Burger Quest :: Working Class Kitchen

Burger Quest :: Working Class Kitchen

I hadn’t realized how long I’d gone without adding a new burger to my celebrated (by me) Burger Quest list until yesterday when my co-worker/work son William suggested relative newcomer Working Class Kitchen as our destination for lunch. I’d been here for the first time a week or so ago, considering it as a Quest spot after seeing the many mentions of their burger online. With such a long lapse in time since the last Quest venture, I decided to go for it at WCK with their genuine, bona fide Chianina burger made with BEEF, a rate appearance on any Dianderthal list due to my on-again/off-again pescetarianism/semi-vegetarianism habits. Yesterday, it felt wonderful to be off as the Chianina burger was On. Right on, so juicy, so flavorful – the meat tender and succulent, attuned by the vibrant color provided by their scratch-made remoulade and sweetly caramelized onions. And much of the burger’s beauty was in the bun, a not-too-soft split roll dense enough to handle all the juiciness.

working class kitchen Long Beach chianina burger quest

Work son and the rest of my lunchtime pals marveled at the speed at which I finished my burger. Gone in 60 seconds? Pretty close. Probably in five or six healthy bites. Perhaps I almost bit off a couple of my fingers. Made in my hometown, enjoyed outdoors, and paired with a few handfuls of WCK’s divine frites, I was in lunchtime heaven as I savored this meal. Only thing about lunchtime heaven, however, is that it isn’t eternal. After 15 minutes or so, we had to pack it up and head back to the office. At least it was a Friday, giving me the weekend to look forward to.

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I am eternally grateful, though, that a great burger is such a short drive away from my workplace. Now if I can only find a way to make this burger fit into my diet should I resume my sometimes pescetarian ways. Maybe a monthly cheat day will do the trick. Whatever I do, the Burger Quest continues, with WCK shaking things up…

Official Dianderthal Burger Quest Burger List:
1. Hawkins House of Burgers turkey burger with everything (mayo, mustard, pickles, tomato, red onion, lettuce), cheese added
2. The Chianina Burger at Working Class Kitchen with cheese
3. PCB (Plan Check Burger) at Plan Check with americanized dashi cheese, ketchup leather, schmaltz onions, mixed pickles, crunch bun
4. 25 Degrees Number One Burger (turkey subbed for beef) with caramelized onions, crescenza, prelibato gorgonzola, bacon, arugula, thousand island
5. Burger Lounge’s Free Range Turkey Burger, served Lounge Style with organic white cheddar, grilled onion, lettuce, tomato, and house-made 1000 Island
6. Father’s Office Burger with arugula, caramelized onions, Gruyere, applewood bacon, and maytag blue cheese
7. Island’s California Flyer turkey burger (BBQ sauce, “Island Reds” – fried onion straws, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato & mayo)
8.Golden State turkey burger with provolone, lettuce, tomato, red onion, aioli, and ketchup, (added grilled onions)
9. Oh My Burger BYOMB (Build Your Oh My Burger) turkey with OMB sauce, ketchup, pepper jack, and onion rings
10. Holstein’s California Turkey Burger with sprouts, tomato, avocado, cucumber claw, pepperjack cheese, and Russian dressing
11. Yeah! Burger (Make It Your Own – turkey patty, whole wheat bun, pepper jack cheese, sriracha mayo, ketchup, grilled onions, honey mustard)
12. The Habit (Veggie burger made like a Charburger, with mayo, pickle, tomato, lettuce, caramelized onions, cucumber, and sprouts)
13. The Counter (Build Your Own – turkey patty, grilled onions, cheddar cheese, chipotle aioli, ketchup)
14. Burger City Grill (The BCG, turkey patty, pickles, grilled onions)
15. The Dallas at Bobby’s Burger Palace – spice crusted ground turkey patty with coleslaw, jack cheese, BBQ sauce, and pickles

