Posts Tagged ‘Burger Parlor’

When it comes to adding flavor to foods, nothing can boss the sauce. At its base, sauce contains sugar, salt, pepper, or any combination of those plus additional ingredients. Some foods contain flavor within itself, such as meats that have seasonings and herbs that help bring out the meat’s natural flavor. Most of the time, people add sauces or condiments to their foods to add flavor. For the most part, sauces bring a sweet component to the table, such as ketchup, barbecue sauce, steak sauce, or teriyaki sauce. Many other sauces can add flavor components from sour to salty to spicy and more. However, when it comes to enhancing the flavors of the original dish, nothing can beat hot sauce. The capsaicin in hot sauces helps to open up our taste buds, allowing us to detect and absorb more flavors. For those that cannot take the heat, just a little bit helps to greatly enhance the flavor of the dish, something you can do at Burger Parlor as of this week.

An Orange County staple, Burger Parlor brings the right balance of familiar foods with intuitive innovation. Now approaching their fifth year in business, Burger Parlor has the right business formula to keep customers coming back, as well as attract new customers to crave more. Their standard menu has not changed that much since they got started – the menu you see today contains items that has lived on that menu for years. However, that does not mean that Burger Parlor does not innovate – in fact, Burger Parlor appears to always have limited-time specials, such as their Gringo Bandito Burger available starting this week. Named for its signature ingredient, this burger comes with Gringo Bandito aioli, roasted Anaheim chiles, crushed avocado, a crisp tostada chip, a fried egg, and Gringo Bandito crema, topped with more Gringo Bandito sauce. Despite all the hot sauce getting thrown around, the overall burger does not come off as a spice attack. It balances quite nicely between the aioli, crema, avocado, and egg.

You can snag this burger at both Burger Parlor locations in Fullerton and Orange for a limited time. Head on over and taste this bit of heat to spice up your day. Follow Burger Parlor on Facebook and Twitter for more details about the Gringo Bandito Burger.

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When the seasons change, many more things change than just the weather. Looking at the weather alone, Southern California has experienced a massive heat wave late in Summer, then suddenly dropped to the type of weather where you wear a jacket or sweater in the morning and a tank top in the afternoon. Just recently, America’s federal government shut down all nonessential functions. Towards the end of summer, Miley Cyrus shocked the world with her attention-grabbing MTV performance. As a society, we cannot accurately predict what radical event will change the world next, but we can brace ourselves for anything, as we always have in the past as an enduring society. We can also fall back on what we typically associate with this time of the year. Fall, as we know it, indicates pumpkins, red wine, NFL, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the fall harvest, especially the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, giving us a reason to gorge on Mooncakes. Looking at all these opportunities to feast on favorable foods, we should not overlook outdoor grilling, nor the foods prepared that way. Though the winds will chill the air more so than in the summer, many folks will still utilize the grill up through Thanksgiving. In homage of the veritable fall feast, take a look at these five burgers in the Greater Los Angeles Area that I highly recommend seeking out this season.

5. Burger Lounge‘s Lounge Burger

Today’s food trends revolve around ingredient details and the source/origins of said ingredients. These days, everyone conscious about their food (and everyone should feel conscious about what they put in their bodies) desires to know where the ingredients used in their food come from. Growing up, whenever I heard the word organic, I immediately thought it cost more but tasted the same. I now realize that organic products mean more to our health than how the general public perceives it. Increasing my intake of organic foods has introduced me to sustainable food and its nutritional value to the human body. When I heard about Burger Lounge and their pledge to serve local, sustainable foods, I had to locate one to sink my teeth into one of their burgers. As humans, we deserve to eat better foods than, as Burger Lounge puts it, the “processed, artificial, chemical patties from cows feeding on who knows what” that fast food joints batch up. Can you honestly say that a mass-produced item will not contain any fillers, preservatives, or other artificial ingredients? You will not find any of that nonsense at Burger Lounge, where you can order their namesake Lounge Burger. Utilizing a 100% fresh, single-sourced American grass-fed beef patty, Burger Lounge serves this trademark burger with your choice of organic cheese (American or White Cheddar; I recommend the latter), fresh or grilled onions, lettuce, tomato, and house-made 1000 island sauce. For just $7.95, you can savor and appreciate this sustainable burger at any of Burger Lounge’s locations in Los Angeles or San Diego County.

