“You can find your way across this country using burger joints the way a navigator uses stars.”
— Charles Kuralt
Late last fall I stopped by 6454, Suite 1, Pony Express Trail in Pollock Pines, to talk with the really nice folks who were in the process of opening this restaurant, Jim and Sylvia Young.
If I lost you with that, it is the former location of the Burger Shack, which is right in front of the CVS pharmacy.
They were working hard fixing everything up and still hadn’t fully decided exactly what they were going to do besides burgers.
“We owned fast-casual restaurants in Southern California and came up here to retire in 2006,” said Sylvia. “We looked around, found this location and said, ‘why not’ and opened another fast-casual restaurant.”
Since my hot dog and hamburger loving friend, Russ Salazar, lives near there, I invited him to join me for lunch last week to try a couple of things from the menu.
The speciality of the house at burgers ‘r us is the juicy Lucy burger, a stuffed burger made with fresh, not frozen, 100 percent Angus beef.
If you have never had one of their stuffed burgers, they make two patties and between them put American cheese, Cheddar cheese and bacon, pepper jack and jalapeños, bleu cheese and bacon or Swiss and mushrooms. Then they cook it and put it on a bun with lettuce, tomato and dressing. When you bite into it, it bursts open with flavor, surprising your taste buds.
We chose the half-pound bleu cheese and bacon juicy Lucy burger and then decided to also try a juicy Lucia burrito, which is a flour tortilla stuffed with rice, beans, cheese slices, tomatoes, lettuce and, chicken, pork or beef. We chose pork, since Salazar reminded me that a burrito should be made with pork.
We had them split the two orders between us, which, in the case of the burger might not have been a good idea. We didn’t get the full effect of the cheese bursting out into our mouths.
The burger was good, really good. The meat was not overcooked (thank you, thank you, thank you) and the bun was excellent. The cheese in the middle was a real treat.
The fries that came with the burger were hot and good (you can also order sweet potato fries and onion rings). I like mustard on fries, and they had pourable mustard, which is best.
The burrito was good, but not exceptional (I’m spoiled by our local taquerias). Salazar said that he prefers them grilled, like his mother made them, so they have a bit of crunch. It came wrapped in foil, which did keep it hot and moist. They are nice people and would probably grill it if you asked.
The burrito came with a small container of salsa and chips, which were both good. But I keep forgetting to mention to restaurants (not only them) that Tabasco is not really a Mexican hot sauce. There are a lot of better ones out there with more flavor, such as Cholula and Tapatio.
In addition to the juicy Lucy burgers they also serve specialty burgers such as the awful awful burger (awful, awful good, they say) and other burgers like chicken, turkey, fish and black bean.
Along with the burritos they also offer nachos, a quesadilla, enchiladas and salads. They also have a special menu for small kids and big kids (10 and under and 60 and over).
Beverages include sodas, brewed ice tea, milk shakes, floats, coffee, hot tea, hot chocolate and milk.
Hours for burgers ‘r us are daily from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. and can be reached at 530-344-7908. You really should stop by and try one of the many burgers. They are really that good.
On Saturday and Sunday, June 30 and July 1, at 1 p.m., enjoy Toogood Estate wines paired with a medley of hand-crafted, exquisite cheeses. Learn how to partner distinctive cheese like Spanish tetilla, French fromage d’affinois avec poivre, Italian pecorino al tartufo, Oregon caveman blue, local chevre from Jollity Farms and more with winemaker Marco Capelli’s outstanding wines.
Let the Toogood wine and cheese experts show you how to incorporate ease and elegance into your home entertaining during this 1-1/2 to 2 hour class which is limited to only 16 attendees each day.
For more information and cost call 530-620-1910.
On Saturday, June 30 from 6 until 8:30 p.m. enjoy a relaxing and fun-filled day with the music of Uncommon Ground, featuring originals as well as covers. Bring a picnic and enjoy the music amongst the vineyards with a bottle of Fenton Herriott wine. And, there is always bocce ball as you are swinging to the music.
There is no charge for this event. For more information call 530-642-2021.
When I was young, my grandmother would give me dates as a treat. Their caramel-like taste was better than most candy and they were a lot better for me. When I got older I would buy them pitted and insert an almond before eating them.
I hadn’t had them for a while, but when a sample box of delicious Natural Delights Medjool (the best) dates arrived at the newspaper, I had to try some.
They came to us from the Bard Valley Medjool Date Growers Association, a consortium of family growers in the southwest, that is responsible for over 60 percent of the Medjool dates grown in the U.S.
I did not know it, but apparently they are becoming very popular with people who exercise a lot, since they are loaded with vitamins and minerals, making them a no fat or cholesterol replacement for energy bars loaded with calories and processed sugar.
Medjool dates are available fresh, pitted plain or rolled and coated with nuts or cocoanut, and are even available organically grown. Now matter how you get them, they are delicious.
Look for them at your local grocery or speciality store.
Birthdays to celebrate today: American engineer and army officer who was the chief engineer of the Panama Canal George Washington Goethals (1858); child-labor law pioneer Julia C. Lathrop (1858); American surgeon and one of the Mayo brothers William James Mayo (1861); actor and musician Gary Busey (1940 and actresses Sharon Lawrence (1962) and Ruth Warrick. It is also the anniversary of the establishment of Mesa Verde National Park in 1906 and Olympic National Park in 1938.