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Quest for the Best NH Burger: Papa Joe’s Humble Kitchen

After doing some more long-distance drives for this series, it feels good to only go a couple of towns over. That’s precisely what I did this time, at Papa Joe’s Humble Kitchen just a few miles west of here in Milford. When they say “humble”, they’re not joking around. It’s certainly the most unassuming place I’ve been to, just a small burger joint off Route 13. Clearly, function is a more important factor to the owners than form.

But, that function is not to be trifled with by the average burger place. I had heard of quite a good reputation, and I decided to test that reputation with their “Skips’ Cardiac Burger”. While I don’t know anybody named Skips, the word “cardiac” felt like a challenge to a healthy young buck like myself. And anyways, if I’m going to die of cardiac arrest, it might as well be from good food. The burger itself is quite the whopper, certainly more than Burger King’s claim to the throne. It’s got two patties, lettuce, American and Pepper Jack cheese, topped off with onion rings, spicy mayo, and a smattering of jalapenos. The jalapenos and spicy mayo are what make this burger in my opinion, complementing the commonplace components of a certifiably sufficient sandwich with a specialized seasoning of spice and style. As well, the main parts of the burger are quite good, certainly a cut above the standard. For example, the combo of American and Pepper Jack cheese adds nice flavor and a little bit of kick to the otherwise meaty and somewhat monotone patty section of the burger.

Certainly, this is a flavorful burger. But, I will deduct points from originality since aside from the jalapenos and mayo, the rest of the burger is a fairly conventional faire. Unfortunately, the general ambiance was also mediocre, since the eating area was basically just eating on a roadside porch. Finally, the size is large, but not quite gargantuan. This place is great, but it is not quite the best.

How the scoring system works:

There are four categories I grade a good burger on: its size, its flavor, how original/unique it is, and the overall mood of the restaurant. Each of these is graded on a 10-point scale, then weighed individually to create an overall rating out of 100. Flavor has a weighting of 4, originality has a weighting of 3, size has a weighting of 2, and restaurant ambiance has a weighting of 1.


Size: 16/20

Flavor: 36/40

Originality: 23/30

Restaurant Ambiance: 6/10

Overall: 81/100

In a word: “They love it when I call them Big Papa!”


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