The next stop on our Burger Quest brings us to Corey’s Catsup and Mustard, located in Manchester, CT. Corey’s was a “fan favorite” on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. A fan favorite is when they send the camera crew, but not Guy Fieri. Sal and I had tried to go in March, but because it was during the Big East games, we were told it would be an hour wait. I don’t care how good the food is, if I am hungry, I’m not waiting an hour. We ended up at, you guessed it, Five Guys.
Fast forward to summer vacation. We get there a little past five on a weeknight. We are immediately seated. The waitress takes our drink orders. They didn’t have Harpoon UFO, so I ordered a Sam Adams Summer Ale. Excellent beer, but a lot of other places carry Harpoon, so I was a little disappointed. Sal orders her usual water. Corey’s is a small place that looks as if it was an Italian restaurant at some point. Brick walls with arches, tin ceilings and a very nice bar area. There are flat screens all over the place. Looks like a great place to catch a game. The bathrooms are labeled buns and burgers. I figured out I was a burger. They were very clean too.
The menu is very extensive. They have soups, salads, sandwiches, wraps and a diet menu. They even have a fries menu. Since we are on the Burger Quest, we naturally concentrate on the burger page. Corey’s offers a huge assortment of burgers. The burger is a 7 oz. patty that is ground daily. Yes, for some bizarre reason, they even have a veggie burger. Sal settles on the Bacon, Bacon, Bacon, BLUE Burger. This burger naturally comes with a huge amount of bacon, mushrooms, caramelized onions, bleu cheese, Corey’s House sauce all piled on a sesame seed bun. I opt for the Man Burger. Are you sitting? This burger is a stack of pastrami, a fried egg, bacon, horseradish cheddar cheese, House sauce on a hard roll. Whoa! We also order an onion ring/Cool Ranch Fry combo.
Sal and I chat as we wait for the order. We talk about what a great summer we’ve been having. We have been very busy, the weather has been great, who could ask for more. Finally our order arrives. I’m stunned. The burger is enormous. Thankfully it comes with a knife to cut it. Sal and I split the burgers and dig in.
As I bite into my sandwich, there is an explosion of flavor. The salty pastrami, meaty burger and bacon overwhelm me. Add in the warm tang of the horseradish cheese and House sauce. And don’t forget about the fried egg. It is very delicious. The Bacon, Bacon, Bacon, BLUE Burger is no slouch either. The ton of bacon is very crispy, the mushrooms add an earthy flavor and great texture. The sharp bleu cheese gives it a great tang. Sal says, “The meat at Max Burger was richer.” We weren’t crazy about the fries. While a great concept, the Ranch Fries failed on two counts. Too salty and too greasy. The ranch dipping sauce was good though. The onion rings were underwhelming as well. They were a little soggy and lacked freshness. Sal did not like the cole slaw either. She is tough on slaw because she happens to make the best slaw in the world. Really! In all honesty it appeared to be an afterthought.
I liked this place because the burgers are very creative. The 7-Napkin Burger has BBQ brisket with two patties. The Jersey Burger has a spicy sausage patty, topped with ham and roasted red peppers. They have some very unique offerings. The value is terrific. I could have had just the pastrami on my burger as a sandwich and would not have felt cheated. They did miss the mark on the side dishes. Even though I’m not a fry quest (maybe next summer) I still like the side dishes to get the same attention as the entrée. It’s all in the details. Two beers, two burgers and a fry/o-ring combo totaled $29.
All in all, a decent meal at a decent price. I’d go back in a heartbeat, provided my heart is still beating after we finish the Burger Quest.