Joyce Chinese: River Edge, NJ, the same as it used to be: excellent
Best dishes: of 2015

Momma's Boy Burgers: A Shake Shack-ish place in Wayne, NJ

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It's beyond evident that Shake Shack was an inspiration for the people who opened Momma's Boy, a burger/hot dog joint in Wayne, NJ. It's clear right down to the wood/metal interior and the logo. And who can blame them for taking some cues from a place like Shake Shack. Shake Shack does a pretty damned good job at selling hamburgers and fries.

The people behind Momma's Boy were certainly paying attention when they pulled this place together.  The burger is very similar to the burger at Shake Shack. Same griddled potato roll, same style of "special sauce" (may0/ketchup-based), same type of melty American cheese, and the same size. But all of that means nothing if the burger meat isn't tasty, and the execution is flawed. Do they pull it off?

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I'm pleased to say that they are indeed pulling it off.

The burger patty had a nice coarse grind, and there was no doubt that this patty comes from freshly ground beef, rather than frozen. I'd be curious to know if this is a blend of something other than boring old chuck. I'm guessing it is. I'm guessing it's the now-ubiquitous chuck/short rib/brisket blend, or something close.

The basic cheeseburger comes with lettuce (shredded), tomato, and that special sauce. Same as Shake Shack. I like pickles and raw onion on my burgers (more than I like lettuce and tomato), and had them added (no charge for that stuff on top of the $3.90 burger--an incredible value I'd say).

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While the Roma style tomato is probably the best bet and least-offensive for year-round use, it was cut a bit to thick for the burger (and it was way too cold). A single piece sits in the middle of the sandwich, and when you get to it, it wants to slip slide away. Two thinner slices, covering more surface area, and adding less to the height of the sandwich, would be more to my liking, and make for an easier eating experience.

The red onion, too, was cut too thick for this style of burger. Too much crunch and onion flavor for this reasonably-sized burger.

You can file my onion and tomato beef under: nit-picking. There really wasn't much to not like about this burger. It's probably the best burger for miles. It was immensely enjoyable, and gives Smashburger and Shake Shack a run for their money.

 

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Crinkle cut fries were appropriately hot and crisp. Counterpeople were pleasant and efficient, and a management-type person was quick to say "goodbye" on my way out. All-in-all a very pleasant place (in a really cool octogan-shaped building) and a top-notch burger.

 

Momma's Boy : 140 Hamburg Turnpike : Wayne, NJ : 973.333.3335

 

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