BGR Tasting (Point Loma)
When Brian from Sage Communications contacted us asking if we’d like to attend a media tasting at BGR, I was a little hesitant for a couple reasons. There is a ton of competition out there for the “best burger” so what could BGR have to offer that other places do not? I wasn’t sure yet but Anh and I decided to give it a go anyways. It’s located in a small shopping center near Sports Arena Blvd. and has been there since late last year. BGR is a chain from the East coast and they’re trying to expand out here to “steak” claim to the title of “one of the best burgers” according to founder Mark Bucher.
We arrived at 4:30pm and there weren’t too many early dinner people there yet. We were greeted by Mark and he let us wander a little bit before we sat down to eat.
The “joint” is adorned with mostly music memorabilia from the 80′s to early 90′s. It’s purpose is to evoke memories from your earlier years and to take you back to those experiences. The entire place is meant to serve as a hangout or “joint” that you can spend time and hang out with friends or family. The guitar in the case was signed and given to Mark by Dave Grohl. Dave liked the burgers so much he signed three guitars for Mark! Good deal I think.
Onto the menu! Most of the burgers are ~$10 like Slater’s or Stacked. There are some really unique burgers on here that you can’t find at many other places. We like options!
While we were waiting we got to sample the soda machine from the future. Pretty cool stuff.
I knew or better yet, thought I wanted orange Fanta. But then when I touched the screen to get it I was presented with more options. Who knew there were so many kinds of flavors! I selected Peach Fanta and it tasted like Peach Hi-Chews (candy).
The first thing Mark wanted us to try was the meat itself. As he stated, it all starts with the meat and if we don’t like the meat by itself we might as well just stop right there. He prides himself on high end ingredients and it all starts with the dry aged beef. Each burger is cooked to order and they only use the “good parts” of the cow, meaning no extra parts or goodies mixed in. They use different cuts of beef and grind each cut separately and then combine them with some extra fat to keep it moist and juicy. He recommends ordering the burgers how you’d order a steak. So these came out medium rare. It tasted as he described it while we were chewing: firm, juicy, almost leathery with considerable depth of flavor. It was pretty clear before we walked in that this was no BK or McDonald’s but the standalone bite made it that much more evident.
Alright, finally we were all ready to appreciate the burgers to come. First up was The Wellington. And what a first bite to behold. This one had mushrooms, caramelized onions, blue cheese, and mojo sauce. The mojo is mayonnaise based and has lemon juice plus other super secret ingredients he didn’t want to divulge. He also mentioned black truffles and foi gras which I imagine were part of the mushroom sauce. If there were titles to these burgers I would give this burger a decadent one. It was super rich, flavorful, heavy, but not overbearing. What a way to start.
The Ahi Ttuna burger looked simple and delicious. They offer a fairly large piece of ahi that is seared on the outside and left more rare on the inside. There’s pineapple slices at the bottom along with their mojo sauce, as well as teriyaki sauce. I look at this as a yin and the Wellington as the yang on the BGR menu. The Ahi is everything the Wellington is not: light, sweet, and delicate. While the Wellington punches you in the face, the Ahi caresses you and comforts you into seduction.
They also provided us with fries, asparagus, and sweet potato tots. Sweet potato is not very high on the frequent purchases list for me. It’s rare I’ll eat more than one sweet potato bite at any given meal but I managed to eat at least four or five here. The regular thick cut fries were more in line with my normal routine. Soft on the inside, and crispy on the outside. The asparagus was a nice change of pace with parmesan cheese on top although given the size of the burgers and fries I likely wouldn’t have room to spare on an average day.
Jason the roommate is a preferred vegetarian as he ventures into the meat realm once in a while but his home is a bed of green peppers, onions, beans, and taco bell sauce so this seemed like a logical choice. Putting on my Jason the roommate hat I dug into the Veggie burger. The patty was made of black beans, brown rice, oats, molasses, brown sugar, and honey. It also had the usual toppings of lettuce tomato, onions, pickles, and mojo sauce. The patty itself had portions of it that were a little chewy and hard and had a sweet aftertaste. Mark said they wanted to do something different for people who wanted a vegetarian option so they avoided mock beef and went for something unique that people would enjoy. Personally this wasn’t the burger for me. I like all the components separately, but for some reason the combination didn’t do it. In contrast to other vegetarian options Jason the roommate consumes such as the vegetarian hot dog at Daddy’s or banh mi from Top 10 Oriental, I just don’t see him jumping for joy with this veggie burger discovery. But hey, I’m not the preferred vegetarian now am I?
Now comes the turkey burger. The prepare the turkey burger sous vide with portobello mushrooms, gorgonzola cheese, and thyme mixed in. Super juicy! The patty itself appeared larger than the other beef patties. This was another favorite of the day and surprise to be honest. Not having known what was inside played a crucial role to the overall enjoyment and burst of complementary flavors when our teeth sunk into it. The gorgonzola didn’t take the spotlight and was subtle enough to allow the thyme and mushrooms to really shine.
And lastly was the Greek. Ever have a gyro? Well if you like gyros chances are you’ll like the Greek. It has all the same ingredients as a gyro: feta cheese, cucumbers, onions, tzatziki sauce, with a lamb patty infused with mint, garlic, and cumin. This is Mark’s ode to the gyro. If you feel like a Mediterranean meal at a burger joint you are in luck! Personally I’d prefer some of the other burgers, but one thing I’ve come to like about BGR is the variety of burgers you can order. With different proteins and flavor combos to choose from there’s something for everyone. The Ahi, the Turkey, and the Wellington were the crowd favorites of the day.
Thanks again Mark and Brian for setting this up! Mark’s ultimate goal is to serve one of the top burgers in the country. It’s a very lofty goal but one that he’s fully dedicated to reaching. He mentioned there’s another location in Poway and one opening in Hillcrest soon so you can be the judge yourself.
3960 W Point Loma Blvd, Ste J
San Diego, CA 92110