Tag Archives: Burger Review

Burger Dude’s Burger Review: Bob’s Big Boy

I was actually starting to head to another place for this review when I drove by Bob’s Big Boy.

Okay, I get it, you know all about Bob’s and you been there before. But when was the last time you went there just for a great burger. I have to be honest, I knew the burger was good but I was actually blown away how good it was on this trip.

Now in all honesty, I have been going to this Bob’s since the days its original entrance was on Riverside Drive which is longer ago than most to you can even remember. Back in those days I would always get my big boy without relish because as a naïve child I did not understand the great complexity and flavor of the red relish of Bob’s.

So on this day I walked in and sat at the counter for the first time in as long as I can remember. I was probably in the chair for less than a minute when my waitress, Vanessa, came over to take my drink order. Of course, being at Bob’s, I ordered a cherry vanilla Coke. Bob’s is one of few places that actually squirts vanilla flavor and cherry flavor into the glass making for an amazing taste.

My order was the original Big Boy Combo. Now let me tell you some secrets and some suggestions I have for you.  Number one, I added avocado to the burger just to enhance the taste. Second, when they ask you what kind of salad dressing you want, always say heavy blue cheese. The reason being it makes a great dip for your fries. If you say an extra side of blue cheese they will charge you for a side but when you use the word heavy they bring you the side at no extra charge. Of course, the fries were ordered well done.

In the old days they used to bring your salad in a small dish along with the  burger and fries. Now they bring the salad first so that by the time you’re finished your burger is ready to go.

When Vanessa brought my burger it looked as good as it did 50 years ago, if not better. Bob’s was one of the first to put an extra bun in between the patties which gave the burger more size. By putting the lettuce and cheese between the bottom patty and the bottom bun, it keeps the bottom bun from getting soggy and falling apart.

Okay, I get that these are smaller patties and you really can’t cook it medium rare but the cook is perfect on them and you get the full flavor from the meat with the two patties. Since I am a grown up boy now, I actually love the relish and along with the avocado it gives a tremendous taste. I am also a huge fan of the shredded lettuce compared to the big leafy lettuce that some places use. Really hate when you take a bite and a big chunk of lettuce comes out of the burger.

From first bite to the last I enjoyed every ounce of it. It’s funny that as places try to get fancier and fancier with their burgers, sometimes one of the old originals completely stands up to the test of time.

As for my fries, cooked perfectly well done and with my side of blue cheese dressing and of course, the Bob’s Seasoning Salt, it’s a great trip down memory lane and a great flavor experience.

I have to apologize that at the end I got so caught up in my experience I did not snap any pictures of the hot fudge cake. Any meal at Bob’s Big Boy is not complete without their famous hot fudge cake, which has been around much longer than the Pazookie’s that everyone seems to have nowadays. The greatest part is the combo is under $12

Vanessa was an absolutely amazing waitress who kept my drink refills coming and continuously checking with me.

Bob’s Big Boy is located at 4211 Riverside Drive. – 818 843-9334.  Open 24 hours.
(Side note: If you like old cars, stop by on Friday night to see amazing vehicles. If not, stay away from Friday night because of the crowds and lack of parking)

Bob’s Big Boy receives: Tops in Town

myBurbank Ratings:
Tops In Town (Outstanding)
On The Marquee (Really Good)
Could Use A Rewrite (Average or Slightly Below)
Don’t Quit Your Day Job (Poor)

If you would like the Burger Dude to consider a location for a review – let us know HERE

 

Burger Dude’s Burger Review: California Eatery

For years, it was a Conroy’s Flowers. Then for many more years it was a closed Conroy’s Flowers that you saw vacant. Even after that the building of California Eatery seemed to take years before it was completed.

When driving by it, there is really nothing that draws you to it or the food inside. If anything, looks like a fancy store for donuts and bagels that closes in the afternoon.

I had wanted to try it for a couple years but there is really nothing about it that drew me to the place. Of course though, the Burger Dude has to go where the Burger Dude has to go.

