As most of you know my blog is published on the Patch.com, and since I live in Bergen County I also subscribe to most of the area’s Patch.com sites to keep up to date on the Über local news that is provided by the Patch. While I was perusing the Ridgewood-Glen Rock Patch, I noticed an article about a relatively new Hamburger shop in Glen Rock that needed some community support to get off the ground. After reading the article, I decided it was not only my civic duty but my foodie duty to give Rony’s Rock Burger, located at 192 Rock Road, Glen Rock, NJ, a whirl and see if he was making some Blue Collar Foodie worthy Burgers.
Kat and I invited a special guest foodie with us; we will call her Ms. Pupin, to partake in Rony’s Rock Burger. Since this was the first time that any of us had been to Rony’s Burger place, as I drove down Rock Road I asked Ms. Pupin and Kat to keep an eye out for the restaurant so we did not miss it. Kat and Ms. Pupin failed at this game so I turned around and tried once again, this time around they spotted our destination and then the parking spot pursuit began.
As a former Glen Rockian, I know that parking on Rock Road is about as much fun as listening to Ben Stein read the phone book, but such is life and Rony’s Rock Burger cannot be blamed for the lack of parking in the down town district of Glen Rock. Once a parking spot was procured we ventured inside Mr. Rony Alvarado’s burger joint, and right off the bat I was impressed. The walls are full of rock memorabilia that comes from a time when rock, well rocked. Pictures and records of Elvis, Hendrix, Morrison, not Van but Jim, Rolling Stones, Guns and Roses, and a plethora of other Hall of Famers decorate Rony’s Rock Burger and give it the ambiance that a true burger joint should have.
Now, this is not an interior design blog, so honestly if the walls looked pretty but the food tasted like New Jersey smells, I would not be writing this blog post. The truth is, after one bite of Rony’s Rock Burger I was transported to Paradise City via a Crystal Ship, where I was All Shook Up with Satisfaction.
The Menu at Rony’s Rock Burger reads like a who’s who list of American Rock and Roll, using the rock stars name and personality as the inspiration for each item. For Example, I ordered the Bob Marley which is described as a burger with Cajun spices, topped with grilled onions, bacon and cheddar cheese to which I also added avocado. I, of course, opted to make it a combo and added the upgraded curly fries and a drink, for the reasonable price of $10.75.
Kat chose the Stevie, after Stevie Nicks I would presume, which is described as a burger topped with American cheese, pineapple, bacon, lettuce, tomato and Rony’s signature Terriyaki-Based Waka Sauce. Kat also opted to make her meal a combo, and chose to upgrade her side dish to the onion rings. Kat’s burger also set us back a sensible $10.75. Kat also decided to add the avocado, which, she asked me to add, was freshly sliced, and just ripe enough.
Ms. Pupin went off the reservation and opted for a black board special called the Rage Against the Burger which was described as a burger topped with Bacon, crumbled Blue Cheese, and buffalo sauce. Ms. Putin decided to try the original Rony’s fries, so her meal only came to an economical $8.75.
After ordering our food from Rony himself, who was apparently acting as owner, host, waiter, and cook, which is why I love mom and pop eateries, we took our seats and waited for our food to grace our table. Within minutes, Rony brought our food out and I swear I heard the angelic chorus of cherubs in the distance, alright so I was hungry, sue me. Once the food touched our lips there was a moment of silence as the flavors collided with our taste buds and then we began to discuss our orders with one another.
The Bob Marley that I ordered was fantastic, the Cajun seasoning was not just dashed on top of the burger like some other Cajun burgers that I have had in the past, it was actually mixed into the chopped meat allowing the flavor to be evenly dispersed. The Bacon was freshly cooked and crisp, and you could easily tell was not made by Oscar Meyers. The burger was so damn good, I did not have to put any condiments on it at all, which really says something, because I literally have an entire shelf for condiments in my refrigerator at home. As for the curly fries, they were seasoned to perfection and not overly salty like so many of the curly fries that are served at the foodie hamburger joints that are popping up throughout New Jersey these days.
Kat’s Stevie was unlike any other burger I have ever had before. The pineapple combined with the Bacon and the Waka Sauce, an all-purpose tropical pepper sauce native to the Philippines, made for an interesting party in my mouth. Even though the burger was great, the real star of Kat’s meal was the onion rings that were deep fried and crispy, surrounded by just the right amount of flavorful batter. These onion rings would make other inferior onion rings leap off the table to their own demise, due to the shame of not being a Rony’s ring. They were so yummy; she was forced to share them with the table.
Ms. Pupin’s Rage Against the Burger was equally as tasty all thanks to what appeared to be the fresh blue cheese that overflowed from the bun. The Buffalo sauce was not too tangy but had a slight kick which complemented the burger instead of overpowering it, which was a welcomed surprise for a sauce that tends to be a bully. Ms. Pupin’s regular Rony fries were equally as impressive as my curly fries and if you are low on funds when you give Rony’s a whirl, I would suggest skipping the upgrade and sticking with these classically good shoe string potatoes.
While we were eating our meal, Rony himself came over to chat with us, and supply us with a free sample of Rock Sauce, which I highly recommend as a dipping sauce for your fries by the way. He asked if we were locals and discussed his food with us, and as you can see I like to talk about food, so I was in all my glory, with a burger in one hand and a fellow foodie to converse with. Rony explained that all his food was made fresh to order and that the meat he serves is not only homemade, like damn near everything else that he serves, but high quality as well. While speaking to Rony, I could tell he has a passion for not only preparing the food he sells, but preparing it properly and with the best ingredients he can find. Rony is truly a diehard foodie at heart and he happens to be serving some of the best hamburgers in the area.
So the next time you have a hankering for a hamburger, don’t go to SmashBurger, BoomBurger, or any of the other dozen or so chains that are bursting onto the foodie scene, support a local business man like Rony Alvarado, not just because you want his business to survive but because his Burgers are the real deal!
Overall: 4 out of 5
Taste: 5 out of 5
Presentation: 4 out of 5
Value: 3 out of 5