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OnlyBurger

Posted by YAR 10 Sep 2008 65 Comments

So there is definitely something really, really charming about getting food from a truck, and about eating standing up while dripping delicious burger juice on your feet.  Still, I am pretty sure I would have loved my OnlyBurger even if I’d been seated and given napkins (I imagine they will have napkins in the future…but it was pretty messy).

The burger was perfectly cooked (as in, not too), the cheese was real, and the bun was deliciously toasted in butter (see the bottom of the menu below for why they do that…).  While no one who tried it would give it an unequivocal “better than Wimpy’s” rating (or “better than Five Guys,” if that is your standard), people ranged in reaction from very pleased to moaning a little bit.  The fries were even better; I can’t think of any I’ve had in Durham that I like more (unless they had bacon on them, which is cheating).

We asked where the truck would be in the future, and were told to check the website for its location.

p.s. You might have noticed the lovely t-shirt in the photo of the burger.  I know, it’s dorky and was not done on purpose.  But while it’s up there…I still have some of those shirts left!  If you tried to get one when I posted about them before, you may have gotten lost in the shuffle and should try again.  Email carpedurham -at- carpedurham.com. To recap, they come in men’s and women’s sizes (American Apparel) and are $13 (plus a bit more if you want it mailed).  In the photo it looks vaguely blue/purple, but that is only because my camera extremely sucks.  Actually, they are dark gray.

65 Comments »

  • Jessica said:

    The burger looks divine, it’s hard to imagine the fries could taste as good as it does!!

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  • Bruce said:

    So where was the truck? I couldn’t find any locations on their website.

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  • YAR (author) said:

    Today the truck was at Wine Authorities for their birthday party but I have no idea if they’re going to stay there for a while, or how often they will update their website with their location. I wanted to get more details but they were so slammed, and there were so many people salivating for burgers, that I didn’t ask anything else.

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  • Britt B. said:

    I was looking forward to this all week, and I was kinda let down. The meat was good, and not over cooked, mine was almost rare. It tasted like beef, you could tell it was quality.

    The problem was in the execution. First problem, they botched our orders, I wanted lots of onions and I got 2 rings of red onion. Red onions are useless, they don’t bite well, and yellow/vidalia’s have a far better taste. Red onions tend to just pull out, and there were hardly any on there. My friend wanted everything except the bun, and she got meat and cheese wrapped in paper, no toppings, and all the cheese stuck to the paper.

    The fries were lousy, i got a 2 bags of 1/3 inch fry bits.

    I’ll take cookout any day. I like how cookout really gets a nice char on the burger without drying it out too much, which is what I miss every time I get the chance to hit wimpy’s.

    Also cookout has onion rings :)

    I will definitely try OnlyBurger again as they’re on the right track with their patties, they just need to fix everything else.

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  • TSQ75 said:

    I’m amused at how their bottled Icelandic water has “zero carbon footprint.”

    unlikely…but funny LOL

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  • TMC said:

    Dain’s is still my gold standard for burgers in Durham. Its only flaw (and I know this kills it for lots of people) is that he can’t cook them rare or medium rare. Other than that…awesome. Fresh tasting beef, excellent buns (slightly toasted), innovative sides.

    I’ll definitely check out the burger truck when it comes closer to me.

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  • NDE said:

    the patties were substantial, but i thought it was a bit pricey for an inn-n-out type burger (american cheese, prepackaged bun). there weren’t a whole lot of fries for $2 either.

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  • Britt B. said:

    Couldn’t resist a burger comparison trip, so I rolled past Wimpys. Wimpy’s burgers just seem to lack some bit of burgery goodness, something is lacking in their meatiness, and it may be that they’re cooked on a griddle. The toppings are good, and I love the place (and their sausage biscuits are near perfection).

    I skipped the fries at Wimpy’s.

