san diego burger week roundup
I read about San Diego CityBeat’s San Diego Burger Week on Janice’s blog, Food is My Favorite. I had never heard of burger week before! A bunch of restaurants around San Diego are offering up burgers for a mere $5. Every burger is a little bit different, with different toppings and various takes and there are even a few veggie burgers thrown in for the non-meat eating folks. Here’s my recap of the few places I tried during week – which is running now through Sunday, March, 16th.
Burger are written about in the order that I ate them.
The Smokey Pig at Terra American Bistro
7091 El Cajon Blvd. | San Diego, CA 92115
I ended up ordering the #2 burger special that came with truffle fries and a pint of Manzanita Riverwalk Blonde draft beer for $13. This is my beer. It’s glowing. I was drinking this just after 5PM on a Friday. Yessssss.
The Smokey Pig is a 1/2 lb burger with smoked onion marmalade, bacon aioli, chipotle sauce, lettuce, and tomato on a very nice brioche bun. Avocado, egg, or bacon can be added for an additional $1. Avocado sounded like a mighty fine idea to me.
This burger was so incredibly juicy and chock full of flavor. I hear from someone somewhere their secret ingredient is butter… I’m glad I didn’t know that at the time, sheesh. The tomato was very bright and crisp and there was a small amount of leafy lettuce on here. I got it medium rare and it was still nice and pink inside. The mixture from the bacon aioli and onion marmalade created this delicious richness that was just out of this world.
If I had to go back for any burger I had during burger week it would, without a doubt, be this one. It’s the only burger I almost ate all of (I ate about 3/4 of it).
My extra combo came with a little bucket of truffle fries. We didn’t know they would be little buckets and we also didn’t know it was an additional $4 per bucket, so Jake and T also got little buckets so this meal didn’t end up as cheap as I had hoped. Our fault though, we should have asked. The truffle fries were pretty good, but not super outstanding or super memorable, but decent.
50/50 Burger at Point Loma Beach Cafe
1424 Sunset Cliffs Blvd. | San Diego, CA 92107
Nah… we didn’t go to Slater’s for a 50/50 burger like Faye did. And the 50/50 burger here is a little bit different!
No, the 50/50 Burger here is 50% ground beef and 50% chorizo and topped with cheddar cheese, lettuce, grilled onion, tomato, mayo & mustard. The beef does really tone down the flavor of the chorizo so it’s not really spicy or IN YOUR FACE chorizo. It’s more like the seasonings and flavor of the chorizo are present and infused with the beef.
The beef-chorizo combo make for a very messy, very drippy-get-all-over-the-place burger and I carefully ate it over the basket so I wouldn’t get beefy chorizo dripping all over my shirt (I didn’t have my bib because it was dirty). I liked this burger a lot, I liked the flavor the chorizo imparted but that it wasn’t too bold.
Jake had different feelings about this burger than I did. He didn’t like that you couldn’t taste the chorizo as much and my ketchup-loving-boyfriend did not like the mustard that was on this. I, the non-ketchup lover who prefers mustard, enjoyed it. While I did enjoy it, I still only ate half. It was pretty hefty and very filling.
We also shared a basket of waffle fries for $1.99. They were nothing special but a nice little extra crunch for our meal.
The Texas Burger at Crazee Burger
4201 30th St. | San Diego, CA 92104
Jake and I were getting ready to grab some groceries to make dinner when his mom texted us and invited us to meet her and T for dinner at Crazee Burger. More $5 burgers?! Geez, twist my arm. The burger at Crazee Burger is a nice seared patty with plenty of sweet hickory bbq sauce and bacon!
The burgers were cooked a nice medium rare (woo, pink!). The hickory BBQ sauce here was the real winner of this meaty monster. They did NOT skimp on the BBQ sauce at all – it’s nearly smothered in it and really delicious. It’s smokey and sweet – not tangy at all – which is really how I personally like my BBQ sauce to be. The tomato on here was really weak flavored and barely tasted like a tomato and there was a thin bit of lettuce. Pickles don’t touch my burger and I gave those evil little things away to Jake.
We also had a little bowl of onion rings to share. Pretty good, yet standard.
The fries are just shoestring with a little bit of seasoning on them that tasted a little sweet-ish. I didn’t care for the fries all that much.
The Smokehouse Burger at The High Dive
1801 Morena Blvd. | San Diego, CA 92110
Our last stop (so far) for Burger Week was a place way out on Morena called the High Dive. This place had a really eclectic mix of decorations in their restaurant! There were beer taps hanging from the ceiling, a TV in the back with lunchboxes surrounding it, a few pin ball machines, and lots of other pictures/signs/knick knacks. Very dive-y. Very cool.
This is the first place I had wanted to go but we ended up at Terra first since it was closer to Jake’s house AND I wasn’t sure if kids were allowed. But they have a kid’s menu so I guess kids are allowed in here. This was one of the only listings for Burger Week that clearly marked it had fries included for the $5 price tag.
Actually, the burger was delivered this like, but I thought it looked way more dramatic to put it together for the shot! The Smokehouse Burger came with smoked pulled pork, onion rings, and a spicy BBQ sauce. After my dramatic photo, I ate one of the onion rings and then did my very best to smoosh it together enough so that it would actually fit into my mouth.
Despite the piled high swoon worthy look… this burger was kind of lacking. It was a little overcooked (closer to medium-well) and the pulled pork, while tasty on it’s own, got lost in the mix of the thick burger, onion rings and other toppings. I could not really even taste it on my burger and there was a serious lack of sauce here. The bun was extra toasty and without any sauce to help out, this was the driest burger we had. Sad face.
On the upside though, the house cut fries were SO FREAKING GOOD. I mean… like really, really, really good. Freshly made on site with the skin still on, these were a slightly thick cut, very crispy and golden and almost creamy on the inside. I gushed a little about the fries to one of our servers who proudly told us that one of the things they do is they toss the potatoes in cornstarch. Say what?! A quick Google search in fact showed me this one was one of the secrets that America’s Test Kitchen reveals for making perfect french fries. Hot damn. Well, truly it works because these fries were so good that I’d come back here, despite the not-so-good burger.
There you have it – my roundup for San Diego Burger Week! You’ve got til Sunday to get your burger on so I hope this helps you to decide where to go and park it for five bucks.