With the nausea gone and my appetite back, I figured what better way to celebrate my recovery from food poisoning than with gourmet burgers, pickles, two types of fries, and dessert.  Yep, I was right back on the bike today, riding into one of the newest additions to the West 4th restaurant scene: Romer’s Burger Bar.  I’d heard great things from Special Features Producer and Future Tokyo Culinary Wingman Ivon Bartok, and I trust this guy.  Not with my life, mind you, or any sort of financial investment, but certainly as far as lunch goes.

So, today, I met up with my friend Denise and we checked the place out.  Now, given its recent opening, I’m sure Romer’s will be making some minor adjustments to the menu in the weeks ahead as they fine tune some of the offerings and, oh yeah, add some conspicuous-by-their-absence items to the line-up – mainly, milkshakes.  I know, I know.  What goes better than burger and beer?  Well, if you’re under drinking age (which I’d wager a lot of the clientele at a burger joint is), don’t drink, or happen to be recovering from a case of food poisoning and don’t want to chance it, I’d say milkshakes would be the ready answer.  Alas, no shakes on this menu which I found passing strange.  And, according to fellow diners, I wasn’t alone.  I settled for a nice cold bottle of San Pellegrino.

The Magic Mushroom was magical

We split two burgers – The Magic Mushroom (all natural beef patty, locally-grown portabella mushrooms, arugula, herb and garlic Boursin cheese, and caramelized onions) and The Ultimate Kobe Classic (premium Kobe beef, foie gras pate, chanterelle mushrooms, onion strings, truffle mayo, and garlic mustard with a red wine demi-glaze on the side) – spicy Kosher dills, yam fries, and hand-cut double-cooked fries with truffle oil and Reggiano.

The buns were perfect – buttery, lightly toasted brioche with just a hint of sweetness.  The Magic Mushroom was one damn tasty burger, nicely complimented by the cheese, mushrooms, and onions.  The Kobe Classic, on the other hand, was a bit of a disappointment.  Although Kobe beef tends to be a more forgiving meat, even it isn’t immune to an over lengthy stay on the grill.  The patty was dry and measured up poorly against the juicier all-beef patty of the Magic Mushroom burger at half the price.  Instead of topping their patty with pan-seared foie, Romer’s offers up a modest pate that ultimately ended up lost amid the other additions.  Speaking of which – although the menu made mention of a red win demi-glaze being served on the side, my plate contained nothing but the burger.  It was also missing the promised garlic olives and pepperoncinis (Denise was kind enough to offer me a bite of hers).

The hand-cut double-cooked fries with truffle oil, dusted with Reggiano.

The hand-cut double-cooked fries with the truffle oil and Reggiano were so good and so plentiful, I kept eating them long after I should have stopped.  The yam fries were also very good.

The homemade mini doughnuts.

I didn’t want to push it, so I decided to go with two instead of the usual three desserts: apple pie a la mode and the home made mini doughnuts served with three dipping sauces.  The pie was great, crowned with a scoop of (unfortunately not home made) ice cream.  It was also served with a side of mascarpone cheese which, while offering an interesting textural combo, didn’t really add anything in terms of taste.  Had it been lightly whipped and slightly, I would have been all over it.  The mini doughnuts were perfect – ten in all, sweet and crispy – served with a trio of sauces: chocolate, maple-whiskey, and a limoncello that seemed out of place, delivering a mouth-puckering contrast to its much sweeter neighbors.

Overall, a promising start for the new kid on the block.  With some fourteen different burger variations on the menu, I’m already planning my return visit.

Hey, speaking of recoveries, look who’s on the mend.  Jelly’s the star of the video, but check out Lulu’s not-so-subtle attempts to steal the show…

Hey, speaking as a writer-producer of SF television, I know how tough it is to imagine future trends.  Ask yourself: What will fashion look like fifty years from now?  Or cars?  Or, uh, dancing?  Well, in the case of the latter, I’m sure it’ll look nothing like this…

58 thoughts on “July 26, 2010: Romer’s Burger Bar! Jelly vs. Lulu! Dance moves of the future!

