Mo's Burgers & Brew in Gales Ferry enters the local burger race

The Farmer Mo: According to the menu, it's "definitely not for a guy who makes spreadsheets for a living." Peter Huoppi/The Day

When Rick Koster and I saw an advertisement boasting "Tried Five Guys? Now taste how a burger should!" we knew that a trip to Mo's Burgers & Brew in Gales Ferry was in our future. Rick and I, along with our pal Katie Warchut, had previously undertaken a careful examination of the relative merits of the Five Guys and Jake's Wayback franchises in Mystic. Five Guys, along with the turkey burger at Bobby's Burger Palace, have become my local favorites.

Mo's, located on Route 12 in Gales Ferry in the former Raya's, has barely been open a week. With a counter on one side and billiards and darts on the other, the atmosphere is a mix of diner and roadhouse. The open concrete floor, with amplifiers stashed in the corner, hints at a healthy nightlife.

For me, burgers have always been a conveyance for toppings. If you served me a plain patty from a gourmet restaurant next to one from a fast food chain, I'm not sure my palate would be educated enough to pick a favorite. I'd actually prefer the patty be about 25% of the burger's mass, with the rest reserved for bun and toppings. (For the record, my favorite burger ever was the Cheesus Burger – a patty between two grilled cheese sandwiches served at The Great Lost Bear in Portland, Me.) So I was thrilled to see Mo's extensive menu of 30 different burgers.

I went with the Farmer Mo, a burger wedged between a hash brown and onion rings served a French toast-style bun. Rick ordered the Santa Fe burger, which was topped with queso sauce, jalapenos and corn chips. Neither of us was disappointed.

The menu also includes a selection of appetizers, pizzas and grinders, but I'll be going back for the burgers. Next on my list are the Gorgon - a burger stuffed with gorgonzola, and the Atlanta – which comes topped with fried macaroni and cheese. I think I'll be skipping the Mo-fo – a $19.99 two-pound burger with a salad bowl's worth of toppings including a fried egg. If you finish it in one sitting, it's on Mo.

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