Posts Tagged ‘Chain’

Ruth’s Chris Steak House

I’ll begin with the moral of the story: always look for those secret gems!

So everybody knows Ruth’s Chris Steak House. It’s a chain Steak House, not known for it’s presentation, but known for its tasty, though quite expensive, steak. My friend Patrick and I had actually been for steak just weeks before, having bought some coupon online to get $75 for just $50. The steak was delicious, duh, but we’re here to talk about the burger.

Well, let’s do a little tangent, first, and amuse bouche of sorts. A lot of people have asked, why is the name “Ruth‘s Chris”? From my understanding, there was a place called Chris Steak House, and a lady named Ruth bought it. She decided to keep the Chris name there, due to the previous popularity of the restaurant, and hence the somewhat ridiculous name. Ah but yes, the burger.

So Ruth’s Chris has an extensive bar, like many high-end restaurants. And like the steak, the drinks aren’t cheap. But on the back page of the extensive drinks list, there is a small bar food menu, not advertised, and quite easily overlooked. There’s a steak sandwich, onion rings, and, wouldn’t you know it, a burger!

I actually found out about this menu from my cousin, who frequents the establishment for this secret burger. When she told me that it costs just $10, I relayed this information quickly to my friend Patrick, and we now had a great use for the remaining balance on our gift card! Score!

We were seated in the bar in view of the SF Giants game (always a plus), and were even served the warm bread we’d normally be served ordering steak! Sure enough, for $10, there was a burger, with fries, on the bar menu. I had extremely high hopes, since I figure RC uses pretty good quality meat, right?

We also ordered sparkling lemonade. I was shocked to learn that this clearly house-made beverage comes with unlimited refills. This is almost too good to be true. But would the burger hold up?

Let me tell you, the burger was delightful. A gigantic patty, cooked with the same precision, to the same precise doneness as one would expect a $40+ steak. And to be honest, at Ruth’s Chris, I’d expect no less. And the burger just keeps going. It’s every bit of 8 oz. of melt-in-your-mouth burger. I made it through half, and already felt full, but then I came to my gustatory sense[s], and promptly wolfed down the rest of it. I’m going to guess it’s closer to 25/75 fat/lean than the standard 20/80, so expect to go all out if you’re eating this dinner. But bite after bite, the patty just keeps melting in your mouth, and you just remain in burger nirvana. And if/when you finally finish it (I won’t judge you if there’s some left!), you’re ready to sit back in your comfy booth, and bask in the post-burger glow.

The fries were plentiful, and nicely seasoned (yeah I had a few before this picture was taken). A nice bonus, considering the price.

This is one of those times where I almost want to keep this seemingly well-kept secret for myself, but ultimately I must do my sworn duty as a food blogger, and spill the beans…er…beef. So I hope you’ll take my advice and try this super deal out for yourself. With the sparkling lemonade, tax, and tip, we each spent about $18. But for $10 pretax, this burger is a steal.

And I shouldn’t neglect to mention the service. Since Ruth’s Chris is branded as a fine-dining restaurant, the service has to match up. Sometimes this rule isn’t as apparent in the bar area, but in this case, we were treated to top-notch service. Never had to ask for anything refilled, food was served promptly, and we weren’t rushed out when we opted to have another lemonade and watch a bit of the baseball game, having some time to kill before a movie across the street.

While I highly recommend you come here for steak, I even more highly recommend you head for the bar, and try the Ruth’s Chris burger. In my top 5 best burgers, as of mid-2012, for sure.

The Last Bite:

Burger Rating: A

Overall Experience (sides, service, cleanliness, price, etc.): A

Update as of October 2012:

We returned to Ruth’s Chris for another burger, and learned that additions of cheese, bacon, grilled onions and grilled mushrooms are completely free. Highway robbery, I tell you.

Yeah yeah, so I only remembered to take the picture after I’d eaten half the burger. Sorry.

Five Guys Burger’s and Fries

The Five Guys craze has hit California full force in the last year, and I no longer have to go very far to get one of their burgers. Having been to the restaurant locations in Tempe and Atlanta in prior years, I am no newcomer to the Five Guys menu, and I typically order my burger the same way.

Cheeseburger (2 patties) with:

– Extra cheese (free of charge!)

– Raw & grilled onions (extra of either if I am in the mood)

– Pickles

– Lettuce

– Ketchup, mustard, and hot sauce

I personally found that the first couple times I went to this location of Five Guys that the patty itself had little flavor and got lost amongst the other accoutrements of the whole package. This was not an issue I remembered having at the other locations I’d been to (Atlanta, Fremont, Pacific Beach, Pleasant Hill, Tempe, but really, who is counting). However, the Costa Verde (La Jolla) Five Guys is very new, and since then the burgers seem to have gained the flavor I am used to in a darn good cheeseburger. On this occasion, Katie and I stopped by to get our fix, and by the end of the meal, I was quite satisfied with my burger.

I always get a regular order of fries. If you’ve never been to Five Guys before, you will soon learn that a “regular order” of fries is actually a gigantic cup of fries. That’s it, you say? Well, they also then throw in another cup full of fries into your bag. So a regular order of fries is really comparable to whatever the largest size McDonald’s offers. The fries are actually my favorite part of the meal (I like regular, not Cajun-style, personally), and they are actually what I look forward to most when I go to Five Guys.

Burger and fries comes out to about $9.25. You get your money’s worth. Single-patty burgers are available, and the orders of fries are sharable with you and ten of your closest friends, if you’re looking for a cheaper deal.

Now I have only been to the La Jolla Five Guys recently, so I do not know if this is a recent addition to all locations (will report when I am in the know), but the soda machine is this hi-tech gadget that is totally out of this world. I usually only order water when I go out to eat, but on this occasion Katie got a soda, so I got to see her use the machine. It uses a touch screen to choose your drink (and flavored syrups!), and is very quick and clean. I wish I had a picture of it, but maybe they have been added to all locations and you all will know what I am talking about. In any event, it’s pretty darn cool.

All in all, you can usually count on a good burger from Five Guys. But as for the soon-to-be age old question of “which is better, Five Guys or In ‘n Out?”, I think In ‘n Out wins for best burger. That said, Five Guys fries are some of the best around. Although I have since left La Jolla to come back to the Bay Area, I am sure I will soon visit another Five Guys (and will BurgerBlog the results!)

The Last Bite:

– Burger rating: B

– Overall experience (sides, service, cleanliness, price, etc.): A- (Love those fries!)

Never stop nomming!