  1. Wow! I don’t know how you do it. Pictures of yummy food again! I especially liked the fries and the donuts. Got to see the new trailer today, and I thought it was fantastic. Looking forward to September.

  2. Hi Mr M!

    Early post!

    RE: Video….surely that’s just an Ivon Bartok Behinds the Scenes Special – fly on the wall – of the Writer’s Room?


  3. I had the same thing – missing food that was promised. Last night my boys and I had a meal which was supposed to include bacon and sweet potato chips. Instead I got cauliflower, one miserable baby carrot and one asparagus spear. huh? What if my kids or I had an allergy to any of these? I got my drink for free and also the boys’ desserts. Ugh. The dinner looked like dog turds.. I kid you not.


    Gotta love attention hog Lulu.. is she a well behaved dog now?

    And as for that dance , uhm, I do that every morning when I get up.. haha I can just imagine all the CHOGM doing that at their meetings. 😛 (well it’s a nice fantasy)

  4. Hi Joe,

    Mmmmm, burgers: hungry! OMGosh – my mom’s pup, Maggie, has the same toy as Jelly! We call it “Road Kill” and she will fetch it if you ask her, “Where’s R.K.?” and then, being the genious mathematician that she is, she will bring it to within a millimeter of the farthest you can reach and stop; after all, she doesn’t want you to HAVE it!

    Smiles, Julie

  5. Joe, we need to work on our definitions of ‘taking it easy’.

    That dancing is what follows when you ingest the Magic Mushroom Burger made with real magic mushrooms.

    Masked is loaded onto my Reader ready for Sunday morning’s flight.

    Great to see Jelly continuing to improve.

    How’s your Mum’s going?

    Take care.

  6. beef, mushrooms, good bread….sounds like a winner of a place. Glad to see you out once more entertaining us at the risk of your gastric health. Your sacrifices are duly noted and apprecieated.
    I refuse to look up more of those clips, though apparantly it has something to do with the people talking thinking someone who was larger than life was dead, then finding out he was alive. And the background action makes me a) glad I don’t dance and b) make me eternally grateful I am not a bit actor, reduced to accepting such roles.
    Just decided I REALLY love my dog. after being played with, she’s sprawled herself out on the floor, butt towards my sister. And then said dog graced my sister with some olfactory productions from parts of the body that humans generally prefer to avoid…and the fan has protected me from the residuals. What a perfect day…l..thanks for the clip by the way.K’tesh was fascinated watching it, though I’m not sure it was Jelly or the squirrel sh was most interested in. Now, how is that act two progressing?

  7. Seriously, do your dogs really make all that noise? It sounds like the Sound Effects Department gone wild. Even had my crazy beagle looking out the window for whatever was making all that ruckus. Cute! Glad you survived the food poisoning!

  8. Mmmm, donuts. *should not be reading this blog when hungry*

    Also, I think I’ve done some of that dance. In an aerobics DVD.

  9. @ Annie from Fremantle – oh my gosh, your dinner does look like dog turds!! And you ate that?? 😆

    Hey Joe, would you ask Carl what he would recommend from Chili’s. I have a new Chili’s right by my house so I was curious what he liked.

  10. there’s a big blank on my screen after “nothing like this” not sure if it’s normal ❓

  11. The burger looks great and yes, milkshakes have to go with it. Since I’m counting calories, I’ll choose non-fat milk and Hershey’s syrup to make a pseudo-milkshake just to get that awesome taste combo. But seriously? After just having food poisoning, I don’t think I would want to even look at food for awhile. I think I’d likely keep wanting that green tea and rice. Glad you are on the mend.

    @JulieAloha: Road kill? That’s funny.

