Poor old pizza: You’re a delicious mainstay, but there’s another favorite getting a lot of attention lately — the burger. The Coachella Valley’s best restaurants are taking the burger and making it a legendary meal that rivals sophisticated entrées. Order yours any way you want, using our guide to the desert’s best.
What: Vodka Burger
Where: Eureka! Burger
74985 Hwy. 111, Indian Wells.
Why it’s a winner: It’s soaked with mellow vodka, then grilled to steaming perfection. The Havarti–topped slab of beef comes with peppers, garlic, capers, onion, and prosciutto. This culinary behemoth is a gourmand’s dream sandwich.
What: Blue Burger
Where: Woody’s Burgers
317 N. Indian Canyon Dr., Palm Springs. 760-230-0188; woodysburgersps.com
Why it’s a winner: Blue cheese is an acquired taste for some. However, this ingredient shines atop the searing-hot goodness of a thick Angus beef patty. Woody’s completes its masterpiece with a toasted bun, lettuce, tomato, and blue-cheese sauce.
What: Angus Sliders
Where: Cork & Fork
47875 Caleo Bay Dr., La Quinta. 760-777-7555; corkandforkwinebar.com
Why it’s a winner: This fierce little competitor packs a mighty big punch. Executive Chef Andie Hubka decorates it with aged cheddar, garlic mayo, and sinful cabernet onions for a sophisticated big-city twist on a small-town favorite.
What: Surf & Turf Burger
Where: Hamburger Mary’s
415 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs. 760-778-6279; hamburgermarysps.com
Why it’s a winner: Forget about fast food chains. We love Mary’s delicious popcorn shrimp on top of this half-pound monster. It’s dressed with Monterey Jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, and chipotle mayo dressing.
What: Vegetarian Portabella Burger
Where: Smokin’ Burgers & Lounge
1775 E. Palm Canyon Dr., Ste. 220, Palm Springs. 760-883-5999; smokinburgers.com
Why it’s a winner: It’s a thick and juicy vegetarian contender. The mushroom is firm and tender. Its flavor is enhanced by the coolness of basil, garlic, and pine nuts in its pesto sauce. Red onion, avocado, provolone, lettuce, and balsamic glaze round out its attributes.
What: Dracula’s Dilemma Garlic Breath Burger
73091 Country Club Dr., Ste. 2, Palm Desert. 760-346-8170; grill-a-burger.com
Why it’s a winner: It’s a stinking rose and we love it. This delicious stunner comes with roasted garlic, caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, garlic-herb cheese, sliced black olives, and garlic mayo on a toasted sourdough bun.
Pair yours with our list of the best fries at www.palmspringslife.com