Burger DeLuxe

This is a burger diner that opened up on Route 23 North in Wayne, just before the Packanack Shopping center. I’ve driven past it a few times on the way to the Ramstein Brewery’s monthly open house, and wanted a gourmet burger joint to be a short drive away. Five Guys hasn’t opened up yet, but Fuddrucker’s across the street is decent and predictable, with plenty of toppings. So is Burger DeLuxe worth making a perilous U-turn on traffic-ridden Route 23?

They certainly did a fine job with the decor- comfy, roomy booths with removable dividers and pillows so you can even have a double booth if you have a big party, classic malt shop stools, and an art deco explosion of chrome and blaze orange outside- that you’d expect a great burger. The menu is extensive in the burger section, with lamb, chicken and duck, tuna, salmon, and your beef burger available. The menu says the beef is a select blend of chuck, sirloin and brisket. Sounds yummy!

The menu also has a terrific selection of milkshakes, floats and malts. I opted for a Boylan’s Black Cherry soda with a scoop of vanilla, and it was great. The vanilla ice cream was good and creamy, making the drink taste like a cherry creamsicle. At $5 it better be good, though. The burgers range from $7 for a classic, to $14 for a tuna. I opted for a French Onion Burger with gruyere, caramelized onions, and “parmesan crunch flakes”; Milky got the En Fuego, which has chipotle sauce, jalapenos, pepper jack, bacon and shaved habaneros.

It took about 20 minutes for the food to arrive- they are made fresh and waiting is expected. The parking lot was nearly full, too. Next time I might get some onion rings to share. I asked for medium and Milky got medium well; mine was well done, with not a hint of pink and kind of tough. Definitely not moist like a 5 Napkin Burger, or Island Burger. It’s a half pound patty but cooked down a lot, next time I might ask for medium rare to see if that helps any.

Milky loved his but I’m pickier. The toppings on mine tasted great- they didn’t skimp on the cheese or onions, and it packed lots of flavor. The meat should have been more flavorful for being a custom ground blend. The parmesan flakes gave a weird mouth feel and I’d skip them next time. The bun was nothing special. For a $9.50 burger in Jersey, I expect better. The fries are nice thick cuts, seasoned, and come in a fancy basket. The onion rings look huge and tasty, and if I go here again I’ll try them.

The service is excellent and you don’t mind waiting in the very comfy seats. They have some unique choices like a kimchee burger, and overall it is not a bad meal. A juicier patty is a must if they are going to last. They are a cut above Fuddrucker’s and Round Robin, definitely in the toppings department, but for the price and what they spent in designing the restaurant, they should use more fat or cook their burgers less, or pack them less tightly. It’s a good restaurant, and I’ll be going again to try the En Fuego- so I’ll report if medium rare solves their one issue.
If you love a good float check them out. They aren’t as good as NYC’s Island Burgers & Shakes, but if you’re in the area and want a burger, I’d go there instead of Fuddrucker’s unless you’re in a big hurry. I’ve had a few other local joints recommend for burgers- Gaffer’s Pub in West orange, the Trap Rock Brewpub. I’ll report on those, but please suggest any places you know!

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