4. Burger Parlor‘s The Lasorda

Sometimes, you just need a little push to get some momentum building to start rolling down the road. Sometimes, you can get momentum without an external push if you push yourself enough to accomplish your goal. Once you have that momentum, you must continue to roll forward, as gravity and friction will eventually slow you down to a stop. Luckily, Burger Parlor‘s momentum never came to a stop, and after a a year in business, they have snowballed into a massive wrecking ball in Downtown Fullerton. Having just celebrated their first anniversary this past weekend, Burger Parlor thanked their customers with special craft beers on tap, free raffle prizes, and t-shirt giveaways. This weekend-long celebration did not distract their staff from operating like they normally do, and they continue to roll out freshly-prepared meals using ingredients from local farms and beers from local micro breweries. Customers can see their commitment to excellence in the aptly-named The Lasorda, and like Tommy Lasorda himself, one cannot accurately duplicate this unique concoction. This “burger” consists of a pork sausage patty topped with a fried mozzarella block, all sitting on top of oregano and roasted bell peppers. The combination of the pork patty and the fried mozzarella yields a texture unlike no other out there, as the cheese gives a crispy crunchy feel upon biting, while cheese oozes out after the first bite. To complete this meal, add an order of their beer-battered onion rings. They say that if a food business can stay alive for two years, they have a shot at lasting a long time in the industry. Having just reached their second year in business, I foresee Burger Parlor sticking around for a long time.

3. Slater’s 50/50‘s 50/50 Breakfast Sandwich

Every major metropolitan area has at least one local chain of restaurants or food business that the locals rave about. While in Seattle a few weeks ago, I discovered that Elysian Brewing and Bluebird Microcreamery & Brewery had more than one location. In Southern California, multiple Burger Lounge locations exist in Los Angeles and San Diego County, as mentioned above. Eureka Burger and Haven Gastropub exists as multiples as well. If you ask any Southern California local about great places to grab a bite & a drink, hang out with friends, and make new friends, the locals will unanimously agree on Slater’s 50/50. This monumental institution has set the bar extremely high for restaurants of its kind, from the eclectic food to the vast drink selection to the atmosphere that caters to adults yet can easily care for families. Their trademark 50/50 burger consists of a burger patty composed of 50% Sterling Silver beef and 50% ground bacon. This groundbreaking food creation has made food headline news worldwide, and sits at the same level as the Cronut, Ramen Burger, or Frozen S’mores as trending foods of the world. Every month, Slater’s 50/50 pushes the limits with their Burger-of-the-Month creations, from a Kangaroo burger to a Chimichanga burger to a burger composed entirely of bacon to a burger so spicy that it requires gloves and a signed liability waiver. Every year, Slater’s 50/50 releases their breakfast menu during NFL season, which they serve only on weekends during football season. Last year, they dabbled with Doughnut Burgers, which once again made national headlines. This year, they retained the Doughnut Burger, but have added the 50/50 Breakfast Sandwich, a messy build comprised of a patty of 50% chorizo and 50% ground bacon, cheddar cheese, two sunny-side up eggs, bacon, and two deep-fried waffles, all smothered with an overflow of maple syrup. For a true Slater’s experience, pick this up with your bare hands and dive right into it. You may have to improvise on napkins, as you will go through many napkins and glasses of water during the course of devouring this. Feeling bold? Pair this burger with a sour beer, or their famous Bacon Bloody Mary. Come see why locals love Slater’s 50/50, and what makes them a legendary Southern California staple (until they expand further!).

2. Hopscotch Tavern‘s Bradley Burger

As a sign of the changing seasons, the many different ingredients will change during this time as well. Due to the change in available ingredients, some restaurants employ seasonal menus based on what the local markets offer. By configuring seasonal menus, this exhibits a particular restaurant’s use of fresh and local ingredients, as certain ingredients cannot last at certain times of the year. If I see a restaurant using an ingredient out of season, I would immediately question its source. People tend to want to stick with familiar things. At the same time, we must all realize that all good things must come to an end. When a restaurant converts to a new season’s menu, we must learn to adapt to those changes as well, and explore what the season has to offer. Specifically, Fall has treated Hopscotch Tavern fairly well with this year’s ingredients. With a new Fall menu not yet reflected on their website, Hopscotch aims to turn up the heat in a season expected to cool down significantly than previous years. Their menu changes quite often thanks for Chef Cody Shorts’ whimsical nature, so if you see something on their menu one day, it could disappear as early as the next day. That said, head over to Hopscotch soon and scout out their Bradley Burger. Served medium by default (can request medium rare), the Pork Belly Bacon makes this burger truly stand out from the crowd, as it provides a thicker, juicier, fatter bite than regular bacon could ever provide. Hopscotch accompanies these two co-starring meats with house sweet pickles, dried tomatoes, crispy onion strings, fried cheddar, garlic aioli, and house ketchup. This burger comes with a side of house fries with house ketchup, a milder, fruitier version of the normal high fructose corn syrup ketchup. For the perfect pairing, drink an IPA with this burger, as the bitterness will balance the savoriness of this burger. As Burger Parlor recently celebrated their first anniversary, Hopscotch will celebrate their first anniversary very soon, so pay close attention to their activity, as they may have something special in the works.

