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Build a Burger


Posted on January 28

Build-your-own burgers are all the rage. But who does ’em best? Here’s the lowdown on four local eateries where custom is king.

Photo courtesy of The Counter

The place: The Counter 1005 Galleria Blvd., Roseville
Meat of the matter:
Natural Angus beef, hormone- and antibiotic free; 1/3-, 2/3- and 1-lb. options
Toppings and buns: 
A mind-blowing 30 toppings, from basic to bizarre (how ’bout some cranberries?), 21 sauces, 12 cheeses and 6 buns
Taste test:
1/3-pounder with feta, tzatziki, red onion, olives and cucumbers on a multigrain bun
The verdict:
A knockout, with clean, fresh-tasting beef and garlicky tzatziki
Also noted:
Don’t miss the crispy fried onion strings, served with three lively sauces (barbecue, ranch and horseradish mayo); The Boyfriend called them “insane”
Final word:
Unusually fun concept, unusually friendly service and unusually good food. A home run. 5 STARS

 

The place: Relish Burger Bar 1000 White Rock Rd., El Dorado Hills
Meat of the matter:
Black Angus, Painted Hills or Niman Ranch beef; 1/4-lb. patty; double, triple and quadruple deckers available
Toppings and buns: 
All burgers come on a basic bun with lettuce, tomato, pickle, Relish burger sauce and fries; add-ons include 5 cheeses, 6 hot and 4 cold toppings
Taste test:
Painted Hills 1/4-pounder with caramelized onions and kalamata olive relish
The verdict:
Just OK, with average-tasting meat and toppings; loved the fat, fluffy onion rings, though
Also noted:
Poor service, with one order badly botched (there were four at the table) and a surly attitude
Final word:
We wanted to like Relish but were underwhelmed. 2.5 STARS

 

The place: Roxy Restaurant and Bar 2381 Fair Oaks Blvd., Sacramento
Meat of the matter:
Lucky Dog Ranch all-natural beef, 1/2-lb. patty
Toppings and buns: 
All burgers come on a brioche bun with lettuce, red onion, tomato, pickle and condiments on the side; add-ons include 4 cheeses and 6 toppings
Taste test:
Burger with Cabot white cheddar cheese and caramelized onions
The verdict:
Big, messy, juicy and yummy; beautiful bun, too
Also noted:
BYOB is a Thursday-evening-only event. Word to the wise: Arrive before 6 p.m. to take advantage of happy-hour prices on drinks and sides
Final word:
One of the best burgers in town, hands down. 5 STARS

 

The place: Smashburger 5500 Sunrise Blvd., Citrus Heights
Meat of the matter:
Angus Beef, “smashed” on the grill; 1/4-, 1/3- and 1/2-lb. options
Toppings and buns: 
The BYOB includes choice of 3 buns and 5 cheeses, plus any combination of 6 sauces and 6 toppings; 9 add-ons also available 
Taste test:
1/4-pounder with cheddar cheese, ranch dressing and haystack onions on a classic egg bun
The verdict:
A pleasant surprise: Beef was super juicy and the haystack onions rocked, though they were both on the salty side
Also noted:
Fun side dish: veggie frites, a colorful mix of flash-fried asparagus spears, carrot sticks and green beans
Final word:
A cut above your average fast-food restaurant, and the price is right: only $3.99 for a basic 1/4-pounder. 4 STARS
 

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