San Diego Burger Week 2015 - recap
Burger much? You could have gone CRAZY during San Diego Burger Week! San Diego CityBeat ran this burger promo that included 50+ restaurants with... FIVE DOLLAR BURGERS! Not fast food five dollars but gourmet must get in my belly kinda burgers. Foodie blogger that I am, I took this as a challenge... how would this year compare to last year's San Diego burger week? You're about to find out!
On Friday, the first day of the promo, Dennis was still recovering from being sick so we went local. It's been years since we last visited Callahans but this seemed reason enough.
We started with the Burger in a Basket combo with half fries/half tots plus a choice of beer. The burger itself was rather simple though and ketchup became my add-on. The steak fries are a little thick and clunkier than I prefer but tator tots disappeared rapidly. I'm a sucker for tots I found. I'm still digging the blueberry wheat beer here too.
Dennis ordered the Club Callahan (12.59) and added a cup of Jalapeno Beer Cheese Soup (0.99). He wasn't completely ready to burger at this point but he would be soon...
This restaurant had three different burger flavors available for the promo so we took the bro and his gf out for dinner on Saturday.
The Texas Burger (left) and the Cajon Burger (right) were the $5 specials. The texas one wasn’t as special or rocking as I had hoped... it just seemed to be a burger with some so-so BBQ sauce on it. Maybe it needed a giant onion ring! The cajon one fared much better. It had a little creole in there but not any heat. The grilled onions were the best part of that. The buns and patties for both tasted fine.
My brother got the Buffalo Burger Combo ($10) that came with fries. It was a bit too lean and not really anything I’d pay retail 11.99 for! I actually think the fries here were my favorite part of the meal. They weren’t the best ever but pretty tasty and well seasoned for both fries and sweet potato fries. Also, the upgrade cost for sweet potatoe fries is only 0.50! Quite reasonable!
Rosie O’ Grady’s
On Monday, I met up with a friend at The Rabbit Hole but came to find out they wouldn't have meat until 2pm. Across the street was Rosie's so there we went! Two sliders for $5. Not a super deal but a good way to sample burgers before ordering the whole thing!
I chose the Bleu Cheese slider (left) and the BBQ slider (right). First bite of the BBQ one made me very happy, well seasoned meat cooked just right and on a perfectly toasted mini bun. A few tasty bites later it was all gone. I gave the bleu cheese slider a try but as I anticipated, I am still not a fan of bleu cheese (not the fault of the burger). Maybe one of these days I'll find something that helps me with that!
My friend got the spicy slider and the BMS burger. I said outloud that it must be bacon mushroom swiss and the bartender was like “OHH! Didn’t realize that was the acronym!” You learn something new every day. =D
I still think about Wing Week often so I ordered the recommended Salt and Pepper Wings. We were in for a surprise when it actually showed up! Green onions and a flavor that you'd expect on some type of asian food. Dumpling dipping sauce came to mind. Decent taste but I still prefer the basic salt and pepper style sans wet sauce. There were 9 wings in an order but they weren’t too big.
Another perk of this visit was meeting Lee, a very cool foodie who had the right idea... running from burger place to burger place. Great way to offset some of those calories!
Common Theory Public House
On Tuesday I got a coworker to join me for lunch near work. I'd only been here once before for wing week.
The CT Burger: arugula, caramelized onions, fresh tomatoes and aged white cheddar. The first bite was solid. I hit all components including some green pesto type sauce under the bun. Too bad it wasn't evenly spread so wasn't consistantly good. The meat itself wasn't seasoned much either but the bread and cheese were toasty melted just right. I need more of that yummy sauce and cheese!
The brother is pretty funny. Him and his gf already tried this place on Saturday but wanted to go AGAIN. So Tuesday we met up for dinner at Bunz.
Cheesy Garlic Burger: beef patty, toasted garlic bread, melted jack cheese, garlic aioli, Ceasar dressing, baby greens. This burger had some goooooood sauce. Nice buns and decent meat. Bro said his burger was more cooked this time so not as good as his first visit. Mine was cooked medium rare and was yummy to me.
The REAL pull of this place was the GARLIC FRIES. The $10 combo came with 3 ounces of fries and a drink, but nooooo the bro got the BUCKET of garlic fries (4.95) instead! Good choice really. All that garlic with sauce was so scrumptious. Hubs wanted to be different and got one of the hot dogs (4.95). It's kind of shocking to me that it's the same price as the burgers (for this promo).
Boomerangs' Gourmet Burgers
It was time for Wednesday hump day with the lunch crew. I've visited here before with coworkers and the hubs so was wondering how it'd turn out this time.
The Bad Breath Burger: a black angus burger, garlic crusted stuffed with garlic, fresh horseradish and gorgonzola cheese topped with grilled onions and garlic horseradish mayo. The burgers at Boomerangs are made with your choice of 'mix-ins' so most of the ingredients were in the patty. I'm glad the gorgonzola flavor wasn't too strong though overall felt my burger was just okay. I was hoping for some garlic POW but it seemed too subtle. Too bad I went to Bunz the previous night... these thicker cut and softer garlic fries just didn't cut it for me.
