Archive for pub/diner burger

The Burger Stand, Los Angeles, Ca

Posted Wednesday September 30, 2009 10:14AM

Categories: Los Angeles Ca, pub/diner burger, The Burger Stand, Vin S.

The Burger Stand, Los Angeles, CA Address: 3413 Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles, Ca
Visited: Tuesdey September 29, 2009 5:43PM
Ordered: Double Cheese Burger (x1)
Total Cost: $5.95

Vin S.’s Review

The Experience

So some sudden changes in plans found me driving home from work on a different route than usual. Specifically, I found myself driving straight down Crenshaw Blvd. While I oftentimes do not take the freeways home, I also must admit, I do not usually take Crenshaw. I’m not sure what area of LA this is — I don’t think it’s quite South Central, it’s just south of the 10 at the Crenshaw/Jefferson intersection. It’s all LA to me. So what to do on a relatively unfamiliar route home? Find a burger place, and review it!

The first place I saw after deciding on finding a burger was the aptly named, The Burger Stand. I pulled over immediately. Now, don’t get me wrong — this place is not for everyone. The style, the location, all that, are surely offputting for a lot of people. I’m sure it’s out of most peoples’ ways, unless you happen to find yourself heading down Crenshaw for some reason. While The Burger Stand is in a building, and not technically a stand, there is no restaurant part, you walk up to the window and order through the glass. The pretty ladies at the grill then spin your food out to you in one of those rotating bulletproof window things. A guy was relieving himself in the alley in the back. There was a pay phone (!) next to the order window, and a bunch of mannequins modelling on the sidewalk next door. Not everyone would dig this atmosphere, which is either pretty irrelevant, or very strong, depending on your point of view.

Me, I dug it.

Experience rating: not for everyone, but if you like that sort of thing — 3.77/5

(Docking .5 points for lack of chili. See below.)

The Burger

I had trouble deciding today what to order. While there wasn’t a ton of menu items, there were a number of options. The burgers were broken up into normal, king and double. I’m not sure what a king is. I ended up asking for a double chili burger, but damn–they were out of chili. What? So I just went with a double cheese burger. Other topping options included egg or bacon. (Or the egg bacon chili monstrosity.)

And let me tell you, this was the best burger I’d eaten in a long time. It was basically too big, that’s for sure. But is that a flaw? I did ask for a double, so I can’t complain at least. The two meat patties were gigantic, and quite tasty. The meat probably overwhelmed everything, but it was so good, I don’t mind. The patties tasted like they were just ground right there and grilled and definitely not frozen or anything like that. Superb.

Also the toppings surprised, which were a sort of lettuce/onion/mustard/pickles mix. I’m not usually a mustard fan–I don’t hate it, but it’s not something I usually turn to. I found the mustard and pickles gave the massive amounts of meat a real nice bite. The spiciness was just right, and very tasty. The only flaw in the toppings was maybe the cheese, which wasn’t overly noticeable among everything else. On the other hand, the bun was also unmemorable, but in my mind, that’s good. Too much bread is overwhelming and I don’t like that.


Bottom Line

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Fox & Fiddle, Toronto, On

Posted Monday September 21, 2009 11:23AM

Categories: Dave N., Fox & Fiddle, pub/diner burger, Richard C., Toronto On

Fox and Fiddle, Toronto, On Address: 1535 Yonge Street Toronto, On
Visited: Monday September 7, 2009 6:30PM
Ordered: Cracked Peppercorn Burger (x2), Fox Banquet Cheeseburger (x1), Chicken Salad (x1), Pints of Beer (x4), Coolers (x2)
Total Cost: $87.24

Dave N.’s Review

The Experience

It’s a chain pub. It’s pretty much what you would expect. The place is huge on the inside and there are three levels of patio, so there’s lots of space. We were on the ground floor patio, with a view out to Yonge St. There were a lot of wasps, and while I wouldn’t normally blame the restaurant for that, they were particularly attracted to an empty jam container on the ground next to us that we had to ask the staff to get rid of. In this case a little extra cleanliness would have gone a long way.

Our server was pretty good most of the night, but two things irked me. The first was that she removed my friend’s drink before he was done with it, without asking. That didn’t go over well. The second is that after we were done our meals we were required to settle the bill, even though we were staying for drinks, because our server’s shift was ending. I realize this isn’t her fault, that’s it’s a limitation of the restaurant’s system most likely, so I don’t blame her. I do blame Fox & Fiddle, though.

The fries were awesome: thick with very nice seasoning.

Experience rating: 4/5

The Burger

Maybe I should judge each burger on it’s own individual merits. Maybe I’m about to set a bad precedent. The thing is, when you’ve had one peppercorn burger that punches you in the face with peppercorny goodness, it’s hard not to compare other peppercorn burgers to that standard. See, the thing is, if I order a peppercorn burger, I want to take a bite and think "fuck yeah, peppercorns!" Instead this was more like "hmmm…. I think I can taste some peppercorns…"

Here’s the breakdown: this was a nice, big, fairly tasty burger on a good kaiser. As is fairly standard for pubs, it was served with some raw red onion (removed), tomato (removed), lettuce and pickle, with ketchup, yellow mustard (added) and green relish on the side. This bad boy also had some sauteed onions on top, some peppercorns grilled onto the burger, and a side of peppercorn sauce (added).

