Best Things: Burgers – White Star

First, about the shirts. If you contribute to the site, you get a shirt – your choice.  If you do something good, you get a shirt – my choice. This Friday I dished out a couple of these odd smelling shirts to a couple establishments I love (Wurstbar, Hooked/JSQ Lounge) as well as some of the Nice Things contributors (Chicken Parm, Tony Baloney’s – still got yours Goth Odell).  There’s the context for the IG story, sorry if I didn’t respond to DMs.


If you have a vagina, you’ve probably had more periods in the last 6 months than I’ve had burgers. Since I boldly proclaimed that I would review roughly 20 burgers about six months ago, I’ve managed to do five.  Five is a good number for fingers on one hand, or if you’re four years old and have an upcoming birthday. This shameful five is like the length of an unimpressive penis and accompanied by the sadness of knowing that even if there is a giant leap forward in surgical capabilities that your insurance probably won’t cover it and your sub-600 FICO will not qualify for financing. 

To end this shameful streak and cement myself as an average six, I went to JC burger favorite White Star, which has been one of the most requested burger reviews on NT. I decided to invite Nice Things contributors Mike and Nick to form a brain-trust on this review and have a little blind date. 

The rules are simple: 

  • Get a standard burger, no weird shit.
  • Whatever comes on it is what you eat
  • The rating will be by consensus
  • If at any point in the night you catch one of the group attempting to harvest another’s kidneys to sell on the black market, you will be cut in on the profits if you help subdue the unwilling organ donor.


Thankfully no organs were harvested and we reached a consensus with out any real disagreement.  



Patty type:  Single patty.  8oz LaFrieda blend.  $12 is a fair price point.  The patty itself was pretty goddamn good.  Just greasy enough to be satisfying, but not enough to be too messy.  Like, you’ll have to wash your hands after, but not your wrists. If I could only eat one patty on a burger for the rest of time I wouldn’t be pissed if this was it.

Is it cooked well?  Griddled and perfectly cooked.  I might be biased because its prime grillin’ season and I’ve had plenty of char on my summer burgers, but the absence of charred beef was a nice break.  It was also perfectly medium rare.

Is it seasoned?  Perfectly. I couldn’t have asked for a better seasoned patty.

Does the size or amount make sense? I think the size of the patty was great.  It was a little fat, but like dad bod fat. It’s still desirable, but no one would complain if it trimmed down a bit. The girth here makes it a little easier to cook and really lets the meat shine.

Bun type: Brioche.  I’ve had burgers here on a potato roll and a sesame bun before.  If I had my pick i’d probably opt for either of those over brioche, especially when you have a greasy burger.  That bronzed and waxy George Hamilton bun top does not give a sensation of dryness.

Toasted?  Kinda. Mine still had that airy and squish quality of an untoasted bun, but the edges were crisp.  Could have used a little more time on the heat.

Is it dry? No, but, again, could have used some more dry.



Here’s what this thing actually looks like.  Obviously, not my picture, but I can attest to the fidelity.


Cheese type:  American. You get to pick your cheese here, which is good for the cheddar freaks. I opted for American because that’s the only real answer on a burger.

Is the cheese melted? Yup.



What type of shit are they putting on it? This is where my criticism of the burger happens. The White Star Burger is one of those burgers that gives you the ultimate control of what toppings you put on it, and in what amount.  The options are lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and ketchup. Part of me likes being trusted to make these difficult adult decisions and have the full autonomy to put all or none of these on my burger. The other part of me, the little Kim Jong Un inside me, wants you to know what I want and present it with confidence.  Don’t trust me. Why would you trust me? I don’t trust me. I could be a furry for all you know. That’s why we have regulations in this country.  We hope that people will make good decisions, we plan for them not to so things don’t go tits up. 

How much shit are they putting on it?  A lot. Tomatoes are delicious this time of year.  The ones White Star provided are no different. They’re excellent. I would love to chop all of these delicious toppings up and have it as a side salad. 

But slippage is the thief of burger ratings.  Two thick tomato steaks are a tad aggressive with this much moisture and slippage is unavoidable. After my second bite, the contents of my burger pink socked (ill spare you the link) and I had to do field surgery to get it back to base.

Does all this shit add to the burger?  Yes and no. The ingredients just taste good and are a good counterpoint to the fatty burger, but the slippage it creates is problematic. Finding the right balance here is what separates good from great.

Additionally, burgers are almost always better with some type of ketchup/mustard/mayo blend. Some overchoicing boners who say shit like “I don’t like mustard” or “pickles are gross” but when options are removed and they smash it into their face hole they are almost always guided to the inevitable conclusion that they are wrong. Submission is key to good eating and catering to the doms creates missed opportunities.



How do all of these things above work together? This is a really good burger that is just a few things away from being a great burger.  It’s kind of infuriating how solid 80% of this burger is. It’s like having Brad Pitt wear Crocs. This is a blue collar, no frills, Lake County, Ohio swing-voting American burger. For better and worse. I love that it hasn’t taken a sick day in 8 years, but hate that it thinks dinosaurs co-existed with people. 

As I said before, I want your best version of a burger.  If someone doesn’t like onions on a burger they can request that shit and out themselves as a person with no taste buds and low T. You should have your customers do this dance as a way to verbally sign a waiver that they’ve knowingly bastardized this perfect thing and, as a result, have created a much less satisfying burger to eat. 

With all of that said, I would eat another of these right now.  I’d go back to White Star (and have gone back) just for the burger. The other burgers express more of their creative flair, and are more satisfying than some of the Willy Wonka shit at Diesel & Dukes or Left Bank.  The fries are light years beyond either of these as well. Go to White Star.

Overall rating

3.99999 OUT OF 5

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2 thoughts on “Best Things: Burgers – White Star

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