    @Das: Glad to see you haven’t melted yet. Saw the freak tornado in Co-Op City in the Bronx. I lived there for about 3 months in my childhood; it was a nicer place then.

    We are getting rain bands from last week’s Tropical Depression Bonnie. Saturday night we had 70 mph winds (I know, weird, huh? since it wasn’t even a Tropical Storm of that strength) and a lot of rain. There were trees down and everything. Today I had to shut down and not work for 4 hours while another storm came through (moving east to west). Last year we had serious drought weather; this year, we finally caught up.

    Watched the ComicCon trailer of SGU. Super-psyched that Eli gets a love interest. Of course, I am always hoping VARRO gets to stay (he goes together well with Alaina). What a hot couple THEY’D make. Very excited about David Hewlett and Robert Picardo’s appearances (I was guessing Jewel would be one of them, but I guessed wrong). I will never complain again about the 10/10 split of SGU on Syfy after what they’ve done with Caprica. Nope; never complain again.

  12. I am soooooo going to that burger joint if I hit Vangroovy….the magic mushroom looks divine…San Pelegrino is one of my faves too. I think it would have complimented it better as the milkshake would have filled you up.

    Cheers, Chev

    p.s.way to ease back into it Joe

  13. @Ponytail

    Yeah I did on a dare.. I think I heard the chef chuckling from the kitchen.. I’mma gonna do a review and show that picture to the world.. revenge is mine bwahahahaha!

  14. Lulu walking into the frame and letting one rip.

    ….I’m still chuckling.

    WAY TO GO Lulu!!

  15. Nothing is better than watching one of your kids feeling better (well, maybe feeling better yourself). I’m really happy for Jelly and her obvious joy in killing the toy. Here’s hoping for continued improvement. Oh, and good to hear you are feeling better. On the food front, I recently heard about the wine-fed cattle in BC which are suppose to make excellent beef products (kinda like the Kobe beef idea). Have you tried it yet? Heaven forbid us Albertans should eat anything but Alberta-grown beef so I’ll have to wait until a visit to Vancouver.

  16. Here’s a bit on the wine-fed cattle from a food safety news feed:

    Happy cows come from British Columbia, too
    Sol Erdozains
    I like having a glass of wine with my dinner every now and then. It tastes good and they say it’s good for you, so I don’t even have to feel guilty about it.
    Apparently, a group of farmers in British Columbia think the health benefits also apply to cattle. The idea is a variation of the Kobe beef, where cattle are fed beer. Unlike Kobe beef, the wine is not fed every day.
    “It’s during the final 90 days leading up to their slaughter that they are fed red wine supplied by a number of wineries in the Okanagan Valley.”
    The final product is sweeter-tasting meat that is supposedly more tender. Plus, the cows get to die buzzed.
    I wonder, if they did this with dairy cows, would wine and cheese parties become obsolete?

  17. Two questions for the next mailbag:

    1. What would you change about the first season of SGU? Could be a line, or it could be a theme.

    2. Would the producers/writers/whoever-else-makes-these-decisions ever consider going back and updating the SG1/SGA graphics to make them all match? For example the hyperspace windows are all different between the three series for the Daedalus ships. (examples can be found here: http://forums.stargateworlds.com/showthread.php?t=35776)

  18. It’s not very nice of you to make fun of the way I walk, talk, and dance. For shame, Mallozzi Man, for shame.

  19. The dance clip was from the classic German 1966 SF series Space Patrol – The Fantastic Adventures of the Spaceship Orion.

    Raumpatrouille – Die phantastischen Abenteuer des Raumschiffes Orion

  20. wait there is more

    So, someone on a forum I visit noticed that the suits from the “Lost Tribe” Asgard, and then Destiny’s Ancient suits are identical except for the helmet. (side by side pics http://forums.stargateworlds.com/showthread.php?t=35159 )

    1. Is this just because the suits were expensive and it allowed for a good time to reuse them? Or are we to assume this is because of the alliance? OR will the Asgard come into play at some point in SGU?

