The Fatburger Edition

Burgers By January 16, 2015 No Comments

The Vitals:
the burger:
 double medium with mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickle, onions, relish, and mustard 
the bucks: $7.63
the coordinates: tested in Los Angeles, CA (with locations across the country and globe)

Welcome to Bang for your Burger Buck: The Fatburger Edition. Long cherished in Los Angeles, thanks in no small part to Ice Cube’s “Today was a Good Day”, Fatburger sometimes falls in the shadows of some formidable burger competition like the ever affordable In N Out, or the top shelf concept burger empire, Umami. It’s never easy being the middle child I guess, just ask Jan Brady, but believe me when I tell you that there is Bang for your Burger Buck to be had at this middle of the road burger temple. You will have to chart a careful course through a menu riddled with costly add ons like that black vat of tepid chili that seems to be lingering for the late night drunk crowd, confusing size options like XXXL that bring to mind memories of Ice Cube’s stint as an Action star more so than the weight of a burger patty, and then there are those legitimately tempting milkshakes. But rest assured, my friends, for I have plotted the perfect course around these tragic topping obstacles and sadly, you will have to get one of those tempting milkshakes on another visit. But it’s gonna be ok, because the double medium burger with every house topping delivers real deal Bang for your Burger Buck.

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Carl’s Drive In – St. Louis, MO

Burgers, Midwest By January 5, 2015 No Comments

The Vitals:
the burger: griddled triple cheeseburger with bacon, lettuce and tomato
the bucks: $6.80
the coordinates: St. Louis, MO

To dine at Carl’s Drive In is as fundamental an American dining experience as having a Nathan’s Dog on Coney island, or parking yourself at a roadside stand in Mississippi for some BBQ. The parking lot is studded with soccer moms who have, perhaps under mild duress from their cargo of adolescent athletes, made a pit stop after practice. The customers are as well seasoned as the griddle that churns out the burgers. To sit on one of those ten treasured bar stools in this tiny restaurant is as much an American rite of passage as was passing through Ellis Island in the beginning of the 20th Century. If ever there was a burger stand whose humble and compact interior could draw parallels to Sukiyobashi Jiro, then it truly must be Carl’s Drive In, nestled in the suburbs of St. Louis, Missouri. Yup, I really do love this place and so far all I have brought up is the freakin ambiance.

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Edzo’s Burger Shop – Evanston, IL

Burgers, Midwest By November 7, 2014 2 Comments

The Vitals:
the burger: 8oz in house ground chuck with cheddar, garlic butter, giardiniera, lettuce, tomato and pickle
the other burger: half pound griddled double cheeseburger with bacon, onion, pickle, ketchup and mustard
the bucks: $9.50, $9.25 respectively
the coordinates: Chicago, Il

We live in a complex world. Sometimes life is not always black and white. I could insert something right here about 50 Shades of Grey but that seems so last year and I don’t feel like googling right now. I do feel like making a whole new case for Bang for your Burger Buck; it’s called Boom for your Burger Buck. It comes down to asking you for 100-200 more pennies a meal. It means opening doors to new and exciting burgers shops, where carnivore centric craftsmen are tinkering and toiling while keeping their customer’s budgets in mind. Like I said the world is a complex place, a good thing that it is filled with burgers with complex tastes. And with that, I take you to the burger scene in Chicago.

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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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