Monday, December 22, 2008

Restaurant Review: Grill-A-Burger

Our quest for lunch began with a major disappointment when we discovered that the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog outlet in Palm Springs had closed down. My wife, a born New Yorker, absolutely loves Nathan's, and we have to get it wherever we go. What makes the closure of the Nathan's particularly ironic is that it was still under construction the last time we visited Palm Springs about 2 years ago, and she was specifically looking forward to eating there on this vacation.

Hey, you should grab happiness wherever you can, right?

At any rate, after the disappointment of Nathan's, it was up to Grill-A-Burger to salvage the day. Still hankering for hot dog, my wife got the Bronx Dog (an all-beef hot dog with spicy mustard, grilled onions, and sauerkraut) while I opted for the Ooh La La burger: A thick patty on toasted herb bun, topped with onions grilled in red wine, boursin cheese, and bacon (along with the usual tomato and lettuce). We also shared a 1/2 order of sweet potato fries, though the owner warned us that it wouldn't be enough.

The Bronx Dog was a fine example of its genre, though my wife noted that she could have gotten two Nathan's dogs for the same price. But the Ooh La La burger was fantastic.

The beef was juicy and flavorful, fully cooked without losing any of its tenderness. And the combination of the red wine grilled onions, boursin, and bacon was terrific. And it was HUGE. I'm pretty sure it was at least a 1/2 pound patty.

I ate the burger accompanied by the sweet potato fries, which I dipped in a spicy aioli. Both the fries and aioli held up well when compared the the fries and horseradish mayo at The Counter. The fries seemed to be identical (perhaps the same supplier? The Counter started in LA....) but the spicy aioli was even better than at The Counter because it included a subtle kick.

Grill-A-Burger makes a great burger, and you should definitely check it out if you get the chance.

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