I woke up at 7:30 a.m. last Tuesday and for some reason, despite the early hour, I was craving a burger. I thought if I ignored it all day, perhaps it would go away. It did not. By nightfall, it had progressed from a simple craving to an all-out obsession. By 8 p.m. it was time to and get that burger, and I knew exactly where I was going — Tailgaters Sports Bar & Grille in Galloway. I gathered up a group of friends and off we went.

As the name states, Tailgaters is primarily a sports bar, and one of the few places in the area that you can happily root for the New York Giants in public, as owner Ari Fraggias is a lifelong fan (Go, Big Blue!). And while the bar area is where most of the action is, they do boast a separate dining room as well. They also boast what I believe to be the best burger in all of South Jersey. It’s called the American Classic and it is a wonder of culinary simplicity. A half pound, 100 percent Angus beef patty topped with American cheese, lettuce, tomato and raw onion and rests on a perfectly-squishy brioche bun. I always add a few slices of their thick-cut hickory brown sugar bacon for $1.99, plus ketchup and mayo. And I make sure to get it medium rare as this is one of the few spots that nails a perfect medium rare burger every time. Upon entering I knew I was going to order one, but we decided to grab drinks first.

What I got

The beer selection at Tailgaters is well rounded and packed with a variety of craft beers, many of them local brews like Tomfoolery and Slack Tide Brewing Company. Each of us got one, and everyone was satisfied. I love the fact that good beer has become so accessible in the last decade. I went with a Yard’s Brawler, which was reasonably priced at $6. A nutty, full-flavored beer, perfect for a February night, my only regret was that I had to get it in bottle form as it’s not available on tap at Tailgaters.

The list of apps piqued our interest, so the five of us ended up grabbing an order of the buffalo chicken dip for the table. Served in a crock encircled with a bounty of multi-colored tortilla chips, this dip is decadent to say the least. A mild, almost sweet-flavored buffalo ranch sauce perfectly complements the shredded chicken, while a roof of cheddar cheese seals the crock at the top. Thick and hearty, a spoon was needed for proper dipping and before long, every last bit was gone. At $8.99 (split five ways) you can’t beat it.

Finally, it was time for my burger. I had built it up in my mind all day and it did not disappoint one bit. In fact, it may have been better than I remembered and at $11.99 with bacon a side of fries, it was more than affordable. To be clear, the menu at Tailgaters is full of more exotic and complex burger choices, but I can’t find a good reason to mess with perfection.

The total

A $6 beer, $1.80 worth of a shared app and an incredible $11.99 burger ($9.99 if you don’t get the bacon add-on) all adds up to $19.79. Just under the $20 threshold. I could have possibly gotten more food had I indulged in a pair of their $5 Tuesday night pizzas, but this column is not always about quantity. And on this day, it was all about that burger. Craving demolished; mission accomplished.

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