This review should be called “Burger By Any Means Necessary” or “Unthwarted Hamburger” or some sort of things that conveys extraordinary difficulty. Why difficulty? Settle in and read away.
MG (that’s My Girlfriend) and I were on our way to Maryland. We decided that we were going to stop off in New Jersey to go to Fuddrucker’s. The last time I had Fuddrucker’s, I was probably 10 years old. There used to be a location in Scarsdale. As I recall, it was very good, and I wondered how the current reality would compare with my memory.
We got off the highway, and the GPS announced our location “Point five miles, point four miles, four hundred feet, turn on left.” The restaurant was closed, the doors were shuttered, and a For Sale sign was on the door. #@(*$%&@&#$(&!!!!!!
So we looked for reviews of burger places nearby and we found Blitzburger. They make stuffed burgers and were only about five miles away. Awesome. We get there and Blitzburger is also no more, but only For Lease. Oh, joy!
OK! Now I’m hungry and I sick of finding closed restaurants. I want a burger. I find a review for Mastoris. This time, I call ahead to ensure that they are still in business and in fact open. We hit the road once again, this time creeping along a sleepy NJ route. Finally, MG and I arrive to find an open restaurant that is not for sale. Happy day.
Mastoris is a Diner and more. You’ll walk up a set of stairs (don’t worry, there is a ramp for wheelchair accessibility) and into a huge bakery display area, much larger and more diverse than your average diner. The dining areas each have their own unique vibe. One looks like a standard diner, Formica and vinyl. Another looks like a bar/chain restaurant. The final is a carpeted area that looks like a church ladies’ Sunday brunch area. That’s where MG and I were seated.
Some diners will give you complimentary bread. This one gave out a complimentary cinnamon roll and cheese roll/danish. OMG! I can honestly say that this was one of the best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever eaten. It was warm and fresh. The balance between cinnamon and sugar were perfect. The flavor was the rich kind that leaves you licking your chops. The roll/danish was equally as fresh and delicious. I could have had another order of these with some good coffee and been very satisfied. (Notice I said “good coffee”. Their coffee tasted like used motor oil.) However, I was on a mission for burgers, and burgers I would have.
How I wished I had gotten another roll. The burgers are awful. Made with 3/4 lbs of lean beef, the burger is too lean to have any flavor. It falls apart and crumbles when bitten. I asked for medium and definitely got well done. MG asked for medium done and got a puck. No amount of mayo, ketchup or toppings can fix this disaster. Avoid. The bun is also lousy. It had the taste and texture of cement and wallpaper paste. MG ordered a Westchester Burger ($10.50), topped with blue cheese and bacon. I got the Amish Burger (10.50), topped with canadian bacon, tomato, and cheddar. The toppings are good. The bacon is crisp and tasty, the blue cheese sharp and funky, even the tomato is meaty and nice. Sadly, no amount of good toppings can save this train wreck.
The french fries were horrible, tepid and limp. I can deal with an undersalted and even underflavored french fry, but cold?!? C’mon!
The onion rings were thick cut and crisp, but ultimately flavorless. They looked good. They were not terribly oily, so what happened? This kept getting worse and worse. Pre-frozen fries and rings would probably have been better. (To their credit, they were willing to substitute rings for the usual fries that come with the burgers.)
Mastoris probably makes excellent pancakes and fresh toast, judging by their rolls and extensive bakery, but I’m not sure I want to test anything else out.
144 Route 130
Bordentown, NJ 08505