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Serious Burger Find in Agoura (of all places?)

Senzinina Jan 22, 2012 11:43 AM

After a long bike ride yesterday, I stopped at my favorite TJ Maxx in Agoura for a little shopping and to find a burrito to replace all the calories I'd just burned. As I headed toward my usual fav Baja Fresh, I walked through the funky little strip mall on the corner of Thousand Oaks Boulevard and Lindero, and stumbled upon an incredible little gem called The Ranch Catering Co. and Restaurant. A tiny menu of about 10 versions of burgers, roast beef dip and chicken burgers on homemade buns sent me into fits of dancing foot umami burger happiness. The tiny place feels like a those comforting ranchy steak houses in Napa or Santa Ynez with dark woods, high tables with comfy stools and 4 inch slat wood blinds on the windows to hide the ugly strip mall parking lot outside. The simple menu included two sizes of hand molded certified black angus beef, two kinds of cheese, an honest piece of real lettuce, and their signature fresh baked buns. I ordered their Inferno, which I was actually able to request in "medium rare!" Came with jalapeno, jack pepper cheese and a spicy sauce. All the menu items come delightfully fresh from the kitchen in a top carried 10" tent of foil that looks like a poofy gift just arrived at the table. Simple, you open the top and the aroma escapes - there is your burger on a piece of wax paper. As I gobbled it down, the burger actually produced delicious drippings onto my foil "dish" that i would swab up with french fries. Apparently this place used to be a full catering company, but they opened a little restaurant in the front with a few of their items. They have salads too -- but who cares about a rabbit experience, when you could have one heck of burger? What a find. Yay! I"ll be back!

  1. 420 Reasons to eat Feb 10, 2012 06:33 PM

    My wife and i really like The Ranch also. The buns are so good, and the staff is very friendly. We bought a car in Thousand Oaks and had to go to the dealership a couple times, and we tried to eat there every time we went up that way.

    1. iL Divo Feb 10, 2012 06:51 AM

      oh what a funny [to me] post this is. my husband and I and all our friends terrorized Denny's on the Kanan for years while in high school. now they're probably not what you wanted to see posted but oh the days......

      1. a
        asimen Jan 23, 2012 03:10 PM

        Have been meaning to try the Ranch, thanks for the reminder. I think it's actually considered Westlake Village where it is.

        As for Agoura Deli, it's okay, but not great. If you've been to Country Deli in Chatsworth or Pickles Deli in Newbury Park, it's the same---same owner. And Agoura Deli once tried to overcharge me, and wasn't even apologetic about it when I showed them the error. Stick with Brents, also in Westlake.

        1 Reply
        1. re: asimen
          LesThePress Jan 23, 2012 04:14 PM

          I tried the RCC based on reviews here on CH. I wasn't impressed. The bun was too soft and fell apart and was too small for the meat, which wasn't cooked to order. I work walking distance from it and haven't been back.

          We used to go to Agoura Deli, which is acceptable, but we haven't been back since Brents opened and is is so near by and much better.

        2. puppychao Jan 23, 2012 08:40 AM

          Wow! You really thought that highly of The Ranch? I've been there once and thought it was mediocre at best. I was hoping to like it, they advertise it as this incredible burger. But mine was dry and flavorless.

          I also order some fries and onion rings, not only were they finally served after I had finished my burger. But they were overcooked and seemed like they had been sitting under a heat lamp for awhile. The only highlight of the burger was the bun, it was warm and soft. But the meat to bun ratio was terribly off.

          There are options out here in the Conejo Valley that are better. In n Out, Five Guys, Ladyface and even Willies BBQ has a better burger than The Ranch.

          1. Will Owen Jan 22, 2012 01:36 PM

            How much was it, if you don't mind telling? I have to say that "Agoura, of all places" has one of my favorite lunch destinations when I'm in that neighborhood, the Agoura Deli on Kanan, just north of Thousand Oaks - that's about half a mile east from this place. I don't get out there as often as I used to, but now I've got a clear choice. I adore drippy burgers! Back when I ate them all the time my brother always ate his over his plate of fries: "Potatoes and gravy," he explained. So I tried it and found it good …

            10 Replies
            1. re: Will Owen
              Servorg Jan 22, 2012 01:56 PM

              The majority of their burger/sandwich menu has prices: http://theranchwestlake.com/

              1. re: Will Owen
                Senzinina Jan 23, 2012 07:53 AM

                About $10 for burger, fries and drink. It was indeed "drippy." I can't wait to go back. I'll have to try the Agoura Deli - thanks! I love a good, fatty pastrami sandwich.

                1. re: Senzinina
                  Will Owen Jan 23, 2012 01:43 PM

                  I gather the pastrami is kinda ordinary; haven't tried it. I had a great Reuben, and indulged my weakness for liverwurst & Swiss one day. That thing was so huge I took it apart, ate as much as I wanted, then took the remains home and got two more lunches from it! Their potato salad is excellent, and their in-house rye bread is justifiably popular. They sell that by the loaf or half-loaf, very handy if you don't eat a lot of bread every day.

                  Back when the real estate market was still on the boil I used to shoot a lot of pictures for an appraiser, frequently out that way. I regret I haven't been back in three years, so let's hope not that much has changed at the Deli.

                2. re: Will Owen
                  mucho gordo Feb 10, 2012 09:56 AM

                  Will, IMHO, you can't beat Boulevard Burger for drippyness.

                  1. re: mucho gordo
                    Servorg Feb 10, 2012 10:06 AM

                    Mucho, any plans to visit Prohibition Burgers in Encino?


                    1. re: Servorg
                      mucho gordo Feb 10, 2012 11:31 AM

                      I don't believe I've ever heard of the place. It seems a tad pricey but, how does it compare to BB in taste?

                      1. re: mucho gordo
                        Servorg Feb 10, 2012 11:37 AM

                        I'm still trying to get out to the valley to give it a try. I was hoping that one of our SFV brethren to take a risk and assess it.

                        1. re: Servorg
                          mucho gordo Feb 10, 2012 12:07 PM

                          WHAAAAT!!! And miss out on one of life's greatest pleasures?? How frustrating that would be to salivate over someone elses description; someone who may not like the messiness. Go and drool for thyself.

                          1. re: mucho gordo
                            Servorg Feb 10, 2012 12:18 PM

                            Sometimes living vicariously (virtual life seems to be the life blood of this site after all) just has to suffice for the nonce...

                            1. re: Servorg
                              mucho gordo Feb 10, 2012 05:58 PM

                              I can relate to that. I've been trying forever to get up and go to Micelli's for their clam and garlic pizza. I think they're the only place in the valley that makes it.

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