    Really take the beef from OnlyBurger, and the fixins etc from wimpy’s, and boom, almost as good as CookOut. CookOut just has that charred/grilled flavor that I love…

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  • etselec said:

    I stopped by last night – I was their 4th customer. :) Glad to see they got busy later.

    I loved the burger and wolfed it down PDQ. Their iceberg lettuce was more iceberg than lettuce, but otherwise the whole shebang was delightful. Definitely getting a Double next time. I’m sure the execution bits will iron out with time.

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  • Gary said:

    Britt B: I find Wimpy’s burgers are better when you have one for breakfast. If you get there early, they haven’t started precooking the patties for the lunch rush, and they’ll cook your burger to order. It takes longer, but it’s a better burger than one you’d get during the lunch rush. If you’re inclined to have a burger for breakfast, at any rate.

    You missed nothing by passing on Wimpy’s’ fries. Definitely nothing special.

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  • leandra said:

    I am the short person in the striped shirt in the top photo!

    *waves*

    I thought both the burgers and the fries were delicious, but neither of us got the toppings we ordered, I think it was a mix of the guy taking the orders and them being completely slammed. I am willing to give them another shot though. :)

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  • Gary said:

    Multiple posts on botched burger-topping orders? Apparently the job has gotten a lot harder since when I was flipping burgers in high school.

    Seriously, OnlyBurger, if you’re going to charge $6.50 for a burger: GET THE ORDERS RIGHT. It’s not brain surgery.

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  • Tom Ferguson said:

    Hi All

    My name is Tom, and I’m one of the owners of Only Burger. I’ve never responded on a blog before, this looks like a good time. Thanks to everyone who gave us a shot yesterday, and I hope you’ll try us again. I’ve read a lot of nice things and a lot of good advice over the last 24 hours, and I think it will help us do better next time out. Burger no bun person totaly my bag on your intire order, sorry. As far as wrong toppings I should of thought the whole ordering thing out more. We really didn’t expect so many special orders. Next time we’ll be on.

    I’ve been cooking for 20 years now all over the country in some of the top restaurant in the U.S., and started Durham Catering 8 years ago. Last night was my first time to cook in a van, and my first time setting up a cash register. I know it’s not brain surgery, but it felt like it a little last night. We had no ideal of the response we would get, Hell we just bought the van a week ago. With that said Sam and I are committed to making a great burger. Keep an eye out for our next stop at http://www.onlyburger.com. Tell me you read this, and I’ll give you a free burger (good until October 20th first 10 people(:

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  • durhamfood said:

    I didn’t try the burgers (next time, when there aren’t 100 people in the line), but I did try the fries and wasn’t all that impressed. The best fries in town, bar absolutely none, are at Vin Rouge.

    Tom: I hear you guys flipped 150 burgers in the two hours you were there. I think you can be forgiven for messing up a few order :)

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  • weege said:

    Tom, have you thought about bringing your van near the Durham Farmer’s Market on Saturdays? Daisy Cakes does this and I bet you would make a killing.

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  • TMC said:

    Vin Rouge’s fries are pretty spectacular.

    Also in the running: Bull McCabe’s (crispy and garlicky)

    Dain’s (crispy and cooked in something obviously bad for me, and hence delicious)

    [Reply]

  • TSQ75 said:

    RE Mc Cabes fries…I gotta say, lately they have been overly salty, and the garlicky gets lost.

    they certainly arent Joanne’s fries…:(

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  • Chops said:

    According to OnlyBurger they will have a GPS that will allow anyone who checks their website to see where the truck is that given day. I thought eveything was great for a first run. The only issue was the guy taking orders wanted to know what was “not’ going on the burger instead of what toppings you wanted. If you wanted just mustard and onions, then you would have to say no pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, etc… How about carmelized onions for toppings??? All in all great stuff.

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  • Michelle said:

    I hate to be the one to bring it up, but any plans to add on a veggie burger? My husband wants to go grab his OnlyBurger soon, but I will be stuck with just fries. Just wanted to ask!

