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Hamburger America: One Man's Cross-Country Odyssey to Find the Best Burgers in the Nation [DVD] Paperback – April 8, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press; Pap/DVD edition (April 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762431024
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762431021
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #804,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In the 2005 documentary of the same name (included with the book), Motz documented eight classic hamburger joints across the country. In the ensuing years he's broadened his horizons but not his tastes; here he presents a hundred hamburger spots in 39 states, each profiled with love and accompanied by mouthwatering full-color portraits. From Louis' Lunch in New Haven, Conn.-allegedly the oldest continuously operating hamburger establishment in the U.S.-to Olympia, Wash.'s Eastside Big Tom, Motz talks with the owners, employees and customers who keep the cuisine alive and eclectic. In addition to the traditional, Motz introduces readers to regional spins like Iowa's Maid Rite sandwich, a kind of sauceless Sloppy Joe; the green chili-topped burgers of Santa Fe's Bobcat Bite; and Sedalia, Missouri's "Guberburger," dressed with melted peanut butter. Motz limits his selections to independently owned operations that use fresh, not frozen, meat, the most shining example of which is Oklahoma's Joe Maranto, who raises longhorn cattle for eating at his nearby restaurant. Those with a soft spot for Americana, diner cuisine or delicious burgers will delight in this bright, quirky love letter to the American everyman staple, complete with contact information and recipes.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"A fine overview of the best practitioners of the burger sciences."--Anthony Bourdain

"As a French Chef who took an unexpected approach to the American burger, I'm glad that George has put together this fantastic guide to 100 of the classics."--Daniel Boulud


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Customer Reviews

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This is an excellent, entertaining book and I highly recommend it to both the burger fanatic and the frequent traveler.
Timothy B. Riley
We'll continue trying to visit (and photograph) the Hamburger America locations and sample their burgers... It's a great guide, with a lot of fun places to visit.
DMC-FS5 User
As well as a place here in Ft Worth... But I don't think the one here compares at all with my criteria... must have been a money thing with them.
R. Stephan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By D. A. Douglas on May 13, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first saw Motz's documentary Hamburger America (which is included with the book) and was amazed on how he captured more than just places that serve a mean hamburger. Every place he went in the film gave you a look at different types of Americans, their history, their future and all held together by the love of America's favorite food. The book builds upon that. Each entry is written with admiration for the burger, the restaurant and the people that cook them. By visiting different cities, cultures, races, and histories of the many burger joints in this book, Motz is able to bring them altogether on one theme: they all make a great burger. And isn't that what America is about? This hodgepodge of cultures in one place looking for the dream, can all be united by ground beef in a bun. Forget the mass produced fast food chains. It's the local mom and pops, diners, decades old places that Americans hold true to their heart. It was written that if you don't claim your hometown greasy spoon as serving the best burger, then you're a wimp. Well this book covers many of those hometown favorites. Even if you do not especially like hamburgers, this book is essential for reading on American folk-life and its wonderful people.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By M. Ward on June 15, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this book was really fun to read and so much information about the best hamburger places in the country. Makes you hungry the minute you start flipping through it. The DVD that came with it was a great bonus and very entertaining. This is a great buy.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By DMC-FS5 User on June 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
We picked up this book, late in 2008, and after viewing the DVD that was included with it, and reading about some of the restaurants featured in areas that we sometimes travel, a few of us have made it a point of sampling the burgers at many of these restaurants....

In all instances, we ordered and sampled the burger that was described in the book, and to date, we've only been to restaurants in the "South" - Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia etc.... We still have so many more to visit..

The fun part for us is making a trip to these locations, and seeing / sampling what the author wrote about in the book.

[...]

Considering the states I've listed above, three stand out...

The best so far is from Cotham's in Scott, Arkansas. Great Burger, Great Ambience... and Great surroundings. This one has to be seen and tasted.

A close second is Char-Grill in Raleigh, N.C. Very good.

Third is in Fort Worth - At Kincaid's...

We can't quite understand why Dyers on Beale in Memphis made it in this book... it's just not up to par with everything else we tasted. We went there twice in different months, to make sure we just didn't have a bad day... The second visit confirmed our thoughts of the first visit there.

El Camino in Austin was also a bit "typical" and did not meet the mark of our expectations.

We'll continue trying to visit (and photograph) the Hamburger America locations and sample their burgers... It's a great guide, with a lot of fun places to visit. But by all means, it's not a listing of the best there is...

That's a bit disapointing.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By J. Driver on June 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
I got this book for my husband for Father's Day. He has been on a little search of his own for the best burgers around. He loves the book and we can't wait to try some of these on our travels this summer.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By R. Stephan on May 2, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am partners in a small Hamburger joint here in Arlington Texas. I had to have this just to see what great gimmicks there are out there. I was greatly pleased with this book. Two of my favorite places back home in Columbus Ohio made the grade. As well as a place here in Ft Worth... But I don't think the one here compares at all with my criteria... must have been a money thing with them. But it's the DVD that came with the book that makes it all worth while. Wonderful DVD showing some of best and unusual places to be had across America.. Makes you want to do a rode trip.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jack I. Johnson on August 31, 2008
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This book is terrific. I can't stop reading it. It's like a fascinating trip through time, into the past forty years of life in America.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought the paperback version of this book several months ago and it included the DVD documentary movie version. Later I purchased the Kindle copy as well (I will explain why later in this review). I will break down my review into three sections, one covering each item.

PAPERBACK VERSION: Although the documentary was produced first it is the book that first attracted me to George Motz's work. The success of his movie inspired him to write a book featuring 100 great hamburger restaurants. It's important to note that he is not claiming that this is the 100 best, only 100 AMONG the best. Motz's research seemed to be pretty thorough, but the cost of traveling to all of the cities that are home to great burger joints would clearly be too expensive to make this book profitable. Choices had to be made and many key cities were not visited at all. For instance, in Missouri he visits Kansas City but ignores it's big brother, St. Louis (home of Karl's Drive-in, certainly as good and unique as many that are included). Austin Texas is also featured but the much larger city of San Antonio (only 70 miles southwest) is excluded. It would be easy for anyone living in a city not listed to feel slighted but I understand that would have been impossible for him to travel to every city that is said to be home to a great hamburger joint.

That being said, let's talk about the ones included. It's almost impossible to classify something as iconic as the hamburger restaurant but I will try. I would divide the restaurants into three groups:

* Classic: These are restaurants that have almost as much historical significance as culinary.
Read more ›
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