Burgers and Fries.
Life would be less without them.
Our Search for the Ultimate Taste Treat
My friend, David, and I have hatched an excuse to indulge in one of our favorite pastimes, eating. We have this blog to make our indulgences sort of make it okay to gulp and gnaw our way through Riverside and San Bernardino counties, and wherever else suits out fancies.
Our first foray into food fun is Burgers and Fries. We started with the intention of finding a benchmark burger from which to judge all others. Our first stop was The Back Abbey in Claremont. The Back Abbey set a really high standard and is so far, our definitive Top Hat at the Ritz burger.
We are still looking, so we aren’t rating yet. When we have some other burgers in our belly, we will go back and give ratings. But right now, The Back Abbey is a 10. We totally recommend it.
The Back Abbey
128 N Oberlin Ave, Claremont California (In the Village)
Our first impression of the Back Abbey is industrial chic, or minimalist. Dark, and simple, but definitely comfortable and welcoming. We explained to Stephanie, our waitperson, that we were looking for a benchmark burger for our blog. She sat down and talked to us about their burgers. We ordered two, the Backyard Burger and the Back Abbey Burger. We added an order of fries, and had Iced Tea to drink. The burgers came cut in half so we could share with each other.
Back Abbey Burger $13
Their signature burger. Aged gouda, mustard aioli, caramalized onions, Niman Ranch bacon and micro greens served on a brioche bun. It came with a fresh green salad.
Bun: Fresh, soft, held up well without falling apart. I hate it when that happens.
Beef: OMG! Delicious. It is dry-aged, I think she said 60 days. Not sure about that though. Cooked medium rare, Juicy and flavorful like no other we can remember having. David says, “It evoked the memory of the flavor of beef in such a way that no others compare. It made me realize that everything else I’ve been eating was so bland.”
Other stuff: Caramalized onions. I’m (Anita) not usually fond of caramalized onions because so few people know how to make them. These were delicious and delicate without overpowering the rest of the burger. David agrees that these were really good. firm and caramalized just right.
Gorgonzola cheese was just the right amount to give a flavor and texture treat without overpowering the whole burger.
Niman Ranch bacon (http://www.nimanranch.com/index.aspx) was noticeable missing from my (Anita) half of the burger, but David said although it was really good, it overpowered the burger.
The flavors melded really well for an overall delicious burger that was juicy and tasty. Lettuce was micro greens, global warming: no iceberg in sight.
The Backyard Burger $11
Green leaf lettuce, red onion, Roma tomatoes, pickles and 1-year aged cheddar cheese. Brioche bun.
Bun: Same as in the Back Abbey Burger
Beef: Same unbelievably good beef. This burger really highlights the beef. With little of the “fancy” ingredients, this more traditional burger let the flavor of that wonderful aged beef shine through. Everything in this burger complimented the meat.
We asked Stephanie about their beef source. She said it was a secret and even they didn’t know where it came from, well other than from cattle, that is.
Cheese: The sharp, aged cheddar was just enough to add to the flavor of the overall burger and not overpower it.
Other stuff: Lettuce was crisp, dark green leaves, red onion was sweet, thinly sliced without being stringy. The pickle was appropriately crisp and not too strong. It was served with a side of Red Remy sauce, which was sort of like a thousand island with only the thousand and no islands, and much less mayo. It was flavorful and savory.
The salad greens that came with the burger were fresh and the dressing was a light vinaigrette. Good but we could have done without it.
Fries $5 half order
We had a half order, served in a paper cone. They were fried in duck fat and soybean oil. Hand cut, skin on, twice fried. They use kennebec potatoes (http://www.kennebecpotato.com/). They were incredibly crispy and flavorful. Even sitting on the table for the time we were there, they maintained their crispy goodness. They came with three dipping sauces: Ketchup (what’s a fry without it?), a chive and horseradish mayo, and a dill and lemon mayo. Dee-lish! I (Anita) loved both the horseradish and chive and the lemon herb. David was partial to the horseradish. I don’t think we dipped into the ketchup at all after determining that it was just ketchup.
Back Abbey – Highly Recommended!