Every menu on the Central Coast has a burger on it. It is something I have learned to accept in dining along the coast. Burgers are popular, no doubt, and a welcome menu item and ubiquitous with American dining culture. There are probably 300 burgers within 10 miles of where I stand and yes, I could easily list off all the safe mainstream burger options, but in true EATDRINK101 fashion, I want to give you MORE of what’s good, to search for above-average food in interesting locations you may have overlooked. Here are 5 standouts you HAVE to find.
BEACH BURGER Morro Bay — This little place definitely blew me away on several levels. First of all, in the iconic bay-front Hof-Brau and D’Stasio’s location. Once you settle in to the amazing view, everything falls wonderfully into place. I pried a bit into the methods of the kitchen and one astonishing fact after another flowed forth: Basically everything is from scratch. No, SERIOUSLY! They dry their own onions and herbs and grind them. They make their own pickles. It goes on and on. I lost count of everything they make by hand in the kitchen every day. More attention to detail of ingredient could hardly be imagined. And the burgers, OMG. Everything is technically a cheeseburger, as they mold grated cheddar INTO the actual patty–a patty they blend and make by hand every day. Burgers come on Dutch Crunch rolls–this is a strict NO SESAME bun establishment.
BROOKS BURGERS Pismo Beach — This local family of cattle ranchers decided they wanted to serve their food to the community, and the community is better off for this addition, believe me. In that crazy corner spot occupied forever by a forgettable Mexican eatery, they have definitely added a bright spot to the local dining culture. Juicy, perfectly-cooked burgers with a good array of sides, these run-down-your-arms-drip-off-your-elbows offerings reflect a commitment to quality and classic burger goodness. Attentive service and food with nary a complaint. A definite Top-5 establishment.
WOODSTONE MARKETPLACE Avila Beach — A hidden gem locals and tourists alike flock to, I have been taking my family to Woodstone for EVER. Here I am going to sway slightly from the burger-norm and suggest the Vege-burger! I’m not even an vegetarian, but find myself ordering the Garden Burger at Woodstone over and over. Lovely patty of seeds and carrots, topped with gobs of veggies and on a perfect bun, it is easily one of my favorite sandwiches at local restaurants. Great wine list, familiar service, and one of the best settings for dining on the Central Coast, a PERFECT stop for gearing up for a walk or ride on the Bob Jones Trail to Avila.
FLAVOR FACTORY Morro Bay — A highly acclaimed spot opened by the former owners of the iconic TACO TEMPLE, this is one all eyes are upon. And they are doing everything right. THIS is a ridiculously good burger. Probably one of the most *home-style* burgers I have had. Patty tastes like it just came off a neighbor’s grill. The meat is phenomenal, perfectly seasoned and cooked and served in a way NO burger aficionado could argue with. A near PERFECT burger, and one EVERYONE should experience. Grab some extra napkins.
THOMAS HILL ORGANICS Paso Robles — I’m going to switch up this list once again, this time with a burger which not only is vegetarian, but also doesn’t even have a PATTY! Served on brioche, packed with avocado and house pickles, the *patty* is a fat wad of seaweed salad! Shoot, this burger is probably even VEGAN! It all works perfectly, and of course it is Thomas Hill Organics, with a spectacular winelist and incredible service in the heart of Paso Robles. I’m always looking for options for dining with my vegetarian and vegan friends, and THO knocks it outa the park with this combination which only looks crazy until you take your first bite.
So what’s stopping you from getting a burger?
Have you read the latest RESTY GOSSIP?