Last Wednesday Mom and I marked National Cheeseburger Day with lunch at burger.aptos. Nice patio for a sunny day complete with a tree line view, so we decided to sit outdoors. I ordered and paid inside, and the food was brought out to us.
Humboldt grass fed beef is the core of the burgers here. I ordered ours medium-rare, and they were barely a shade less than well-done, rubbery, gray-colored, and dry as dust. The patty had no browning at all or the flavor that comes with that.
Mom had a regular burger, which comes with an untoasted bun, tomato, lettuce, pickles, and a mustard-based secret sauce. These helped add some moisture to hers, though ultimately, she set it aside and stopped eating. Though the menu says that all burgers come with those accompaniments, my Luther on a glazed donut bun had only the American cheese and bacon, and none of the garnishes or dressing. The donut bun combined the worst aspects of a glazed donut and a hamburger bun, being heavy with a stale firmness and a too thick sugary glaze that flaked off. I’d been curious to try a burger on a donut, a thing that seems to be springing up at more places. Now I know and have no need to repeat this.
The saving grace of this expenditure turned out to be the double-fried, skinny fries. Golden and very crisp, we liked these a lot. Also the coleslaw, colorful with red and green cabbage in a light creamy dressing, was nice too.
We seemed to be the only ones not enjoying a beer from the well-curated list. That might be the reason to eat here. Otherwise, I don’t see the point.
7941 Soquel Dr
Aptos, CA 95003
Unfortunately your experience is pretty much par for the course. Burgers are underwhelming at best. I usually go with the turkey burger since my expectations aren't as high. Yes, the extensive beer list and the fries are, in that order, the reasons to go. Aptos St. BBQ or Sid's Smokehouse are much better bets for meat-heavy dishes and a beer. The latter has a number of decent beers on tap, while Aptos St. has an extensive (40-ish?) list of American craft beers on draft.
IMO, best burgers in town are Oswald (bar menu only but if you ask you can get it in the restaurant) and I recently quite enjoyed the burger at the new West End Tap. The latter has better fries to my taste (I suspect the ones at Oswald are single fried a la minute).