on the menu warning their guests of the hazards of eating undercooked beef.
    Thank you very much, I’ll take mine mid-rare.

    When Fudd’s was relatively new, I worked as a spotter (undercover consultant or “spy”) in one of the stores in S. Florida. Great food, great people and only a few small problems to address corporate wide. Alas, their success was short lived all because of a California based Jack-in-the-box.

    And, as far as Jack-in-the-box goes, after they reopened, I found one about 10 years ago in Greenville, S.C. and found that the $1.99 burger was still a fantastic deal. By the time ya finished one of those ya had to take a shower!
     
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    Last edited: Jul 26, 2020
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  12. John Brunner

    John Brunner Senior Staff
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    I always had to have my beef over-cooked. Then I was at a cookout and a very annoying friend demanded that I try a rare steak. "I'll put it back on the grill if you want it cooked more."

    I've never eaten another steak or roast that was not at least pink on the inside. All those years I had cooked the flavor right out of it.

    Burgers are another issue, for the obvious reason.

    On a slightly related note, I started noticing that fully cooked chicken (whole or parts) that were "done" per their temperature still had blood around the joints. Of course, this is not good...or at least, it used to be not good.

    Apparently chickens are now bred to grow so fast and be taken to market at such a young age that the bones have not fully set, so they bleed into the meat even when it's fully cooked. It is perfectly fine to eat that way...the bacteria has been killed once it's cooked to the proper temp. It's just off-putting.

    This has given restaurants real problems because customers are used to "fully cooked chicken = no blood." So they send the dish back to be "finished," and the kitchen basically overcooks it so the blood is gone...but now they've dried it out.

    This is the price we pay if we want a plentiful supply at a reasonable cost, and we want a conservation of resources (older chickens = More-Farm-Days-Per-Chicken and more farms required to meet demand.)



    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    I've tried raw meat, and I don't like it.
     
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  14. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Supreme Member
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    I can eat medium well done beef but I'll have to pass on the chicken with blood at the bone. Ditto any kind of undercooked pork. I like my pork chops just barely done but no pink. Cooked any longer, they are like eating shoe leather.
     
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  15. John Brunner

    John Brunner Senior Staff
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    I gotta admit it took me a while to get over the aversion to pink chicken and pork. It's caused me to not trust the first temperature reading. It also gave me an excuse to buy an insta-read thermometer.

    But if it's cooked, I'm eatin' it!! And I'm not gonna cook it to death. (But I still hesitate a little.)
     
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