Fry Factor
1. Island’s fries with ranch dressing
2. Golden State fried sweet potato wedges with garlic aioli (and a few with curry ketchup)
3. Working Class Kitchen’s frites
4. Burger Lounge’s fries with house-made Ranch
5. Holstein’s sweet potato fries
6. 25 Degrees Half & Half (sweet potato and regular fries)
7. Father’s Office sweet potato fries with blue cheese aioli
8. The Counter 50-50 fries (half regular, half sweet Ps)
9. Oh My Burger sweet potato fries
10. The Habit french fries
11. Plan Check sweet potato waffle fries and regular fries
12. Bobby’s Burger Palace sweet potato fries
13. Burger City Grill fries
14. Yeah! Burger sweet potato fries
15. Hawkins House of Burgers fries

Working Class Kitchen
1322 Coronado Avenue in Long Beach

Burger Quest :: Working Class Kitchen

Burger Quest :: Working Class Kitchen

I hadn’t realized how long I’d gone without adding a new burger to my celebrated (by me) Burger Quest list until yesterday when my co-worker/work son William suggested relative newcomer Working Class Kitchen as our destination for lunch. I’d been here for the first time a week or so ago, considering it as a Quest spot after seeing the many mentions of their burger online. With such a long lapse in time since the last Quest venture, I decided to go for it at WCK with their genuine, bona fide Chianina burger made with BEEF, a rate appearance on any Dianderthal list due to my on-again/off-again pescetarianism/semi-vegetarianism habits. Yesterday, it felt wonderful to be off as the Chianina burger was On. Right on, so juicy, so flavorful – the meat tender and succulent, attuned by the vibrant color provided by their scratch-made remoulade and sweetly caramelized onions. And much of the burger’s beauty was in the bun, a not-to-soft split roll dense enough to handle all the juiciness.

working class kitchen Long Beach chianina burger quest

Work son and the rest of my lunchtime pals marveled at the speed at which I finished my burger. Gone in 60 seconds? Pretty close. Probably in five or six healthy bites. Perhaps I almost bit off a couple of my fingers. Made in my hometown, enjoyed outdoors, and paired with a few handfuls of WCK’s divine frites, I was in lunchtime heaven as I savored this meal. Only thing about lunchtime heaven, however, is that it isn’t eternal. After 15 minutes or so, we had to pack it up and head back to the office. At least it was a Friday, giving me the weekend to look forward to.

working class kitchen Long Beach chianina burger quest working class kitchen Long Beach chianina burger quest working class kitchen Long Beach chianina burger quest

I am eternally grateful, though, that a great burger is such a short drive away from my workplace. Now if I can only find a way to make this burger fit into my diet should I resume my sometimes pescetarian ways. Maybe a monthly cheat day will do the trick. Whatever I do, the Burger Quest continues, with WCK shaking things up…

Official Dianderthal Burger Quest Burger List:
1. Hawkins House of Burgers turkey burger with everything (mayo, mustard, pickles, tomato, red onion, lettuce), cheese added
2. The Chianina Burger at Working Class Kitchen with cheese
3. PCB (Plan Check Burger) at Plan Check with americanized dashi cheese, ketchup leather, schmaltz onions, mixed pickles, crunch bun
4. 25 Degrees Number One Burger (turkey subbed for beef) with caramelized onions, crescenza, prelibato gorgonzola, bacon, arugula, thousand island
5. Burger Lounge’s Free Range Turkey Burger, served Lounge Style with organic white cheddar, grilled onion, lettuce, tomato, and house-made 1000 Island
6. Father’s Office Burger with arugula, caramelized onions, Gruyere, applewood bacon, and maytag blue cheese
7. Island’s California Flyer turkey burger (BBQ sauce, “Island Reds” – fried onion straws, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato & mayo)
8.Golden State turkey burger with provolone, lettuce, tomato, red onion, aioli, and ketchup, (added grilled onions)
9. Oh My Burger BYOMB (Build Your Oh My Burger) turkey with OMB sauce, ketchup, pepper jack, and onion rings
10. Holstein’s California Turkey Burger with sprouts, tomato, avocado, cucumber claw, pepperjack cheese, and Russian dressing
11. Yeah! Burger (Make It Your Own – turkey patty, whole wheat bun, pepper jack cheese, sriracha mayo, ketchup, grilled onions, honey mustard)
12. The Habit (Veggie burger made like a Charburger, with mayo, pickle, tomato, lettuce, caramelized onions, cucumber, and sprouts)
13. The Counter (Build Your Own – turkey patty, grilled onions, cheddar cheese, chipotle aioli, ketchup)
14. Burger City Grill (The BCG, turkey patty, pickles, grilled onions)
15. The Dallas at Bobby’s Burger Palace – spice crusted ground turkey patty with coleslaw, jack cheese, BBQ sauce, and pickles

