My love for burgers go way to when I was a kid. Growing up back in East Orange, New Jersey I remember there being one food that stood out to me, and I couldn't wait to have on the weekend. My god brother and I used to take walking trips to a corner deli called Detroit's in Newark for these sandwiches. If you're familiar with East Orange or Newark then you know what an Italian cheeseburger is. An Italian cheeseburger included a couple of cheeseburger patties on a sub with mayo, ketchup, with fries on top of the patties. It might not sound healthy, but I damn sure remember it being delicious.
By the time I was in my late 20's, I was living in Norfolk, VA. During this time, I frequented fast food burger restaurants like Wendy's and Burger King, especially Wendy's. I remember there was something about getting a double cheeseburger or having a couple double stacks with a side of fries from Wendy's after a late night of drinking and partying. I even worked at a Wendy's as a cook for around 3 years when I was in college. So I considered myself a mini burger connoisseur back then.
It probably wasn't until I was in my 30's when I first discovered Five Guys and left the other fast food burger restaurants behind. At that time, I felt like I had moved on up like the Jefferson's in finding a good tasting burger restaurant. Their burgers do taste good. But if you ask me what is the best tasting burger I've had before in Virginia, hands down I would say the Gourmet Burger Bistro in Portsmouth, VA. I'm not just saying that because it's a black-owned business, I'm saying it because their burgers are the best I've ever tasted. This is my Gourmet Burger Bistro review.
I've had a few of their delicious burgers over the years such as their Empire Burger and others. Just a couple weeks ago, my wife and I had their Major Way Burger with a side of sweet potato fries and it was delicious. Their Major Way burger won an award for being the best burger in the 757. I'm not sure how they get their burgers to taste so good but they clearly have found the secret sauce.
As I get older, I'm trying to be more health conscious about the foods that I eat. Thanks to my wife for the knowledge and support. I'm not in my 20's or 30's anymore, so I can't eat like I did back then. The American Institute for Cancer says eating high amounts of red meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer. My wife has told me this before as well with her being a registered nurse. Because of this, we limit the amount of red meat we eat. In fact, I probably eat red meat 5 times or less per year now. So when we do decide to have a burger and visit the Gourmet Burger Bistro, it's a real treat. They also give you the option of replacing any beef burger with a turkey or veggie burger.
The Gourmet Burger Bistro is located in Portsmouth, just 10 minutes from where we live in North Suffolk. The restaurant is inside a mall strip. The mall strip looks kind of old and a little rundown. So if you weren't looking for any store inside the strip, you would probably never know that this restaurant, that has great tasting burgers, was there. They have a nice small restaurant where you can either eat there and watch some tv, or you can order your food to go. The owner is from my home state of New Jersey so I also feel an extra sense of connection there.
One common theme that I'm starting to notice with all these local black-owned businesses is that the customers have relationships with the owner. I've had several small talk conversations with the owner of the Gourmet Burger Bistro, he was working the checkout counter most of the times I've gone there. The first time my wife and I shopped at the Berkley Supermarket, we met and had a conversation with the owner and his son. It feels different when you have relationships with the owners and employees of the black-owned businesses you're spending your money with. It gives you an extra feeling of connection with the business.
I could definitely see the Gourmet Burger Bistro expanding and opening another Burger Bistro somewhere in the 757. But they would need to have that same local vibe and relationship building skills with whoever they get to manage the restaurant. This is what differentiates them from a Five Guys, that and their great tasting burgers of course. So of you've never been to the Gourmet Burger Bistro before, I recommend you try them out. Try their Major Way Burger, and let me know what you think.