Burger Monger: A Burger Joint Even Real Foodies Will Love

by Sarah Healthy LivingComments: 172

burger monger

Yes, that’s a picture of me eating fries at a restaurant at lunch yesterday.

Can you believe it?   I’m actually enjoying the experience and not at all worried that I will be feeling rather sick or in desperate need of a nap later.

Here’s how it went down  ….

My kids have been bugging me lately to go to this new burger joint that was recently voted #1 in our metro area.

It’s called Burger Monger and the slogan is “It will only take one bite to make YOU a Burger Monger too!”


I’ve heard that one before.

I’ve tried Five Guys (barf) and Jakes’ Hamburgers (I had to take a 2 hour nap afterward).  I even tried this upscale restaurant called Grill One Sixteen that has Angus burgers for only $5 each for Sunday lunch.

Every. Single. One.  Makes me ill or desperately tired as my digestion grinds temporarily to a halt as it tries to figure out how to deal with what I just ate.

Even Evos, the so called healthy fast food, leaves much to be desired.

I’m just a sensitive gal, what can I say?

Ok, I’ll admit it.  I’m just a Food Snob who is used to feeling pretty darn good most of the time and any food that isn’t absolutely whole, awesome, and additive free makes me feel lousy in short order.

How does the general public get through the day, I often wonder?  If I felt all the time like I do after eating at a typical restaurant, what would I do to function on a daily basis?

I know!

Coffee, sugar, and caffeinated soda.

That’s how most folks do it, right?

Oh yeah.  Almost forgot.

Those nasty 5 hour energy shots.

And, plenty of over the counter painkillers for the almost daily headaches, backaches, and joint pain.

So as you can imagine, I was in NO HURRY to try out Burger Monger.  But, kids have a way of getting to you, don’t they?  After a couple weeks of raving about this place, I said, “Ok, let’s go for lunch on Monday.”

Yesterday happened to be the first day of Winter Break so we all went to Burger Monger to celebrate.

Soooo, I’m sitting there in the booth with my arms folded in resignation about the negative eating experience that is about to be thrust upon me.


Sometimes we must suffer for the ones we love.

Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I spy a flyer that describes Burger Monger’s food philosophy.

I am not going to blog about this, I tell myself, as I grudgingly get out of my seat and go and pick one up to look at.

I open it and see that they use Haagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream for their milkshakes.

Not bad, I think to myself.   Better than the mystery mix that most restaurants use.  Haagen-Dazs is definitely one of the best quality commercial ice creams available.

I also read that their buns are fresh baked and preservative free and the cheeses are gourmet, real milk cheeses.

Next, I start to read about the meat they use for making burgers.

It’s called Akaushi Kobe Beef and it’s a breed of Japanese cattle that produce meat that rates several levels above USDA prime.


“Akaushi Beef contains a higher concentration of monounsaturated fat relative to saturated fat, which the American Heart Association says can lead to lower cholesterol, the prevention of coronary heart disease, and weight loss.”

Double yawn.  More of the lipid hypothesis baloney.  When will people actually wake up about saturated fat, I think to myself?   As many people with low cholesterol have heart attacks as those with high cholesterol.  Total cholesterol means nothing with regard to heart disease!

The flyer went on to say that the taste of Akaushi Kobe Beef is rich, buttery, and unbeatable.

Ok, that’s sounds good.  I was definitely interested in how it would taste compared with conventional and grassfed beef.

Flyer back on the table.  Arms folded again.

I notice one of the servers walking by me with a plate of fries.

“Don’t ask about the fries”  I say to myself.  “You know they’re fried in rancid vegetable oils cleverly promoted as “transfat free”, so why bother?”

The server looked over and smiled.

I smiled back.  “Could I ask you a question?  What oil do you fry your french fries in?”   I asked quietly.

“Kobe beef fat”  she deadpans.

I almost fall on the floor.

“Beef fat?”  I ask incredulously.

“Yes, that’s right.  Kobe beef fat.”  she says again.

I sit in stunned silence taking this in for a few moments trying to figure out if what I heard is actually true. A restaurant actually frying its french fries in a healthy oil?

Hell has obviously frozen over.

Just then, the owner whose name is Jake walks by and I say hello.

I mention the fact that I am so pleased that they fry their french fries in beef fat because this is so healthy and traditional and how I do it at home.

Jake says that beef fat is the best fat to fry french fries in and he is going to do it this way regardless because it’s the right way to cook them.

I shake his hand and congratulate him on sticking to his guns.  I mention that I’m a food blogger and that I will be writing a post about his restaurant (what did I just say?).

Jake is obviously very passionate about what he does and mentions that they will be opening their second location in New Tampa soon.

I’m thinking to myself, now here’s a restaurant that needs to get franchised!

As my family is eating, I casually mention that I talked to the owner Jake and that the fries are cooked in beef fat.

“So that’s why we can only eat a few and be full” exclaims my 9 year old.

Don’t you just love it when your kids demonstrate that they get it?

Jake the owner drops by at the end of the meal and asks if it would be ok to give us dessert on the house.

Being a food blogger definitely has its perks.  Scoring free dessert is one of them.

Dessert was strawberry buttercake with 2 scoops of Haagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream on top.

The buttercake turned out to be Entenmann’s.   I looked up the ingredients.  It’s says it’s made from all butter.   Love the butter, but I’m sure there were some preservatives in there though.  The ice cream was, of course, sensational.

All in all, Burger Monger was the best burger experience I’ve ever had eating out.  Not perfect for sure, but moving very strongly and purposefully in the right direction.

Maybe there’s hope for the American restaurant after all.


Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Comments (172)

  • Daniela

    I agree with Ann, I won’t touch Haagen Dazs as they use rBHT milk. I called them once to ask. They are another company guilty of false marketing, fooling people into thinking that because they use only 5 ingredients, they are natural. I used to go to Bare Burger in NYC which use grass fed meat and diary, organic condiments and natural sodas. They cook their fries in peanut oil, which is better than GMO oil. They have amazing salads too and their milk shakes are the best I have ever had using milk from grass fed cows! The best place however which unfortunately closed down was BM organics in Fort Lauderdale. They followed the WAPF principles with everything that they made.

    September 29th, 2013 11:33 pm Reply
  • Marc

    BurgerMonger should stop using the word “Kobe”.

    September 21st, 2013 2:16 pm Reply
    • Robert

      I believe they can :

      April 9th, 2015 11:36 am Reply
  • Bryan Lambeth via Facebook

    We need one in Austin! :)

    June 1st, 2013 10:02 pm Reply
  • Judy White via Facebook

    Amy knoch is full of bull…pardon the pun! The largest purebred group of the WagyÅ« breed of Akaushi cattle outside Japan is located in Harwood, Texas, owned by HeartBrand Beef. It was raised from a Japanese imported herd of 11 which was guarded by off-duty Texas Rangers to protect from interbreeding for over 12 years until the herd grew to over 5,000 cattle.

    June 1st, 2013 10:01 pm Reply
  • Karen Henshaw via Facebook

    See Jim, beef tallow to cook fries at this burger joint in Tampa. Yum!

    June 1st, 2013 9:06 pm Reply
  • Jamie Barnett via Facebook

    Just because one single human being who happens to be a federal employee ordered food at a certain restaurant, it does not mean that suddenly the entire United States government knows or doesn’t know what good food is. There are a handful of agencies within USDA that have contributed to making industrial ag the atrocious monster that it is, but that is completely beside the point considering the government worker referenced was from DHS! Couldn’t be more unrelated.

    June 1st, 2013 7:51 pm Reply
  • Debbie Sweat McGee via Facebook

    Just because it’s Akaushi doesn’t mean it’s grass fed….most likely they’re fed a mixture of corn, alfalfa, barley, and wheat straw. And unless it’s organic, the corn (and maybe the alfalfa) are likely GMO.

    June 1st, 2013 7:35 pm Reply
  • Amy Knoch via Facebook

    Akaushi is raised in Texas from the same breed stock as what is used in Japan for Kobe – but it is misleading at best to call it “kobe” since kobe is as much about how the cows are raised as it is about the specific breed.

    June 1st, 2013 7:02 pm Reply
  • Carmen Christopher Coles via Facebook

    There is a restaurant in little ole’ Gaffney, SC that sells grass-fed beef. I know that for a fact because I know the farm the beef comes from. Not all of their burgers are the grass-fed but it is on the menu as an option. The burgers are about $1.00 more but to me they’re worth it.

    June 1st, 2013 7:00 pm Reply
  • Julia Overstreet Sathler via Facebook

    I must say that I can see where Sarah is coming from partially on this she is referring to the Dept. of Ag and its support of big ag over small healthy ag. But still…

    June 1st, 2013 6:10 pm Reply
  • Julia Overstreet Sathler via Facebook

    Susan Wenger, right on. I don’t have a lot of respect for the propensity to ding “the government”, especially for people who don’t serve in some way. And no I’m not talking about scouts and church. Governing is a different and much more difficult thing entirely. Cities need to be organized, roads built, yada yada. As long as people live together there needs to be some codes and rules for living together and that is what government is. If you don’t like it, make it better by serving. Eventually you realize the best society is one in which we all realize our own responsiblity in “the government” and take it upon ourselves to try to govern in our own small, or maybe a larger way, if there is a need we feel capable to fill.

    June 1st, 2013 6:09 pm Reply
  • Melissa Mary McAllister via Facebook

    There’s a restaurant called Duckfat in Portland Maine that fries everything in duck fat!

    June 1st, 2013 6:07 pm Reply
  • Diana

    Interesting. Where do they get their Kobe beef? Here’s more info on Kobe beef and restaurants. This is the furst time I’ve heard of it in a burger joint and I so love a good burger night out?

    June 1st, 2013 5:53 pm Reply
  • H-squared O-squared via Facebook

    It IS what people here use for Kobe, so it has understandably become commonly called that (or “Kobe-style”). It’s tasty and heart-healthy beef! :)

    June 1st, 2013 5:34 pm Reply
  • H-squared O-squared via Facebook

    Akaushi cattle exist in Texas (and, of course, Japan).

    June 1st, 2013 5:30 pm Reply
  • Susan Wenger via Facebook

    What is the connection between “some guy who works for the government” and “the government?”

    June 1st, 2013 5:17 pm Reply
  • Evangeline Navarone via Facebook

    McDonald’s used to use tallow for their fries, it was the government and heath nuts that stepped in and told them to use vegetable shortening . It seems like it all went down hill from there.

    June 1st, 2013 5:16 pm Reply
  • Lisa Hansel via Facebook

    Well of course bureaucrats love good, healthy food….they just don’t want the rest of us to have access to it.

    June 1st, 2013 5:08 pm Reply
  • Jeff Simon via Facebook

    Can someone please compose a list of burger joints that use grass-fed beef and fry organic potato fries in an oil that wasn’t invented after 1960? We have been able to score plenty of burgers in our travels, but the same places can’t seem to use a fry oil that wasn’t invented after I bought my first cell phone.

    June 1st, 2013 4:49 pm Reply
  • Shannon Smith Jaros via Facebook

    Great to know! I’ve seen them before in Wesley Chapel but never considered them .. I will now 😉 thank you!

    June 1st, 2013 4:43 pm Reply
  • Diane Schmid Laverty via Facebook

    yeah, can’t prove it but would be very very very (you get the idea) surprised if anything that wasn’t organic and gmo free ever passed through the whitehouse doors……..and i noticed a long long time ago that Martha Stewart does not EAT what she cooks on her show!

    June 1st, 2013 4:37 pm Reply
  • Sharon Anthony Connors via Facebook

    Tallow ? Ugh… I wouldn’t even allow that in my DOG’S food.