Once you walk in, it is actually a very open area that looks very inviting. It has a fresh and clean look inside.

I was a little nervous standing in line instead of getting table service to order because usually that means a very average burger, but sometimes looks can be deceiving.

Getting to the front of the line I order the California Burger and I was actually shocked when the girl behind the counter asked me “How would you like it cooked and what type of cheese?”. I was actually a little shocked and of course said medium rare with cheddar cheese. Fries are also included, of course I said well done on the fries. The burger went for $11.50.

I was now a little perplexed and actually had anticipation for the burger. I had some slight hope in the back of my mind but was still thinking it would just be another average burger.

It actually arrived in about 10 minutes time and I was kind of shocked when she put it down in front of me. It actually looked like a well-crafted burger!

The burger was advertised as 100% Angus beef, lettuce, tomato, crispy onion, avocado, bacon & 1000 Island Dressing. It was all there and it did not disappoint.

The patty was cooked exactly as I’d hoped, medium rare, and it was loaded with bacon and avocado, so much so that it was spilling out of burger and on the plate. The bacon was very fresh and crispy and did not taste greasy at all. The avocado and lettuce were also fresh and the cheddar cheese with abundant. This burger tasted great and I was actually disappointed when I had finished it.

My only slight criticism would be the bun which, while it did hold up for the entire meal, the bottom bun did soak in a lot of juice and I wish it had been toasted to hold up a little better. However, the bun was very fresh.

When I first saw the fries I was little disappointed thinking that they were not going to be crispy but they were actually well done and had some crunch to them. The oil must’ve been very fresh, there was very little grease with the fries either.

California Eatery  is a place that does not jump out you think of a burger, but it needs to be on your radar now. This is a very welcome surprise and enjoyable experience. They actually have a full menu with many things on it and I will be going back again to try other things although I know now that I could go there and get a great burger anytime.

This is one time where quality and price make it a real winner!

The California Eatery is located at 2411 Burbank Blvd. – 818 861-7475.  Open Daily 6:00 am to 4:00 pm (Corner of Buena Vista and Burbank)

The California Eatery receives: Tops in Town

myBurbank Ratings:
Tops In Town (Outstanding)
On The Marquee (Really Good)
Could Use A Rewrite (Average or Slightly Below)
Don’t Quit Your Day Job (Poor)

If you would like the Burger Dude to consider a location for a review – let us know HERE

Burger Dude’s Burger Review: The Burbank Pub

Yes Burbank, I am back!

Since I saw that myBurbank was now doing pancake reviews, I felt it was time to reestablish my dominance in the field of burgers.

Since I left you a couple of years ago, there have been many many changes in the Burger landscape of Burbank. Some for the better, and some are very disappointing. Over 60 reviews already done in Burbank, 15 locations have already closed. Some of those had excellent burgers while some of those all we can say is good luck and best wishes.

There have been places that have come and gone very recently. Before I could do a review of Burger IM on Pass Avenue, it is now Burger IWAS since it opened and closed in about a six month period of time. Oh well, so much the past, let’s concentrate on the present.

When starting up again I had asked myself where I should go to start things off with a bang. We came up with The Burbank Pub since it seems to represent Burbank and is in the heart of the city. So off we went.

The Burbank Pub is in the former location of Buchanan Arms, whose owner decided to close their business and retired.

When you first walk in it seems a little dark in the middle of the day but you quickly adjust. There are many tables inside along with a bar. Once I sat down, I was helped immediately by some very friendly staff.

Of course, we were there for the burger and ordered the Pub Burger. The first words from our server were music to my ears “How would you like that cooked?” It’s always promising when you can cook a burger to your specifications and mine, I love them medium-rare. The burger is described as a brisket and short-rib patty with horseradish aioli, Irish cheddar, HP sauce, and fried onions.

It is a combination that works superbly. When the burger came, it was hot and cooked beautifully medium-rare. The patty had been hand-packed and you could just see the freshness. The fried onions mixed in really gave the overall burger a great taste. The bun was firm and lasted well the entire time I had in my hands which actually was not very long at all considering how great the burger was.