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  • didaniel said:

    I get that with a mobile unit, tap water might be a hardship, but I wish it were an option. Or at least a cheaper bottled version than the “carbon-free” Iceland version, which taint really so if you count shipping it all over the country:
    http://bydianedaniel.wordpress.com/2008/07/11/lxr-luxury-water-is-all-wet/

    I’m cutting down on meat, but would like to check out one of these burgers because if Sam cooked it, it’s gotta be great. Can’t wait to taste the fries!

    http://www.placeswegopeoplewesee.com

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  • Tom Ferguson said:

    Only Burger will be at the Dollar General on Saturday 9-20 from 11:00 until dark, or until the burgers run out witch ever comes first.

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  • Tom Ferguson said:

    Oh yeah… on Broad Street.

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  • Gary said:

    Tom: Thanks for posting here about your next appearance. Looking forward to sampling your wares.

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  • Carpe Durham/Reasonably Prudent Person said:

    I will definitely be checking this out.

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  • Beth1 said:

    Great news, Tom. See you on Saturday.

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  • Beth1 said:

    I enjoyed my free hamburger and, as an added bonus, got to meet Sam. I hope they’re getting a lot of business today.

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  • Gary said:

    Stopped by at the Family Dollar location today and got a single all the way. Mighty fine eatin’. Everyone should go get one and I’m looking forward to getting a double and fries next time.

    After I left it occurred to me that I should have asked how long they were planning to stay there today so I could post it here. Sorry.

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  • Carpe Durham/Reasonably Prudent Person said:

    I tried it today. Burger was very good, so were the fries.

    [Reply]

  • Sam said:

    To all who’ve posted and patronized please accept a hearty thanks from Tom and me. I’m Sam Poley, the other owner of OnlyBurger. Your comments have helped us immeasurably and we appreciate them all. Thanks for taking the time.

    Today, Sunday 9/21, the truck will be in front of AutoZone on Hillsborough Road from about 11 am on. We’re working as fast as we can to get a better system in place. Stay tuned and we’ll see you soon. Thanks again, Sam.

    [Reply]

  • MissPeoples said:

    Luuuuuuuurved my OnlyBurger! I stopped by around 3.30 on Saturday and OnlyBurger was still cookin.’ Keep up the good work–it would be fantastic if you could find some way of regularly posting where you’re going to be at each week for those of us who need our OnlyBurger fix.

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  • BullCityRising said:

    Stopped by @ 11:45 today and had a burger and fries — delicious. Really much better than I would have guessed even from the comments here. Does the truck really move 60′ every 15 minutes to comply with the posted terms of the mobile cart permit?

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  • Gary said:

    OB’s website/Twitter tweet says they will be back at Dollar General again tomorrow. Been waiting for that double & fries all week…

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  • Beth1 said:

    Only Burger has been in a parking lot on the corner of Guess and Horton Rds the last two days. Yesterday I saw the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile driving down Guess headed towards Only Burger. I wonder if those two met up?

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  • Jackson said:

    I had only burger on tuesday. I thought the fries were great and so was the burger.

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  • JNB said:

    The hubby & I had Only Burger last Wednesday and loved it. The burgers were delicious & the fries were plentiful and quite good. Quite a crowd gathered there too – about 15 people waiting along with me.

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  • GNR said:

    I trie to go to Only Burger today at the corner of Guess and Carver around 5:50, but the truck wasn’t there. Disappointing!

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  • Gary said:

    They’ve said in the past that they stay in their spot until 6 or when they run out of food, whichever comes first. They’re probably still figuring out how much food they need stocked to reliably make it until 6.

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  • Ben said:

    I picked up an excellent burger and fries from them yesterday, and they said they’re closing at 3 now.

    [Reply]

  • Taqueria Rubio « Carpe Durham said:

    [...] this is a bit of a repost, I just wanted to provide a location and update the hours. And, like YAR said, food from a truck just tastes [...]