    June 1st, 2013 4:32 pm Reply
  • Amy Knoch via Facebook

    same breed of cow – but fed and raised on american soil by an american company…. it’s just a breed of cow – they still feed it the same way they do standard grassfed cattle.

    June 1st, 2013 4:28 pm Reply
  • Amy Knoch via Facebook


    June 1st, 2013 4:27 pm Reply
  • Robin Adler via Facebook

    What does Kobe burgers mean? Is it grassfed?

    June 1st, 2013 4:26 pm Reply
  • Sam Belina via Facebook

    We love it too! :)

    June 1st, 2013 4:26 pm Reply
  • Amy Knoch via Facebook

    As of late last year, apparently they can now import certain cuts of kobe – but they’re going exclusively to high end steak houses charging $3-500 for a single steak – so even without the ban, it most certainly isn’t kobe… a single hamburger would cost you $250.

    June 1st, 2013 4:25 pm Reply
  • Natasha

    Where can I get more information on fats and cholesterol, and just having a complete diet?? I’m new in this world and have a lot to learn! We’re drilled in our minds how ‘absurd’ it would be to eat foods fried in fats and trans fats and all that jazz and I need more info! lol Thanks!

    June 1st, 2013 4:25 pm Reply
  • Violet Murray via Facebook

    Please send me one! I LOVE a GOOD burger!

    June 1st, 2013 4:24 pm Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    The beef tastes amazing.

    June 1st, 2013 4:22 pm Reply
  • Pamela Schulze via Facebook

    Can’t get real Kobe beef outside of Japan.

    June 1st, 2013 4:22 pm Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    Akaushi Beef is what the flyer says … maybe that’s not Kobe? I thought it was.

    June 1st, 2013 4:22 pm Reply
  • Jennie Cannon via Facebook

    Wish we had a place like that here.

    June 1st, 2013 4:18 pm Reply
  • Amy Knoch via Facebook

    I guarantee you they’re not selling kobe beef either – it’s illegal in the US and can only be gotten in Japan : http://www.forbes.com/sites/larryolmsted/2012/04/12/foods-biggest-scam-the-great-kobe-beef-lie/

    June 1st, 2013 4:18 pm Reply
  • Sandie Leskovec via Facebook

    I love that place!

    June 1st, 2013 4:17 pm Reply
  • Tisha Toone via Facebook

    Yeah probably on the government dime.. Nothing is to good for that old federal credit card.

    June 1st, 2013 4:15 pm Reply
  • Megan Canfield via Facebook

    They know, they just don’t want anyone else to have the freedom to choose it.

    June 1st, 2013 4:14 pm Reply
  • Clint Fuqua via Facebook

    …or they are just doing a random quality check…… to see what is wrong with that healthy food… 😉

    June 1st, 2013 4:10 pm Reply
  • Victoria

    Grass fed beef most unhealthy beef you can eat. Very low in the good cholesterol. Oliec oil researchers confirm

    April 3rd, 2013 10:19 am Reply
  • Perry E

    Thanks for the tip. We were in Tampa this weekend and drove past Burger Monger. I remembered reading your post but had to double check. We stopped by on our way out of town and ordered a large bag of guilt free fries to go. Yum. Note: they said they still use beef fat for their oil. When I asked they wondered if I preferred that. I said, “yep, it’s the healthiest choice”.

    November 11th, 2012 3:54 pm Reply
  • Debra Masi Pezzuti via Facebook

    I lived 30 minutes from there, I’m going!

    October 17th, 2012 9:36 pm Reply
  • Jennifer Smith via Facebook

    Wow – thanks for sharing, Sarah. I moved from Tampa 4 years ago after living there for 16. Going back to visit this weekend, so we’ll give it a try. Wish I could meet you while I’m there – I really admire your work!

    October 14th, 2012 9:09 am Reply
  • Kelly Conrad via Facebook

    On Monday their burgers are $5.00. Fries are awesome!

    October 13th, 2012 11:16 pm Reply
  • Cristina Marzullo via Facebook


    October 13th, 2012 7:23 pm Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    Please note: this burger joint is NOT perfect. They have Heinz ketchup and other condiments with HFCS. BUT, it is sooo much better than anything else in town so it’s a good choice to go where we won’t get sick.

    October 13th, 2012 6:12 pm Reply
  • Jana Lea Stokes via Facebook

    I keep passing the New Tampa one. I really need to check it out!

    October 13th, 2012 4:24 pm Reply
  • Jana Lea Stokes via Facebook

    I keep passing the New Tampa one. I really need to check it out!

    October 13th, 2012 4:24 pm Reply
  • me

    You should google kobe beef- it looks as though it is VERY INHUMANE way to raise beef. Kind of like pate de fois gras. where the animals are not allowed to move. In Japan if they eat till they loose their appetite they feed them beer to stimulate it again… I know wikipedia isnt the best source in the world but still you should check it out.

    October 13th, 2012 4:17 pm Reply
    • Bob Slane

      Not Kobe beef. Akaushi and it is raised in a natural stating at Heartbrand Ranch. No steroids only natural feed. Bob S.

      February 18th, 2013 10:17 am Reply
  • Christie Durham via Facebook

    I love the term ‘food snob’ it’s quite fitting to those of us who only eat real food. We (family of 8) always pack food when we are out and about, otherwise we feel sick and yucky too. Here in rural America, there are no good restaurant or fast food choices.

    October 13th, 2012 4:09 pm Reply
  • Michelle Nihiser via Facebook

    “YEAH” :)

    October 13th, 2012 3:29 pm Reply
  • Rai Smith via Facebook

    Fantastic I will check it out!

    October 13th, 2012 2:48 pm Reply
  • Annemarie Scolari via Facebook

    I used to live there and ate there all the time. Great place. San Luis Obispo, here in Cali had one but unfortunately, it closed. :O(

    October 13th, 2012 2:28 pm Reply
  • Chris Baltzley via Facebook

    THIS might actually get me to make a trip across the bay!

