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

George Motz

George Motz enjoys a “Big Block Burger” at the counter of the Diamond Restaurant in Charlotte, NC. 960 1280

  

Brooks' Sandwich House

Brooks' Sandwich House

The “All The Way” cheeseburger at Brooks' Sandwich House is topped with chili made from a 40-year-old family recipe, slaw and onions. 960 1280

  

Brooks' Sandwich House

Brooks' Sandwich House

George and NASCAR engineer Josh Browne tailgate with their burgers in front of Brooks' Sandwich House. 960 1280

  

Diamond Restaurant

Diamond Restaurant

Here, at the Diamond Restaurant in Charlotte, NC, they serve a delicious Southern-style burger topped with Pimento cheese. 960 1280

  

Co-owner Andy Kastanas

Co-owner Andy Kastanas

Co-owner Andy Kastanas bought this beloved restaurant along with his partners in 2010 on the restaurant’s 65th anniversary. 960 1280

  

Diamond Restaurant

Diamond Restaurant

At the Diamond Restaurant, the burgers are all named after racing engines, including the small block, the big block and the full-blown hemi. 960 1280

  

Diamond Restaurant

Diamond Restaurant

George chats with customers at the Diamond Restaurant. 960 1280

  

Duke's Grill in Monroe, NC

Duke's Grill in Monroe, NC

Duke's Grill in Monroe, NC, opened in 1951 and is a no-nonsense diner with a strict “no cellphone use” rule enforced by owner Dennis Parker. 960 1280

  

Duke's Grill in Monroe, NC

Duke's Grill in Monroe, NC

Duke’s hand-measured burger comes with Dennis’s homemade beef chili, slaw and onions. He also mixes a little bit of egg and some breadcrumbs into the patty to keep it extra juicy. 960 1280

  

Duke's Grill in Monroe, NC

Duke's Grill in Monroe, NC

George places an order with owner Dennis Parker at the counter of Duke's Grill. 960 1280

  

Charlotte Motor Speedway

Charlotte Motor Speedway

George slides into the driver’s seat of a racecar at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Charlotte is a city filled not only with racing fanatics, but also 90% of NASCAR’s pro drivers. 960 1280

  

South 21 Drive-In

South 21 Drive-In

Opened in 1955, Charlotte’s South 21 Drive-In comes complete with car stalls and an intercom system that has been there from the beginning. 960 1280

  

South 21 Drive-In

South 21 Drive-In

George enjoys the jumbo cheeseburger at South 21 Drive-In. 960 1280

  

South 21’s jumbo cheeseburger

South 21’s jumbo cheeseburger

South 21’s jumbo cheeseburger is comprised of 2 thin 3-ounce patties, with 2 slices of American cheese -- all held together with a sesame seed bun. 960 1280

  

George and Maria Housiadas

George and Maria Housiadas

George chats with the owners of South 21, George and Maria Housiadas. 960 1280

  

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