Fry Factor
1. Island’s fries with ranch dressing
2. Golden State fried sweet potato wedges with garlic aioli (and a few with curry ketchup)
3. Working Class Kitchen’s frites
4. Burger Lounge’s fries with house-made Ranch
5. Holstein’s sweet potato fries
6. 25 Degrees Half & Half (sweet potato and regular fries)
7. Father’s Office sweet potato fries with blue cheese aioli
8. The Counter 50-50 fries (half regular, half sweet Ps)
9. Oh My Burger sweet potato fries
10. The Habit french fries
11. Plan Check sweet potato waffle fries and regular fries
12. Bobby’s Burger Palace sweet potato fries
13. Burger City Grill fries
14. Yeah! Burger sweet potato fries
15. Hawkins House of Burgers fries

Working Class Kitchen
1322 Coronado Avenue in Long Beach

Burger Quest :: Burger Lounge

Burger Quest :: Burger Lounge

Earlier today, I managed to disappear shortly from Day 2 of my daughter Kourtney’s dance convention. Dance conventions are the purest form of parent torture; as a mom, I’m expected to sit in a congested ballroom watching choreographers cycle through a new dance routine every hour, each using a song you can’t shake out of your head even if you jump up and down like there was water in your ear; and what’s worse, I don’t even get to join in (it’s hard to keep myself seated during the hip hop rotation). When you exit the ballroom, you’re faced with vendors hustling dance apparel and bows and turning boards (literally a 3-by-3 board used for dancers to practice turns) that you’ll be peer pressured into buying if you don’t make a firm commitment to hold on tight to your dollars. On Day 1, I was a good girl, getting work done on my laptop despite the music, going for a 6-mile run around the hotel’s adjacent neighborhood, limiting myself to just one item purchased at the stands, being gracious in offering one floor sitter an empty chair next to me that I’d been using to hold my purse, and only eating the healthy food packed in my lunch bag.

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Today’s experience was quite the opposite. I chatted when I should have been writing, talked myself out of my run (my knee ached from the frigid room), glared at the woman who kept sitting in the chair next to me despite half of my sweater settling on its edge (a clear indication not to sit there), bought yet another item for daughter – one she didn’t even asked for, and rebuffed my healthy lunch of apples and peanut butter, fresh raspberries, and trail mix, deciding instead to find a nearby burger to make up for the awful and dry burger I’d had the night before at a nicer chain restaurant where my husband wanted to go for his birthday dinner.

So my craving warranted a Burger Quest type of burger, and I was happy to find Burger Lounge via a quick search for locations within walking distance from the hotel (if I was going to spend money and skip my run, the least I could do was burn a few calories with a mile-long walk). And so the decision was made: once I made sure Kourtney was fed at the lunch break, shoed-up, and ready for her next round, I’d set out, asking a couple of the other parents to keep an eye on her (because I had very important work to do).

My walk took me through a tiny stretch of Beverly Hills, where I hoped to bump into a celebrity or two (I did see a limousine pull over in wait of a passenger at a fancy house but nothing more exciting than that). My hunger was fierce so I kept my feet moving briskly, removing a piece of clothing after each long block to keep cool (I’d layered, as the ballrooms were cold – and if you’re concerned about my public stripping, I stopped once I got down to my running tank). It took less than 20 minutes to arrive, and thankfully the line was short.

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I’m sure there are times when their line is out the door. Burger Lounge sits on a corner along Beverly Blvd. with passersby ranging from realtors yapping loudly on Bluetooth to ladies bold and brazen enough to leave the house in head-to-toe leopard to hungry cops to hipsters walking their dogs. With burgers of free-range turkey or lamb or grass-fed beef; of quinoa veggies or longline caught albacore, it’s easy to believe this place would garner big business for variety’s sake alone. I chose turkey, of course, and was pleased that, for once, it wasn’t packaged for some super conscious health nut; you know, with avocado and sprouts and without cheese (while I can be a health nut, when I eat a burger, I go big with it). This turkey came Lounge Style – with grilled onions and cheese (American or white cheddar) and 1000 Island dressing. I ordered the ¼ pound version, not realizing how tiny a ¼-pound would be. But it proved the right choice, a burger that when paired with fries filled me up quite nicely. If I’d gone with the bigger burger, I would have kept eating but been forced to stroll back to the hotel bloated and slow and with a bellyache.

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Yes it was small but gratifying. The turkey was succulent and dense, the sauce and cheese melding nicely for that perfect balance of sweet and savory. It was amazing. It was wonderful.

And then there were the fries. The wait staff who’d brought my burger asked if I’d like a side of their house-made Ranch dressing to go with my meal. Certainly, sir. So glad he asked, because THOSE fries with THAT Ranch was potato madness. And when I say potato madness, I mean potato GOODNESS. The fries were excellent, at once limp and crisp while being just the right kind of greasy and robustly russety (made-up word).

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Feeling guilty for trying out a new place without my partner in burger crimes, I returned to Burger Lounge with Kourtney after her convention ended. She’s a pretty harsh judge of burger joints, but she gave this one a thumbs up, equivalent on her scale to a primetime Emmy or a platinum record (do they still do that?). The second visit meant more cash exiting my wallet, but at least I was able to steal a few of her fries and slurp down more than my fair share of her rich chocolate shake.

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Next time, I’ll get my own shake (and I’m not even a shake person, but this one was worth carrying on about) and, after peeping a batch on someone else’s plate, will add onion rings to my fry order. It’s a given that I will be Lounging again very very soon.

Official Dianderthal Burger Quest Burger List:
1. Hawkins House of Burgers turkey burger with everything (mayo, mustard, pickles, tomato, red onion, lettuce), cheese added
2. PCB (Plan Check Burger) at Plan Check with americanized dashi cheese, ketchup leather, schmaltz onions, mixed pickles, crunch bun
3. 25 Degrees Number One Burger (turkey subbed for beef) with caramelized onions, crescenza, prelibato gorgonzola, bacon, arugula, thousand island
4. Burger Lounge’s Free Range Turkey Burger, served Lounge Style with organic white cheddar, grilled onion, lettuce, tomato, and house-made 1000 Island
5. Father’s Office Burger with arugula, caramelized onions, Gruyere, applewood bacon, and maytag blue cheese
6. Island’s California Flyer turkey burger (BBQ sauce, “Island Reds” – fried onion straws, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato & mayo)
7.Golden State turkey burger with provolone, lettuce, tomato, red onion, aioli, and ketchup, (added grilled onions)
8. Oh My Burger BYOMB (Build Your Oh My Burger) turkey with OMB sauce, ketchup, pepper jack, and onion rings
9. Holstein’s California Turkey Burger with sprouts, tomato, avocado, cucumber claw, pepperjack cheese, and Russian dressing
10. Yeah! Burger (Make It Your Own – turkey patty, whole wheat bun, pepper jack cheese, sriracha mayo, ketchup, grilled onions, honey mustard)
11. The Habit (Veggie burger made like a Charburger, with mayo, pickle, tomato, lettuce, caramelized onions, cucumber, and sprouts)
12. The Counter (Build Your Own – turkey patty, grilled onions, cheddar cheese, chipotle aioli, ketchup)
13. Burger City Grill (The BCG, turkey patty, pickles, grilled onions)
14. The Dallas at Bobby’s Burger Palace – spice crusted ground turkey patty with coleslaw, jack cheese, BBQ sauce, and pickles

Fry Factor
1. Island’s fries with ranch dressing
2. Golden State fried sweet potato wedges with garlic aioli (and a few with curry ketchup)
3. Burger Lounge’s fries with house-made Ranch
4. Holstein’s sweet potato fries
5. 25 Degrees Half & Half (sweet potato and regular fries)
6. Father’s Office sweet potato fries with blue cheese aioli
7. The Counter 50-50 fries (half regular, half sweet Ps)
8. Oh My Burger sweet potato fries
9. The Habit french fries
10. Plan Check sweet potato waffle fries and regular fries
11. Bobby’s Burger Palace sweet potato fries
12. Burger City Grill fries
13. Yeah! Burger sweet potato fries
14. Hawkins House of Burgers fries

Burger Lounge
281 S. Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills and other locations

