I’ve always been a burger fiend. I grew up on hamburgers. As an only child who was lovingly catered to, I ate out most nights of the week. My favorite was a plain double cheeseburger from McDonald’s. Since I ordered “plain,” my burger was a “grill” order, meaning it wasn’t pre-made so when we went through the drive-thru, my mom had to pull over to the side as I waited for my special burger to keep the queue behind us from getting delayed. At some point, a manager there started recognizing our car and would get my special cheeseburger started before we even got to the speaker board, and my cheesy, salty burger would be ready and waiting by the time we made it to the second window.
I’m still one of the pickiest eaters that I know, but my palate has certainly matured since my Mickey Dee’s days. There’s no way I’d ask for a plain burger now (although I still like my hot dogs bare – just meat and bun), and I shouldn’t have to. Not with the wealth of burger choices in Southern California. Of course, I am limited by the fact that I stopped eating red meat some time ago (though it’s not a hard and fast rule or something I believe sacrilegious – if and when I find myself at Father’s Office, I’m sure I’ll be easily nudged into trying their renowned Office Burger); but I refuse to let that stop me from defining for myself a list of Dianderthal-Rated burgers. And also, burger’s best friend – the fry – deserves some review as I’ve been known to go days eating nothing but fried potatoes for dinner.
While I already have a few favorite burgers and fries on my list which I’ll discuss in future posts, the official Quest launched today with a visit to Burger City Grill. I dragged along with me my youngest kid (still in her plain hamburger stage) and met my homie Jeannine and her daughter Kennedy at BCG’s Downey location, a mere 19 minutes from home.
The verdict? Overall, my experience was a pleasant one. Service was friendly, parking easy, ambiance contemporary. It’s a nice place grab a burger and a beer. My turkey burger was tasty enough, but slightly on the dry side (as turkey burgers tend to be). This fact was not covered up by the gooey mess I made with the generous amount of sauce and grilled onions on it (although I’m responsible for the ketchup). I usually don’t have a problem with messy burgers, but this one was a little much. And while I believed the bun might be one of those magical puffs of bread that made a good burger great, it wasn’t as soft as I’d hoped – stiff bun, stiff burger, all slippy and slidy. I can’t be mad at the flavors, though. Jules Winnfield from Pulp Fiction might just reply “Now, that’s a tasty burger” if he were to try one.
The highlight of the afternoon was my order of fries, greasy and crisp – just the way I like them. They sort of reminded me of the fries from Islands Restaurant, especially when I dipped them in my (complimentary) Ranch dressing (sometimes, they want to nickel and dime you on the Ranch). While I would surely go back to Burger City Grill if in the neighborhood, I might make a special trip up to Downey specifically for the fries.
Burger City Grill
8260 Firestone Blvd.
Downey, CA 90241
Second location in Lomita
Official Dianderthal Burger Quest Burger List:
1. Burger City Grill (The BCG, turkey patty,
pickles, grilled onions)
1. Burger City Grill fries
More burgers and fries to come!!