While the burger does have a $16 price on it, it is not something I can have a weekly basis but whenever I’m in need of a great burger would have no problem coming back to get another one. I also got fries with the burger, asking for them well done, and they came out perfectly. Once again they see the taste very fresh. In fact, the only drawback to the fries was they actually served to many! Well the ketchup that came with them was very good, the barbecue sauce I also requested was a little thin and watery. The waiter said they make it themselves and were still tweaking the recipe. I’ll give him a pass this time on that.

They have many great appetizers for you to start with and I went with the tater tots. There were cooked to a beautiful brown and with the dipping sauce taste great. There was a nice pile of them that two of us ate comfortably. We also have some off-the-wall things such as Deviled Scotch Eggs, Avocado Crumpets, English sausage rolls, Crispy Brussels Sprouts, Fried Cheese Kurds and Fish Tots. I was not feeling that adventures today so I just went with the tater tots.

Of course, desserts are always special and The Burbank Pub has some great selections. On the day we visited they have a special which was Cold Brewed Coffee Bread Pudding with Cookies and Cream ice cream and of course, the whipped cream was Amazing!

So while it is great to be back, I think it can be hard to find another burger as good as the one we just had to start exploring again on our adventure. I will be going back to The Burbank Pub to try other things because of the quality of food and the friendly service are what makes Burbank so special.

The Burbank Pub is located at 2013 Burbank Blvd. – 818 558-3013.  Open Tuesday through Saturday 11:30 am to 12:00 (Closed Sunday and Monday)

The Burbank Pub receives: Tops in Town

myBurbank Ratings:
Tops In Town (Outstanding)
On The Marquee (Really Good)
Could Use A Rewrite (Average or Slightly Below)
Don’t Quit Your Day Job (Poor)

If you would like the Burger Dude to consider a location for a review – let us know HERE

Burger Review: Patys

While it may not be exactly in Burbank, No restaurant can be closer with Patys being on the corner of Clybourn and Riverside Drive.

patys-3Patys has been there since the golden age of Toluca Lake and many times you can see some of Hollywood’s elite there. While most of the food is very well and prepared there, we are after the burger.

We decided to go after the Build Your Own Burger for $10.49. I went with the only real meat offering, the half pound ground chuck and picked the brioche bun. For 50 cents more I added cheddar cheese and avocado cost an extra $1.

patys-2Once the burger came it looked as ordered. It was cooked medium rare per my instructions but there was not really anything that stood out about it.  Everything was to order, but the cheddar cheese did not look plentiful although the avocado was.

While the bun was slightly toasted, the patty was laying on the bottom bun which is always a scary thing but during the entire time did not self destruct.  The disappointing thing was the bun was dry and only ketchup and mustard was available on the table. We asked for a side of thousand island just to add some flavor.

patys-1Overall the burger was good, but not great. I just felt that I was eating an ordinary burger that was just another item on the menu. Nothing special about the taste. Everything tasted fresh, the bun was nice and soft and the patty cooked the way I liked but it was just above average only. I liked it, just did not love it.

Side Notes: Tried the Cheese Quesadilla which was excellent. The cole slaw was also good. The shoestring fries were well done and I enjoyed them.  The real highlight of the day was the dessert which consisted of their coconut cake. One thing about Patys is that they bake their own cakes right there. While some of the other desserts are brought in from the outside, the cakes are not and taste fresh and moist.  Make sure you ask your server which ones were made that day for the ultimate cake experience and you should also order that glass of cold milk to go with it.