Burger Quest :: Oh My Burger

Burger Quest :: Oh My Burger

It’s wonderful hearing of new restaurants. As much investigation as I do, as many resources that I have for learning of hot spots and must-have places, sometimes word of mouth is the way to go. As in the case of my latest Burger Quest resto. Mindlessly scrolling through Facebook one day, I noticed my friend Karen’s post about her meal at OMB. And – gasp! – could it be? A local burger spot off my belly’s radar? After I commented on her post wondering where this magical place was, a different Karin (i instead of e) joined in, telling me that I had to try OMB’s charburger with onion rings. So I was set from that moment, ready to scream Oh My with my first bite.

It’s a pocket-sized place. I almost missed it as I headed west along El Segundo in Gardena. My navigators spotted it, two of my girls and the 27-year-old son I adopted from work (he’s got his own place with his biologicals but often joins us for meals). And so it was on, yet another Burger Quest.

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The work son was many times more adventurous than his mama, opting for OMB’s Oh My Luther, a double bacon cheeseburger packaged between two Krispy Kreme doughnuts (an apparent riff off the savory-sweet combo a la chicken & waffles or a McGriddle). While I packed a lot on my burger, I stayed relatively conservative with my choice of a turkey patty on brioche.

Oh My, they made a sista happy with their selection of Pepsi products (I only do Coke when forced). And not only did they have my beloved turkey burgers but also veggie patties and chicken breasts.

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My burger was not a healthy one, though and that’s a good thing since, despite my public health career, I wasn’t going for healthy. A Burger Quest meal is a treat; a special occasion outing or a once in a while thing, so the heartburn, the bubbling belly that kept me up later that night wasn’t a surprise and perhaps even expected. And worth it – the bold burger flavors meshed well with the slithery onion rings and oozing cheese that topped my burger, and balanced well with the rich and satisfying OMB sauce, basically an aioli on steroids. This burger was on point. The work son said his burger was pretty good, but the doughnuts didn’t really hold up to the contents of the sandwich itself, essentially disintegrating before he could finish it.

He did finish it, though.

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I left a few bites behind in my basket, but not for lack of trying to stuff it all down. As ambitious as my mouth was, this stomach of mine can only hold so much. With the fries and all the diet Pepsi fizziness, I did the best I could. So Oh My, I enjoyed an awesome burger at OMB. So how does it compare to the other divine burgers on my list?

Official Dianderthal Burger Quest Burger List:
1. Hawkins House of Burgers turkey burger with everything (mayo, mustard, pickles, tomato, red onion, lettuce), cheese added
2. PCB (Plan Check Burger) at Plan Check with americanized dashi cheese, ketchup leather, schmaltz onions, mixed pickles, crunch bun
3. 25 Degrees Number One Burger (turkey subbed for beef) with caramelized onions, crescenza, prelibato gorgonzola, bacon, arugula, thousand island
4. Father’s Office Burger with arugula, caramelized onions, Gruyere, applewood bacon, and maytag blue cheese
5. Island’s California Flyer turkey burger (BBQ sauce, “Island Reds” – fried onion straws, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato & mayo)
6.Golden State turkey burger with provolone, lettuce, tomato, red onion, aioli, and ketchup, (added grilled onions)
7. Oh My Burger BYOMB (Build Your Oh My Burger) turkey with OMB sauce, ketchup, pepper jack, and onion rings
8. Holstein’s California Turkey Burger with sprouts, tomato, avocado, cucumber claw, pepperjack cheese, and Russian dressing
9. Yeah! Burger (Make It Your Own – turkey patty, whole wheat bun, pepper jack cheese, sriracha mayo, ketchup, grilled onions, honey mustard)
10. The Habit (Veggie burger made like a Charburger, with mayo, pickle, tomato, lettuce, caramelized onions, cucumber, and sprouts)
11. The Counter (Build Your Own – turkey patty, grilled onions, cheddar cheese, chipotle aioli, ketchup)
12. Burger City Grill (The BCG, turkey patty, pickles, grilled onions)
13. The Dallas at Bobby’s Burger Palace – spice crusted ground turkey patty with coleslaw, jack cheese, BBQ sauce, and pickles

