A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from February 20, 2009
Murder Burger

"Murder Burger” is sold at the First Way Deli ("Home of the Murder Burger") in the Bronx, at 1030 East Tremont Avenue and West Farms. The deli’s “Murder Burger” was the subject of an article in the November 11, 2003 New York (NY) Times and was defined as: “Half a pound of ground beef mixed with bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, adobo spice mix, milk, eggs and a dash of Accent seasoning cooked to succulence atop the skillet and served on a kaiser roll with onions, relish and secret sauce.” There are several explanations behind the “Murder Burger” name: (1) The deli’s former owner was a killer; (2) there was a murder in the area in the 1980s; (3) the burger is so big, it’ll kill you ("to die for"); and (4) the burger kills your hunger.

A “Murder Burger” restaurant (not affiliated with the First Way Deli) in Davis, California, opened in 1986. In 2001, in response to objections about the business’s name, the restaurant was renamed “Redrum Burger” ("redrum" is “murder” spelled backwards). The restaurant’s slogan has been that its burgers are “to die for.”

In the 1980s, stock traders nicknamed McDonald’s stock “murder burger.”

White Castle’s small-sized hamburgers—called “sliders” or “slyders”—have also been called “murder burgers” since at least 1993.

The first recorded citation of “murder burger” appearing in the New York (NY) Times is a 1977 story about a sidewalk salesman selling “murder burgers” at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

A 2003 book stated that the Riker’s Island prison guards call their unappetizing prison hamburgers “murder burgers.”


Urban Dictionary
murder burgers
white castle hamburgers or cheeseburgers
damn, i got the runs because i ate those murder burgers.
by jusenee Jan 12, 2006

Urban Dictionary
Murder-Burger
Noun.
(1) A small hamburger or cheese burger with chopped onions as made by the White Castle hamburger chain.
(2) Any hamburger or cheese burger that not only fills you up and gives you extremely bad flatulence—but one that empties you out as well.
(3) A burger that gives you really bad gas and is definitely even better when it’s on the way out.
(4) Hamburgers or cheese burgers that “go through you for a short-cut.”
After a late night of hard drinkin’ we stumbled to the Castle for some bags of Murder-Burgers.
“Honey, can you get me another roll of T.P.? I’m tryin’ to get rid of last nights Murder-Burgers.”

by ptamaro Aug 23, 2007

Redrum Burger - Davis Wiki
Redrum Burger, formerly named and occasionally still called Murder Burger, serves up a wide selection of food, and is a Davis tradition. Prices generally aren’t cheap for a burger joint/diner, but you get what you pay for in quantity, atmosphere and uniqueness. They have all sorts of traditional burgers, along with ostrich burgers, huge (1 lb) burgers, fried calamari, milkshakes and much more. They can make any shake you can imagine, and put cheese on everything.

One truly amazing item they sell is the ZOOM, yes ZOOM! It stands for Zucchini Onion Rings and Mushrooms. All heavily breaded and deep fried. Can you feel your heart tensing at the thought of that onslaught of healthy stuff? If you do get a ZOOM, don’t plan on finishing anything you order, this thing is HUGE.

The enormous one pound burger is served only as a combo, with fries and a drink. It’s about $11.50.

12 October 1977, New York (NY) Times, “Caribbean Delicacies At the Old Navy Yard"by Patricia Wells, pg. 64:
One sidewalk salesman cooks and wraps with foil about 100 hamburgers each morning, fills his metal shopping cart with them and is off to sell his “murder burgers”—huge meat patties served on a roll with a sprinkling of Tabasco sauce. The cart serves as his “table” and a metal folding chair is set up for condiments.

Google Books
Business Week
Published by McGraw-Hill, 1989
Item notes: no.3113-3121 1989 Jul-Aug
Pg. 88:
Included are traders’ names for stocks:...and Murder Burgers (McDonald’s).

Google Groups: rec.arts.comics.misc
Newsgroups: rec.arts.comics.misc
From: (James S. Ottaviani)
Date: 24 Mar 1993 15:01:32 GMT
Local: Wed, Mar 24 1993 9:01 am
Subject: Evan Dorkin, The Usenet Interview -1-

Devotees all make up pet names for them—“sliders”, “murder-burgers”, my mom calls ‘em “snake burgers”. Sarah despises them. To those who don’t know, Castles (burgers) are small and square so you have to eat about eight-ten of them.