Patys is located at 10001 Riverside Drive, Toluca Lake– 818 761-0041. Open Monday through Sunday 7 am to 10 pm

Patys receives: On the Marquee

myBurbank Ratings:
Tops In Town (Outstanding)
On The Marquee (Really Good)
Could Use A Rewrite (Average or Slightly Below)
Don’t Quit Your Day Job (Poor)

If you would like us to consider a location for a review – let us know HERE

Burger Review: The Castaway

Carl’s Jr. at one time advertised their big burger as the $6 Cheeseburger (which I now think is around $7.50!?) and although they charged about $4.59, they want you to think you are getting a better value. Now if you go to the Castaway Restaurant on top of the hill in Burbank and order their $18 Cheeseburger, you are paying $18 but what the heck, you get a great view of the Valley.

castaway-1Yes, $18 for a cheeseburger. Thank goodness my editor just pays back my receipts without question. Hopefully he does not also buy any of those $300 toilet seats the government usually buys.

When we went in the The Castaway Restaurant, we were surprised how uncrowded it was at 12:30 in the afternoon. Oh wait, did I mention they serve $18 cheeseburgers. I’m sure people have to weight the decision to pay the monthly rent or get a cheeseburger from The Castaway.

So myself and our guests (their names were not revealed to protect the innocent) sat down and of course I ordered the Castaway Cheeseburger, which consists of lettuce, caramelized onions, aged cheddar, 1000 Island. When they asked, I ordered it medium rare. Now since I was paying $18 for this golden cheeseburger, I thought I would also add avocado for an extra $2 to make it an even $20. Believe it or not, Dodger Stadium does not even charge $20 for a cheeseburger.

castaway-4Once the burger came I have to admit that it looked great. They used a white cheddar on the burger that looked very inviting and oozed all over the hand made patty. There was avocado there also but it seemed that they used it sparingly and it actually provided little extra taste.

The caramelized onions were plentiful and I have to admit that I personally like the raw onions a little better. These onions were nice, they just don’t have that much of a unique taste, or a sharper onion taste. The thousand island dressing was not very noticeable either.

Once I picked it up, I noticed the bun was nice and fresh but I was worried with the patty sitting directly on the bun that it might give out.  Instead, another issued occurred.

castaway-3Once I took my first bite, I could feel the entire burger shift in the bun with the patty and onions started to slide around and wanted to just completely leave the bottom bun.  I now had to try and slide things back into place. Each bite I took after that seemed to have the same effect and after a while I was worrying more about holding onto the bun than trying to enjoy the burger.  It was a slippery slope and a messy one at that.

So with that one problem being handled (or should I say man-handled) came to flavor. I thought that the patty was fresh and it was cooked perfectly, it was all of the condiments that really seemed not to deliver much. There were no lettuce and pickles which could have helped but that is their decision as a restaurant so I have to respect that. It just was as good as the cheese and patty were, that is what the rest of the burger was lacking. For $18, they should include an entire produce department.

castaway-2At least the view was good.

Side Notes: As always, I ordered the fries well done and they were not. It was nice that for $18 they included french fries, at least all about 20 or so of them – really skimpy. We also tried both the crispy calamari and the spinach and artichoke dip which were also both very good but were also a little pricey at $14 and $11. I thought the dip was actually a better value and really did enjoy the taste.  Our servers were also very efficient and quick.

The Castaway is located at 1250 E Harvard Rd.Burbank – (818) 848-6691.
Open everyday from 11 am to 3 pm and 4 pm to 11 pm most days with earlier weekend hours

The Castaway receives: On the Marqee

myBurbank Ratings:
Tops In Town (Outstanding)
On The Marquee (Really Good)
Could Use A Rewrite (Average or Slightly Below)
Don’t Quit Your Day Job (Poor)

If you would like us to consider a location for a review – let us know HERE

Burger Review: Honeybaked Ham

It’s getting close for Thanksgiving and that means it is getting time for that Thanksgiving ham!

No it’s not you turkeys – it’s time for turkey.

honeybaked-4Now Christmas, of course, is ham time and I, like many of you, have waited in that long line on Christmas Eve at Honeybaked Ham. But what about Honeybaked Ham the rest of the year?

After getting a note from a reader (yes, someone actually reads and likes the burger reviews including the bad spelling and grammar sometimes  -get over it), it was time to check out the burger.

