On a Burger Trail

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It was about 2003 as I was working on a long-term project for an upstart company. A retired friend and I would talk about him coming down to my work area for lunch. Our target was a nearby establishment having a local reputation for good hamburgers.

He came, we went, had a good time, and even discussed the burger. He returned a month later, but we went to a different place for a burger – discussed and compared. Another time, a third place, a third burger, and then ranking the three. Little did we know about the road ahead.

My project ended, but we continued trying different places – especially ones with a positive reputation or recommendations. I’m not sure of the timeline, but a third friend joined us after he unexpectedly lost his job; thus more comparisons, rankings, and notes.

In July 2005 I decided to start a blog to post reviews of our ventures. I hustled to get local readers by commenting at various local blogs and bulletin boards … then a major (and unexpected) break … a high-profile writer at the Cincinnati Enquirer contact me, and he wanted to have lunch with us. With a photographer and his notepad, we met at the place of our choosing.

I was in Abilene, Texas the day the Enquirer published. Emails were flying into our mailbox, but I didn’t respond because the link to the article was malfunctioning. I did my morning presentation in Abilene, and I was anxious during my flight to Cincinnati. I returned home to discover a call from a local radio station whose powerful signal reaches most of the country, let alone a feature article in the paper’s Life section that extended to an inside page, and many comments on the blog. Yep – the next night we were on the radio for about an hour.

Receiving burger recommendations was one of the benefits from the publicity … thus the reviews chronicling of the adventures of Bucky, Freddie, and Wolfie continued. Eventually, we were also featured in the Enquirer’s weekly entertainment paper – CinWeekly. A local food personality also invited us to her radio show. An upstart podcast company also did a 30-minute interview.

Our journey continued for a few more years. Jobs, projects, or health issues caused us to fade away. Nonetheless, a touch of pride still remains for being one of the Cincinnati Burger Guys … so, Happy Hamburger Week.


From the top down: Freddie, Bucky, and Wolfie


81 thoughts on “On a Burger Trail

  1. Great story, Frank. Many years ago some friends and I did something similar….in search of the best lobster roll on the New England coastline, but we didn’t become famous and have special hats like you three monkeys…..I notice you are the one called “speak no evil…” how appropriate!


    • Cynthia,
      Oh my … searching for the ultimate lobster roll would be so much fun! I must say that we never wore the hats when on location … we were just one of the customers. Glad you spotted me.


  2. And I quote you, “Dang”.

    Dang, if you did just sit down and write a story, an a tasty one at that. Personal satisfaction at doing something is confirming, but doing something with people you enjoy doing shtufffs with, is lasting. A good memory to have and hold, be it in your back pocket or in a clipping to take out to feel the glow in what it meant then and now.

    Am sure this will bring forth stories of the burger vernacular and of friendships to relish.


    • Carrie,
      Now you’ve got me wondering, but this venture was probably pre-ballroom. Interestingly, we got questions about our cholesterol levels. We laughed because only got together every few weeks. Glad you liked the pic.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That is great! A friend of mine is on the search for the great burger and has been eating his way through Montreal, North and South Shores!

    I had a feeling you were Freddie! 😀


  4. Your post reminded me that although I’ve followed your burger recommendations closely over the years, I’ve yet to make over to Norwood to try your No. 1 pick.


  5. This is such a cool post Frank. And are you Freddie? :). You guys look so cool in that photo. I am such a burger person so Happy Hamburger week my friend. Your blog always uplifts my spirit and I’m truly happy to have found this blog :).


    • Indigo,
      Glad you enjoyed it … and I agree … heck … all of food is an art food, thus burgers can be as well. One of my favorite places simply has a wide variety of unique burgers.


    • Sylvia,
      I’m with you about the opening pic … thus I took my time picking it out! Glad you enjoyed the story as it was an interesting time … especially since it turned into a splash of local fame. Just discovered an interesting “tribute” that I will share Friday.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Freddie! I knew that was you before you told us that was you…not sure how, but I did. What a great story. And what a long and winding and amazingly interesting road you have traveled.


  7. Sounds like a perfect lunch bunch. What fun and you guys were “discovered!” ( I knew only such celebs really get to elegantly ballroom dance…)
    Nothing is better than a good hamburger. We wept when our long standing “secret” hamburger dive fell to urban gentrification – the land just got much too valuable with all the townhouses, the owners waaay past retirement, and the children not interested in driving into the city to flip burgers. Sigh.
    Ditto on the great story designation


  8. What a fun story, Frank! I can imagine this was very entertaining for the three of you and it sounds like you had a nice long run! Do you still have the podcasts? Those would be fun to hear. 🙂


    • Debra,
      Even without the publicity, it was a fun time, The podcast company seems to be still in business, but the interview is not in their archives. I’m guessing the company is bigger now than then.


  9. Hello Freddie, thanks for contacting us on our Blog, I use to follow you guys all the time, and took my Family to try out every single place you guy had rated highly back then, it was fun for us to do, our favorite was always your number 1 place, Mingles, until it closed down. now I’ve started my own blog thanks to you guys. and your welcome to join us anytime, we live now in Augusta, Ky. and when we visit my family in Cincinnati is when we do our reviews.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rob,
      Thanks for the kind words and loud cheers to your efforts. Mingles was awesome. I lived closed to there, so I asked them about the flavor, and the cook showed me a box of spice they would likely sprinkle on each burger … so that was perfect for my “flavor the meat” mantra.

      I will make email contact with you so we can keep in touch about your trips back to the city.


    • Lenora,
      As I was reading your post, this one immediately came to mind … well, as soon as you mentioned the good burger. Yes – it all started with two friends going out for a burger, then another and comparing. Thanks for coming over!


  10. Pingback: On Retrospect: The Beginning – A Frank Angle

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