Sublime North Park
Thursday was my burger break day but Friday we were at it again. I was really curious about this chile relleno burger that foodie Lee had posted on instagram.
Too bad there was a 30 minute wait for them to stuff peppers. We ended up with their other special Slap Yo Mama Burger: Fresh ground steak burger, bacon jam, melted brie, caramelized onion, served on fresh baked bun. The patty was seasoned with good amount of salt and had a nice crust sear on the meat. There were also two squares of cheese on it and carmelized onions. I like the jam on the burger. We dived in hungry!
The peppers were soon ready so we also got our Chile Relleno Burger: ground steak patty (mix of ribeye and chuck), poblano stuffed with chorizo, cotija, and Monterey jack, fried in egg white batter, smoked tomato aioli, sweet pickled red onion, served on brioche bun. That stuffed pepper was sooooo umami but the meat for this one was a little under-seasoned compared to the first. If I could have swapped patties, this would have been perfect. I really want another fried chile relleno...
South Park Abbey
Later that night we went a little further south for burgers AND wings! $10 for the combo is a deal!
The Harris Ranch Beef Burger came plain as pictured above but you could add-on items for an additional charge. Grilled onions were only .50 and were a very generous portion! These were thick and purplish from the carmelizing. The meat was thick yet evenly cooked under a nice sear but seasoning varied a little between sections.Our friend commented that the bread was a little dry and airy. Overall a good burger but not as impressive as I had heard. Did I order wrong?
I actually though the wings were the best part of the meal... Our selections were Honey Habernero Wings (left) and Dirty Wings (right), same flavors we got during the Wing Week. Hmmm, maybe we shouldn't have eaten a deliciously saucy wing right before munching on a burger...
On Sunday we went on a burger crawl. Our first stop was Coin Op, a place with all those old-school arcade machines. A very fun place indeed.
The Coin-Op Burger - Cheddar, Tomato, Lettuce, Grilled onion, and our Coin-Op Sauce. This burger meminds us of In-n-Out with the thousand island style Coin-Op sauce. The gooey cheese with it made for a delicious burger!
Red Wing Bar and Grill
We were about to drive to South Park but hubs said he was starving... why not try Red Wing since we were parked in front!
New Standard Burger - basic delicious Angus Burger on a fresh Sadie Rose Bun. This patty was a tad overshadowed by extra pepper, which you could see upon closer examination. I liked the bread though, sort of like Hawaiian bread but a little more on the buttery side. Soft and fluffy but firm enough. I noticed their Sunday Special is a burger and a 12 domestic beer for $7 so if you miss out on burger week, you can always come back for that.
I saw this on Mary's instagram and really wanted it.
Waffle Burger - Waffle Bun, 100% Chuck Beef, Smokey Tomato Jam, Red Leaf Lettuce, Garlic Sauce, Served w/house pickle. Where'd this beauty come from? Buttered and spongy but firm enough to hold its shape and easy to bite into? Mmm waffle. And that tomato jam oooh. That's how I like my burgers (reminds me of my Fig Burger love at Eureka). And meat was seasoned well too! I think we'll have to come back for breakfast too in the future!
Man I had been wanting the cluckmoo for a while. We were on the last day of the promo and this kept calling to me...
Cluckmoo: a juicy fried chicken breast on top of 8 oz all natural ground beef patty, american cheese, tomatoes, lettuce & red onions, plus homemade spread. I finally got my cluckmoo and it was fried chickeny beef heaven. Maybe this chicken just hit the spot after so much beef in the previous week. Or my love of chicken makes me a bit partial but I was very happy with my burger. On the side is their homemade spread, which was similar to a thousand island flavor. Dunk 'em! Regular menu price is $15 so $5 is such a good price for this burger!
Saltbox Dining & Drinking
This place was only a few blocks away from Henry's Pub. Final stop of burger week. Seriously the last.
Buffalo Burger on focaccia bread with burrata cheese, heirloom tomato and house made pesto. I thought the meat might be dry but boy was I glad to be wrong! Juicy medium rare and beautiful grill lines. There was also a nice creamy sauce to go with this but personally, the hidden red onions threw me off a bit (I'm not a fan). Also the bread was super soft and buttery like a croissant which Dennis thought was fine but it was too soft for my tastes. Still the flavors in here were very good, even after eating so many burgers this past week!
Burger Week is tough... but only if you're trying to eat lots of them without getting burgered out! I visited 13 different locations and tried almost 20 different varieties/flavors. I'd say my personal favorites were the waffle burger from Brabant, the chile relleno burger from Sublime, and the cluckmoo from Henry's Pub. Dennis also likes the buffalo burger from Saltbox as one of his top four. Coin-Op was also a top contender. I'm not the only one who went wild this week though... check out fellow instagrammers leemovic, sdcolleen and hipnodr who burgered hard all this week as well! *foodie love*
Seriously, that's more beef than I eat in a month but we did get to try lots of new restaurants! The next big thing for me will be San Diego Diet Week but that may not last long! ;)