When you walk in during the afternoon, you actually see a thriving restaurant besides a counter where you can pick up a sandwich and side to go.  Rumor has it that after Papoo’s Hot Dog Show shut down years ago, many of the staff came over to Honeybaked and made the restaurant side a go.  They have done a good job and you get that feel that the Hot Dog Show use to have.

honeybaked-2 You can sit down at a table and get table service which we did. There are several burgers on the menu and I went with the Honey Burger after finding there was no avocado for the bacon/avocado burger.  Honey’s Burger, which consists of choice of white or whole wheat bun. All Burgers are 1/3 lb. with tomato, lettuce, pickles and 1000 Island Dressing with grilled or raw onions available upon request. I requested raw.

What I was not asked is how I wanted the burger cooked although I was offered a choice of cheese. Yes, you know, cheddar.

Once the burger came it was as described and it was a handmade patty. It came on an egg bun and I was immediately worried because the patty rested on the bun meaning there may be a bun collapse in our immediate future. One bite in and I was immediately saddened by the fact the burger was cooked medium well. I am dumbfounded to figure why I was not asked how I would like a burger of this quality cooked.  By cooking it medium well instead of medium rare, there was a loss of the many flavors and juice that you would normally taste.

honeybaked-1The only advantage of a medium well cooked patty is that the juice will not trickle into the bottom bun so it is less like to self-destruct and in this case it held together the entire time. I had also asked for raw onions and none were provided, nor where any pickles which I had also asked for.

All considered, the burger was good, I just could not find it great because of the patty being cooked wrong. All the taste was there and it was a nice large burger with the condiments also being fresh.

The amount of food and the quality definitely make this a place for you to stop by and try.  My opinion is if you ask for your burger cooked a certain way they will do it. This is a place not thought of as a restaurant and is actually a great little secret in Toluca Lake. You can get in and out easy with parking in the rear.

honeybaked-3Side Notes: One thing about honeybaked ham is that they have some amazing side salads on the side. I had some cole slaw that was nice and creamy and also some macaroni salad that had pieces of cheddar cheese mixed in. I was in heaven. It tasted great.  What I did not like was the fries. Even though, as always. I ordered them well done, they were not. There is noting like fries that are fresh and crispy and these were not crispy, a huge disappointment. Either the cook does not know how to make crispy fries, which I doubt, or the waitress did not write it down for him – like I said, disappointing.

Honeybaked Ham is located at 10106 Riverside Drive, Toluca Lake– 818 766-3958. Open Monday through Friday 8 am to 5:30 pm, Saturday and Sunday 7:30 am to 3 pm

Honeybaked Ham receives: On the Marquee

myBurbank Ratings:
Tops In Town (Outstanding)
On The Marquee (Really Good)
Could Use A Rewrite (Average or Slightly Below)
Don’t Quit Your Day Job (Poor)

If you would like us to consider a location for a review – let us know HERE

Burger Review: Market City Caffe

I have been to Market City Caffe a number of times, each time having one of their pasta dishes.  They make a great homemade pasta that melts in your mouth.

They also have a nice outside seating area that puts you right in the atmosphere of Downtown Burbank and the Palm Court.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

As you can tell, I am trying to write about everything else I can think of that is positive and stay away from the burger. But that’s what we are here for, the burger.

On the menu they have two burgers. One is a Blue Burger and the other is just called Cheeseburger. Looks like they have as much love for burgers on their menu as a Mexican restaurant.

The cheeseburger is described as “Angus beef, onion marmalade, lettuce, tomato, mozzarella cheese, brioche bun”. Okay, sounds good but you know what I asked the server as soon as he asked how I would like it cooked? Cheddar cheese please! To which he answered that not only do they not have cheddar cheese, but also do not have American Cheese!

No American Cheese in an American restaurant? How Communist!

Market City Cafe 3Now as long as I can remember, I always put my mozzarella cheese on my pizza and my cheddar cheese on the burger – something was screwy here. If they had cheddar cheese I wounder if they would put that on one of their pizzas.

