I had the good fortune to find myself at White Rose System in Linden, NJ last week. I was there to be interviewed for a TV pilot George "Hamburger America" Motz is filming for the Travel Channel. George brought me in because my initial review of White Rose and subsequent Guide to New Jersey Sliders, both published on A Hamburger Today, had brought national renown to the humble little restaurant on the other side of the tracks.
My Guide served as inspiration for a slider story by Bobby Flay on CBS Sunday Morning (video link at bottom of page) as well as a piece by Josh Ozersky for New Jersey Monthly. But perhaps the most important seal of approval came when George included White Rose System it in the second edition of Hamburger America.
Hamburger Royalty: Shelly, Rich and Bally Belfer
It is always great to see owner and hamburger genius Rich Belfer. On this occasion his parents Shelly and Bally showed up to help George with the interview.
Rich exclusively mans the griddle at White Rose. If you eat a burger here it will be cooked by him personally. White Rose is not open if he is not there. I think this has a lot to do with the consistency of the product.
Despite the National renown White Rose remains a local neighborhood diner catering to a parade of regulars.
Having just spent two weeks in Italy I had not eaten a hamburger in quite some time. I couldn't imagine a better back to America burger than a single with cheese at White Rose. I ate three before the film crew even showed up!
I also got to try the Jersey burger, which Rich created by fusing his classic sliders with several slices of Taylor Ham, a New Jersey diner staple that is not much known outside of the state. Rich quipped that "you can go 5 miles north to Staten Island and they've never heard of it."
Taylor ham isn't actually ham at all but a pork roll. It is closer in texture, saltiness and smoke to Canadian bacon than your average ham. You will have to wait for the TV show to air to hear my opinion about it.
My original White Rose System review at A Hamburger Today and my more general Guide to New Jersey Sliders
Video: CBS This Morning with Bobby Flay
Watch CBS News Videos Online
Josh Ozersky's Blue Collar Burgers
Hamburger America Second Edition now available featuring White Rose System, Linden.
White Rose System 1301 East Elizabeth Ave, Linden NJ 07036 Tel: 908-486-9651