1. Pono Burger‘s Sassy Wahine

Although the Southern Californian food industry speaks of local and sustainable often, we must not forget its prevalence around the world. Across the nation, countless chefs pledge to utilize organic and farm-fresh ingredients in their cooking for a tasty and guilt-free meal. The same goes on in other countries as well, as they use local ingredients that reflect their location/region in their cooking. These organic and sustainable ingredients will never contain hormones, pesticides, or antibiotics, so we do not have to worry about putting foreign substances in our bodies. Sure you could attempt to search for restaurants that use local, organic, sustainable ingredients, but even if they claim that, they still have to prove the sources. I can honestly tell you that the proof lies in the pudding at Pono Burger in Santa Monica. Founded on integrity, this small burger shack serves burgers using certified organic grass-fed never-frozen beef patties, free of hormones and antibiotics. The renovated military silo-turned dining room reminds us that, for a new business, the organic/sustainable movement has existed for a long time, but has recently gained notoriety thanks to all the exposures of the corrupt practices of the major fast food corporations around the world. Pono Burger stands by their creations, especially their Sassy Wahine, a cheese-less burger served medium rare by default, topped with house-made wasabi mayo, pickled ginger, organic avocado, house-made Okinawan sweet potato chips, organic pea shoots, and a house-made sesame ponzu dressing. A burger unlike any other, Japanese meets Pacific Islander in this fusion of a burger. Cooked to a perfect medium rare, the beef patty holds so much juice and flavor that you would not need so many toppings to accompany it. Thankfully, all the ingredients that contribute to the Sassy Wahine all serve to accept the beef patty. Each ingredient adds a spicy, tart, creamy, crispy, or sweet taste, covering all of the four main taste buds, plus the savory taste bud – the fifth taste, also known as umami. How fitting that we can accurately use the word umami to describe this burger, because rarely does one find a burger that can hit every single taste bud on the human palate. If you find yourself in Santa Monica, you owe it to yourself to track down Pono Burger, and experience umami for yourself. Visitors traveling by car can park for free in the underground parking garage, so what have you got to lose?

Although 2012 showed much progress with many different types of food, 2013 appears promising as far as pushing the boundaries of delicious food. Chefs constantly work to devise new & creative foods that patrons can fall in love with and tell their friends about. The way I see it, in order to garner success, one needs to invent or reinvent. In other words, one needs to create something brand new, or take an existing idea and improve it, which applies to both the art and the canvas. Many people tend to look only at the art without acknowledging the quality of the canvas. Culinarily, the toppings, which represent the art, may enhance the appearance and flavor of a dish, but you need the base template, which represents the canvas, in order to build the dish. Burgers represent a basic yet open-ended canvas to craft works of art. The majority of the world only sees burgers for what you can top them with; however, the quality of the meat greatly determines the overall quality of the burger – after all, you cannot have a burger without the patty. Read on to discover five burgers in the Greater Los Angeles area that I urge you to try this season.

5. Tavern On 2‘s Black & Blue Burger

Leave it to small-town charm to come up with a burger this succulent. Tavern On 2 enters this list with their Black & Blue Burger. With their recent expansion, they also decided to step up the quality of their burgers. Tavern serves a good variety of burgers, but by far the Black & Blue remains their most popular among locals. This burger gets topped with maytag blue cheese, rosemary-candied woodfired bacon, horseradish mayo, lettuce, and tomatoes. They recently switched the bread to a pretzel bun to keep with the theme of a true gastropub. Tavern serves all burgers and sandwiches with a side salad and house-made chips. The combination of blue cheese and bacon dates back to the 90’s, yet very few restaurants get it right. Tavern On 2 does this concept justice with their Black & Blue. Pair it with one of their fine craft beers, and you have a meal worth feeling proud of.

