Hamburgers are as popular as ever. For the burger-obsessed, San Diegans have many burger joints to satisfy the hunger. I chose five burger restaurants to review- Rocky’s Crown Pub, 10 Barrel Brewing, Burger Lounge, Butcher and Cheese, and Boomerangs.
Rocky’s Crown Pub in Pacific Beach has been a local favorite for over 40 years. The burgers at Rocky’s are SO good, there’s usually a line of people waiting around the corner for a table or barstool to open up. I waited about 10 minutes, and the burger was worth the wait. The burgers are delicious, even without the labels of “organic grass-fed” or “gourmet” but whatever the Rocky’s burger is made from exactly, doesn’t matter a bit. My third pound burger was thick and juicy with the perfect ground beef texture and amazing flavor. The fries are mid-size, they’re not shoe strings, but they’re not fat steak fries. They’re crunchy with just the right amount of greasiness- not dry, but not oily.
I wouldn’t normally venture downtown for just a hamburger, but a friend told me about 10 Barrel Brewing in the East Village. The menu is on the gourmet end of the burger spectrum. My hamburger was half Wagyu beef and half ground chuck, resulting in a fantastic burger. More evidence of the gourmet-level burger was the little ramekin that the ketchup was served in, and the locally baked Sadie Rose bun. The substantial bun held up nicely to all of the ketchup that I drenched my burger in. This was a hearty, high-quality burger with excellent flavor. The fries were crunchy but tender on the inside. For my taste, the fries needed to be a little greasier to catch the sprinkle of salt. There’s a fine line between too greasy and just-right greasy. Regardless, the hamburger at 10 Barrel was definitely worth the drive downtown.
Boomerangs Gourmet Burger Joint in Clairemont has an extensive menu with so many tempting choices. The stuffed Black Angus burger is unlike any other burger I’ve had. After biting into this large hamburger, the white cheddar, red onions, and garlic oozed out of the center in a viscous river of cheesy goodness. The stuffed burger was delicious. The list of ingredients you can put into the burger is long and unusual-gruyere cheese, peanut butter, zucchini, roasted corn, and even sun-dried cranberry spread. The Kitchen Sink is a one pound burger made with either beef, lamb, ground turkey, or buffalo, stuffed with your choice of fillings. Crispy bacon and carmelized onions will be my stuffing of choice the next time I go to Boomerangs.
The newest of the burger joints is Butcher and Cheese in the Clairemont Square shopping center. My “good ol’ burger” was made from grass-fed beef with a touch of seasoning and salt. You can order your burger cooked how you like it, even rare. This is the last burger place I know of that will cook a rare burger, so it was a treat to have my burger medium rare. The flavor of the high-quality meat can really be appreciated when the burger is on the rare side. The fries have a great, tangy seasoning, similar to curly-fry seasoning, but more subtle, and with little green flecks of parsley. The burger at Butcher and Cheese is great. This one is worth a second trip.
To further check out these joints, here are the web addresses: