New Burger Finds

Hamburger expert and photographer George Motz has once again discovered that the USA is loaded with great mom ‘n pop burger joints. Here’s a list of his new favorite burger finds.

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"The Moonshine Store is way out there. It sits, by itself, at a truly rural crossroads in East Central Illinois surrounded by cornfields. The nearest city is hours away so enjoy the endless 2-lane roads through the heart of farm country." - George Motz 960 1280

George Motz  

"The Moonburger is the only thing on the menu at the Moonshine Store. A condiment table provides limitless options, but I prefer mine plain. For me, the Moonburger's own juices are condiment enough."
- George Motz
960 1280

George Motz  

"Brookings is a pretty big town, but the closest major city (Minneapolis) is over 4 hours away. The classic burger counter has been in the same spot since 1929 and barely a thing has changed." - George Motz 960 1280

George Motz  

"The burgers at Nick's are small but pack a tasty punch. That's because they are cooked the old-fashioned way, in a tank of rendered beef fat. The only condiment available is a housemade mustardy pickle relish that has been at Nick's since the beginning." - George Motz 960 1280

George Motz  

"I was very lost trying to find the 105 for the first time; not surprisingly, my cell phone had no reception here. What was once only a gas station/grocery store has now become a destination for great burgers to travelers willing to venture off (way off) the interstate between Houston and Austin." - George Motz 960 1280

George Motz  

"The tasty burgers at 105 Grocery are available as a double, but beware -- the patties weigh in at around 1/2 pound each, making a double a full pound of beef. Grab a beer from the cooler and strike up a conversation with a stranger, some of the friendliest in America." - George Motz 960 1280

George Motz  

"There's not much in Gunder, IA. At one point this tiny town surrounded by rolling cornfields was almost wiped off the map (literally). But almost 30 years ago, an enterprising chef at The Irish Shanti created a burger so ridiculous that Gunder remained on the official map of Iowa." - George Motz 960 1280

George Motz  

"The Gunderburger is ridiculous but so tasty. It'll be your only meal of the day so skip breakfast. Chef Hans purposely uses a standard-sized white squishy bun to enhance the protruding 1-lb. patty and its cartoonish pile of ingredients. You'll need a nap after this one." - George Motz 960 1280

George Motz  

"This tiny burger shack is truly a destination. Hours from Oklahoma City in Mangum, Slick's is not on the way to anything. It's about as simple as it gets -- fresh ground beef burgers served at a walkup window (there is a community table in the kitchen for those in the know.)" - George Motz 960 1280

George Motz  

"Cooked on a flattop griddle and served on a toasted white squishy bun, the Giant Double Cheeseburger is hamburger perfection and comes standard with lettuce, tomato, chopped onion, pickles and mustard. I want one now." - George Motz 960 1280

George Motz  

Photos

"The Moonshine Store is way out there. It sits, by itself, at a truly rural crossroads in East Central Illinois surrounded by cornfields. The nearest city is hours away so enjoy the endless 2-lane roads through the heart of farm country." - George Motz 960 1280

George Motz  

"The Moonburger is the only thing on the menu at the Moonshine Store. A condiment table provides limitless options, but I prefer mine plain. For me, the Moonburger's own juices are condiment enough."
- George Motz
960 1280

George Motz  

"Brookings is a pretty big town, but the closest major city (Minneapolis) is over 4 hours away. The classic burger counter has been in the same spot since 1929 and barely a thing has changed." - George Motz 960 1280

George Motz  

"The burgers at Nick's are small but pack a tasty punch. That's because they are cooked the old-fashioned way, in a tank of rendered beef fat. The only condiment available is a housemade mustardy pickle relish that has been at Nick's since the beginning." - George Motz 960 1280

George Motz  

"I was very lost trying to find the 105 for the first time; not surprisingly, my cell phone had no reception here. What was once only a gas station/grocery store has now become a destination for great burgers to travelers willing to venture off (way off) the interstate between Houston and Austin." - George Motz 960 1280

George Motz  

"The tasty burgers at 105 Grocery are available as a double, but beware -- the patties weigh in at around 1/2 pound each, making a double a full pound of beef. Grab a beer from the cooler and strike up a conversation with a stranger, some of the friendliest in America." - George Motz 960 1280

George Motz  

"There's not much in Gunder, IA. At one point this tiny town surrounded by rolling cornfields was almost wiped off the map (literally). But almost 30 years ago, an enterprising chef at The Irish Shanti created a burger so ridiculous that Gunder remained on the official map of Iowa." - George Motz 960 1280

George Motz  

"The Gunderburger is ridiculous but so tasty. It'll be your only meal of the day so skip breakfast. Chef Hans purposely uses a standard-sized white squishy bun to enhance the protruding 1-lb. patty and its cartoonish pile of ingredients. You'll need a nap after this one." - George Motz 960 1280

George Motz  

"This tiny burger shack is truly a destination. Hours from Oklahoma City in Mangum, Slick's is not on the way to anything. It's about as simple as it gets -- fresh ground beef burgers served at a walkup window (there is a community table in the kitchen for those in the know.)" - George Motz 960 1280