Fry Factor
1. Island’s fries with ranch dressing
2. Golden State fried sweet potato wedges with garlic aioli (and a few with curry ketchup)
3. Holstein’s sweet potato fries
4. 25 Degrees Half & Half (sweet potato and regular fries)
5. Father’s Office sweet potato fries with blue cheese aioli
6. The Counter 50-50 fries (half regular, half sweet Ps)
7. Oh My Burger sweet potato fries
8. The Habit french fries
9. Plan Check sweet potato waffle fries and regular fries
10. Bobby’s Burger Palace sweet potato fries
11. Burger City Grill fries
12. Yeah! Burger sweet potato fries
13. Hawkins House of Burgers fries

Oh My Burger
2142 W. El Segundo Blvd. in Gardena

Burger Quest :: Bobby’s Burger Palace

Burger Quest :: Bobby’s Burger Palace

This wasn’t a planned outing. It was on my way to another Burger Quest trip (Holstein’s) while in Vegas for my daughter’s dance competition that I spotted Bobby’s Burger Palace, (yes, that Bobby) along the way, all glass and shiny and Vegas glitzy. Perhaps it called out my name as I swam along the drunken crowed. All I knew was that I had to try it. I had to work it in to my already impossible schedule.

There was a small window. I had two hours on one of the days of competition between my daughter’s last dance and the awards ceremony for that category. If I ventured out alone, if I hot-stepped it through the casino and down the Strip, I could do it.

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And so I did it, getting all bubbly with sweat while doing so. With all the effort, I was a little perturbed when I sauntered up to the To-Go counter at BBP only to be ignored completely by the woman who hustled behind it. I didn’t even get as smile or the “just one second” finger. While being ignored, I had a couple minutes to glance at the menu, where I spotted a brilliant grouping of words: Cactus Pear Margarita. And that’s when I decided – I still had plenty of time; and the staff behind the sit-down counter across the way seemed happy, even eager for customers; and hey, if you’ve seen one dance competition awards show, you’ve seen too many of them – I needed to hang out at BBP and enjoy the whole burger (and Cactus Pear Margarita) experience.

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My choice was a hard one with so many burgers that sounded special and promising. The Crunchburger with American cheese and potato chips piqued my interest, yet I ordered one called The Dallas as I’m a sucker for BBQ sauce and Jack cheese. And I figured the coleslaw served just under bun would be a cool and tangy companion to the meaty cheesy robust flavors of the burger.

Unfortunately, I was sorely underwhelmed with my choice. Initially, I blamed my selected protein, the ground turkey patty. Turkey burgers are a pretty easy find these days as restaurants attempt to cater to a variety of palates, including those who like healthier options. I don’t do turkey for health reasons. I just have a long and storied history with cows (as noted in other Dianderthal posts) and don’t like to eat them. If I wasn’t such a picky eater, I’d probably be a vegetarian (I’ve tried!). But I do poultry.

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In keeping things healthy, some places, such as BBP, use white meat for their turkey patties. This was the mistake I initially identified here, as the patty was dry and lacked anything but that wimpy birdy flavor reminiscent of a sad Thanksgiving. I might forgive them this since turkey burgers are typically the beef burger’s awkward little sister; an afterthought. But this is a burger place. If you’re going to do a burger place right, you gotta make sure that all your offerings – chicken, angus beef, veggie – are on point. After dwelling on it some, I realized that my disappointment with the burger didn’t alone lie with the meat. I didn’t get a spark from anywhere – the cheese, the slaw, the sauce were all very gray and dull. A better assembling would have perked up a bland turkey patty, but that didn’t happen here. And like Forrest Gump says, that’s all I’ve got to say about that.

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What I can get excited about are my drink and the sweet potato fries. The drink especially made my sweaty walk-run to BBP worth it. It was a smooth and slushy cup of fun, despite the brain freeze it gave me.

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But this here quest is about burgers, not margaritas (although I wouldn’t mind partaking in a margarita quest). Here’s how Bobby’s Burger Palace stacked up.

