Creating a burger worthy of bragging rights is serious business.
It may not be the size that counts, but the particulars of a patty can create serious burger buzz. From the type of beef used, to the fat ratio, to the weight and heat method used to prepare it, a great burger is not something to be taken lightly.
Consideration must be given to the type of bun, the proper way to toast it, and the artistry involved in concocting condiment and topping combinations that elevate the humble burger to a true culinary experience. Check out these local options “beef-itting” a run for the title of Best Burger.
Smokin' Burgers is a popular spot to watch sports on one of the multiple screens either at the inside bar or on the patio, allowing you to take the action outdoors. “The Big Wow” Burger is one of the more popular requests from customers who can keep the kitchen hopping with between 300 – 400 burger orders a day during the busy season.
Smokin' Burgers & Lounge, 1775 E. Palm Canyon Drive #220, Palm Springs, 760-883-5999; www.SmokinBurgers.com
VIDEO: Chef Hector shows us the method behind the madness of “The Big Wow” Burger.
photo by jon edwards
The Jalapeño Burger at Woody’s is served on a soft, white, toasted bun made by a local bakery. It is spread with a fresh jalapeno-serrano aioli and the burger is lightly grilled, then topped with pepper jack cheese, butter lettuce and tomato. The sweet potato fries are drizzled lightly with maple syrup after coming out of the fryer and tossed to coat and create a sweet glaze.
Woody’s Burgers in Palm Springs grinds their beef fresh daily, featuring 6-ounce patties made of 100 percent Angus beef. Owner, Wayne Woodliff, says the secret to his success is that Woody’s does burgers, “the old-fashioned way like Grandma used to do. We make our own sauces and nothing frozen is going on with our burgers.” Woody’s has been in business for nearly five years and its top-seller is the Jalapeno Burger served with sweet potato fries.
Woody's Burgers, 317 N. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, 760-230-0188; woodysburgersps.com
photo courtesy of eureka!
Burgers at Eureka! are made with 7-ounce beef patties sourced from a farm in Oregon. The burger is served on a brioche bun slathered in a spicy chipotle sauce and topped with bacon, cheddar, pickled jalapenos and a fried egg. This burger is trendy and packs a punch that might create a new category of ‘Gen-B’ burger fans.
Eureka! in Indian Wells is known for its wide range of gourmet burger selections, craft beer options and small batch whiskeys. A large outdoor patio offers al fresco dining and is a sought-after way to socialize with a group. Twice-daily “hoppy hours” draw a crowd for drink specials and a value-priced bar menu bites. A featured burger is the Jalapeno Egg Burger, served with a California fried egg and Eureka! signature hand-cut fries.
Eureka!, 74985 Highway 111, Indian Wells, 760-834-7700; eurekarestaurantgroup.com
Photo courtesy of Vue Grille and Bar/Indian Wells Golf Resort
The Half Pound Burger at Vue Grille and Bar is notable for the high quality of beef used in the generously-portioned patty. A signature flavor weapon is the house made, smoked tomato aioli and customers can have their pick of a favorite cheese. Served with the classic ‘par 3’ of lettuce, tomato, onion and you can ‘birdie-up’ with smoked bacon for an additional charge. The house cut fries made from Kenebeck potatoes create a winning round.
Vue Grille and Bar at the Indian Wells Golf Resort offers a spectacular setting to relax and enjoy the day surrounded by a lush, golf course setting with stunning views of the mountains. The Vue Half Pound Burger is a popular item on the menu created by award winning Executive Chef, Joe Canlas. The 8-ounce patty is made with 80/20 Black Angus beef and is served on a brioche bun. Whether you stop in after a round of golf or simply want to enjoy a casual meal, this burger will lower your handicap.
Vue Grille and Bar, 76-661 Highway 111, Indian Wells, 760-834-3800; www.vuegrilleandbar.com
Photo courtesy of The Café at Shields/Shields Date Garden
The Signature Date Burger at the Café at Shields is an 8-ounce patty made from USDA Angus verified beef containing no hormones, no antibiotics, and is humanely raised and vegetarian fed. The burger is topped with Deglet Noor dates, melted blue cheese, and bacon bits. It is served with a choice of seasoned fries, onion rings dipped in a ‘secret house batter’, seasonal fruit or a house salad.
Sheilds Date Garden in Indio enjoys a long history in the Coachella Valley as a guardian of sorts to the top agricultural crop in the area. The history of date farming is part of the educational experience you can enjoy at Shields and the property itself with sprawling gardens is worth a visit. A long-standing part of Shields is the Café, known for its original date shakes and freshly prepared menu of American classic café-fare with a strong influence from the star of the date family, Deglet Noor dates. A truly signature burger experience in the Greater Palm Springs area is the Signature Date Burger at the Café at Shields. Enjoy each bite on the outdoor patio at a table covered in white linen as you sit amongst the Rose Garden and Date Palms and enjoy mountain views.
Sheilds Date Garden, 80-225 Highway 111, Indio, 760-347-0996; www.shieldsdategarden.com
Lori Cohen-Sanford is a private/personal chef, cooking class instructor and owner of Nourishfoods Organic Meal Services — www.nourishfoods.biz. Tastes Around Town will appear weekly. Follow her on Twitter @nourishfoodsps.