    2. Will the Furlings or Nox be explored at all in SGU? (I know you don’t like the mythology story lines, so I don’t expect you to write it if you do think it will come in to play 😉 even though i’m sure you’d do great!)

  21. Hi Joe

    That dancing makes as much sense to me as dancing today does to be honest hehe 🙂

    Glad to see the doggies on the mend

  22. ooohhhhh, betcha that dance will be the next “Con Dance Craze.” I have enough trouble with the Macarena and YMCA – to much to remember.

    Adding that burger place to the dinning opportunities for Van.

    So good to see Jelly in fine spirits.

  23. After chatting with you in the office , I had to check out your blog. Since I am not as interested in Sci fi as I am in food I decided to follow the oysters, sushi, chocolate and mini donuts… Oh yes let’s not forget the burgers and fries.
    I no longer have to wonder where to go eat in the city , I can just follow your trail of advice….. less the upset stomach and food poisoning…. of which may have been caused by a diverse mixing of sugar, flour and fish.
    I am now starting to get hungry…. off to go eat some peanut butter….. or maybe that would be better left for Jelly!

  24. Is it true that there will finally be a TJ backstory episode in the back half of season 2?

  25. I hope the ‘edge of the universe’ line was just character ignorance, otherwise you need to fire your scientific advisor’s!

  26. Coucou Joseph!

    La forme? Moi oui…

    J’ai vu le dernièr trailer de la saison 2 de sgu…je suis dèçu car on ne voit pas beaucoup de nouvelle planete et extraterreste, pour l’instant ça n’a pas l’air de changer par rapport à la saison 1.

    Miameeee!! Ce burger à l’air très bon!

    Lol Jelly, elle s’amuse avec quel animal…un raton laveur? heureusement que ce n’est pas un vrai car sinon je le plains^^!

    Gros bisou

  27. Hey Joe i was wondering if you have any behind the scenes pics of Rhona Mitra?

  28. I have a few questions for the next mailbag. I only recently started reading your blog so if some of these have been answered in the past I apologize.

    1. I’m in the U.S. Navy so I’m very curious why there never seems to be any Navy personnel in any Stargate series. Considering Navy personnel are generally much more accustomed to the long deployments and living conditions in a confined ship than Air Force personnel I would think we might see at least a few. Is there any chance I’ll eventually get to see a fellow sailor?

    2. Will we find out anything more about the incredibly advanced aliens that created the planet/solar system in SGU season 1’s “Faith”?

    3. Will we find out anything more about the aliens/civilization that left the ruins in SGU season 1’s “Lost”?

    4. Will we find out anything more about what happened to Franklin when he disappeared after using the Ancient chair in SGU season 1’s “Justice”?

    5. Should we expect any alternate timeline/alternate reality SGU episodes in the future?

  29. Yeah, but aren’t the dancers German? Factor that in and they touch their elbows instead of their rears and they’ll also move their hips more – a vision of the Macarena.

    I was wondering something.

    Were fifth acts so infernal when you were writing more stand-alone episodes?

  30. It is strange a burger place would have no milkshakes! I’ve had that happen before and it’s disappointing. After a bout of stomach problems, my system wouldn’t be able to handle such a heavy meal so soon. Your stomach must be made of sterner stuff!

    Cute video of the dogs! Odd video of future dancing. Narelle could have something with that magic mushroom theory.

    Annie from Fremantle: Yuck! I’m not sure if I “could” try that dish. What were they thinking?
    Hubby wants to know what mashed potatoes is in Aussie land? Everything else there seems to have a cool name.

    Ponytai: Breathing sounds are normal in pugs: http://www.petpugdog.com/Breathing_Problems.html
    The vet at the animal hospital I worked at would say” Pugs breath better with a trach tube”. It’s true!

    I’ve prepared/scanned a bunch of documents for MIL’s probate BUT our printer died! The new printer should be here in a couple of days but it’s Soooo frustrating. I can finally see the end of all these documents and lawyers soon.