George Motz  

"Cooked on a flattop griddle and served on a toasted white squishy bun, the Giant Double Cheeseburger is hamburger perfection and comes standard with lettuce, tomato, chopped onion, pickles and mustard. I want one now." - George Motz 960 1280

George Motz  

Ramon Puig Guayaberas

Ramon Puig Guayaberas

Between burgers, George makes a stop at Ramon Puig Guayaberas for a lesson in Latin style. Brought to the US by Ramon Puig in the 1970s, the Guayabera shirt is traditional Latin formal wear. 960 1280

  

El Mago de las Fritas

El Mago de las Fritas

George eats a Cuban frita at El Mago de las Fritas in Little Havana. 960 1280

  

El Mago de las Fritas

El Mago de las Fritas

El Mago de las Fritas in West Miami has their own unique and tasty take on the frita. 960 1280

  

El Mago de las Fritas

El Mago de las Fritas

George with the magician himself, Ortelio Cardenas, owner of El Mago de las Fritas. 960 1280

  

El Rey de las Fritas

El Rey de las Fritas

The frita at El Rey de las Fritas. Opened in the 1960s, this restaurant is where the first Cuban frita in Miami can be found. 960 1280

  

El Rey de las Fritas

El Rey de las Fritas

George discusses his beverage options with Mercedes, owner of El Rey de las Fritas. 960 1280

  

Pincho Factory

Pincho Factory

The food prep area at Pincho Factory where George tries the Nicaraguan-inspired Toston Burger, a sumptuous blend of beef framed not by a bun, but by 2 large fried plantains, or tostones. 960 1280

  

Pincho Factory

Pincho Factory

Pincho Factory in Miami follows their burgers with a sweet-and-salty dessert – chocolate-covered fries. 960 1280

  

George visits Bayfront Park

George visits Bayfront Park

George visits Bayfront Park, where he finds the Latin Burger and Taco food truck. 960 1280

  

George meets Jim Heins

George meets Jim Heins

George meets Jim Heins, owner of the Latin Burger truck, which is reminiscent of Cuban street vendors, called friteros. 960 1280

  

Latin Macho

Latin Macho

This burger beauty can be found at the Latin Burger truck and is called the Latin Macho -- 2 ground beef and chorizo patties, topped with cheese, onions and caramelized jalapeños. 960 1280

  

George Motz in New Orleans

George Motz in New Orleans

George Motz holding Mardi Gras beads at a parade in New Orleans. 960 1280

  

Bozo's in Metairie, LA

Bozo's in Metairie, LA

George gets a taste of a hamburger po' boy at Bozo's in Metairie, LA. 960 1280

  

George meets Mark Fayard

George meets Mark Fayard

George meets Mark Fayard, the owner of Bozo's Restaurant. Mark bought the restaurant with his wife in 2008. 960 1280

  

The hamburger po' boy at Bozo's Restaurant

The hamburger po' boy at Bozo's Restaurant

The hamburger po' boy at Bozo's Restaurant is comprised of a freshly ground black angus beef patty with diced onions, lettuce, tomato, mayo and cheese on the ubiquitous Leidenheimer French bread. 960 1280

  

George Motz and local burger expert TG Herrington

George Motz and local burger expert TG Herrington

George Motz and local burger expert TG Herrington arrive at the Camellia Grill, a New Orleans landmark. A classic diner that originally opened in 1946, it was closed for a year and a half after Hurricane Katrina and reopened in 2007. 960 1280

  

Camellia Grill

Camellia Grill

George and TG make friends at the Camellia Grill. During the time the restaurant was closed, customers covered the front of the building with notes asking the beloved diner to reopen. 960 1280

  

Camellia’s bacon cheeseburger

Camellia’s bacon cheeseburger

Camellia’s bacon cheeseburger is amplified by the flavors of bacon fat seared into the grill itself, topped with lettuce -- and in traditional New Orleans style -- mayo. 960 1280

  

Ted’s Frostop

Ted’s Frostop

Named for the frosty tops of the root beer they serve, Ted’s Frostop is one of only about a dozen Frostops remaining from a chain that spread across the nation in the first half of the century. 960 1280

  

The Frostop’s Lot-O Burger

The Frostop’s Lot-O Burger

The Frostop’s Lot-O Burger is a smashed burger cooked on a flattop grill to create a nice griddle crust on the patty. 960 1280

  

Ted’s Frostop

Ted’s Frostop

The Frostop’s burger comes “dressed,” which in New Orleans means it comes with pickles, lettuce, tomatoes and mayo, or in this case, “Lot-O” sauce, a secret recipe named after the massive Lot-O burger. 960 1280

  

George talks to Mike Mollere

George talks to Mike Mollere

George talks to Mike Mollere, owner of Port of Call, located on the quiet end of the French Quarter. 960 1280

  

Port of Call's mushroom cheddar burger

Port of Call's mushroom cheddar burger

Port of Call started out as a steakhouse, which explains the steak-like quality of the fist-sized burgers, char-broiled to perfection and covered with shredded cheddar cheese and earthy mushrooms sautéed in red wine, butter and garlic. 960 1280

  

Port of Call's mushroom cheddar burger

Port of Call's mushroom cheddar burger

George dives into the mushroom cheddar burger at Port of Call in New Orleans. 960 1280