La Jolla / San Diego Hamburger - The Grill at the Lodge
This is in the Grill at the Lodge. It’s not in the main restaurant, and it’s not on the menu. You have to ask for it. And the waitress gets an impish grin when you ask. “It’s a drugstore burger, and it’s been voted the best in San Diego,” she says matter-of-factly. “Would you like cheddar or swiss on it?”
The sesame bun is soft and fresh. It doesn’t crumble like in many hamburger places. This bun is carefully made; and made very recently. But it has obviously been grilled, as evidenced by its warmth and the oil on the top.
The meat is cooked perfectly medium, with a nice crust and a pink center. And it’s so juicy that as you bite into it, the juices flow out of the burger onto the plate so you can dip the burger and the bun in the juices. The meat is over salted, but this is mostly mitigated by the lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise, as well as the bun.
The cheddar is seemingly cut from a chub like I would have at home. It’s not a huge slice, but rather a couple of smaller slices. And it’s real cheddar. It has the cheddar bite and flavor, and you can taste it as you eat the burger.
The toppings include chopped lettuce, chopped tomato, chopped onion and dressing. I declined the onions, and it was exactly what I wanted.
I got it with fries instead of the standard salad. The fries are like MacDonalds fries in thickness and cooking method. They’re double-cooked, so the inside is tender while the outside is crisp. And they’re the same color as MacDonalds fries. The difference is that these fries vary in length and The Grill uses kosher salt instead of table salt. So there are larger chunks of salt on the fries. I like this.
The dish comes with a side plate of ketchup and mustard. I found no need for these on the burger, but I dipped the fries in them.
Overall, this is a terrific burger. I would recommend it.
The Grill at The Lodge at Torrey Pines
11480 Torrey Pines Road (at the golf course)
La Jolla, California 92037