Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Jeros Bacon Cheeseburger at Cornucopia, Eugene, OR

Cornucopia has been given the title of the making the best burger in Eugene. And in a mostly college town, where pizza slices, sandwiches and quick cheap bites are aplenty, that's a pretty serious title to hold where there's a lot of competition for the fast food dollar. However, Cornucopia isn't a fast food eatery, it's a roadhouse bar and grill that serves well drinks, has a large selection of local and craft brewed beers and great food.

Cornucopia. Eugene, OR.
Cornucopia takes pride in it's ingredients sourcing a lot of local ingredients in the menu items including the burgers which are made with all natural certified Angus beef- farm to table, hormone and antibiotic free.

I went for the Jeros Bacon cheeseburger ($12.50) a 1/2 lb char-grilled beef patty topped with bacon, choice of cheese (I chose American), lettuce, tomato, onion and mayo. The burger looked impressive when it came to the table- stacked tall bulging at the seams and all held together with a steak knife that had skewered it together from the top. I took my first bite in anticipation...this was voted the best burger in Eugene after all...and.......blah! It was dry, I mean well done, overcooked, dry. I gotta give it some credit though- the beef patty had an extremely intense beefy flavor but this burger was doomed from the start.

The Jeros Bacon Cheeseburger
On this day, Cornucopia made me a very average burger, and paying a little more attention to the grilling process could have made it great...add the $12.50 price tag (albeit including fries) Cornocopia isn't a bargain either. Well...I guess my search still continues for finding even the best burger in Eugene, let alone the rest of the world.

Aburgeraday rating- 6/10

Cornucopia Bar & Burgers on Urbanspoon

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Pastrami Burger at Sammy's L.A Pastrami- Las Vegas, NV

Featured on the Travel Channel's show "Food Paradise" Sammy's L.A Pastrami's 2 Las Vegas locations serves up a wide selection of drive-thru inspired sandwiches, burgers, dogs, gyros, wings, rings and fries.

Sammy's is known for some crazy burger and sandwich combinations like the Zombie burger - with Triple 1/4lb. patties topped with a hotlink, sautéed onions, peppers, mustard, bacon and 2 onion rings for $11.49.

I tried the Pastrami burger ($8.29), a single 1/4lb patty burger topped with 1/2lb of pastrami, mustard, pickles, provolone. The beef patty was was flat-top grilled and came out well done and absent of any real flavor. The pastrami, on the other hand, was great and had some nice crust from being on the flat-top- and since the burger contained twice as much pastrami than it did beef, it was far more like a pastrami sandwich then a burger. The provolone was nicely melted and the mustard and pickle was pretty standard. At Sammy's L.A Pastrami the pastrami may be a winner, but the burgers could use some help.

The Pastrami Burger at Sammy's L.A Pastrami
Aburgeraday Rating: 5/10

Sammy's L.A. Pastrami & Burgers on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 18, 2013

Single Bypass Burger at The Heart Attack Grill- Las Vegas, NV

Well, it's surely made headlines since it opened back in 2005- The now famous Heart Attack Grill- equally famous for it's patron's on-site heart-attacks as it is for it's celebration of gluttony and everything that's wrong with the American diet- serving food with unhealthy proportion sizes, packed full of grease, excessive calories and saturated fat.

At the Heart Attack grill it's easy to blow through your daily recommended intake of fat, calories, sodium and carbs in just one meal. The burger's are aptly named by their effect on your heart- from the single patty "Single bypass" to the 9,983 calorie 4-patty "quadruple bypass". On my visit, owner Dr.Jon even revealed a new menu that would expand the already belly bulging burger lineup to include an 8 patty burger Octupel bypass. He even added chill reminiscent of Tommy's famous chili topped burgers in L.A (where owner John got the inspiration from) to the menu. The chili can now be topped onto burgers or their famous lard-fried "flat-liner" fries.

All patrons that enter the restaurant are required to put on a hospital robe and are referred to as "patients". The waitresses are dressed in skimpy nurse outfits and Dr.Jon walks around in a dr's outfit complete with a stethoscope.

I gave the single bypass burger a try ($7.39) with bacon (5 slices bacon for .$92) topped with American cheese, sautéed onions and tomato on a kaiser. I added chili to my burger as well. The meat was flat-top grilled to medium with good beef flavor, but a tad dry- good thing that chili added enough moisture to round things out. It was a huge, hulking task to eat this monster burger but I made it about 80% before I had to throw in the towel (or in my case half a roll of paper towels that I used to stay clean while eating).

The chili covered single bypass burger
This place really isn't about the burger because the burger is average at best- it's about the experience, the celebration of gluttony - a virtual adult fast food Disneyland located in the only place on earth where this restaurant model could survive- Las Vegas.

The Heart Attack Grill is the kind of place that you'll probably try once- in fact, you should try it once, however, unless you are bringing in your friends to share in the novelty, the burgers and food just aren't good enough to make you a repeat customer. Oh and by the way- make sure you finish your entire meal 'cause if you don't you'll be spanked- yes- I know, I have the red ass cheeks to prove it.

Aburgeraday rating: 6/10

Heart Attack Grill on Urbanspoon

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Double Cheeseburger at Jack's- Santa Cruz, CA

Jack's is an old school burger joint located in downtown Santa Cruz that caters to locals as well as tourists that flock to the local Santa Cruz boardwalk. Located on Lincoln street, Jack's has ample outdoor seating with limited dine-in seating as well. Parking in the Jack's parking lot can be a challenge but there's plenty of parking on the side streets if needed.

Jack's Santa Cruz, CA
All Jack's burgers are char-grilled over an open grill for nice BBQ char flavor. The Double Cheeseburger ($5.35) came with mustard, tomatoes, pickles, leaf lettuce and Jack's special sauce- which is pretty damn tasty I might add. I also added grilled purple onions which added some really nice caramelized sweetness. There wasn't anything really special about the beef patty, and, if it were juicer, could have made this burger spectacular, but it wasn't- the patty was still moist, semi-crumbly, had good seasoning, but not much else to say after that. The American cheese was thick and melty and acted as a good burger binder. The whole burger came assembled on a sesame seed topped kaiser roll which stood up right to the last bite even as it absorbed all of the accumulated condiment/juice mixture. At $5.35, the burger is a decent value for what you get, and when all is said and done, tastes pretty darn good too.
If you are ever in the Santa Cruz area- whether it's a lazy weekend afternoon, or for a quick lunchtime bite- I'd recommend that you give Jack's a try.

The Double Cheeseburger at Jack's

Aburgeraday rating: 6/10

Jack's Hamburgers on Urbanspoon