If I had just ordered a plain burger, this would have been a good solid entry. My problem is with the total lack of flavour coming out of both the peppercorn sauce and the peppercorns themselves. I felt deceived.

Burger rating: 2.5/5

Richard C.’s Review

The Experience

[Ed.'s note: Richard indicated his experience rating was mostly because of the fries.]

Experience rating: 4/5

The Burger

[Ed.'s note: Richard also had the peppercorn burger.]

Burger rating: 3.5/5

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Norm’s Restaurant, Los Angeles, Ca

Posted Thursday September 17, 2009 6:43PM

Categories: Los Angeles Ca, Norm's Restaurant, pub/diner burger, Vin S.

Norm's Restaurant Address: 470 La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, Ca
Visited: Monday September 14, 2009 6:45PM
Ordered: California Burger (x1), Onion Rings (x1), Lemonade (x1)
Total Cost: $11.17
Photo from Yellowbot, by Erron Silverstein

Vin S.’s Review

The Experience

Norm’s is a well-known LA diner, with a big menu, a handful of locations all around So. Cal., and lots of signs saying it had been around for 60 years. I’d never actually been to one, and on Monday night, I found myself suddenly without dinner plans (Roscoe’s trip with a friend fell apart last minute), and then as I wound back down through LA, I was outside Norm’s and hungry and decided to go in for a burger.

I reckon I would have appreciated this setting more at a late night time; as it was, it felt just like any old normal old diner. The waitress was friendly, it was just the right level of busy, but nothing about the experience stuck with me. I do remember thinking, "what is taking so long?" a few times while I was waiting for my food.

Experience rating: 2.41/5

The Burger

I did briefly consider ordering something else besides a burger, but nothing else really appealed and I thought, might as well get a review out of the night, right? There are 6 regular burgers on the menu, as well as 4 fancier ones which cost a little more. Each burger is 1/2 pound, with lettuce, tomato, pickles, red onions and Norm’s Special Sauce. I went with the California Burger, which also had melted Monterey Jack cheese and avocado. The burgers also came with fries or onion rings, and I chose the latter.

I’m writing this a couple of days later, and in reminiscing about the burger, I find I am mixed on the Norm’s burger. I quite liked the meat (a good size, which really let you taste it). The wheat bun I chose was also good (you could also get egg or sesame). I also quite enjoyed Norm’s Secret Sauce*.

However, the extra stuff I ordered which made the burger "California" were a big letdown. The avocado was buried, and added nothing. I barely noticed the cheese. I might get a burger at Norm’s again, but I probably wouldn’t get the California.

*the dirtiest Whattheburger sentence ever writ!

California Burger rating: 2.41/5

Bottom Line



Classic Burger No. 3, Redondo Beach, Ca

Posted Saturday September 12, 2009 7:25AM

Categories: Classic Burger No. 3, pub/diner burger, Redondo Beach Ca, Vin S.

Classic Burger No. 3, Redondo Beach, Ca Address: 622 Torrance Blvd., Redondo Beach, Ca, 90277
Visited: Friday September 11, 2009 7:45PM
Ordered: Turkey Burger (x1), Onion Rings (x1), Root Beer (x1)
Total Cost: $6.97
Photo from Yelp, by Joan S.

Vin S.’s Review

The Experience

Classic Burger is my favorite local diner. Serves everything, it’s never crazy crowded, I can take my book and sit and read while I eat. The crew behind the counter is friendly. Today, I was shocked–they’ve installed big plastic booths inside, where before it was metal tables. While this did change the atmosphere slightly, you don’t always want your local diner to make changes, even if it is an improvement, you know? It throws you off. Part of going there is for the familiarity! Regardless, the food and people and everything is the same. Just now there’s big plastic booths.

Anyway, yea Classic Burger (according to the sign out front) (Classic Charburger #3 according to the receipt) (Classic Burger No. 3 according to Google) is close to the beach, lowkey, and serves breakfast and lunch and dinner most all the day long. I frequent it often.

Experience rating: 4.44/5

The Burger

Classic Burger, despite the name, has a HUGE menu (pretty much whatever you want). And there are like 6 or 7 burgers to choose from. Usually, I just get the #1, a quarter pounder. Today, however, I tried something different for review, the #6, a turkey burger. But you can count this review for both, because they were basically the same burger! In fact, I think the #1 is the basis for all the others, which may just have slightly different toppings (i.e., the avocado burger, or the double, or the bacon cheeseburger). I’m not clear what the pastrami burger is like, and swear I will try it for you eventually.

The turkey burger then, was basically just the quarter pounder but with turkey meat. Whenever I eat the #1, it always reminds me of a more quality Big Mac–there’s lettuce/onion shredded together, thousand island dressing, and a pickle. I quite enjoy the lettuce/onion mix here, but it does overwhelm the meat… especially the turkey pattie. (Hamburger meat sticks out a bit more.) Also part of this overwhelming was because they put a DAMNED LOT of lettuce/onion mix on there.

This was made even more obvious because the one major flaw in this burger was that the bun fell apart one bite in, causing a giant mess of lettuce and onion and thousand island. (And the A1 steak sauce I dipped it in.) I don’t know what it is about the buns they use, but I wouldn’t mind something else there. I prefer the hamburger to the turkey though for sure, and am docking points from the score today because of that.

Otherwise, I think these burgers are very tasty, cheap, and I love this place.

Turkey Burger rating: 3.51/5

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