Burger Lounge seems to be quite a polarizing chain. Some folks I know, sing high praises of Burger Lounge. But the only thing that bothers me about the things they say about BL, is that most of it centers around BL's use of Tallgrass Beef, and most of them recite this in a mantra like fashion. Very few things are said to me regarding the taste. One good thing is.... that I love good grassfed beef, it is much more "beefy" in flavor. On the other hand, posts by other food bloggers seemed to align the burger at BL with fast food burgers. Or perhaps even worse. We were curious, so on a recent evening, the Missus and I headed out to Burger Lounge's Kensington location.
Upon entering, I was struck at how "fast-foodish" the place looks. The menu is short and sweet, 3 types of "burgers" (beef, turkey, and veggie), three salads, chicken tenders(no mention of how the chickens were raised), fries & rings, and cupcakes.
As I placed my order, the young lady manning the counter, made sure to inform me that the burgers are "grilled medium", which sounded just perfect to me. This young lady was a joy to watch, she was efficient, yet very nice, especially to the older customers and children (and their parents)who came in later.
The Missus, still recovering from Her burger at The Waterfront, again went with a Veggie Burger ($7.95):
Of course we got a "half and half"($4.95), the combination of fries and onions rings, which is delivered in a sorta-kinda cool looking cardboard take-out box.
The rings were nicely breaded with a good crunch, just the way the Missus enjoys them. The fries were on the dry side, and as with "fresh cut" potatoes, wilted pretty quickly. Both were seasoned with a parsley-salt mix in a very even-handed manner.
Of course, I ordered the Grilled Lounge Burger ($7.95), sans dressing since I really wanted to taste the beef.
I also chose the white cheddar which was nice and mild, and fresh onions to add a bit of punch to the burger. On the good side, I've had my share of grass fed beef that has been on the dry side. This burger was juicy, maybe a bit too juicy. The roll didn't hold up very well, but did have a distinct flavor. The onions were diced, which proved to be a bit problematic, as it kept falling all over the place.
One of the two biggest issues I had with the burger is illustrated below:
What happened with the "our burgers are grilled to medium rare" policy? Also, the burger lacked flavor, I'd been expecting some of the wonderful grass fed goodness to seep through. When I broke off a piece of the patty for tasting, I noticed that it also lacked seasoning. As I later explained to my "go green" friend, you need to season your meat. I've bought stuff from Lobel's in the days before a porterhouse would run into the triple digits. And if you don't season that hundred dollar steak (or $20 ground beef), it won't taste right. Same holds true here......
One more thing..... this burger cost $7.95...... compare that to the burger at The Counter, which I put in the same basic category. That burger was just 55 cents more.....
I've heard that the Turkey Burgers at Burger Lounge are good, and the Missus really enjoyed that Veggie Burger. Maybe it's those two items that put the "burger" into the Burger Lounge. For me, the Lounge Burger was a disappointment.
4116 Adams Avenue
San Diego, CA 92116