Bobby’s Burger Palace
3750 S. Las Vegas Blvd. in Vegas and other lcoations

Official Dianderthal Burger Quest Burger List:
1. Hawkins House of Burgers turkey burger with everything (mayo, mustard, pickles, tomato, red onion, lettuce), cheese added
2. PCB (Plan Check Burger) at Plan Check with americanized dashi cheese, ketchup leather, schmaltz onions, mixed pickles, crunch bun
3. 25 Degrees Number One Burger (turkey subbed for beef) with caramelized onions, crescenza, prelibato gorgonzola, bacon, arugula, thousand island
4. Father’s Office Burger with arugula, caramelized onions, Gruyere, applewood bacon, and maytag blue cheese
5. Island’s California Flyer turkey burger (BBQ sauce, “Island Reds” – fried onion straws, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato & mayo)
6.Golden State turkey burger with provolone, lettuce, tomato, red onion, aioli, and ketchup, (added grilled onions)
7. Holstein’s California Turkey Burger with sprouts, tomato, avocado, cucumber claw, pepperjack cheese, and Russian dressing
8. Yeah! Burger (Make It Your Own – turkey patty, whole wheat bun, pepper jack cheese, sriracha mayo, ketchup, grilled onions, honey mustard)
9. The Habit (Veggie burger made like a Charburger, with mayo, pickle, tomato, lettuce, caramelized onions, cucumber, and sprouts)
10. The Counter (Build Your Own – turkey patty, grilled onions, cheddar cheese, chipotle aioli, ketchup)
11. Burger City Grill (The BCG, turkey patty, pickles, grilled onions)
12. The Dallas at Bobby’s Burger Palace – spice crusted ground turkey patty with coleslaw, jack cheese, BBQ sauce, and pickles

Fry Factor
1. Island’s fries with ranch dressing
2. Golden State fried sweet potato wedges with garlic aioli (and a few with curry ketchup)
3. Holstein’s sweet potato fries
4. 25 Degrees Half & Half (sweet potato and regular fries)
5. Father’s Office sweet potato fries with blue cheese aioli
6. The Counter 50-50 fries (half regular, half sweet Ps)
7. The Habit french fries
8. Plan Check sweet potato waffle fries and regular fries
9. Bobby’s Burger Palace sweet potato fries
10. Burger City Grill fries
11. Yeah! Burger sweet potato fries
12. Hawkins House of Burgers fries

Burger Quest :: Holstein’s

Burger Quest :: Holstein’s

Not sure if it’s due to my childhood years growing up in Cali’s Central Valley, but for decades I’ve had a dear love for cows. Dairy cows were my favorite, my fondness for them sealed after a class trip to the farm where I got up close and personal with pent-up cattle in all their glorious and turdy funk. For years, I kept on my dresser the pressed and cubed hunk of cud we got to take home as swag.

While I’m not as obsessed as I once was (thanks to my husband, who put an immediate halt to my plans to countrify and cowify our kitchen), this cow girl had to try a place called Holstein’s after hearing about it. On my recent trip to Vegas, I added it to the Burger Quest list, convincing my youngest to choose it for her birthday meal.

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If this quest were all about aesthetics, Holstein’s would rule, a funky little space in a red-hot hotel, the Cosmopolitan (also home to Hidden/Secret Pizza and Wicked Spoon). They also have a nice set of pickings, with options to satisfy the various assortments you might have with you on a Vegas vacation. At our table, we had plain sliders, wings, boozy shakes, and a blackened salmon po’ boy.

But I’m all about the burgers. I ordered the California Turkey (I wouldn’t dare order a beef burger at a place called Holstein’s – awkward!), with avocado, sprouts, pepperjack cheese, slaw, and Russian dressing. I had pretty high expectations, which I’d have to say were met. The bun was lofty (though not as soft as I prefer) and a dense and flavorful turkey patty, a hearty balance to the rich avocado and tangy slaw. Only problem is my Quest list is pretty well stacked with some amazing burgers. Even those on the bottom are rather phenomenal in my book.

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So how well did my Holstein’s burger compete?

