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Burger Paradise

Feb 26, 2010 07:07AM ● Published by Wendy Sipple

Photos by Dante Fontana

Burgers. They are not necessarily a high taste – we start eating them as kids, and continue to enjoy them today.

Thomas Keller of The French Laundry fame has admitted a soft spot for In-N-Out Burger, and Alton Brown of the Food Network has stated explicitly that his favorite food is the cheeseburger. But where do you go for your favorite prized patty? Our region boasts some of the best in between buns. Style visited with a few local burger joints for some juicy details about what makes their burgers exceptional.

..................yum


the purple place

Mike Hountalas has grown up in the restaurant business. “I started cracking eggs when I was about seven, and I am 40-something now,” he jokes. The Purple Place, an iconic restaurant in El Dorado Hills owned by Hountalas and his wife Denise, is a very family-friendly joint: “Everything we use is very high quality,” Hountalas says, “Angus beef, honey cured and apple smoked bacon, cut thick. That is really what makes the difference.” The Tombstone BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger (pictured above) is a stand-out at the Purple Place.

363 Green Valley Road  •  El Dorado Hills  •  916-933-2313  •  purpleplacebarandgrill.com

Tombstone BBQ Bacon Cheesburger Fixings:
1/2 pound of fresh ground beef, char-broiled, Melted Cheddar, two strips of bacon, two onion rings, Smother in BBQ sauce

Q:  What is the best meat for making burgers?
A:  Fresh ground locally-grown angus. We get ours directly from the processors, and it is the best.

Q:  What cheese tastes and melts the best?
A:  Cheddar is the tangiest and best flavored.

Q:  What is the best cooking method for a juicy patty?
A:  Char-broiling cannot be beat!

Q:  What is the key to making great burgers every time?
A:  Use great meat and have a great broiler cook who really loves his or her work. If the cooks like their jobs, they always put that love into making the burgers.


relish burger bar


Chef Wendi Mentink

Relish is the newest entry into the Gold Country gourmet burger game. Unlike their competitors, Relish has a full bar, so if dry martinis or alcoholic milkshakes are the order of the day with your Kobe Beef Burger, this is the place! Owner Richard Righton, also of Bidwell Street Bistro shares, “You can come in and grab a great five-dollar burger, or you can have a 17-dollar Kobe beef burger. Our Ahi Tuna Burger is one of the best!”

1004 White Rock Road  •  El Dorado Hills  •  916-933-3111  •  relishburgerbar.com

Ahi Tuna Burger Fixings:
Best quality Ahi tuna steak, Whole-grain sesame roll, Sweet-hot mustard, Avocado slices

Q:  What is the best meat for making burgers?
A:  Good quality chuck. It should be about 80-percent lean, and 20-percent fat for the juiciness and the texture.

Q:  What cheese tastes and melts the best?
A:  American cheese is the best melting cheese for a burger, but I don’t like things that are so processed. I prefer medium Cheddar for the flavor and the melt.

Q:  What is the best cooking method for a juicy patty?
A:  A flattop or a skillet is the best way to seal in the juices.

Q:  What is the key to making great burgers every time?
A:  The quality of the meat. Good meat = a good burger.


lake forest café


Lois Grundman

Barbara Rubin, owner and operator of Folsom’s iconic Lake Forest Café, has been dishin’ out fresh, comfort-food favorites for the past 28 years. Located in what was once a private home, you feel as though you have come to an old friend’s house for lunch. And the care and quality that goes into every plate reflects that! She shares a little knowledge…and the recipe for her South of the Border Burger.

13409 Folsom Boulevard  •  Folsom  •  916-985-6780  •  lakeforestcafe.com

South of the Border Burger Fixings:
Whole-wheat seeded bun, Mayonnaise, Green leaf lettuce, Homemade guacamole, Sour cream, Hand-shaped burger, Melted New York Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses, Homemade salsa

Q:  What is the best meat for making burgers?
A:  Chuck. It is the most flavorful meat there is.

Q:  What cheese tastes and melts the best?
A:  We use a combination of white New York Cheddar and Monterey Jack. The Cheddar gives the sharp tang that you want on a burger and the Jack gives the rich melting qualities.

Q:  What is the best cooking method for a juicy patty?
A:  Don’t press it down! Cook it over medium-high heat and flip it only once.

Q:  What is the key to making great burgers every time?
A:  You have to put your heart into your cooking. Our two cooks, Lois and Ramiro, have been with us forever, and they put love and care into everything they cook. No one can teach that.


BURGERS AROUND TOWN

Feast your eyes on this sampling of some of Style’s favorites.

Fireside Burgers
Cobb Burger (above)
916-933-2599

The Acorn Café
Teriyaki Burger
theacorncafe.com

Bidwell Street Bistro
Certified Angus Burger
bidwellstreetbistro.com

Balcony Bistro
Balcony Burger
balconybistro.com

Bistro 33
Kobe Mini Burgers
bistro33.com
 
Burger Hut
Wahoo Fish Burger
burgerhut.net

Bubba’s Burgers
Mexican Burger
916-933-1030

Ernie’s of Lake Tahoe
Double Avocosmic Burger
erniescoffeeshop.com

Manderes
Angus Burger with Jalapeño Cheese
manderes.com

Mary’s Gold Miner Café
Greek Burger with Feta Cheese
marysgoldminercafe.com


Mooney’s Restaurant & Bar
Jalapeno Pepper Jack Burger (shown above)
mooneysrestaurant.com

Texas West BBQ
Pig-out Burger
texaswestbbq.com

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