    I wish all of you bloggers healthy and long living parents!!!!! May your parents enjoy life and spend every asset they own on the day they pass.

  31. @ Gilder – Don’t sweat the knee surgery. Mom had hers replaced back in ’09, and she was about 75 years old. She had very little trouble getting back on her feet, and no pain to speak of.

    @ Joe – How’s your mom and sister doing these days? Is mom back to her frisky ol’ self?? Hope both are doing well. I miss your sister’s input, especially when she’s letting us in on some little secret from your childhood. I wish she’s post more.


  32. There’s a burger place in Ottawa called The Works that has a huge selection – including a burger with peanut butter as a topping. Crazy? Tasty? I’m personally too afraid to try it. Will you come here and try it and let me know how it is?

    But they have really good milkshakes!

  33. Thanks to Thomas for the photos of faucets and iron handles uses as technical controls for Roam Patrol Orion (I’m guessing the translation). Very cool! Wonder what they will think of Stargate 50 years from now? Thank god there is very little dancing in the Pegasus galaxy.

    Burger, shake and fries…going to be hard to eat my salad, bottle water and fruit at lunch.

    Nice video of Lulu’s giant leg looming before Jelly. The angle makes Lulu look like the 50 Foot Girl. Lulu Smash!

  34. Glad to see you are feeling better and are cutting back.
    Jelly is as cute as a button with her toy.Do the dogs get a new toy after they go to the vet. My mom used to take me to the drug store to buy something. So now, my bird gets millet or a new sneaker. She has quite the shoe collection. We are done with her weekly shots – I hope at least until next summer, her “lapels” have grown back and she looks mahvelous.

  35. Hey Joe,

    That burger looks good. But it’s probably for the better that they didn’t have milkshakes, I think you’re supposed to avoid dairy right after stomach flu/food poisoning, due to temporary lactose intolerance (because of injury to the cells lining the intestine). Maybe they’ll have added them by the time you go back.


  36. I thought the fact that the clipwas from a german film would have answered the question about the dance. “And now is the time in Sprockets when we dance….”

  37. Questions from Russian Stargate community 🙂

    When Destiny jumped out of FTL (Faith), was it happened because of gravitational influence of the star? Or the ship was gently pulled out of FTL by mysterious creatures, of which we know nothing? If the reason was the gravity why then ship computers were silent, like nothing happen?

    In an episode Earth, during a conversation with Camilla Strom said that if the experiment succeed, then they can rebuild one of the spaceship to connect to Destiny and send out the correct command. Does this mean that we have the technology that helps get energy directly from the sun? And if that so, why we don’t use it?

    Ancient communication stones. Does the terminal have the opportunity not only exchange the bodies, but also to transmit data, for example, text information, drawings, reports?

    How did the Ancients themselves plan to get on the Destiny? Is there a specially equipped place, which could, if found, to use the earthlings?

    It’s well known, that Stargate on Destiny is prototype, the earliest version. If present Stargate of Milky Way Galaxy and Pegasus Galaxy is latest version, is there any chance that somewhere in Milky Way Galaxy and Pegasus Galaxy remained Stargate similar to Destiny’s Stargate? For example, the Ancients just forgot to replace it by the full Stargate replacement in both galaxies?

    It’s also well known, that before Destiny are flying seed-ships. Let us suppose they all are break down, can’t fly and install the Stargate. So it comes a moment when Destiny finds itself in such a part of space, where there is no Stargate. What happens next? The ship will just hover in space, waiting for information of seed-ships, incapable to lay a course on? Or goes on without Stargate? Or comes back?

    Have you ever think, what gonna happen if to cross FTL-engine and hyperengine? For example go into hyperspace and then start an FTL? Is it possible? And which consequences can cause such a symbiosis?