Google Groups: alt.fan.dan-quayle
Newsgroups: alt.fan.dan-quayle
From: (Jason Christian)
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 1993 20:13:25 GMT
Local: Fri, Nov 12 1993 2:13 pm
Subject: Re: DanFest update

Please relay to the other scoundrels in attendance that I’d like to show any travellers up I-80 where to get a good cup of ultra-high-octane coffee here in Davis (and note: the best hamburgers in California are to be found in Davis, either right off 80, the Downtown exit, at Murder-Burger ("they’re to die for"), or at (no kidding) Ali Baba’s Middle Eastern Cuisine, near campus on 3rd Street.)

Google Groups: rec.food.cooking
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking
From: (Richard Lorber)
Date: 6 Jul 1994 20:20:35 -0400
Local: Wed, Jul 6 1994 6:20 pm
Subject: Re: White Castles

We called them “Murder Burgers”.

Google Books
Using Enlgish
from conversation to canon

By Janet Maybin and Neil Mercer
New York, NY: Routledge
1996
Pg. 114:
The derogatory aspect of many nicknames for stocks—Slob for Schlumberger, Murder Burgers for McDonalds, Bare Ass for Boeing - is part of the macho, rebellious persona traders cultivate.

New York (NY) Daily News
OF MICE & MEALS FOR KIDS HEY, THERE’S A BOLT IN MY FISH LUNCH
By Laura Williams and Jeff Simmons
Thursday, May 23th 1996, 2:00AM
Derrick Harden stopped buying lunch in the school cafeteria after he found a bolt in his fish. “It was greasy,” the 15-year-old freshman at Brooklyn’s New Utrecht High School said yesterday. “It was about an inch long and it was poking out.”

City health inspectors have cited New Utrecht for 16 health code violations, and students say the food tastes bad and is downright dangerous. “It’s half-cooked burger meat that’s what I call the murder burger special,” said Luni Soto, 17.

Village Voice - Long Island Voice
Dish
Left Holding a Bag

Ron M. Beigel
Tuesday, December 21st 1999
(...)
Half the shoppers in the mall are carrying bags of half-eaten food from the Cheesecake Factory. An appetizer called Roadside Sliders ($5.95) is four mini-burgers with grilled onion and pickles. Larger than White Castle “Murder Burgers,” they’re the proverbial meal-in-itself. French fried onion strings ($5.95) are a foot-high pile that come with a yogurt dipping sauce.

31 March 2001, Sacramento (CA) Bee, “No more Murder Burger,” pg. D2:
Murder Burger, the popular restaurant with one outlet each in Davis and Rocklin, is changing its name.

Owner Jim Edlund, who had been licensing the name from founder Ron Howell, said the move was prompted by a failure to agree on the value of the name. Howell started the diner 15 years ago in Davis and retains rights to the Murder Burger name.

So Edlund has launched a contest to select a new restaurant name.

11 May 2001, Sacramento (CA) Bee, “Burgers to redrum for,” pg. TK26:
The restaurant business can be...well, murder. It also can be kind of fun, as recent events have shown.

I’m referring to The Restaurant Formerly Known As Murder Burger, in Davis. It recently changed its name to Redrum Burger, which is “murder” spelled backwards, and which immediately made us think of that kid from the horror movie “The Shining.” “Redrum! Redrum!” he shrieked to his mother, endlessly,

Google Books
Complete Idiot’s Guide to Your Civil Liberties
By Michael Levin
Published by Alpha Books
2003
Pg. 175:
Prison fare is not especially appealing. Your author has eaten hamburgers made by inamtes at Riker’s Island in New York City. The guards call these hamburgers “murder burgers,” and with good reason. They make you long for McDonald’s.

everything2
Murder Burger
(place) by notanerd Sun Jun 29 2003 at 7:18:00
Murder Burger is a restaurant in Davis, California. They also have a place out in Rocklin, east of Sacramento. Actually they changed their name to Redrum Burger recently. I think because some other guy owned the Murder Burger name. They had a naming competition for the new name. The winner got free food for life. I guess that’s not such a great deal ‘cause if your eating greasy burgers every day your lifespan is probably not too long…

Anyway, Murder Burger is right off the downtown Davis exit of Interstate 80. Quality huge burgers, baskets of fries and great natural milkshakes, though a bit pricey. They are also famous for their ostrich burgers, the new red meat, which taste great.

If you stop by, make sure you buy a t-shirt which has their great logo with the checkered flag background. It’s essential to the wardrobe of any University of California, Davis alumni.

New York (NY) Times
West Farms Journal; Does a Burger Slay Hunger Or Reflect a Violent Past?
By ALAN FEUER
Published: November 11, 2003
The Murder Burger—half a pound of ground beef mixed with bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, adobo spice mix, milk, eggs and a dash of Accent seasoning cooked to succulence atop the skillet and served on a kaiser roll with onions, relish and secret sauce—has not changed much since the First-Way Deli in the Bronx first put it on the menu nearly 20 years ago.