Once the burger came it looked good with a hand-crafted patty. There was no spread on the bun that was actually more than just toasted, it was burnt on some of the edges making the bun somewhat hard. After taking my first bite I immediately discovered that I did not like the onion marmalade. It just did not work.

The meat was actually cooked medium rare and tasted fine by itself. The mozzarella cheese, well that was a different matter. Between the mozzarella cheese and the onion marmalade it just did not taste right. Without any other condiments supplied, there was not much to taste. It just became very bland.

Market City Cafe 2What’s a shame is that the burger here has been an afterthought much like other restaurants that do not specialize in burgers. They have a great Angus patty that is cooked and seasoned well but everything else does not work at all. It’s like putting a Ferrari engine inside a Volkswagen and expecting a positive result. Like I always say, do it right or don’t do it at all. Market City Caffe is an outstanding restaurant in Downtown Burbank but they get a complete fail when it comes to heir burgers.

Market City Cafe 1Side Notes: As always, I ordered the fries well done and they did not come that way.  They were shoestring fries that had some crispness on some while others were like squirming worms.  They were freshly made but in the end I could not finish them because there were just too many.  Tried the cole slaw also and it was extremely carrot heavy and not real creamy.  It was a good portion and I ate it all, but just was not a big fan.  It was fresh. just not the way I like it which is fine. Can’t always have my way.

Market City Caffe is located at 164 East Palm in Burbank. 818 840-7036 (on the corner of Palm and San Fernando – plenty of outdoor seating). Open M – Thurs. 11:30 am until 9 pm,  Friday 11:30 am until 10 pm, Saturday 9 am until 10 pm, Sunday 9 am until 9 pm.

Market City Caffe receives: Could Use a Rewrite

myBurbank Ratings:
Tops In Town (Outstanding)
On The Marquee (Really Good)
Could Use A Rewrite (Average or Slightly Below)
Don’t Quit Your Day Job (Poor)

If you would like us to consider a location for a review – let us know HERE

Burger Review: REFIRE – The Hangar Grille

The Burger Dude reads his email (and Tweets!) and he is always ready when someone asks for a second chance.

hangar-6aThe Hangar Grille on Magnolia sent in an email explaining the ownership group had changed and they wanted the Burger Dude back. The first review they were given an ‘On The Marquee’ rating but they felt they had made the changes to move up to ‘Tops in Town’.

I reread my original review before we went in to see where the major points of contention were and my number one complaint was the cheese. So in we went.

hangar-4aThe interior is basically the change. We were met as soon as we walked in the door by a very friendly server who quickly got our drinks, gave us some menus with some lunch specials.  As I looked at the menu and all it said for burger was something to the effect of Made to Special Order. I thought that might be a little vague as to what my options were and I started to  wonder what I had gotten myself back into.

But than I spotted a small silver bucket with a paper in it along with some golf pencils that basically let you design the burger of your choice. It is something the Counter also does and leaves nothing to chance or a servers memory in some cases.

Now you are at ease to choose your protein,the temperature (which they did not list medium rare but I wrote that down and the server had no problem with it. You can choose your toppings, your cheese and they have some premium toppings along with some side orders if you want.

Already, I felt a tremendous improvement. The last time I was hear they did not have cheddar cheese but all they had was a Monterey Jack/Pepper Cheese mix that they used. It really sucked. Now you can still have your Pepper Jack cheese (and people will point and say things quietly behind your back) or you can check off the cheddar box.  I also went with the iceberg lettuce, thousand island, white onions, tomatoes, pickle spear and also checked off the avocado box.

hangar-1aWhen the burger came, it looked totally different then last time. The patty was hand made and thick and you could see everything piled up.

The cheddar cheese was melted over the patty and all of the ingredients looked fresh.

I actually had to push it down a bit and remove one of the slices of tomato just to get it in my mouth, okay my big mouth as some of you think, around it. The first bite released some of the juice in the patty that splashed down on the plate. Because the burger was built upside down, the toasted bottom bun had no threat of falling apart. Both buns did a good job of staying together and tasted fresh.

