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Thin Style Hamburger in San Diego

I have lived in the San Diego area (Rancho Penasquitos area) for a couple of years now and have yet to find a really good huge burger, thin layer of beef with huge soft bun and lots of cheese and toppings. Yes, Hodad's and In-n-Out have really good burgers but I am looking for something different. Something like Grandpa's in Denver! No atmosphere required.

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  1. Are you looking for a hamburger with very little meat, but a lot of bread and lettuce? I've never known anyplace to advertise, "get a real bad deal, not much meat, but we make it look big with an oversized bun!"

    3 Replies
    1. re: The Old Man

      The meat is thin and gets kind of crispy on the edges. I have heard of it referred to as "french style" but not sure about that terminology. The soft cheese with the crispy meat is great.

      1. re: KC Foodie

        I'm not in San Deigo, so I can't help you, but I know exactly what you're talking about. Sometimes at thin, crispy on the edges patty is really what you're after.

        1. re: KC Foodie

          I had a burger like this in Maui from their local beef, very tasty. I think you are referring to burgers that are griddled, not cooked over/under open flames. I think Bollweevil has them, but i haven't been to one in 10 years or so.

      2. At Fuddruckers you can order a 1/3 pound burger and then pile on as many crappy toppings as you want.

        1 Reply
        1. I had a really awful thin and crispy burger at a Ruby's once.

          1. Maybe if one asked they could double-nuke one for you at MickyD's.

            1. We have a place like that in my hometown back in Illinois, but I can't think of anything quite like it here in San Diego. Perhaps it would be a nice business opportunity for you? I'll be your first customer! :)

              1. I do believe that this might be more of a midwest thing. I think the negative responses are from people who do not know what I am talking about. Don't knock something you have never tried, right! Thanks for the positive responses.

                10 Replies
                1. re: KC Foodie

                  I think I know what you're talking about - it is a different style, and while I don't necessarily prefer it I can see the appeal. You might try Burger Lounge - in Kensington and La Jolla - it's kind of like gourmet In n Out, or the Drugstore Burger at the Torrey Pines Lodge - which is basically a souped up classic diner burger.

                  1. re: Alice Q

                    In my experience, Burger Lounge burgers are pretty generous and generally soft (the patty).

                    1. re: Divamac

                      I've actually found that they vary a lot - the first time I went, the patty was really thin. I think their accompaniments/bun are along the lines of what the op is looking for, and I'm sure you could ask them to press the patty down on the flat top grill, that would make it thin and crispy!

                  2. re: KC Foodie

                    I'm very willing to admit I don't know what you're talking about. You say not to knock it--but could you explain what we're knocking. Again, it sounds like a hamburger with less meat and a big bun and lots of cheese and lettuce (and I guess a pickle). Perhaps you could clarify.

                    1. re: The Old Man

                      It's not less meat. It's the same amount of meat, but pressed flat and thin instead of thick. Think of a pancake versus a hockey puck.

                      1. re: manraysky

                        Exactly. I could not have said it better!

                        1. re: manraysky

                          I can't think of a good hamburger I"ve ever had in this manner. It seems, that if it's the same about amount of meat, it must be have a larger diameter which would be a larger bun. Which would mean a lot more bread--which I don't need.

                          1. re: The Old Man

                            Not necessarily. Larger patty, small bun, the whole thing looks bigger than it really is. Old food service trick.

                            1. re: DiningDiva

                              True about the trick, but remember the OP asked for a "huge...bun."

                              1. re: The Old Man

                                True. I wonder if those big fluffy Wonderbread-style buns made by most grocery in-store bakeries counts

                    2. Not at all high on my personal list, but the Islands chain features burgers that are pretty thin and pretty crispy brown. Good luck in your search.

                      1. I've has this style in TX, can't say anything like that in SD, the closest you'll probably get is a patty melt which is not even close.

                        1. You might want to try Bully's in Mission Valley. It is around 10,and it comes with a salad and choice of potato.

                          1. Are you talking about a Char burger?? If so there is this place on University called Western Steak Burger. Those burgers are fantastic!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: tjdonn2

                              Western Steak Burger is great. Not the "typical" burger I'm used to, and very well may be the type of burger the OP is looking for - pressed patty, good-sized bun, toppings galore, etc. Plus, you can go wild with the combos - I've had and loved the pastrami burger and gyro burger. The guy who mans the grill is awesome, as is the cardboard cut-out of John Wayne!