By Steven DeSalvo
For Montclair Local


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The thought of summer makes me imagine barbecues, fire pits, and dinners outside. The perfect food item for all of those events is a flawlessly executed hamburger. This would include all of the variables, including the actual blend of meat in the patty, the toasted bun, condiments that are expertly designed to blend all of the elements together into one perfect sandwich experience! The three Montclair burgers I decided to sample were from Diesel and Duke, Broughton Grill, and finally Villalobos at 6 South Fullerton Ave. These three establishments provide three completely different examples of an excellent hamburger experience.

1. At Diesel and Duke, a straightforward burger

Here the burgers are made in deliciously straightforward way. The patties are pressed on

A straightforward burger from Diesel & Duke. STEVEN DESALVO/FOR MONTCLAIR LOCAL

the flattop grill so that the outsides get mesmerizingly crispy and packed with flavor. “The Standard” comes with sliced American cheese, tomato, lettuce, aioli, and ketchup, creating the image that one conjures up when picturing a hamburger. The intensity of flavor coupled with the excellent blending of textures makes for a wonderful experience.



2. Broughton Grill offers burgers to your taste

Broughton Grill is a relatively new addition to the Montclair scene, having recently opened up courtesy of the Belgiovine’s team. They offer an eight-ounce prime beef patty, cooked to your liking with a number of different variations in toppings. I stuck with their namesake, “The Broughton,” which includes sautéed onions and American cheese. This burger is simple yet elegant (relative to other burgers). I believe this is due to the sweetness of the onions, pairing brilliantly with the cheese and the high fat content provided by the prime beef. High fat content is a key to maintaining a juicy and flavorful experience.

3. Villalobos’ Burger offers intense flavors

The Villalobos burger offers intense flavors. STEVEN DESALVO/FOR MONTCLAIR LOCAL
The Villalobos burger offers intense flavors. STEVEN DESALVO/FOR MONTCLAIR LOCAL

The Villalobos burger, served from 11:30 a.m. to  4:30 p.m., is an intense expression of flavor. The meat blend is 50-50 chorizo and grass fed beef. It is then topped with a three-cheese blend that is melted onto the burger on the flattop. Guacamole, pico de gallo, roasted corn, mayonnaise, and potato chips are then added on and the whole thing is sandwiched between a sesame seed potato bun. This is by far the most innovative burger on this list, with different flavors, textures, and even temperatures playing a role in this dining experience.

In this column:

• Diesel & Duke
39 Glenridge Ave., 973-744-0055,

• Broughton Grill
712 Bloomfield Ave., 973-744-4402, 

6 South Fullerton Ave., 973-337-6667,