The overall taste was great. Everything that the last burger they put out last November was nothing like this new one.  I totally enjoyed it all the way through. The patty was seasoned and cooked perfect and the flavors all mixed well. My only suggestions would be to put the thousand island in a cup on the side like the ketchup they supply because I would have preferred more and I thought the avocado was a little skimpy, but the taste was absolutely there.

hanger-2aI am really glad that they emailed us to come back and took the time and energy to revamp their old burger. This time I will be back and probably many times, to have this burger and I look forward to trying some of the other things on their menu.

Well done guys!

This kind of why we started our reviews – to find some great burgers out there in places that you may not know about of go to. There are actually a lot of great burger out there!

If someone we have reviewed has made improvements, let us know. We will be glad to come back and try it again.

hangar-3aSide Notes: I ordered a side of cole slaw and it was alright but I really don’t think it was made fresh that day. Nothing like freshly made, juicy cole slaw.  The fries were also an improvement and were cooked to my liking. They seemed as though they were cut and made fresh. For dessert they recommended their chocolate bundt cake and holly cow, that thing was a treat in itself. They make it there on premises and it was nice and warm with a great filling. This rivals all desserts in all restaurants. My only suggestion might have been…how about making it ala mode!

The Hangar Grille is located at 3821 W. Magnolia Blvd. in Burbank. 818 842-5250.
Open daily 11:30 am-9:30 pm

The Hangar Grille receives: Tops in Town

myBurbank Ratings:
Tops In Town (Outstanding)
On The Marquee (Really Good)
Could Use A Rewrite (Average or Slightly Below)
Don’t Quit Your Day Job (Poor)

If you would like us to consider a location for a review – let us know HERE

Burger Review: Andre’s Cafe

As we travel around town there are always those places you look at but don’t always stop by to try although they look inviting.

One of the things that we also try to accomplish to find those unique, single owner restaurants that take care and pride in their food, offering something that you would come back for time and again.

andres-3We had seen Andre’s Cafe in the past but they close everyday at 2:30 before opening again at 4:30 as a Sushi restaurant. I know, I don’t get it either.

Because it closes at 2:30, I have a rule called the One Hour Rule. In that rule, you never go to eat at a restaurant in the last hour that they are open. I have found over the years that servers are rushing to do their end work for the night and they forget about customers because they have to leave by closing.  I am also sure the cooks are doing the same thing and not as worried about the time and loving care that a meal needs. So I found over the years to stay away from restaurants in that last hour.

So around 1 pm we got into Andre’s an was a little worried not to see other customers during lunchtime. Maybe it was just a slow day.

I ordered the California Burger which avocado, pickles, fresh onion slice, tomato and lettuce with thousand island. I of course asked for cheddar cheese instead of American.

andres-2 When the burger came I noticed two things immediately. Number one was the thousand island looked like it was more of a sauce than a dressing. I also saw that the avocado was freshly cut and plentiful. So a little bad and a little good from first observations.

The buns were slightly toasted and the patty, which was advertised on the menu as a quarter pound Angus beef patty, was sitting on the bottom bun. The patty actually looked small on the regular sized bun.

There was not a lot of juice in the patty and I was never asked how I wanted it cooked so it was basically cooked medium. The bottom bun began to get a little soft and soggy but seemed to hold up.

andres-1While I could taste all of the condiments in each bite, the taste of the patty was not different or stood out. I assumed the patty had been frozen at one time and just used when needed. This just turned out to be just a very ordinary burger and did not stand out in any way.

Side Notes: The well done fries were seasoned but they did not taste fresh at all. They had probably either been frozen and just thrown into the fryer or had been pre-made and just warmed up.  They were hard to finish and I was not able to.  Had some of their cole slaw and it was alright. Drinks are served by the can so if you would like a refill, be prepared to pay for another can. Lastly, you had better bring cash because Andre’s Cafe does not accept credit cards. I wonder how the sushi is after 4:30?

