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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Escalating Burger Wars

NEWS FLASH LA JOLLA:  A recent surge has caused major escalation in the Burger Wars in San Diego as hundreds of restaurants continue to offer their take on the humble hamburger.

"My mom could make a better burger than this and she can't cook worth sh&^t," said one local who asked to remain anonymous since his Mom was standing next to him.  Angry protesters on street corners shouting "End the War Now" has only increased the tension as chefs everywhere battle it out.  And right in the middle is Local Wally, the original San Diego local guy who just wants a bite to eat. And he's hungry.


There I was.  La Jolla.  Lunchtime.  At the iconic George's at the Cove Ocean Terrace, the upstairs al fresco restaurant.  The dinner menu is a glorious collection of delights, but the lunch menu is as sparse as a Gordon Ramsey menu makeover.  There are salads (boring), a few pastas (been there, done that), and some ho-hum sandwich selections.  Oh, and fish tacos but can you really beat the $2.75 taco at The Brig?  No, no way.  So I had a drink.

George's makes a Bloody Mary that's so spicy that your eyeballs might pop out of their sockets.  See what looks like an olive in the glass?  That's actually my eyeball!  They infuse the vodka with peppers.  Maybe too much pepper.  But if you like your Mary's hotter than licking a piece of lit charcoal, this is your drink.  I'll give it an A for effort, a B for overall deliciousness, and a mental reminder to think twice before getting that one again.  

But George's main draw has always been the view, and today it didn't disappoint.  Want to see it?
Kayaks, snorkelers, and water clarity that looked like the Bahamas.  This is why we love San Diego.  And look, there are seals!  I love the seals, but who doesn't?  Don't forget, email the Mayor
and tell him you support the seals before those crazy anti-seal people bulldoze the beach so their snot nosed kids can take over.  Really, the seals need your help.

So now I'm sauced up with vodka and peppers and my eyes are watering and the sun is so hot so I look at the menu one more time and see... can it be?  A Hamburger.  With Cheddar Cheese and Bacon.  Time for George's to battle it out as I continue my search for the Best Burger in San Diego.

 And here it is, a heavyweight of a burger.  What is that, a half pound?  Maybe more.  Disturbingly huge and way bigger than my mouth could open.  Oh, I forgot, the waitress asked if I wanted a salad or fries with that.  What?  Was that a serious question?

You can't have a salad with a burger.  And these fries were darn good.  Not as good as Bouchon in Napa Valley, nor as good as The Third Corner in Encinitas, but respectable.  Stay away from my fries.  Grrrrr. 

STEP ONE:  Look inside.  Looking good.
STEP TWO:  Pick it up.
STEP THREE:  Stop eating, people are staring.

So how was it?  Pretty good, though a bit under seasoned  Thankfully they actually had Salt and Pepper shakers on the table!  I hate it when you have to ask for salt and the waiter looks at you with scorn.  Pass the salt.  So the burger was slightly overcooked (I ordered medium) and it was packed a bit too dense, but it was still pretty delicious.  Best Burger in Town?  No, not ready to call this one.  I've got a lot more burgers to eat first.  Are you with me?

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Anonymous said...

Two comments:

1. Definitely overcooked.
2. It looks like it was cooked in a frying pan, rather than over flames. Really?

Local Wally said...

Yes, overcooked. Mine was the least overcooked of the bunch and it looked exactly the same as the one ordered "Well Done". And it was probably cooked in a fry pan, but if done right I don't have a big problem with that as cooking in its own fat usually results in a super juicy burger. My biggest complaint was the texture. Way too dense. And a minor nit, the bacon was clearly cooked way early. I realize that most restaurants do this but for $13 and at George's I expected them to cook it to order and have it sizzling hot and dripping with fatty deliciousness. You know of any good burgers? Nessie's is next.

HereBeDragons said...

I was in La Jolla over the weekend with an out-of-town guest. We pondered visiting George's. (I've never been and her grandfather recommended it.) But instead we stuck with Prospect Bar and Grill with their $10 Burger w/ Fries and a Margarita and their live music. Their seasoned fries are delicious and the burger's pretty darn good, too.

But the view! Maybe we should have gone to Georges...