    October 13th, 2012 2:11 pm Reply
  • Katrina Duckett via Facebook

    I’m flying into Tampa (from Idaho) in about 3 weeks! I will have to try this place. Thanks for posting.

    October 13th, 2012 2:04 pm Reply
  • Yana Wagg Gardephe via Facebook

    We have relatives in Tampa, now I’d be more inclined to visit. In NYC, there are a few locations of bareburger where you can choose grassfed beef, elk, bison, turkey, or ostrich… It’s great. And the shakes are delicious, made with a local icecream called blue marble. There’s an option to get lettuce instead of bun. I think all veggies are organic. The only downfall is that the frying oil is probably canola. It’s located across from my kids’ school which is convenient. It’s pricey but a real treat. Jaime Oliver place sounds wonderful.

    October 13th, 2012 1:59 pm Reply
  • Heidi Johnson via Facebook

    So yummy!

    October 13th, 2012 1:55 pm Reply
  • Jessica Niehaus via Facebook

    Sweet. I am in St Pete! Will check them out 😉

    October 13th, 2012 1:51 pm Reply
  • Julie D.

    I would ask if it is ONLY tallow the fries are cooked in. There are quite a few places in the San Francisco and Los Angeles area that use beef or duck fat for their fries but so far, I have have not found one that doesn’t mix it with a large proportion of vegetable oil.Tallow is just too expensive. The fries would be cost prohibitive if it was used alone. Also, Haagen Daz (owned by Nestle) uses milk with rBGH. But with that said, I would still go there if I was in Tampa. It is better than most places.

    October 13th, 2012 1:17 pm Reply
  • Leah

    There are several good burger places in the SF bay area that use either 100% grassfed or bison meat for their burgers. The first one that comes to mind is The Counter Burger, which has several locations. Next time I’m in I’ll ask what they fry the fries in. (They have sweet potato fries, which are awesome).

    October 13th, 2012 12:07 pm Reply
  • Becki West Boggess via Facebook

    Will have to try next time I am in Tampa.

    October 13th, 2012 11:49 am Reply
  • Toni Fish Sparling via Facebook

    I hope it catches on everywhere!

    October 13th, 2012 11:48 am Reply
  • Karen Stefanski-pascale via Facebook

    great blog! very informative…love the burger review!!

    October 13th, 2012 11:44 am Reply
  • Lara D Latshaw via Facebook

    Awesome! I will try this next week!

    October 13th, 2012 11:41 am Reply
  • Gigi O’Brien Robles via Facebook

    thehealthyhomeeconomist Where do you buy beef fat to cook the fries?

    October 13th, 2012 11:38 am Reply
  • Rafael Robles via Facebook

    Though I now live in Tulsa, I’m a Tampa native. The fries @ Burger Monger are awesome, but the burgers could/should be fattier for more moisture!

    October 13th, 2012 11:31 am Reply
  • Beth

    I have been saying for years that if you want to be thin and feel good, pay attention to the way you feel after you eat something. Your body will tell you the proper things to eat naturally. We only use butter and lard for frying. I have not heard the skim milk thing before, but I will definitely be heading out for some whole milk and some Haagen Daas later! Have given up on milk and ice cream after feeling so horrible after consuming them. Thank you for this awesome blog, can’t wait to read all of it!

    June 11th, 2012 11:17 am Reply
  • R Slane

    Love Burgermonger not only healthy but taste great( not like grass fed )

    March 11th, 2012 8:10 am Reply
  • Darlene

    I’m a fan of fries too :) I love eating fries..It really release my stress after work! Thank you for your post! I really appreciate it!

    January 12th, 2012 4:39 am Reply
  • Heather

    Sarah, one day you are going to have to write a food guide to Tampa post so those of us who are in driving distance for a meal out can benefit from your awesome work. My efforts to do so for Bradenton/Sarasota is slow going to say the least thanks to the little ones and a small taste testing budget.

    December 27th, 2011 8:37 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      I honestly don’t eat out much Heather. I much prefer to eat at home or the home of a friend who cooks traditionally.

      December 27th, 2011 6:16 pm Reply


    December 22nd, 2011 5:36 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      I experience good food every day at my house! All folks have to do is get started in their own kitchens like I did 10 years ago, alone with NO HELP at all with only a copy of Nourishing Traditions cookbook to guide me. I had no blogs and no one to call or email for help in answering my questions. It was all trial and error, and a lot of error I might add! LOL

      December 27th, 2011 6:15 pm Reply
  • Kendahl (@NourishingRoots) (@NourishingRoots)

    A Burger Joint Even Real Foodies Will Love http://t.co/iuy30UKc #realfood #fastfood #wapf

    December 21st, 2011 11:10 pm Reply
  • April

    Congratulations!!! I don’t even have reliable access to a “health food store” The closest is almost 2 hours away. I would love to be able to eat out on the really rushed days and not pay for it quite so dearly.

    A little off topic, but another article on factory farming practices in the US and what the gov’t is “doing” to protect the consumer.

    December 21st, 2011 10:20 pm Reply
  • Jake Hickton

    Thanks so much for your kind words about our growing brand. I pledge to always strive to provide only the best, fresh, healthy food and warm, friendly service.

    Happy Holidays to all!

    Jake Hickton
    General Partner

    December 21st, 2011 9:45 pm Reply
    • Heather

      Thank you for being passionate about providing great food. As your brand grows we would love for it to grow to Bradenton/Sarasota!

      December 27th, 2011 8:39 am Reply
  • WordVixen

    There *is* a southern burger chain that fries in beef tallow, but… I’ve been hesitant to say where because, A.) their email had the typical “this is private information” footer on it, and B.) I’m terrified that the insane low fat people will revolt and convince them to change. :-( They don’t seem to have an overriding food philosophy to keep them on the straight and narrow if there’s a campaign to get them to change.

