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American Roadside Burgers, 702 Cross Hill Road Suite 400-D: Late June 2015   2 comments

Posted at 12:46 pm in closing

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As you know, I don't wish failure on anyone, and certainly the crew at this Cross Hill Market burger joint seemed nice enough and I'm sorry for their jobs, but to be frank, I couldn't figure out how they lasted as long as they did.

I ate here twice, probably about a year apart, the last time in April or May of this year. When I had decided to go, I picked the place because it was a very nice Spring day, and I knew they had patio seating. In the event, by the time I got there, the sky had clouded over, and the temperature had dropped too much for outside seating to be comfortable.

Taking myself inside, I remembered why I had not been back after my first time. The interior was sort of dark and cave-like, not cheery at all, and everything seemed kind of industrial and not homey. In addition, the burgers were quite pricey and I felt like I was paying Red Robin type table service prices for counter service. And while there was certainly nothing wrong with the burgers, I would not count them in the running for Columbia's best. Also, given the location, I wondered after both times why I hadn't just gone to Smash Burger across the street, something I'm guessing a lot of people did.

(Hat tip to commenter Elizabeth)

UPDATE 30 January 2016 -- As commenter MrBO notes, Midwood Smokehouse is now open in this spot:

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2 Responses to 'American Roadside Burgers, 702 Cross Hill Road Suite 400-D: Late June 2015'

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  1. Date: Mon, 29 Jun 2015 13:32:20 +0000
    Author: badger

    Comment:
    I went in for the first and only time just a few weeks ago, and my sentiments pretty much echoed Ted's--except for one thing. I don't have a lot of experience with hamburgers around town, but theirs was definitely not in the same ballpark as the big chain places. But, as noted, neither was the price. But their cheese fries were really good, so I was planning to go back just for that.

    Date: Mon, 29 Jun 2015 19:10:26 +0000
    Author: KC

    Comment:
    Overpriced, subpar food will shut your doors everytime :) Please drive thru!

    Date: Mon, 29 Jun 2015 19:21:56 +0000
    Author: Andrew

    Comment:
    I never went myself (kept meaning to try it but never worked out) but I did notice that it seemed on the dark side the times I'd be perusing Cross Hill Market...so perhaps it's just as well...but I also find Smashburger to be a little pricey as well for what you get...

    Date: Mon, 29 Jun 2015 20:51:27 +0000
    Author: Rick

    Comment:
    Make your own burger at home. Use 70/30 ground beef. Do not work the meat much at all, this is very important, working the meat too much makes the burger tough.
    I pull just enough out of the package and barley shape it. Make an indention in the middle with your thumb, melt a little real butter and brush both sides. I know this sounds wrong but trust me, just do it.
    Liberally sprinkle with salt and garlic powder. Heat a flat top or griddle coated with a little evoo and place the burger on the flat top or griddle. Cover with a pot lid and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, depending on size, on the first side.
    Do not press the burger with a spatula of goof around with it for the 3 to 4 minutes. Just let it cook.
    Flip the burger and cook for another 3 minutes with the pot lid covering it. This makes a nice char or crust if you will, on the outside and medium rare in the middle.
    Add pepper at the end of cooking, this is because pepper burns while cooking and taste bad. Lay whatever cheese you like on top until just melted. Place the burger on a wire cooling rack and let sit for a couple of minutes.
    Scrape some of the grease away and put the buns on the flat top, right in a slightly greasy area for a few seconds until toasted. Build your burger the way you like it.
    I must have Mount Olive Hamburger Dill Chips, fresh ice burg lettuce, Vidalia onions, fresh tomatoes, and I make a mixture of mayo and French's mustard, about 60/40 mayo/mustard and coat the bun. I don't put ketchup, or is it catsup, on my burger, it takes away from the tomato.
    Hmmm... yummy.

    Date: Mon, 29 Jun 2015 20:53:50 +0000
    Author: Rick

    Comment:
    Barely is a nice word compared to what is used to make beer.

    Date: Tue, 30 Jun 2015 00:48:24 +0000
    Author: Justin

    Comment:
    Ted's sentiments are very similar to how I feel about the place. I'm surprised they lasted as long as they did as well.

    Date: Tue, 30 Jun 2015 06:42:55 +0000
    Author: Homer

    Comment:
    @Rick - EVOO???? You've been watching Rachel Ray way too much!!!!!!!!

    I do agree with your technique. You HAVE to have some fat to make the burgers juicy. I like to add some onion powder to the patties as well. The butter also is a key ingredient. I do the same for steaks, topping them with a pat of butter while cooking.