    Questions to R. Carlyle:
    1. Where is it possible to get information about your work? Do you have a site or a web page?
    2. I follow with an interest your character, Dr. Rush. Please, tell what is the most important trait of him? What do you like and what reject flatly?
    3. What do you think – the professional actor is that, who is fully immersed in the role, growing in it and after all gets out hardly. Or in contrary, when the actor enters into one’s role at once, plays, and leaves easily?
    4. Have you ever failed a casting for a role you wanted?
    5. Do you like work more with people you know already or with new partners?

    What happened with a young clone of O’Neill? Will he be mentioned in Revolution or in other franchise series, because he has almost all O’Neill memories. Will he generally join SGC?

    By the first meeting with Blue aliens they started fire at once. I think it’s an unjustified action. Would it not be reasonable to get into contact with Destiny’s crew first? To get permission to land on Destiny for exchange of any resources. This attempt would cost nothing. And in case of refuse they could revert to the first variant and continue fire.

    Will we know where third shuttle is and what happened to it?

    What dishes makes Destiny’s chief cook?

    The Ancients create all things in a big way, as for example jumper which can be submarine also. So is it possible to use spacesuit as a diving suit too?

    Do scriptwriters know how the Ancients created ZPV? Will the fans ever find it out?

    Is Destiny super weapon?

    Where and how the Ancients create ZPM?

    Which political and economic systems existed in Ancient’s society?

    Will we see super Stargate anymore?

    Are there any plans to show us all the power of Destiny?

  38. Hey Joe.

    Well I went out to buy season 1.5 on blu ray and DVD (yep ive bought season 1.5 3 times now lol, on itunes, blu ray, and DVD. I think MGM should give me a medal. lol) and i started listening to the commentary on Space and you were in it! I though you said you weren’t doing any commentaries!

  39. Questions for next mailbag:

    1. Joe, have you ever had a man-crush on a celebrity? If so, who?

    2. Are you ticklish? if so, where?

    3. Have you been ‘French kissed’ by any of you dogs? If so, who is the worst culprit?

    4. If forced, who would you rather dine with – a tramp, or a teamster?

    That’s all for now!


  40. Oh and a few questions if thats cool.

    1. Any updates on the movies? Any more discussions take place on the SG-1 movie? Any new talk on the SGA movie?

    2. I heard that the trailer released at comic con is a syfy trailer. Any chance we’ll see an MGM trailer for season 2.0?

    3. Whats your favorite episode from season 2.0?

    4. Have you guys filmed Visitation yet?

    Thanks so much,
    Major D. Davis

  41. 1. Looking back, do you think that a rewording of the SGA movie greenlight announcement in 2008 would have negated some of the negativism towards SGU? Instead of saying the SGA movie was “greenlit”, the release said “we plan to make the movie soon in the near future” for example. ( And yes I know you don’t control the press announcements just looking for YOUR opinion)

    2. What is most difficult about writing for an ensemble cast, compared to a smaller core team in previous Stargate incarnations? Would you compare the cast to ST:TNG where all seven members from Picard to Wesley were featured, or ST:TOS where Kirk, Spock, and Bones took center stage?

    3. What is your favorite episode from SGU first season, and your least favorite? (Yes you have to pick one, and even if you didn’t write it don’t chicken out and not mention it)

  42. Oh are we doing mailbag?

    Let’s see…

    1. If you had the power to crossover two current tv shows (don’t worry about networks etc) what would they be?

    2. What’s on the SGU 1.5 bluray that’s gonna knock my socks off? What should I watch first?

    3. Have you seen Teddy Almond Turtle the pug that sings along with the Batman theme song? Cute vid


    4. What do you have against fruit?

    Cheers, Chev

  43. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the future dance! The opposite of ‘crunking’ I suppose? Seriously, the dance part of that scene had to be harder to create and choreograph than the entire run of dialog in that scene! Thank you for sharing…

    How awesome that you could do that for Jelly and that she is feeling better!

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