  • Durham Char-Grill to open October 27th « Carpe Durham said:

    [...] have yet to try a Char-Grill burger.  I am very curious to see if it can hang with OnlyBurger. Published [...]

  • TSQ75 said:

    Just got a Wine Authorities email that states the truck will be parked BEHIND the shop this saturday during WA’s tasting hours.

    But you HAVE to go thru the shop to get back there ;)

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  • OBR said:

    Only Burger at Duke West Campus made my day.

    The feral cat I ate lunch with also totally, totally approved of the taste sensation that is a single w/cheese.

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  • Gary said:

    So I’m not familiar with the Duke campus…do you have to pay to park at the Bryan Center lot in order to get some OnlyBurger? And why o why has OB forsaken us townies?

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  • YAR (author) said:

    That does seem pretty unfair…I can’t think of a place to park nearby without paying. I selfishly don’t want them to leave because I spend about 10 to 900 hours per day just around the corner in the law school. I would never suggest any sort of illegal idling nearby, unless maybe you were really desperate (like about to die).

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  • ben said:

    so I’ve heard from several people that the excellent fries that they have had in the past have been replaced with generic from frozen fries. Hopefully this was just a onetime thing…
    anyone else know anything about this?

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  • Carpe Durham/Reasonably Prudent Person said:

    Say it ain’t so! We will investigate.

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  • disappointed diner said:

    Had my first Only Burger (double with everything) and fries today.

    Burger was up there, but not quite on the level of the burgers at Dain’s or Watts Grocery.

    Fries were a HUGE disappointment: cold, soggy, and greasy. Not AT ALL what I was expecting. Good flavor, though

    I’ll give them another try if my path crosses theirs, but at least for now, I won’t be going out of my way to find them.

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  • Gary said:

    According to their website their prices have come down…they did seem a little steep considering their low-overhead situation.

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  • Lindz said:

    Anyone know where the onlyburger is this weekend? Their twitter doesn’t do a very up-to-date job :(

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  • Carpe Durham/Reasonably Prudent Person said:

    Sometimes it is best to call: 919.413.3723.

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  • TSQ75 said:

    starting to seem like its more trouble than its worth?

    Pick a couple of places…go there on a rotating schedule. Given the choice of hunting down a meal and going where i know its going to be?

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  • GNR said:

    According to the Six Plates website, Only Burger will be parking there after 11 pm daily: http://sixplates.blogspot.com/

    Awesome for late-night studiers or drunk food.

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  • Carpe Durham/Reasonably Prudent Person said:

    I think that just might be on the day of their anniversary party..

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  • Gary said:

    TSQ75: YES.

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  • Lindz said:

    TSQ75: Completely agree!

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  • BD Knight said:

    The truck got in an accident and is out of service indefinitely. Too bad, I loved those burgers.

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  • Tooth said:

    Aaahhh, the dangers of operating a restaurant on wheels.

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  • Beth1 said:

    Oh, no! That’s sad news indeed.

    [Reply]

  • durhamfood said:

    Somewhat to my surprise, I had a really good burger at Bull McCabe’s the other day…

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  • TSQ75 said:

    they actually make a great burger.

    and surprisingly the best veggie (black bean) burger in town. even carnivores love it.

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  • kpw said:

    Indeed! Bull McCabe’s veggie burger is outstanding…

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  • Gary said:

    Must have been one hell of a collision! 67 days and counting…any murmurings on this front?

    [Reply]

  • Carpe Durham/Reasonably Prudent Person said:

    I sent them an email a couple of weeks ago and never heard back. =[

    [Reply]

  • Gary said:

    Yeah, they never responded to me either. Bummer.

    [Reply]

  • OnlyBurger returns Wednesday! « Carpe Durham said:

    [...] returns Wednesday! OnlyBurger is back!  Thank [...]

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