    Land O' Lakes makes packages of seasoned garlic butter cubes that are awesome for seasoning meats and veggies. I've started using them a lot with fresh veggie sautes.

    As well, I don't add ketchup to the finished product if I have some fresh tomatoes at hand. If not, I'll serve them Big Mac style with some home made 'Thousand Island' dressing (ketchup, mayo, pickle relish and a bit of sugar) and leave off the mustard.

    I found a website tonight that shows how to convert a Weber kettle grille into a smoker by inserting a cut down stainless steel stock pot between the two halves of the grille. I'm going to have to look at this closer.

    Date: Tue, 30 Jun 2015 20:08:36 +0000
    Author: Rick

    Comment:
    @Homer - Please excuse my ignorance but,
    who is Rachael Ray?
    Something I want to do but have never tried is a smoker.
    An acquaintance of mine had what seemed to be a nice one and he would smoke turkeys that were pretty good.

    I also make my own thousand island dressing, taste better than store bought. I've never thought to put sugar in it though, I'll give it a try next time.
    I particularly enjoy a homemade Groucho's STP or Andy's Deli's version, known as the Captains special with homemade thousand island.
    Use good roast beef and mine has to be Butterball Oven Roasted Turkey Breast from the deli. Real bacon bits and good Swiss cheese on a deli roll.
    I carve the roll out to make sort of a "Canoe", lay down some Swiss in the bottom, roast beef, another layer of Swiss and then turkey. Sprinkle on some bacon bits and another layer of Swiss. Cut in half, microwave about one minute and it puts Groucho's to shame.

    Date: Tue, 30 Jun 2015 23:57:29 +0000
    Author: Carmen

    Comment:
    As a former employee, my views are as follows;
    1)over-priced
    2) my biggest issue, the in-store management sucked. After being disciplined multiple times in front of customers. This was recent with the GM who's been there longest. Actually, without her, there probably would have been a more stable staff.

    Date: Wed, 1 Jul 2015 00:22:52 +0000
    Author: Andrew

    Comment:
    Rachel Ray is a TV personality who has a talk show discussing food preparation...I know WIS used to air it (but I never watched it) and I'm not sure how you could catch it now...

    As far as ground beef goes, I'll gather ground beef and then craft it into a round handmade patty..then I add seasonings and cook it on the stove in a pan with olive oil...but then again I'll also fire up the grill and fix a bunch of patties and make enough for several days worth of meals...

    Date: Wed, 1 Jul 2015 05:43:38 +0000
    Author: Homer

    Comment:
    @Andrew - you can still catch her on Food Network if you can ever find them actually airing something besides competitions and 'reality' shows.

    Date: Wed, 1 Jul 2015 05:50:33 +0000
    Author: Homer

    Comment:
    @Rick - I have never tried a smoker either. I don't know if I have the patience to babysit a cut of meat for 8-12 hours.

    Years ago, I got a Weber charcoal smoker using the old Marlboro Miles and just recently found it buried under a stack of boxes in one of my sheds. It's still in the box!! One day I may try smoking something small just to see if I am any good at it.

    But like I said in my last post I may try to convert my grill to a smoker. I love tinkering with crap like that. Much more that I 'like' going to work every day. Come on retirement!!!!

    Date: Wed, 1 Jul 2015 06:16:58 +0000
    Author: Homer

    Comment:
    I don't see what all of the hoopla is about Smashburger. I ate there once. The food was mediocre and overpriced. I can think of many places, including my own kitchen, where I have had a better burger and fries.

    Date: Wed, 1 Jul 2015 14:48:29 +0000
    Author: Jason

    Comment:
    That's the neat thing about smoking, you're not babysitting anything. Get your fire going, get your temp where you want it, drop your cheap cut of meat in there, and then go to bed. By lunchtime the next day, the barbecue fairy has visited and taken your gross lump of pig butt and replaced it with savory magical barbecue.

    Date: Fri, 3 Jul 2015 19:19:46 +0000
    Author: kkaos

    Comment:
    Smashburger is pretty big in Colorado (the Denver area, at least), and for lack of any better burger joints nearby, it was good. Now, when Five Guys finally put up a restaurant close enough to where I lived at the time, Smashburger was quickly forgotten. I laughed when I saw (on this site) that Smashburger was coming to Columbia; honestly, I thought it was just a franchise out west.

    As for the best burger I had in Columbia, that would have been at Keg O' Nails, when it was still in business on Rosewood.

    Lastly, if you're ever on the east side of Round Rock, TX, on US highway 79, there's a place called Little Red Wagon. Get the special (double cheeseburger, fries, and drink). Best burger I've ever had, a good greaseball burger. And the atmosphere is cool, too: hole-in-the-wall type of establishment playing old 70s and 80s country (i.e. Willy, Waylon, Cash, etc.). That's probably my favorite restaurant.

