Posts Tagged ‘milkshake’

Rico’s Diner

My friend Pete invited me to check this place out back in October, but we couldn’t make it work until now. His claim was that Rico’s is better than my favorite burger place (which he quite enjoys, too) – Val’s. Why haven’t I written about Val’s yet? I couldn’t tell you. But this entry is about Rico’s Diner.

Rico’s is located in Downtown Oakland, fairly close to Lake Merritt. It’s a little diner amongst a bunch of tall buildings. Kinda cool actually.

I let the expert tell me what to do. In this case, it ended up being a cheeseburger, fries, and a peanut butter milkshake. Burger and fries is $8, milkshake is $4.25. $8 is a price I can deal with. But spoiler alert, the peanut butter milkshake is one of the absolute best tasting concoctions I’ve ever had.

Being the cheapo that I am, I was concerned when a milkshake was served to me with no refill tin for over four bucks. Internally I was thinking, this better be good. But I knew Pete wouldn’t let me down. And, I had a sip. It was a creamy fresh rich peanut buttery feeling in my mouth that I never wanted to end. Perfect texture, too – no spoon required, yet it felt nice and thick. Yeah, yeah, that’s what she said, I get it.

So naturally, you finish the shake pretty quickly. But it’s rich enough where you realize that the portion size is right. The key, as Pete says, is not to drink it too fast, and save some for when your burger comes. Which I kinda succeeded at.

So, now for the actual meal.

While it’s clear the the shake stole the show, I still enjoyed a very good lunch. My first note, unfortunately, was that the burger was well past the medium I had requested. It still had a lot of good taste, but was lacking a the juiciness factor that makes the best burgers the best. If it was at medium, I don’t think it would have had this issue.

Now, the burger was served on a good bun, and Pete confirmed afterwards that it was in fact an Acme bun. Auto bonus points for nice buns, am I right?

I have to make this review based on the burger I was served, but I bet next time if it’s cooked correctly, I’ll be singing a more positive tune.

To finish off the meal, the fries were good, but probably the least memorable part f the meal (pardon me while I daydream about the milkshake some more). May get garlic fries next time.

I think Rico’s has an additional vegan menu or something, but in case you missed the memo, this blog does not cater to herbivores. Though I’m sure my good friend Jesse would be thrilled to learn that there is a vegan pulled pork sandwich made with seitan. And when I say thrilled, I mean he’d be frightened.

I definitely want to come here again, and suspect I’ll meet Pete for lunch again not too far in the future. Will ask for the burger to be rarer next time, and I bet I’ll walk away even more satisfied.

All in all it’s a cool joint, and I recommend it to anybody who is searching for that perfect unpretentious milkshake. Seriously. It was so good.

The Last Bite: 

Burger Rating: B (will be moved up if cooked right next time – stay tuned)

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

Keep on nomming!

Burger Bar

(Eek! I realized I forgot to post the entries to Burger Bar and Super Duper Burger from last October! Better late than never!)

OK let’s start with a run on sentence:

Burger Bar is incredibly pretentious joint with a good view and all sorts of options, none of which are cheap; however, if you’re willing to deal with the pretentiousness and the cost, you’re going to get really really tasty fresh food, but not want to return for another six months because it’s more an experience in the end.

OK, now let’s begin!

Burger Bar, the brainchild of superstar chef Hubert Keller is located on the nth floor of Macy’s in Union Square. It’s a build-your-own-burger kinda place. Everything is fresh, and of good quality. Rather than blather on about it, I encourage you to peruse the menu yourself.

Burger Bar is pretentious. It  just is. I don’t need to say anything else. But pretentious is passable if your food measures up.

I’ve been here three or four times now, but my order is usually made up of SOME of the following (except with a different bun):

–> Black Angus Beef, Pesto, Cheddar/Pepper jack, Peppered bacon, grilled onion Chipotle Aioli + skinny fries.

On this occasion, I was with my friends Jesse, Gabe, and David. The latter two were in town for a Scrabble tournament, and Gabe had wanted to go here since it opened. So finally, we made it.

As with my prior experiences, the burger was pretty much awesome. You really get what you pay for. And having just taken second at the tournament the day before, I was $750 richer, and didn’t mind paying!

There is tons of flavor in every bite, and the go-to additions for me are so harmonious. You really savor every bite because you can taste just how fresh every ingredient is. The one downside to the burger is that it’s just not very big. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt quite full enough leaving here, which can be an issue, especially for the money one is shelling out.

I’ve only had the skinny fries. They’re pretty standard, but are great for dipping in the pesto I get for the burger (sauce served on the side makes for easy rationing between burger and fries!)

But this lunch called for a treat. Between the four of us, we decided to actually spend $15.25 on two milkshakes. I’d always wanted to, but c’mon, are you kidding me? So needless to say I was thrilled to be able to split one. David and I got the Caramel Latte milkshake.

Yeppppp. That’s all you get for $8.75. Actually, you probably wouldn’t want too much more with all that butterscotch.

Quite frankly, the milkshake is a more polar version of the burger. It’s proportionally MORE expensive, and even better than the burger. Seriously, the milkshake we got was fantastic. Granted, I am a sucker for caramel, so take what I say with a grain of salt[ed caramel]. But if you are feeling spendy, you do not want to miss the milkshakes.

As a side note, Jesse and Gabe split the strawberry milkshake, at a bargain price of $7.00.

First they traveled across western China, then they shared this milkshake, (update: then took on Laos and Manila [with yours truly]). Who knows what’s next for them?

So to put it in perspective, my meal cost approximately $25 after tax and tip. It’s a lot like going to Father’s Office in LA. Is the food delicious? Yes. Is it worth the money? More or less. Am I going back anytime soon? Probably not. I’m just not looking to spend $25 on a burger meal. But that said, I completely recommend getting the Burger Bar experience – it’s a delicious one.

The Last Bite: 

Burger Rating: A- 

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

Keep on nomming!

P.S. If anybody reading this ever does order the $60 Rossini burger (yes, you read that right, go back to the menu again!), I’d love to know what you think of possibly one of the most absurd dishes I have ever seen.