But while the recipe, which has been handed down from cook to cook as culinary lore, has finally settled into orthodoxy now, the question of its name has evidently not.

Some people on East Tremont Avenue—where the First-Way, according to its awning, calls itself ‘’The Home of the Murder Burger’’—say that in the early 1980’s, a fatal shooting occurred outside the deli and that the burger was created in memory of the dead.

In a slightly different version of the story, others say that the deli’s first owner was himself a killer and that a subsequent proprietor made up the sandwich as a form of hamburger homage.
(...)
The one man missing in this crowd was the deli’s former owner, Thomas Colon Jr., who is widely credited with creating the Murder Burger. Reached on his cellphone later that day, Mr. Colon said that his father, Thomas Sr., cooked the first Murder Burger.

‘’He got the name from his customers,’’ said Mr. Colon…

Gothamist.com
Murder They Ate
In one area of the Bronx, there is the Murder Burger at the First Way Deli. The Times Alan Feuer investigates the meaning behind the name of this intimidating burger: “Half a pound of ground beef mixed with bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, adobo spice mix, milk, eggs and a dash of Accent seasoning cooked to succulence atop the skillet and served on a kaiser roll with onions, relish and secret sauce.” Possibilities for the name:

- The deli’s former owner was a killer, so later owners created this “burger homage.”
- There was a killing outside the deli during the 80s.
- The burger is so good, it’s murder: One customer tells Feuer, “You know how some people say, `Man, that’s bad,’ when they really mean it’s good? Well, it’s the same thing here. These burgers are so big and so good they kill you. You eat a Murder Burger and it murders you.” Another says, “It kills your hunger.”

The Murder Burger, plus an order of French fries and a 20-ounce drink, costs $4.25. Damn, that’s cheaper than the Corner Bistro’s Bistro burger, but the Corner Bistro is so conveniently located. And there’s bacon. Mmm...bacon.
By Jen Chung in Food on November 11, 2003 11:56 AM

New York (NY) Times
Where Burgers, and Sometimes Trouble, Beckon
By COREY KILGANNON
Published: February 3, 2006
The searing images of violence Saturday at a White Castle in the Bronx where an off-duty police officer was shot by another officer had a familiar backdrop: the blue and white faux-ramparts that are well known to anyone who has ever capped off a boozy evening by ordering up a sackful of little square burgers.

White Castles open 24 hours a day have long been a siren for off-kilter customers looking to cap off their evening by gulping down sodas and devouring Slyders, the restaurant’s signature burgers, also known by some people as murder burgers or gut busters. They are served with onions and pickles and often consumed in sufficient quantity to sop up a bellyful of beer.

New York (NY) Post
HIDDEN BRONX
GET TO KNOW N.Y.C.�S ONLY MAINLAND BOROUGH
By C.J. SULLIVAN
August 9, 2007
First Way Deli This little-known deli is home to the infamous “Murder Burger.” They serve about 500 of them each week. Locals will tell you the dish was named for a murder committed on the corner in the 1980s. Deli staff laugh that off and say the name came about because the burger is so big it could kill you: a half-pound of beef mixed with breadcrumbs, eggs, Worcestershire sauce and Accent cooked on a skillet and served on a roll with relish, onions and secret sauces - for $3! 1030 Tremont Ave., West Farms; (718) 842-2571; 2, 5 to East Tremont Avenue/West Farms Square

A Hamburger Today
Murder Burger’s Funny, Atypically Detailed ‘Staff Wanted’ Sign
Posted by Robyn Lee, September 17, 2008 at 11:00 AM
Murder Burger in Auckland, New Zealand, may have the best “Staff Wanted” sign ever
(...)
COMMENTS
Murder burger is a colloquialism for white castle around here (bed-stuy, clinton hill), for a much different reason. It’s still worth it though.
kiteless at 4:02PM on 09/17/08

(Trademark)
Word Mark MURDER BURGER
Goods and Services (CANCELLED) IC 042. US 100. G & S: RESTAURANT AND CARRY-OUT SERVICES. FIRST USE: 19860602. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19860602
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 73611195
Filing Date July 24, 1986
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition December 30, 1986
Registration Number 1434346
Registration Date March 24, 1987
Owner (REGISTRANT) MURDER BURGER, INC. CORPORATION CALIFORNIA 978 OLIVE DRIVE DAVIS CALIFORNIA 95616
Attorney of Record LEWIS ANTEN
Disclaimer NO CLAIM IS MADE TO THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE “BURGER” APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN
Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Affidavit Text SECT 15. SECT 8 (6-YR).
Live/Dead Indicator DEAD
Cancellation Date December 29, 2007

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Friday, February 20, 2009 • Permalink