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Whiz – Los Angeles, CA

Burgers, Los Angeles, West Coast By March 19, 2015 No Comments

The Vitals:
the burger: “the P Dub” 6oz Hormone free Angus Beef topped with American and Tillamook sharp cheddar, in house sriracha dressing, fried shallots and micro cilantro
the bucks: $7.95
the coordinates: Los Angeles, CA

Musicians know a thing or two about dining on a dime. So after finding out that Executive Chef Wes Lieberher played in bands for years before putting both feet into the world of professional cooking, a clichéd chin rub and and “aha” soon followed suit. Whiz is Chef Leiberher’s second effort after the founding of Beer Belly, his much celebrated Gastropub in Koreatown. If I had to simplify my passionate and periphrastic exploration of Bang for your Burger Buck into two camps, one would be called “cheap ass burger stands” and the other would be “yup, another gastropub“. Bawdy camp titles and elitist words like “periphrastic” aside, a sincere point is to be made here: skilled chefs who choose to serve up their skills at a reasonable rate, have been a blessing in our current Culinary Era. Gastropubs, in my opinion, should be partially subsidized by the Federal government as the increased availability of good food to the masses can only improve our overall health, making us more productive citizens, thereby elevating society at large. The occasional duck fat fry is far better than the binging of super sized frites while navigating a drive thru. If you love food and live within a budget, than the the phrase “gastropub” should evoke not a sarcastic eye roll but a slow rolling tear drop that signifies the rise of America as an enlightened Super Power of 21st Century.

Ok, enough of all that. Let’s talk about burgers.

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Bill’s Hamburgers – Los Angeles, CA

Burgers, Los Angeles, West Coast By February 26, 2015 No Comments

The Vitals:
the burger:   double cheeseburger with bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle and mayonnaise
the bucks: $6.30
the coordinates: Los Angeles, CA

Recently a friend told me that if you do one thing for six years, you will become an expert at doing that thing. Bill Elwell has been making burgers for 50 years. That would make him an expert at cooking burgers eight times over. Do enough digging on the internet about Bill’s Hamburgers and you will find that the legend of his burgers are in fact superseded by the legend of the man himself. His salty demeanor, his five marriages, really his age alone allows the Bill’s Hamburgers experience to live up to the hype before you even take your first bite. Oh, and wait you will for that first bite. And we, the loyalists and devotees to Bill’s Hamburgers, are happy to do so. We gladly wait for one of seven stools to open up so we can wait some more to catch the attention of the person taking orders, so we can really settle in and wait and wait, till Bill Elwell makes us a perfect burger. The burgers are always perfect because of that wait. It’s a pace that has been 50 years in the making and it is exactly what makes Bill’s Hamburgers a temple for Bang for your Burger Buck.

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Pete’s Blue Chip – Los Angeles, CA

Burgers, Los Angeles, West Coast By February 12, 2015 No Comments

The Vitals:
the burger:  
the blue chip” – a double cheeseburger served up club style with three bun slices, american cheese, house made special sauce, mayonnaise, shredded lettuce, sliced onion and tomato 
the other burger: 4 oz chargrilled patty with avocado, bacon, shredded lettuce, pickle and house made thousand island
the bucks: $3.92, $6.54 respectively
the coordinates: Los Angeles, CA

Maybe you have heard of Blue Chip Stocks. If you haven’t, allow me to give you a quick wiki economics 101: Blue Chip stocks represent the companies that are considered to be the most dependable and steadily profitable, they are the ones that keep the ship steady in good times and not so good times. They become the indicators of how the market itself is performing. If they go down, then the whole system is in serious trouble. These companies are often followed as a group, which is called the Dow Jones Industrial Average. If ever there was a burger joint that deserved to be on the Dow Jones Index, well how appropriate that the burger joint should happened to be named “Pete’s Blue Chip.”

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One from the Vault: Dog Haus Biergarten – Pasadena, CA

Burgers, from the Vault at LA TACO, Los Angeles, West Coast By October 15, 2014 No Comments

Upon taking your first step inside Dog Haus Biergarten just off the main drag in Pasadena, you will pretty much get the place in 30 seconds or less. Flat screens playing sports, full bar and a food dude centric menu. What you may not get, at least until you sink your teeth into one of these over the top burgers is that the topping combos actually work together. And considering that some of these topping combos resemble an upper tier meal at KFC for the $7 mark, well, Bang had to make a trip to the 626 . . .

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One from the Vault: The Habit Burger Grill – Burbank, CA

Burgers, from the Vault at LA TACO, Los Angeles, West Coast By April 15, 2014 No Comments

My first successful visit to the Habit was the start of the Teriyaki Burger Movement. Faced with the stark reality that some burger establishments insist on cooking their burgers to the minimum temp of Medium Well . . .  Humanitarian relief efforts in the form of cheese and a few ingredients from the Polynesian cupboard seem wholly necessary. The results?

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One from the Vault: Burger Hut – Glendale, CA

Burgers, from the Vault at LA TACO, Los Angeles, West Coast By March 12, 2014 No Comments

The Valley is home to many a random burger dive, some of them, like Bill’s of Van Nuys, carry a following and reputation that make them a worthwhile stop. But once upon a time, in the beginning, some brave soul had to conjure up the courage to try the place for the first time thereby unleashing burger glory from a diamond in the rough. Burger Hut was my opportunity to find that anonymous burger joint and plant a flag.

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