    Your restaurant does sound awesome though. Any chance that it’s near Disney World? That’s the only place in Florida that I go, and I’m sure that I can’t convince my husband to take a detour just to have a burger.

    December 21st, 2011 5:44 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Tampa is about 75 miles west of Disney World, so probably a bit too far away for a burger run!!

      December 21st, 2011 8:06 pm Reply
  • Virginia

    HAHAHA! LOL! I was cracking up as I read your article because you sound just like me when I am at a restaurant or the grocery store!! In my head I say the same cynical statements about the ridiculous lies about saturated fats and groan when I see other people’s shopping carts. :-)

    December 21st, 2011 1:03 pm Reply
  • Tony

    We have great ‘ burger joint ‘ in the Boston / Cambridge area. Seriously, it’s good stuff.

    It is called four burgers


    They use grass fed beef, free ranged chicken and wild caught salmon as well as in house made veggie burgers ( hence the name four burgers ). They use as much locally sourced ingredients as they can.

    They clearly state all of this on their mission statement placard when you walk through the door. Ill have to ask them what they oil they cook their fries in though. I usually don’t worry about the oil because I don’t eat fries that often and the few times I do…………It’s a small drop in the bucket

    December 21st, 2011 12:03 pm Reply
  • Dr. Sue & Angelle (@NourishMD) (@NourishMD)

    A fun post from Sarah thehealthyhomeeconomist – she found a local burger joint that actually has some REAL food!… http://t.co/G2VKP24Y

    December 21st, 2011 11:01 am Reply
  • Soli @ I Believe In Butter

    I ate at a Five Guys when I was in Florida last month. Of the two locations near where I was, one was supposed to be horrid and one great. My best friend and I went to the good one. I was actually rather impressed. Next year though I hope to find a BurgerMonger near her so I can eat some of these beef fat fries.

    December 20th, 2011 10:02 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      The Five Guys fries cooked in vegetable oils kill me. I won’t go there ever again. I can barely move for hours after that … rancid veggie oil fries are a huge energy killer not to mention that omega 6 fats cause you overeat big time.

      December 20th, 2011 10:09 pm Reply
  • Julie

    Jose Garces’ restaurant in Philadelphia serves fries cooked in duck fat. It’s worth a trip just for those!

    December 20th, 2011 9:51 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Wow, pair those duck fries with a cheesesteak from South Philly and you’ve got yourself quite a meal! I do miss those cheesesteaks (I went to school in Philly awhile back :)

      December 20th, 2011 10:07 pm Reply
  • Kaley Wirthlin via Facebook

    thanks for this post sarah- i will be checking this out soon :)

    December 20th, 2011 9:23 pm Reply
  • Andrea

    Please tell them we would definitely appreciate that he expand to Denver, CO.

    December 20th, 2011 6:03 pm Reply
  • Nickole@savvyteasandherbs.com

    This post had me on the edge of my seat! Oh how I wish there was a location here in NC! I am craving fries now… I make my own, but I bake them, but fried are so much tastier especially when fried in a healthy oil.


    December 20th, 2011 5:19 pm Reply
  • Linda Cannady via Facebook

    We need a BurgerMonger in Midland, Michigan- headquarters of
    Dow Chemical and Dow Corning!

    December 20th, 2011 4:07 pm Reply
  • Lisa K.

    We’ll have to check it out next time we’re in Tampa (we live in the Ocala area). Thanks for the review!

    December 20th, 2011 3:45 pm Reply
  • Jessica Carter Kingsborough via Facebook

    I’m so glad you wrote this! I worked with Jake on a promotion in BugerMonger’s early days and I was happy to partner with such a restaurant.

    December 20th, 2011 3:35 pm Reply
  • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

    Yes, Haagen-Dazs is no where close to the quality of homemade with raw grassfed cream, but it is ok once in awhile .. the vanilla has no additives and is just cream, sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla.

    Also, pasteurizing cream is not nearly as damaging to it as pasteurizing milk which denatures the fragile milk proteins. The saturated fat in cream is not damaged by pasteurization. The enzymes are lost for sure, but it does not become allergenic like what happens when milk is pasteurized.

    December 20th, 2011 3:21 pm Reply
  • R Slane

    Burgermonger has the best Kobe beef hot dog. Sorry you did not get a chance to try it!!

    December 20th, 2011 3:17 pm Reply
  • Dorthy McConnel via Facebook

    We need one here in Ga! The food sounds delicious!

    December 20th, 2011 2:16 pm Reply
  • Paul Hardiman via Facebook

    Thanks for sharing, Ms Healthy Home Economist. This would be worth investigating first hand :).

    December 20th, 2011 2:45 pm Reply
  • Sarah @ Renaissance Mama

    That’s awesome to hear! What are your thoughts on In & Out? That’s basically the only fast food place we eat at (since saying adios to Chemical-fil-a) In & Outs are popping up all over everywhere in Texas and we’re even getting one just around the corner from us.

    December 20th, 2011 2:39 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Hi Sarah, never eaten there or seen one in my area at least not yet.

      December 20th, 2011 2:42 pm Reply
  • Aeron Miller via Facebook

    requesting burgermonger in Norcal! yuuummmy!

    December 20th, 2011 2:30 pm Reply
  • Ann

    I hate to be a downer, but unless Haagen Daz has changed its formula, it uses rBHT milk in its ice cream, as do most commercially produced ice cream companies. That and the fact that most ice cream is just expensive air. Did you know that one of Maggie Thatcher’s greatest gifts to human kind as a chemist, before she turned into a politician, was to figure out how to get more “overrun” (air) into commercial ice cream?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0wdQXcBwsU (trailer for Gelato: An Endless Passion)

    December 20th, 2011 1:58 pm Reply
  • Meagan

    I wouldn’t get so down on the American food scene. Lots of good things are happening with young chefs pioneering the industry and adding simple, local, organic, raw, fresh and unadulterated food from farmers to their menus. The local food movement is catching on, and I am really thankful that many restaurants are popping up that have a “slow food” philosophy. I refuse to be a shut-in. I will find these restaurants and patronize them.

