Burgers Ordered: Brad – The Spicy Stumbler; Matt – The Cheese Monster; Sam & Michael – The Second Avenue Stumbler; Colin – The All American; Brian – The Stuffed Stumbler.
The Experience: The usual crew was back in action tonight, and a few friends joined in. Since starting Burger Weekly, the Burgermeisters have been inundated with suggestions for places to find a great burger. As the first few entries to this blog have taken place on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, many thought the Burgermeisters wouldn’t want to venture too far. One such suggestion was the Stumble Inn, home to a variety of stuffed burgers. Matt, Brad and Sam grabbed work buddies and budding Burgermeisters Colin and Michael to join the party, and Colin’s roommate got in on the fun as well.
The Stumble Inn isn’t much to look at. Asthetically it’s your typical corner bar. There are beer pong tables in the corner, big screen TVs behind the bar and a guy checking IDs even during daylight hours. However, the food cannot be described as your typical corner bar grub.
The incredibly friendly waitress immediately informed us of the two-dollar draft special starting at 7pm (at least on Wednesdays, which is when we went) and we took full advantage. The bar atmosphere lended itself to a very relaxed and social experience. As is becomming tradition, each Burgermeister ordered a different signature burger, though as there were six ‘Meisters and only five burgers Sam and Michael went on the same journey. The Burgermeisters also tried to keep the side orders varied so that the ‘tater tots, french fries and onion rings could all be sampled.
Presentation: The burgers are, in a word, massive. Certainly they aren’t overwhelming, however. They all come sans toppings with the exception of a few pickle chips on the side as the true flavor lies within. To avoid confusion (since all the burgers look the same on the outside) each burger is labled with oversized toothpicks that spell out the stuffing ingredients. We all found that pretty amusing.
Many of the burgers were oozing their ingredients out of their sides, though none to the point that the first bites were messy. The Burgermeisters were told by the waitress that the burgers are typically medium because the real treat is the stuffing. However, she made a note that we’re all big medium-rare fans and when the burgers arrived they were cooked beautifully, all things considered.
Taste: We spent as much time at dinner drinking and socializing as we did obsessing over our burgers, but we did take note of a few important factors. Colin said that his All American was awesome, but wished that it came with more veggies on the side. He also remarked that though he’s had one or two stuffed burgers before (unlike the other Burgermeisters) this was definitely the best one he’s had. He was very happy that the bacon was legitimate and not bacon bits. He also went nuts for his onion rings and shared them with the table.
Brian thoroughly enjoyed his Stuffed Stumbler. However, he noted a problem with it of which the Burgermeisters were warned. He said that while the bacon was cooked to perfection the bleu cheese stuffing was overpowering. If nothing else at least the Stumble Inn is consistent.
Sam noted that his burger was enormous, and Michael too thought it would be a monumental task to finish. Both finished however and enjoyed it thoroughly, though they suspected that the mushrooms were from a can and not fresh.
Matt’s burger oozed with cheese. He loved the taste of both his burger and his ‘tater tots. Of the experience he said, “it’s like there’s a party in my mouth and everyone’s invited.” Cliche? Perhaps. True? Definitely.
Brad loved his Spicy Stumbler. As is becomming habit for him, he gets the spiciest burger on the menu. This one was a challenge, as it made his eyes water and gave him the hiccups. He liked his fries just fine as far as fries go. Being from outside of New York, Brad knows the value of delicious ranch dressing as dip for fries. He was once again disappointed by the ranch he received from a New York restaurant. However, Michael’s side of bleu cheese was enough to satisfy Brad’s fry-dipping needs.
The Verdict: As noted earlier, all of the burgers were cooked exceptionally well given that they’re cooked around the stuffing. That said however, the Burgermeisters discovered that the meat itself was hardly seasoned at all. Though all of the bites that included the stuffing were delicious, those odd bites without any fell flat.
Overall though, between the burger coming together when eaten as intended, with the stuffing, alongside the delicious sides, cheap beers and hospitable service (a free round to end the night did not go unnoticed) led to six happy campers going home with satisfied bellies as full as their burgers had been.
The Stumble Inn is located at 1454 2nd Ave on the corner of 76th Street.