4. Burger Parlor‘s The Royal w/ Cheese

Sometimes a restaurant serves something so amazing that they may not even list it on their regular menu, and only feature it as a secret item. Bruxie Waffles currently does that with their Prosciutto Hash & Egg, which they only sell on weekends and sell out within hours of opening due to the overwhelming reception of that creation. In Downtown Fullerton, Burger Parlor does that with their most expensive burger, The Royal w/ Cheese. Chef Joseph Mahon cooks this burger medium rare, then tops it with bacon, fried onions, tomato, lettuce, truffle oil, chipotle aioli, and a fried egg. Always keep in mind that flavor tends to scale positively with the mess it generates on your hands! The juices that flow from the burger patty coupled with the oozing egg will leave your hand tasting delicious – just take care not to start sucking on your fingers in public. Pair this burger with one of their craft beers on tap for a terrific meal.

3. Lazy Ox Canteen‘s Lazy Ox Burger

When someone random recommends a place to eat, you typically have to understand that person’s tastes. When a reputable source recommends a place to eat, you can bet that place will have amazing food. Accepting recommendations comes with risk, as you may not know what to expect, since a person may like something that you do not, even if that person speaks for an entity. Biting the bullet and moving on the recommendation, I land at Lazy Ox Canteen in Downtown Los Angeles. This dim little restaurant carries some interesting meals fit for large groups in addition to the standard individual plates. Per my mission, I dove straight for their Lazy Ox Burger, complete with whole grain mustard and white cheddar, served with kennebec fries. The mustard truly gives this burger its unique kick with its tangy texture, as it brings out the full flavor of the beef patty. Although the burger appears small, Lazy Ox packs a lot into each bite. Despite its location in Downtown LA, parking meters right outside only operate until 8pm, and do not operate at all on Sundays. Take advantage of this and go order a Lazy Ox Burger!

2. Chapter One: The Modern Local‘s American Burger

Meat, meat, and more meat. Apologies to the vegetarians and vegans out there, for I know that meatless burgers exist. Sadly, meatless burgers can never measure up to the real thing in taste and quality. If you want to scare off a vegetarian or vegan, find out how much meat you can pile onto a burger, which Chapter One: The Modern Local appears to have done to their burger. In addition to the beef patty, Chapter One also includes pork belly and bacon on their American Burger, as if one type of meat does not deserve to stand alone. Just for safety’s sake, Chapter One throws white cheddar fondue, roasted shallots, pork belly jus, aioli, lettuce, and tomato on the burger, then scoop up some duck fat fries for your snacking enjoyment. I feel sad for vegetarians, as they will never get a chance to savor this meaty burger. But if you eat meat, you have a chance to try what everybody talks about here! With each bite, savor every ingredient on the burger, from the beef to the pork belly to the bacon. Also consider finishing off your meal with one of their donuts, like their Bourbon Bacon Banana Donut, and walk away from Chapter One feeling like a true hero.

1. The Parish‘s Burger

Embrace simplicity. Sometimes you have to take things back to square one to analyze where you stand. In this world of add-ons and multitudes of color, we often lose sight of what lies behind all the bells and whistles. An artist can slap on dozens of layers of colors and paints onto the canvas and call it art. But what could one make of the actual canvas? A painter cannot claim that title without the canvas, as any artist requires a solid foundation before initiating the work of art. At The Parish in Downtown Los Angeles, they fully recognize the importance of the canvas, and build their food around it instead of covering it up. The Parish forgoes the fancy building of additions to their food, and focus on the base of the food, which you can find most apparent in their burger. This simple yet untitled Burger consists of one of the best beef patties you will ever sink your teeth into, Époisse cheese, and highly caramelized onions, all on grilled ciabatta bread. Their menu claims that the burger contains pickled carrots and arugula, but unless I mistook the onions for those, I could not detect any of those in the burger. Almost all burger patties cooked medium rare contain pink in the very middle. At The Parish, their burgers come pink all the way right to just before the edge, yet the patty still retains a crisp texture on the outside. The juices seep into the bottom bun, creating a wet yet meaty handle for the burger. Lastly, the cheese and onions work overtime to bring out the meatiness of the patty. Oh, and you get fries with your burger too. I randomly stumbled upon The Parish while adventuring in Downtown LA one day. I love their location – at the end of a building peninsula located in the center where Main St and Spring St split off like a Y. With a cafe downstairs and the main dining room and bar upstairs, The Parish truly has all grounds covered to operate a successful business. Do yourself a favor and get to The Parish and try their food – I promise you will not stop thinking about the food once you try it.