    December 20th, 2011 1:52 pm Reply
  • Daryl rogers

    I went there not too long ago…not only was the food great but the owner was exceptionally nice and helpful. I didnt know about the fries but that makes me like it even more

    December 20th, 2011 1:36 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Jake is awesome! He is so hands on and refuses to compromise to the best of his ability. I love those kinds of people .. they make a difference!

      December 20th, 2011 1:47 pm Reply
  • Kimberly Pender Wiezycki via Facebook

    I’ve been wanting to go there! Yay!

    December 20th, 2011 1:32 pm Reply
  • Angela Koestler Knipfing via Facebook

    Now if only they could come to New Mexico!

    December 20th, 2011 1:10 pm Reply
  • Barbara

    Is beef fat (or lard) okay to heat at very high heat (for french frying ) for a long time, and to use over and over again? Just wondering.

    December 20th, 2011 12:59 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      I do reuse my tallow once or twice.

      December 20th, 2011 1:47 pm Reply
      • michelle

        I am confused, I thought that McDonald’s fried their fries in tallow fat and were getting alot of flak for it?

        December 20th, 2011 11:44 pm Reply
        • Irene

          They got flack from the vegetarian/vegans.

          December 21st, 2011 2:46 am Reply
        • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

          That was 30 years ago! PETA got on them and they switched to transfats for a long time and now use interesterified oils (transfat free oil) which is actually worse.

          December 21st, 2011 8:27 am Reply
          • Mikki

            I still remember how good McDonald’s fries were back in the 1960’s when they used beef fat. No fast food fries taste that good anymore using veggie oil.

            December 21st, 2011 11:15 am
  • Tabitha Barshinger via Facebook

    I want a Burger Monger!!!

    December 20th, 2011 12:40 pm Reply
  • BrookJ

    I am local, so thanks for the tip! Tampa does not seem to have many good restaurants to eat real food. Yesterday I had lunch at a Korean restaurant from my pre-WAP diet life, and I spent all afternoon coughing and fighting a headache. So sad. I love bul go gi pork.

    December 20th, 2011 12:29 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Yes, Tampa is not a great place to find decent food eating out. Even the organic restaurants use vegetable oils for cooking and I don’t find the food very appealing or tasty. It caters way to much to the vegan crowd.

      December 20th, 2011 1:46 pm Reply
      • michelle

        we tried Cafe Eden inside of Abby’s Health Food Store and enjoyed it, and when my girlfriend and I ditch our hubbies and kids for our monthly trek down to tampa to grocery shop at Abby’s and Whole Foods, We eat usually in Whole foods which I think is ok, but a little pricey, will definitely look into Burgermonger next time we are in Tampa, wish there was something better out here in San Antonio, Dade City, FL!

        December 20th, 2011 11:43 pm Reply
  • Irene-marie Mello via Facebook

    SO glad you posted this. We’ll be in Tampa next week and I’m sooo going to try them. Thanks!

    December 20th, 2011 12:28 pm Reply
  • Michael Gunn via Facebook

    Haagan Das – is still made with pasteurized milk… :( Besides that I’ve found Five to be a good brand as well.

    December 20th, 2011 12:26 pm Reply
  • Ann Williams via Facebook

    Hope they open in CA sometime!

    December 20th, 2011 12:25 pm Reply
  • Casey Vasconcelos via Facebook

    This is exciting! Totally making a trip there this week!

    December 20th, 2011 11:21 am Reply
  • Susan Wichman

    I love to hear about restaurants that are getting it right! There is a great burger joint in Lawrence, KS where my son goes to school called Local Burger and they use only local meats (within 100 miles), coconut oil to fry their fries etc. I give my son gift cards so I know at least some of his meals are healthy!

    December 20th, 2011 12:13 pm Reply
  • Amy

    Our local fish and chip shop has changed hands and now fries the chips in palm oil. Is this any good? I think I read recently you stating that frying anything in any vegetable oil is carcinogenic. I had changed to frying our occasional fried dough in coconut oil,but now I am not sure if this is ok….?

    December 20th, 2011 12:07 pm Reply
    • susan

      coconut oil, beef lard or tallow, and palm shortening are all great for frying, right sarah? i use the palm shortening because it is only $30 a gal. @ http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/organic_palm_shortening.htm and i think i read it doesn’t smoke till 450 degrees, which is great for frying.
      you can also buy the beef tallow there. however, when i cook grassfed beef in a skillet, i keep all the left over fat in a pint glass jar, and freeze it. that way i don’t have to strain it to get the little pieces of meat out of it that will cause it to spoil after a few days in the frig. you don’t even have to thaw it to use it either. just take a sharp knife, and cut out a chunk or two. it comes out easily. sarah, am i doing o.k. by doing that? i use this fat to fry in a lot too.

      December 20th, 2011 2:51 pm Reply
      • michelle

        i have also read that grapeseed oil is one that can be used for high heat without it becoming carcinogenic, but use nutiva coconut oil for frying our homemade “refried”bean ezekiel tortillas. Have never heard of palm oil, would be interested to hear from Sarah because I am paying $58 a gal for the coconut oil.

        December 20th, 2011 11:39 pm Reply
        • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

          Palm oil is ok for frying but not as good as tallow or coconut oil as it is higher in monounsaturated fats.

          December 21st, 2011 8:29 am Reply
          • karen pascale

            but doesnt coconut oil leave your food tasting …coconutty?

            October 13th, 2012 11:39 am
  • Karen

    I wish I had known this last week. We just returned Sunday from a family vacation in Florida. We made our own food most of the time for this very reason.

