san diego burger week 2016 recap
San Diego Burger Week was upon us once again last week – were you able to hit up any spots for $5 burgers? I only managed to go to 5 places which seems somewhat respectable. Let’s recap the places I visited for San Diego Burger Week and I’ll tell you which burgers I’d actually pay full price for in the future.
South Park Abbey
At South Park Abbey in South Park, the Burger Week deals were:
$5 Burger: Our Harris Ranch Beef Burger, ground in-house.
$10 Combo: The Burger and a Basket of SD’s Best Wings
Jake, T and I met up with Lynn from Oh-So Yummy for our first burger during San Diego Burger Week. Lynn wanted to get in on some wings so we ordered two of the $10 combo’s which each came with a basket of six wings.
We asked for the burger to be medium rare and choose American cheese for the burger. It came with all of the fixings: onions, tomato, and a giant piece of lettuce. Interesting enough, the “toppings” were all on the bottom. Does that make them… “bottom-ings”? Yeah, I know. I’m just making up stuff now.
The burger patty had a nice crispy bottom. It almost tasted like crispy bacon from the texture as there was a definite crust on the bottom of the burger. The top bun was too thick and made it a little harder to eat the burger. This was cooked more on the medium side and was not super juicy. The cheese melted very nicely on top. Overall it was an average burger.
[cheese curds / $8.50]
The little cubes of cheese curds were my favorite thing at South Park Abbey. These weren’t apart of the special deals or anything – I just love cheese! These little cubes of goodness were gooey and delicious with their crispy outer coating. I’d order these again in a heartbeat.
Now for some wings! I thought it was a pretty stellar deal to do a burger + a basket of wings for $10. These are the “Dirty” wings which are kind of a combination of a bunch of flavors – I like the sauce on these wings but the wings themselves seemed to be lacking in meat overall.
And these are the “Sweet & Spicy” wings which were kind of sticky and gooey and luckily not very spicy at all. Of the two, I prefer the Dirty wings.
South Park Abbey (FB)
1946 Fern St.
San Diego, CA 92102
On another day, I treated myself to lunch at Callahan’s in Mira Mesa. The San Diego Burger Week deals were:
$5 Burger: Special Brewery Burger
$10 Combo: Special Brewery Burger, Fries and 10 oz select House Beer or Soft Drink
I told myself I was only going to get the burger… but that idea was thrown out the window since I really like the fries at Callahan’s. They are thick steak cut fries with a crispy coating on the exterior. They were soft and creamy on the inside with a nice outer crunch and I find them hard to resist! I always order them with a side of ranch as well. So really… I come here for a french fry fix and the burger is just kind of a bonus. The burgers at Callahan’s are pretty hefty and are a decent burger for lunch. The $10 combo was a good deal since usually the burger + fries combo is $11.50 (without a drink).
This burger won’t win any awards or anything but it’s a solid choice. I’d paid full price for this sucker in the past but like I said… mostly it’s for my love of their french fries.
8111 Mira Mesa Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92126
Cali “O” Burgers
Last Friday was when it was crunch time and we only had two days left to get our burgers in! I choose to come to Cali “O” Burgers in Hillcrest since I knew they had their own parking lot and it was a place were we could bring T along with us. The San Diego Burger Week deals were:
$5 Burger: Grass fed Patty, lettuce tomato red onions, house Dijon aioli. On a brioche bun.
$10 Combo: Burger, our signature Sidewinder Fries, and a Miller Lite (or any domestic beer or Stella Artois)
We got one combo so we could try the Sidewinder Fries (and so I could get a Stella Artois). The fries are this weird windy shape – you can see the top one is curling in on itself a little bit. The fries were good – they had a nice crisp exterior and were creamy on the inside, which is what I like.
At Cali “O” Burgers, their menu is full of burgers named after different parts of California. I think for Burger Week they just do a plainer version of their burger which came with onion, lettuce, and tomato (which were also all on the bottom here). We asked for the burger medium rare though it was more on the medium side. The burger tasted a bit under seasoned to me and wasn’t super juicy, either. I like that the bun was toasted at least.
Onion petals! These weren’t apart of the special but I ordered them anyway and I lubbed them. Fried onions make me happy. Jake and T really liked the ranch sauce here (which we used for dipping…. everything).
Overall I wasn’t too impressed with the burger here. It was just okay. It didn’t blow my socks off. Decent enough for $5.