    Date: Mon, 6 Jul 2015 13:35:56 +0000
    Author: Patricia R. Lewis

    Comment:
    Hubby and I ate there a couple of times. The burgers were almost always overcooked to well done burned! No taste!

    Went there to watch USC/Clemson game last year and by the middle of the 4th Quarter employees were sweeping the floors, picking up baskets, cups, etc... left my prior customers.
    We got the feeling that they were wanting to close for the
    night! We left during the commercials!

    Another time, we were watching the Super Bowl with some friends last year and again by the fourth quarter the employees began sweeping the floor, picking up baskets, cups, etc... Our friends who had come from out of town were quite upset to say the least!

    One of them asked for the Manager and a fellow named Paul came over to our table and asked if there was a problem. Our guest was very civil and polite and let this
    Paul guy know in no uncertain terms that we were dining and enjoying watching the Super Bowl and that we should not have felt like we were being rushed through our meal which we paid for and the game was not a pay-per-view deal but free and all customers ourselves included should be
    allowed to watch the game in it's entirety!

    The last time hubby and I ate there hubby ate one of their HUGE BURGERS and was told if he finished it he would receive a free T-Shirt from them! Well, of course my hubby
    being the big eater he his finished not only his HUGE BURGER but his fries and had 3 refills on his iced tea!

    When he went to ask for his T-Shirt he was told they were all out! But took down his name and cell no. to contact him when they received more T-Shirts!

    I told my hubby not to hold his breath waiting for them to
    call! But surprise surprise! They did call my hubby and once again he went there to get it!

    We were told when we arrived that my hubby could get his name on the wall of people who had eaten the HUGE BURGER if he would eat one more HUGE BURGER right then and there! My hubby is not one to pass on something, so
    we sat down and he ordered another HUGE BURGER, fries and drink!

    I asked if I could have my Mushroom Swiss Burger cooked medium rare and was told yes. When my burger arrived it was more Medium than Medium Rare as I had requested!

    But better than the last two times I had eaten one. Of course, hubby finished the HUGE BURGER and his name
    was added to the wall! And was told if he came back he
    could eat another HUGE BURGER this time in competition
    with another customer who also had eaten a HUGE BURGER and received a T-Shirt and had his name one the wall!

    Thank God they closed before hubby had the chance to do it!

    Rant over! Can honestly say I won't miss American Roadside Burgers!

    Date: Thu, 9 Jul 2015 14:13:51 +0000
    Author: Mr. Bill

    Comment:
    Man, I kept meaning to try this place.

    Date: Thu, 9 Jul 2015 21:37:46 +0000
    Author: Rick

    Comment:
    Go to Rosewood Dairy Bar or Zestos for a good burger at a great price.

    Date: Fri, 10 Jul 2015 04:53:02 +0000
    Author: Homer

    Comment:
    Don't make me mention Edna's again...lol

    They even got a nod on the following blog:
    http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/south-carolina/12-restaurants-in-sc-that-dont-look-like-much-but-are-really-good/

    Date: Sun, 12 Jul 2015 11:16:33 +0000
    Author: Justin

    Comment:
    I'm with Homer on Enda's. To me, they have the best burgers in town. I try to hit it up at least one day a month.

    Date: Wed, 22 Jul 2015 23:52:30 +0000
    Author: Andrew

    Comment:
    A BBQ restaurant called Millwood Smokehouse is coming soon to this site Edens reports

    ted

    29 Jun 15 at 1:32 pm

  2. Looks like Midwood Smokehouse finally opened up sometime in the last week.

    I was sort of wondering because they didn't take out the usual full page ad in the newspaper.

    Had the Pork BBQ sandwich with their vinegar sauce and a separate cup of their in-house BBQ sauce. In a word: Excellent. The NE NC Vinegar sauce was brilliant and the meat had a great smoky flavor. It rivals my own. Their in-house sauce is OK, but not as good as the vinegar sauce. Also had a side of Collard greens which were great with their own in-house hot pepper sauce.

    The place has a bar, wood interior and the usual signage you'd find in a BBQ place. 6 large screens with sports. (meh)

    Talked with the manager of the place. They purposely did not take out an ad announcing their opening. (I think they opened just this week) They didn't want a zoo on their opening day and are relying on word of mouth. I think this place will see a great following if they keep it up. They certainly have my business! Can't wait to try their brisket and ribs.

    MrBO

    25 Jan 16 at 5:01 am

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