Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Burgers of Burbank (Part 4)

Greetings, Readers!

Recently, while in the pursuit of the best Burgers in Burbank, Bryan (@818NewGuy) and I embarked on our most dangerous leg of the tour.

We tried FIVE different burgers in one day.

Actually FIVE different burgers in about two hours.

But that's another story for another day...well, the next five weeks I should say.

For this week though, I wanted to focus on a restaurant that I have passed by numerous times while living in the area but never actually got around to stopping in until recently: Mo's Fine Food.

While burgers aren't the only thing on their menu, or even the biggest section, it is obvious that this restaurant treats crafting their burgers like an art form.

We selected the Menage a Trois burger, a thick and juicy patty topped with a healthy dose of avocado, Swiss cheese and bacon (the Trois).

From the first bite of this burger, it was evident that it was bound for greatness. The half of an avocado on the top provided a very subtle buttery flavor with an incredibly smooth and creamy texture. The bacon with its smoky flavor was well cooked, but not done to a crisp. The Swiss cheese was thoroughly melted and added its signature smoky flavor. The lettuce on top of all of that added a bit of textural crunch and freshness.

All of that was delicious, and we haven't even discussed the main star of the sandwich: the beef.

A little pink on the inside, this was one of the juiciest and most delicious burgers I've had in quite some time and definitely the best burger thus far on this adventure. The flavor of the certified Angus beef here is stellar and despite the flavorful other ingredients, shines through at the same time as blending well with everything involved in this sandwich.

This was a handmade patty that was crafted with love for the art of burgers and it shows in every aspect of this sandwich. Even an excellent bun was selected for this as it held together easily until the end.

Applause is in order here as Mo's not only rocked with the burger, but also provides a great place to relax and enjoy some food after work. Low key atmosphere and dimmed lighting topped off what was already a great burger outing.

But let's not stop here simply because we've found an excellent example of a burger. There are still so many yet to come.

Until next week, Readers...

Menage a Trois Burger
Mo's Fine Food
4301 Riverside Drive
Burbank, CA 91505

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Burgers of Burbank (Part 3)

Welcome back, Readers!

Have you been waiting over the past seven days for this adventure into the Burgers of Burbank to continue?

Well, Part 3 is finally here and it's a good one.

When Bryan and I had originally gone on our sandwiches of Burbank adventure last year, one place we stopped at was Moore's Delicatessen in Burbank, so when we heard their had a delicious burger on their menu as well, it seemed like a good idea to stop there.

Setting down at a table with beers, we waited for the Deli Burger, a fairly straightforward burger with cheddar cheese, pickles and arugula on a toasted sesame bun.

For such a simple burger, this is definitely one to write home about. The cheese was thoroughly melted with the bite of sharp cheddar. The arugula added a bit of fresh flavor, though having been on the burger (possibly on top of the burger while on the grill) it came off a little wilted and hence a lot less crunch than could be expected. Not exactly a negative though as the light green flavor was still there.

The burger patty itself is what's really on display here, which should always be the case. Vibrant meaty flavor permeates the burger, even rising above the sharp cheddar cheese. A hint of smoke and a medium cooked middle with a lightly charred outside made this a top burger so far on our trip.

So it seems that Moore's is more than just a great deli, it looks like they also make a pretty great burger too.

Well that marks the end of this week, but we are far from the end of the Burgers of Burbank tour. Do you have any suggestions for us to add to our list?

I'm curious if anyone knows of a vegan/vegetarian "burger". Let me know if you do.

Until next week...

Deli Burger
**** Stars
Moore's Delicatessen
271 E. Orange Grove Ave.
Burbank, CA

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Burgers of Burbank (Part 2)

Greetings, Readers!

Welcome back for the second of many installments on the Burgers of Burbank. For those of you reading this article first, I am on the hunt for some of the best  burgers in Burbank with writer Bryan Mahoney of The Burbank Leader.

Last week's burger was a bit disappointing, and after we left Alameda Liquor we quickly tried to forget about it with a new offering from a recommended place.

The Cafe Victory is a tiny restaurant we almost drove past twice without noticing because of it being on a quiet stretch of Victory Blvd. South and hidden behind a tree. A very inconspicuous place indeed.

Despite being in a less-traveled part of town, The Cafe Victory was packed. Speaking with the owner Rogel during our meal we found out that a lot of his customers are from his previous restaurant in Burbank and  followed him to his new establishment.

Dedicated patrons? Sounds like the food could be worth the visit.

We ordered two different burgers for this stop: A regular cheeseburger and a Kobe Burger.

I think most people would imagine that the Kobe Burger would be the clear winner over a regular cheeseburger. Surprisingly this was not the case.

The Kobe Burger with its blue cheese, grilled onions, and lettuce was simple and enjoyable but nothing incredibly memorable. The burger's flavor wasn't very strong and easily overpowered by the blue cheese. Not bad, but definitely not a standout on the menu.

The straightforward offering of the Cheeseburger fared significantly better though. The cheddar cheese was melted thoroughly, essentially encasing the savory and thick beef patty. Even with the lettuce and pickles on top, the savory deliciousness of the beef and smoothness of the cheddar shone through and complemented each other thoroughly.

So while the Kobe burger didn't live up to expectation, the Cheeseburger was definitely a nice surprise, and well worth a trip back to The Cafe Victory. Not only the food, but also the great service, and attentiveness by the owner himself, makes this little cafe definitely worth finding in Burbank.

So week two has proven much more promising than the last, but this is still the beginning of the long road to find some of the best burgers in Burbank. For those in the area, please let me know your recommendations, and all of my Readers, let me know what your favorite burger is from your town. You never know when I might make it out to write about it.

Until next week...

Cheeseburger **** Stars
Kobe Burger  *** Stars
The Cafe Victory
1608 Victory Blvd.
Burbank, CA

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Burgers of Burbank (Part 1)

Greetings, Readers!

I hope you are sitting down, because today begins the trek through Burbank as Bryan Mahoney (@818NewGuy) and I try to find some of the best burgers in town.

Prior to the start of our expedition we planned out nearly 30 different places in Burbank that had a burger listed on their menu. Even diners were suggested for the list, as long as the burger was promoted as their best item, not just if it made an appearance.

So this past weekend we decided to make our first dent in the list and stopped at Alameda Liquor, which is a liquor store that has a grill right inside the front door.

Not wanting to fill up on our first stop, we decided to try the single cheeseburger and split it.

While waiting though we were told by a regular customer that the real sandwich to try would be the Double Pastrami with everything on it (note to self: get double pastrami later today).

The burger was really nothing to write home about. An incredibly thin patty, overloaded with mayo, ketchup and mustard with a little lettuce, pickles and onions underneath, we were left very unsatisfied and comparing this sandwich to a basic Burger King burger.

And if you like that sort of burger, and wanted to support a local business at the same time, this may be the one for you.

I suggested that maybe a double cheeseburger would have given us more meat flavor, since the taste of the patty was barely recognizable under all of those condiments, but i also feared this would just provide more room for more condiments to be added.

Okay, so should we have expected more from a grill inside of a liquor store? Maybe not, but you know, sometimes incredible sandwiches can be found in the least likely of places.

It may not have been the best start to our journey, but the good news is that it can only get better from here on out, and next week's blog will show you a shining example of a great Burbank burger.

Until next week...

Cheeseburger (sans tomatoes)
* 1/2 Stars
Alameda Liquor
929 S. Victory Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91502