Andre’s Cafe is located at 2714 Burbank Blvd, Burbank – 818 845-0561. Open 7:30 am to 2:30 pm everyday, becomes a sushi restaurant from 4:30 to 9:30 daily

Andre’s Cafe receives: Could Use a Rewrite

myBurbank Ratings:
Tops In Town (Outstanding)
On The Marquee (Really Good)
Could Use A Rewrite (Average or Slightly Below)
Don’t Quit Your Day Job (Poor)

If you would like us to consider a location for a review – let us know HERE

Burger Review: Juicy Wingz

I have heard complaints in the past that we go to a place that does not feature burgers, such as Mexican restaurants, and complain that the burger is not up to standards because why would they make a good burger when they are a Mexican restaurant?

juicy-wingz-4That answer is simple, because they serve it on their menu and they should take pride on everything on their menu.

So when we stopped in at Juicy Wingz this week, we were not really sure what to expect by ordering a burger at a wing place. But that is why we are out and on the prowl every week.

Juicy Wingz is in the same strip mall as Dӧner Burger Grill at Alameda and Glenoaks. There is ample parking and a nice, clean atmosphere inside.

juicy-wingz-2I walked up to the counter and ordered the Cali Burger, which consisted of cheese, avocado and bacon on a brioche bun. A question you never here at a fast food styled restaurant is “how would you like it cooked?”. I immediately perked up when answering medium rare that this might just be more than your typical burger at a wing place.  I also asked for cheddar cheese but was told that they did not have cheddar. My happiness was now a little more slightly subdued.

We sat down and when the food was brought to us, I had some serious hopes. The burger looked like some thought had been put into it.  A little closer look gave some warning signs, but I was still hopeful.

To start with, the patty was not real thick, it did seem as though it was a fresh, not frozen patty, but it was cooked more medium than medium rare.  It lacked some of the juice a great burger has. Sometimes I wonder if a cook presses down on the patty while cooking. When they do, the burger compresses and the juices wind up on the grill and not in the patty. The patty did also not seem to be very well seasoned.

juicy-wingz-1The amount of avocado was not very liberal and it was not there every bite. While the bacon tasted fresh, the American cheese just did not do the job. Yes, it is personal preference, but I really enjoy the unique taste of a sharper cheddar cheese along with all of the other great tastes of a burger.

Lastly, the bun. It seems brioche buns seem to be the new ‘in’ thing with burger joints. I have no real problem with them, but they seem to be hit and miss.  This one just seemed to have too much bread and it was also a little dry (old?) for my taste.  I have had brioche buns that have actually added to the burger but this time it was just there.  With the patty having very little juice, the bottom bun did not have any problems even though the patty laid right on top.

juicy-wingz-3This was actually a good attempt at a quality burger. There was some thought put into it but some of the execution lacked.  I would not mind trying another burger here if a couple of things changed and they might even squeak out a Tops in Town down the line.

Side Note:  I was very impressed with the quality of the overall food here. To start with, they have one those soft drink dispensers that lets you pick everything from a huge selection of drinks. I love to try things like the cherry vanilla Dr. Pepper or the cherry Mello Yello. The onion rings are big and delicious and remind me of the ones you get at Tin Horn Flats, which are probably the best in Burbank. The fries were hand cut and came out good well done. The order of cole slaw was actually HUGE and while I did not get it with one of their many flavors, it was fresh. Very impressed and highly recommend it all.

Juicy Wingz is located at 321E. Alameda, Burbank – in the strip mall. 818 845-7019. Open Monday – Thursday 11 am until 11 pm, Friday and Saturday until midnight – Sunday 10 am to midnight

Juicy Wingz receives: On the Marqee

myBurbank Ratings:
Tops In Town (Outstanding)
On The Marquee (Really Good)
Could Use A Rewrite (Average or Slightly Below)
Don’t Quit Your Day Job (Poor)

If you would like us to consider a location for a review – let us know HERE