    December 20th, 2011 12:03 pm Reply
  • Liz Vennum via Facebook

    Awesome! I loved what your kids said. Will have to check it out the next time we’re in FL.

    December 20th, 2011 11:02 am Reply
  • Miranda G. Kissling via Facebook

    Those fries sound fab!

    December 20th, 2011 11:55 am Reply
  • Jean

    I am from Boston and was in Tampa this past weekend. I thought about you!Would have loved to meet you……. If I knew about this place sooner, I would have liked to try it. But I will tell my friends who live there about it. Thanks for all the time and efforet you put into this website!! I really enjoy it! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

    December 20th, 2011 11:51 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      I hope folks reading this blog who are in Tampa for the holidays stop by BurgerMonger. Tell them the Healthy Home Economist sent you and maybe I will score another free dessert next time I go! LOL (just kidding)

      December 20th, 2011 1:44 pm Reply
  • Heather Heirbaut-Kaczmarek via Facebook

    i love kobe beef!! Too bad there isn’t one around here.

    December 20th, 2011 11:46 am Reply
  • Mikki

    I think I’ll quiz In and Out Burger here out West. At least when I eat there 2-3 times a year, I know the potatoes are fresh, never frozen, we can watch them cutting them up, but have no idea what kind of fat they are fried in. The beef is never frozen patties, always fresh ground beef however it’s probably not grass fed, but at least it’s fresh. I will just have to ask unless anyone reading this is from California or Arizona and already knows. All I know is that when you are held captive by the interstate with no ice chest full of good food, In and Out beats the heck outta McDonald’s, Burger King or Taco Bell!

    December 20th, 2011 11:44 am Reply
    • chanelle

      Mikki, In’n’out uses vegetable oil. :(

      December 20th, 2011 3:57 pm Reply
      • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

        If I eat fries cooked in vegetable oil, I am soooooo tired for HOURS afterward. Rancid vegetable oils are nearly impossible for the body to deal with digestively.

        December 20th, 2011 4:20 pm Reply
      • Mikki

        Thanks. I was afraid of that! I could skip the fries and go for the Low Carb Burger which is not on the menu, but they”ll make you one without a bun, wrapped in lettuce. Better than Mickey D’s or Jack.

        December 20th, 2011 4:52 pm Reply
    • christy

      Last I knew (Oct. 2010), they pretty much universally used cottonseed oil to cook the fries. They only season the burgers on the grill with conventional salt and pepper. We eat there a bit too frequently right now, but we can order our food just how we want it. I stay away from the ketchup and other sauce and go for the salt and pepper on a protien style burger with tomatoes and pickles. For this particular season, its been extra handy having them as a not perfect, but not horrible option for a meal I don’t have to prepare! Hope this helps!

      December 21st, 2011 4:48 am Reply
    • Summer

      Hi Mikki, Unfortunately In N Out burger uses vegetable oil (as in canola and cottonseed–if you can call the latter a veggie oil!) to fry their fries. I have a hard time eating at In N Out, although I still do from time to time. They use “american” cheese and the buns are glycemic explosions waiting to happen. The special sauce is mayo and ketchup–probably soybean oil and genetically modified corn syrup ketchup. In N Out is definitely a step up from McD’s, but it’s also still pretty much junk, albeit fresh junk. :)

      December 23rd, 2011 4:26 am Reply
  • marina

    I really enjoyed reading this story!! It would be soo much easier to go out to eat if at least some restaurants were like that.

    December 20th, 2011 11:38 am Reply
  • Erin C

    You don’t know how good it makes me feel to read that you… occasionally…cheat and allow your family to eat “normal” food! I guess when you read these real food posts you start to imagine that the writers are SO perfect and SO far above you. I try not to cheat often, but since getting pregnant I have cravings!! Anyway…this burger place sounds like a great option for a cheat day!

    December 20th, 2011 11:37 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      The reason I do this is to try to teach my kids balance. Shutting oneself away from society and living like a hermit is not the answer. To make a difference, we must live like normal people and find a way to thrive despite all the obstacles around us.

      December 20th, 2011 1:43 pm Reply
  • Carolyn Bryant Schaub via Facebook

    You should review Smashburger…. I would love to see that

    December 20th, 2011 11:35 am Reply
  • WB

    Interesting – I tried this place once and ended up with a terrible headache from what I assumed to be MSG or some other toxin added to the food. Perhaps I should give them another shot to see if it was just a coincidence.

    December 20th, 2011 11:29 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Well, BurgerMonger is not perfect .. I’m sure there is MSG there somewhere. I got a plain hamburger and shared a plate of fries with my family. Plus the ice cream for dessert. That’s it. What did you eat?

      December 20th, 2011 1:42 pm Reply
      • WB

        It’s been at least a year and I don’t remember exactly – I know it was a burger and fries, probably with cheese but no other unusual toppings. I really will have to try it again and keep things plain and see what happens. It would be great to have a place to eat out from time to time.

        December 20th, 2011 7:53 pm Reply
  • Kelli

    Wow, sounds amazing! Theres no healthy restaurants where we live as there all Bob Evans type that are slathered in vegetable oil and fake butter.

    December 20th, 2011 11:28 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      My kids call Bob Evans “Barf Evans” LOL

      December 20th, 2011 1:41 pm Reply
  • Leola

    That is good news! How did you feel afterwards, Sarah? Thanks for sharing!

    December 20th, 2011 11:26 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      I felt GREAT. Was not tired at all indicating my digestion was humming along at its normal pace. Getting tired after meals is an indicator that your digestion is not up to par and/or what you just ate was not a good choice.

      December 20th, 2011 1:40 pm Reply
      • Irene

        When I get tired and flushed after eating out, I know it was too much MSG. I don’t eat out so much anymore . . .

        December 20th, 2011 10:14 pm Reply
  • Lori Selby Devine via Facebook

    We need on in the Chicago area!