Official Dianderthal Burger Quest Burger List:
1. Hawkins House of Burgers turkey burger with everything (mayo, mustard, pickles, tomato, red onion, lettuce), cheese added
2. PCB (Plan Check Burger) at Plan Check with americanized dashi cheese, ketchup leather, schmaltz onions, mixed pickles, crunch bun
3. 25 Degrees Number One Burger (turkey subbed for beef) with caramelized onions, crescenza, prelibato gorgonzola, bacon, arugula, thousand island
4. Father’s Office Burger with arugula, caramelized onions, Gruyere, applewood bacon, and maytag blue cheese
5. Island’s California Flyer turkey burger (BBQ sauce, “Island Reds” – fried onion straws, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato & mayo)
6.Golden State turkey burger with provolone, lettuce, tomato, red onion, aioli, and ketchup, (added grilled onions)
7. Holstein’s California Turkey Burger with sprouts, tomato, avocado, cucumber claw, pepperjack cheese, and Russian dressing
8. Yeah! Burger (Make It Your Own – turkey patty, whole wheat bun, pepper jack cheese, sriracha mayo, ketchup, grilled onions, honey mustard)
9. The Habit (Veggie burger made like a Charburger, with mayo, pickle, tomato, lettuce, caramelized onions, cucumber, and sprouts)
10. The Counter (Build Your Own – turkey patty, grilled onions, cheddar cheese, chipotle aioli, ketchup)
11. Burger City Grill (The BCG, turkey patty, pickles, grilled onions)

Fry Factor
1. Island’s fries with ranch dressing
2. Golden State fried sweet potato wedges with garlic aioli (and a few with curry ketchup)
3. Holstein’s sweet potato fries
4. 25 Degrees Half & Half (sweet potato and regular fries)
5. Father’s Office sweet potato fries with blue cheese aioli
6. The Counter 50-50 fries (half regular, half sweet Ps)
7. The Habit french fries
8. Plan Check sweet potato waffle fries and regular fries
9. Burger City Grill fries
10. Yeah! Burger sweet potato fries
11. Hawkins House of Burgers fries

Holstein’s Las Vegas
3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South in the Cosmopolitan

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Eating Las Vegas :: 2014

Eating Las Vegas :: 2014

With yet another summer begun for me, it was time to head to the border (the Cali-Nevada border, that is) for another dance competition with my youngest and the rest of the family. I started Dianderthal two years ago just before this same competition in Vegas with not much hope that I’d keep it going for more than a week or two, as I’m good with starting, not with maintaining. And still I’m here, with many, many food experiences shared and plenty of unfortunate typos and grammatical errors (I’m working on my revision/editing skills).

While I tried some great dishes on my previous trips, to the LV, this time I was on a straight-up mission to eat Vegas. I think I did a pretty good job considering I was there just three-point-five days and had to juggle gambling (I lost), two days of dance, lazy rive time, and the preferences of fam of five. Good thing I stayed busy – who knows how much more of Vegas I may have eaten. I probably should have jogged back home rather than nod off in the passenger seat as the hub drove so I could burn just half of the calories I must have sucked up on my trip.

I buffeted it.
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I’m definitely not a buffet girl but everyone said I had to try Wicked Spoon, the bad-ass buffet at The Cosmo. Nowhere to be found are troths of gravied meat or jumbo pans of warming vegetables in a stewy bath. This place puts the individual in buffet with single-serve plates and dishes (and baskets!) that eaters can pick up to populate their plates. This sort of thing thrills me since I have a thing about disparate types of food touching one another (e.g. I wouldn’t appreciate the sauce from my teriyaki chicken sliding over and seeping into, say, my cornbread muffin). They offer “all you can drink” wine (in quotes because there’s a time limit of 2 hours, which doesn’t even begin to contain all that I can drink) and lots of options from around the globe. My favorites were the fried chicken wings and the Heathbar chocolate covered strawberries.

I repeated it.
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This wasn’t my first time at 800 Degrees but it’s still wonderful enough to mention.

I continued the quest.
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Check out Burger Quest entries on Holstein’s and Bobby’s Burger Palace.

I didn’t turn down – until the wee, wee hours.
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No food involved, but I had to mention my first experience with Vegas nightlife.

I late nighted it.
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Also in The Cosmo, I enjoyed two greasy slices of pie late night at the joint that has no name, but is known by the masses as Secret Pizza (and also Hidden Pizza). We just walked up to staff and asked “Pizza?” and were quickly told to go upstairs and down the hallway plastered with retro record albums.

I indulged my sweet tooth.
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They are short and sweet – two Sweet Spot posts on Hershey World and Blvd Creamery.

And I made it back home, full and then some. Good thing it’s time to start training again for my next half marathon.