Grub Burger Bar
After hearing rave reviews from family and friends about the Grub Burger Bar grand opening, we decided to try it the next day. The restaurant is quite bigger than I expected and it was packed with hungry customers lining out the door. Fortunately it didn't take that long to reach the ordering counter, with just enough time to browse through the entire food and bar menus.
While we waited in line, the staff were passing out free samples of their milkshake drinks to try! Yum =)
There were plenty of seats on the inside of the restaurant with additional space in the patio and bar area. Even during the dinner rush, there was always tables cleaned and opening up so we didn't spend extra time hunting down a table.
It was still happy hour so we decided to take advantage of their $5.50 special drink prices. Lynn ordered the Boozy Mint Chocolate Chip (middle) which is a shake made with vodka, creme de cacao, creme de menthe and Andes mints. It had a stronger alcoholic presence than I would expect for a shake beverage but we're not going to complain! The best part for Lynn was the chunks of chocolate at the bottom. The drink was able to hold its temperature pretty well throughout a meal considering the hot summer heat we've been having lately.
The other drink we ordered was the Back Porch Punch (left). This drink is one of their signature cocktails and is basically a rum punch. Unfortunately, this drink tasted a little too light for me. It needs more rum!
We can't help ourselves whenever we see a menu with Brussels Sprouts so we decided to see how they were here. The brussels sprouts were roasted perfectly with a nice texture and the right amount of firmness. The dressing they mixed into it was an ancho lime vinaigrette. Lynn loved the zestiness of this one but I thought they could do with a little less of the vinaigrette.
A lot of staff members claimed that the Guacapotle burger was their favorite among the top sellers. It comes with chipotle aioli, cheddar cheese, and homemade guacamole. And you know what? It was amazing! Even though they cook their burgers medium-well, the meat patty was plenty juicy and tender. It is a relatively simple burger with a few ingredients but that is what makes it great. The good chunk of homemade guacamole and the chipotle aioli sauce really shine through to make this my favorite here.
The other burger ordered was the Lockhart Legend which is essentially a Texas BBQ style burger with applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce (say whaa?), two onion rings, and sliced dill pickles. It is strange that they would use the name Lockhart because (at least for me) I associate that town with their famous brisket restaurants. So I initially imagined a BBQ brisket burger until I read the list of ingredients on the menu.
The burger meat was a little dry when compared to the Guacapotle but the melted cheddar and BBQ sauce saved the day. The huge onion rings had a thick shell but easy crunch to them. Bacon was nice but doesn't compare to homemade Apple and Hickory Wood Smoked Maple Infused Super Bacon I made over the weekend. It's probably not a fair comparison but I've spoiled myself with pork belly awesomeness.
Fries were slightly thinner than your average restaurant or fast food fries. It was on the plainer side for me but became wonderful once dipped in the house chipotle ketchup sauce. We also tried some other sauces including Jalapeno Ranch and the Mississippi Comeback sauce. Both of those were okay to me and didn't go with the fries or burger. They're probably better for salad menu items.
There were a few other burgers on the menu that caught my eye for next time. These include the Mac 'n' Cheeseburger (macaroni and cheese, duh!), Scorpion (pepper jack cheese, Trinidad Moruga scorpion sauce and grilled jalapenos), and Hippie Chickpea (chickpea and eggplant with roasted red pepper, arugula, cucumbers, red onions, goat cheese, and avocado). If the Guacapotle and Lockhart Legend are indications of the quality of the burgers here, then I can't wait to come back and try these other items. Cheers!
Grub Burger Bar
12045 Carmel Mountain Rd
San Diego CA 92128