    December 20th, 2011 11:24 am Reply
  • Bonny

    Hi Sarah,
    Speaking of commercial ice cream, what’s your take on them? Obviously homemade raw milk ice cream is the best, but when one of my kids is having a birthday party, I don’t necessarily want to make raw milk ice cream for the neighbor kids. I bought some Breyer’s recently because the ingredient list is short and “all natural.” But then I started reading about castoreum (basically beaver anal gland juice) that is allegedly added to under the label “natural flavor” in vanilla and raspberry products. I’ve tried to get a clear answer on whether or not all this is true, and some say it is, some say it isn’t. What you you think? Do you avoid the label “natural flavor”?

    December 20th, 2011 11:24 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      We prefer our homemade ice made with grassfed raw cream, of course (can’t be beat), BUT Haagen-Dazs is our go to brand from the store in a pinch.

      December 20th, 2011 1:39 pm Reply
    • Brian

      (Re: castoreum) According to my research, this is an urban myth that got a boost when Jamie Oliver mentioned it on the David Letterman show recently. Evidently, it was used in days old as a food flavoring, but this has not been in practice for many decades. I suspected as much since it certainly didn’t sound very economical (there are far less expensive flavoring agents which would pass under the “natural flavoring” radar). It probably is still in use, however, in perfumes.

      December 20th, 2011 11:52 pm Reply
  • Keria

    Oh what my husband and I wouldn’t give for something like that around here. It seems nearly impossible to find in this area…. *Sigh*

    December 20th, 2011 11:24 am Reply
  • Stanley Fishman

    Sarah, was that a dream? There is no place like that, not in the USA..

    Seriously, in the last two months we have discovered a hamburger place called Whizbangs that quietly serves grassfed hamburgers. Burgers that actually leave you feeling good after eating them.

    And, during the same time period, we discovered that a local Restaurant,, Chow, was also serving grassfed burgers that also left us felling good after consuming them.

    Could we finally be seeing the beginning of a trend towards decent food ?

    December 20th, 2011 11:21 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Stanley, perhaps the tide is turning! Are people finally FED UP about feeling LOUSY ALL THE TIME? I hope so!

      December 20th, 2011 1:38 pm Reply
  • Mary Behrens via Facebook

    I’m so excited to see it’s in Tampa! I live in Sarasota so this is a definite possibility. My 14 year old will be thrilled that we can go to a burger joint! Merry Christmas and thanks for sharing!

    December 20th, 2011 11:20 am Reply
  • Jill

    Very cool! We should all “like” them on facebook, if they have a page! Maybe they will help start a positive trend!

    December 20th, 2011 11:19 am Reply
  • Ashley Rozenberg via Facebook

    Wow I can’t wait to try it when I go to visit my mom in a few months!!

    December 20th, 2011 11:19 am Reply
  • Karlise

    I’m not a vegetarian but my husband is. I would probably love this restaurant but I do think it’s silly to offer a veggie burger and not vegetarian friendly FRIES! I know non-veg people will eat a veggie burger (I have) but it’s hard enough to find a place we can both enjoy and this sadly won’t be one of them.

    December 20th, 2011 11:18 am Reply
    • Patricia

      Your poor husband.
      This isn’t silly. It is needed. People who eat real food have little to no option of eating out. From oils used in frying to salad dressing, there isn’t anything to eat in an American restaurant. I have to request my eggs fried in butter just to be sure they aren’t put in canola, veg oil, or margarine. (I know I wouldn’t get lard or coconut oil). I don’t have young kids any longer so I seldom eat out. Maybe 2-3 times a year I am dragged somewhere and then can’t find anything I want to take a chance on.
      My dough is ready to make homemade crackers so off I go. Gotta make enough for Christmas snackin’ with raw cheese and dips. Happy New Year to all and looking forward to more real food recipes on this blog next year. They are great!

      December 20th, 2011 1:02 pm Reply
  • Larissa Katriina Mäkilä via Facebook

    I had to post this.

    December 20th, 2011 11:16 am Reply
  • Stephanie Pruett Amuso via Facebook

    Oh yes! I will need to try them out now!

    December 20th, 2011 11:15 am Reply
  • Tara Crabtree via Facebook

    I love BurgerMonger! It makes me feel even better about it that you love it as well. And you went on the right day for the $5 burgers on Mondays!

    December 20th, 2011 11:14 am Reply
  • Kate Garland via Facebook

    Awesome. I’ll be in Tampa on Thursday and we’ll definitely go check it out.

    December 20th, 2011 11:12 am Reply
  • ladyscott

    Oh for that around here. The closest we have is a restaurant that uses local farmed foods, but they still adhere to the whole low fat, low cholesterol mantra.

    December 20th, 2011 11:07 am Reply
  • Kenny Friedman via Facebook

    i am stealing a piece of this. i hope you don’t mind too much 😉

    December 20th, 2011 11:07 am Reply
  • shannon marie (@greenmom1980)

    A Burger Joint Even Real Foodies Will Love http://t.co/nggeFc72

    December 20th, 2011 11:05 am Reply
  • jay seville (@ChampionCitizen)

    Burger joint for foodies and health nutz http://t.co/6haF4N8i #burgermonger #tcot #tlot

    December 20th, 2011 10:43 am Reply
  • Emma

    There’s a Jamie Oliver restaurant in London I went to on vacation that makes duck fat chips (fries). I was there with my husband and in-laws and it was so amazing the first time that we broke our cardinal rule of traveling and went back the next night.

    Everything they serve there, they make there. Ice cream. Butter (with big, chunky, amazing sea salt!). EVERYTHING comes in as ingredients and is made into your dinner. My husband said the burger was the best he’s ever had and he’s from Texas. They do beef in Texas. The fries were so amazing we probably had at least 3 orders each there. The Brits and the chefs apparently know how to do food properly. *swoon* I’d almost go back to London just to eat at that restaurant.

    December 20th, 2011 9:46 am Reply

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