Best Burger in the Triangle Update

I promised back in October when I wrote about the best burgers in the Triangle that I’d update my list from time to time. I have one new addition.

Players’ Retreat: Although I’ve lived in and around Raleigh for seemingly forever, I have never been to the Players’ Retreat, generally referred to as “The PR.” It’s an NC State hangout bar that’s really smoky. I just don’t usually want to eat meals at such places. I was at the PR last night, attending an election day party for a candidate I was supporting and ordered a burger. The menu said the burgers were from black angus beef, ground in-house, and cooked to order. In fact, the menu recommended you order them RARE. Very cool. So I got one, and damn, that’s a mighty fine burger. One of the best around. Maybe THE best. I then learned that the PR has over 60 types of scotch available. Obviously, they want my business. And with LocoPops right around the corner, well, I might have found a second home.


6 Responses to Best Burger in the Triangle Update

  1. Chad says:

    Hmmm, might have to give that one a try. Our go-to place for a burger and beer is still Abbey Road, mainly because it’s close by. The atmosphere leaves a bit to be desired and the fries are straight out of a Sysco bag but the burgers are pretty darn good. And while the burgers aren’t as good, the beer selection at the new Tyler’s Taproom in Apex makes it worthwhile for me. Rogue Dead Guy and Boddingtons on tap!

  2. seahawg says:

    Nothing like the PR for a great burger. I’m not a fan of smokey bars either, and it makes no sense that you have to wade through the smoking section to get to the non-smoking section, but that’s the way it is. When my kids were in Indian Guides and Princesses, that was where the dads’ met to have our “planning sessions”. With the outdoor sidewalk seating, you have another alternative to the smokey bar. For a change of pace from the great burgers try a “Sailor” it’s a knockwurst, corned beef, sauerkraut, mustard on grilled rye.

  3. Dana says:

    My big problem with the PR has always been that it is just filthy. They’ve had several sub-90 sanitation scores, and with the stories I’ve heard about how awful Darryl’s ventilation areas were, I’m afraid of everything around there (migration after renovation is common with these particular bugs).

    I’m still very happy with the Raleigh Times hamburger for a sit-down and Five Guys for something quick. I miss the old Hamburger Hut days (from when Ripley and Odelia Taylor owned it – no relation, Dean)

  4. Gus says:

    I purchased the Players Retreat 2 1/2 years ago. Other than right after I purchased it and before I spent major dollars on repairs and renovations, we have never had a sub-90 rating. We currently have a 95. During the most recent inspection, the inspector told us we have one of the cleanest kitchens/restaurants in the county. Every piece of equipment in the kitchen is new. We just installed 8 smoke eating Purifans to take care of the smoke. Our non-smoking area is the largest section of the restaurant. Please come check out the NEW PLAYERS RETREAT.
    Gus Gusler

  5. susan says:

    Wow. I haven’t been to the PR in ages. And these days I do try and stay away from smoky places. But I’ve just taken a look at that site – and it really does look like the perfect neighborhood pub/restaurant. (And look at all that scotch!) Plus – it’s right next to Locopops!!!

    I love the old places with character as well – and without too much attitude. I will definitely be heading there within the next couple of weeks. Thanks, Gus!

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