En Garde! Bet your buns there's a burger war going on ... in La Jolla

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(Left) Public House’s signature Grass-Fed kobe Wagyu Burger with a half-pound patty, melted gruyère cheese, gorgonzola crumbles, crispy onion straws, arugula and roasted tomato and (right) Eureka!‘s Fig Marmalade Burger with melted goat cheese, bacon, tomato, diced onion, arugula and spicy porter mustard. (Photo Illustration by Daniel K. Lew)

By Ashley Mackin

The burger is back! In addition to honoring the classic we all know and love, local hamburger emporiums are taking them up a notch by offering unique flavor pairings, better buns and craft beers.

La Jolla Light

asked the burgermeisters to give us the particulars on their patties.

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Burger Lounge

1101 Wall St., La Jolla

(858) 456-0196

burgerlounge.com

• Signature: The Lounge Burger, made with 100-percent single- source American grass-fed beef; topped with lettuce, tomato, house-made Thousand Island dressing, organic white cheddar or organic American cheese, and fresh or grilled onion.

• Brand: Freshness and quality of ingredients — all dressings and sauces are housemade; organic cane-sweetened fairtrade Maine Root fountain soda, served, always fresh 100-percent single-source American grass-fed beef, and sources organic cheese and ketchup to offer guests a burger they can feel good about eating.

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Burger Lounge’s Smokey Wild Boar Burger with smoked cheddar, onion rings and house-made BBQ sauce on a ‘Lounge’ bun. Courtesy

• Unique to the menu: In addition to grass-fed beef burgers, there are free-range turkey and wild Alaskan salmon burgers, vegetarian options (including an organic quinoa veggie burger), a fresh vegetable salad and an organic quinoa salad with roasted baby squash, corn, tomato, arugula, spinach, kale, red onion, toasted almonds, feta and smoked tomato vinaigrette.

Burger Lounge unveiled grass-fed wild-game burgers as seasonal specials in November, serving a smoky wild-boar burger with smoked cheddar, hand-cut onion rings and house-made barbecue sauce for February. An elk burger will follow in March and April.

• What best pairs with your burgers? Ballast Point Yellowtail Pale Ale and a Lounge Burger go together extremely well.

• Average burger cost: $7.95

• The vibe: All locations are certified green and use energy- saving light fixtures and biodegradable products. The atmosphere is casual with accents of orange and brown outfitting the dining rooms and patios.

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Eureka! Burger

4353 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla

(858) 210-3444

eurekaburger.com

• Signature: Fig Marmalade Burger with homemade marmalade, melted goat cheese, crispy bacon, minced tomatoes, onion and arugula dolloped in spicy porter mustard.

• Brand: 100-percent vegetarian- fed natural meats and local produce. Cocktails are produced by Certified Cicerone mixologists who use all-natural ingredients, including fresh-squeezed orange juice and natural sugars.

• Unique to the menu: Everything. There isn’t an item on the menu that is standard — and that’s everything from the appetizers (Osso Buco Riblets) to a signature sandwich, like the Chicken Saltimbocca (sautéed chicken with garlic, oven-roasted tomatoes layered with prosciutto ham, smoked mozzarella cheese and seasoned with fresh sage).

• What best pairs with your burgers? American craft spirits and regional microbrews around, including American small batch whiskeys like Barcones, Corsair and Pappy Van Winkle, and stellar brew- houses like Green Flash, Ballast Point and Stone.

• Average burger cost: $10.50

• The vibe: Each restaurant is made to feel as though the community has a sense of ownership. The atmosphere works for families or a night out on the town.

La Jolla Brew House

7536 Fay Ave., La Jolla

(858) 456-6279

lajollabrewhouse.com

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La Jolla Brew House‘s Half-pound Classic Bacon Cheeseburger with bacon; choice of cheddar, pepper jack or swiss cheese, and a side of fries. Susan DeMaggio

• Signature: The BH Burger, a half-pound patty of all-natural beef.

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