Cali O’s Burgers (FB)
1290 University Ave.
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 692 9999
The Rabbit Hole
Last Saturday was the last day… and we managed to hit up two spots for the last day of burger week! My favorite burger last year was at The Rabbit Hole so I definitely wanted to try it again. The San Diego Burger Week deals were:
$5 Burger: Ground Chuck Norris – beef chuck patty, choice of cheese and house louie dressing.
$10 Combo: Ground Chuck Norris, Fries & Domestic Draft
This is a different burger than what they had last year. Last year’s burger was this mixture of three different kinds of cuts of beef and this one is only ground chuck – hence the name, “Ground Chuck Norris”. The Ground Chuck Norris comes with cheese (yay) and I picked American because I think it’s the best cheese for burgers.
Medium rare. It’s the best for burgers if you ask me. The meat is a little juicer, a little more tender, and a little more “melt-in-your-mouth” good. The cheese fully covered the top of the burger and actually… the meat was under seasoned. But the beef was so incredibly delicious that I didn’t mind – I just added a sprinkle of salt on there and I was good to go. Better than being overly salty at least!
This was my second favorite burger of San Diego Burger Week this year. It’s basically what I expect in a burger – cooked just right, very juicy, with a nice bun to meat ratio. I think last year’s burger was better but this is a respectable entry from The Rabbit Hole.
I had actually ordered mashed potatoes but they were out of them at the moment and wouldn’t be ready for awhile… so I ordered us a bucket of fries. The fries were $4 so our total for the bill was only $9 since we got waters. I could have sprung for that extra $1 and gotten a beer but I wasn’t in the mood for it. The fries here are fabulous. Lovely crunch, lovely creaminess, good seasoning. They have this smoky-ketchup like sauce that I actually liked… though I liked it better mixed with a little ranch + the smoky sauce together. Good stuff, man. I’d totally pay full price for this.
The Rabbit Hole
3377 Adams Ave.
San Diego, CA 92116
Royale with Cheese
We almost didn’t go here. It was getting to be on the later side on Saturday night and Jake was chattering away with his mom and I pretty much said, “Okay, I don’t want to go anymore.” and Jake said, “No! We can go! Let’s go.” I told him I was waiting for him to stop talking and he gave me a “Really, you thought I was gonna stop talking?” look. Silly me.
Off we went to Royale with Cheese, which is tucked away in the corner of Park and Rec, a bar in University Heights. The San Diego Burger Week deals were:
$5 Burger: Royale with Cheese – Wagyu beef patty, Gruyere, bacon, caramelized onion, Dijon, special sauce and pickle.
$10 Combo: A Royale with Cheese plus a pint of Alesmith .394
Their menu was just on a piece of butcher block paper. When you bought a $5 burger, they gave you a red ticket that was good for a $5 beer. We didn’t use the ticket.
Okay, I don’t like this photo. I was having issues with the low lightning. And there were no tables, so I was balancing on the ground trying to take photos in the dark. This photo doesn’t do the burger any justice at all and I apologize because this burger was hella freakin’ awesome.
The burger was cooked to a perfect medium rare. It was incredibly flavorful and juicy and everything just melded together so well. This burger didn’t need any extra seasonings because it HAD IT ALL. I love you, Royale with Cheese. I must come back in the daytime and get a better photograph of your glory.
Tater tots. We ordered them. They were delicious. What was in that cup? I have no idea. Some kind of ranch-y-ish kind of sauce. It was delicious. The tots were perfectly crispy without being greasy at all. Hooray!
As soon as I saw “We Brie Jammin” on their little menu, I knew I was gonna order it. It had nothing to do with burger week but I didn’t care. Brie calls to me, you guys. And this simple little cheese sandwich was stellar. Awesome. Fabulous. And extra tasty! Even Jake loved it more than the burger and he doesn’t really like brie cheese! The bread was this wonderful rosemary bread that was crispy and crunchy and glorious… and the combo of brie + grilled onions + some kind of jam was like heaven on bread. I’m definitely coming back to Royale with Cheese again!
Note that if you’ve got kiddies, you can’t take them to Royale with Cheese since it is inside a bar. You can order it to go and then leave the bar, but that’s pretty much the only way your kiddies would get to try it.
Not too shabby for San Diego Burger Week! The food at Royale with Cheese and the Rabbit Hole are definitely ones I’ll crave again sometime soon. Did you try any spectacular burgers that I missed during Burger Week? Let me know!