25 degrees Fahrenheit is a bit cold for me, 25 degrees Celsius is the typical San Diego day that I miss so much, but as any Chef knows, 25 degrees as it applies to meat is the difference between a medium rare and well done burger.
A few days ago I had a mediocre burger at Lush Burger in Scottsdale so when my trusty pal “Mikey” suggested we drop in and have a burger at 25 Degrees in City North I was a bit reluctant. After spending some time at the bar with the menu and cheerful staff, I realized my reservations were unfounded.
Getting rite down to it, I ordered Bacon wrapped Dates ($8) as an appetizer and we all know my feelings vis a vis anything prepared with bacon and/or butter. Along came a plate of crispy bacon wrapped around sweet dates stuffed with both bleu and marscapone cheeses. Without the need of dipping sauces they were delicious, I could eat somewhere in the neighborhood of ten thousand of these little bits of sweet, salty, creamy tastiness!
So many burger joints get the fries wrong but not 25 Degrees, the 50/50 fries were on point! Skinny as fries should be, these hot little burger sidekicks shared a carton with their sweet potato brethren and arrived hot and full of flavor accompanied by garlic parmesan and spicy aioli’s (couldn’t get the Chef to tell me what was in it though I suspect red bell pepper and cayenne). The fries arrive before your burger so that you can judge them on their own merits.
25 Degrees’ raison d’être is the humble hamburger ordered either by number (as we Americans have been conditioned to do) or in combination with any of three meats, thirteen cheeses, fifteen extras (including jalapeno bacon and Hatch green chiles), and/or fifteen sauces. My order was ground sirloin prepared medium, topped with stinky Red Hawk triple cream cheese (from Cowgirl creamery), crisp bacon (again, my love of this salty culinary necessity is well documented), and Hatch green chiles.
Few things are better in my opinion, than a juicy, properly cooked burger. This one had great meaty texture and was quite frankly huge! One thing stood out, the Red hawk cheese is very fragrant but if you can get past the olfactory assault you will find a tangy, rich cheese with a creamy texture that ties the other toppings together superbly.
If your in North Phoenix and in the mood for a great burger, a cool atmosphere and a tall glass of Sonoran draft root-beer, make it a point to stop by, have a seat and ask for General manager Courtney Cowan. Tell her Tony sent you!
I’ve been hearing rumblings of a new burger joint called LUSH in North Scottsdale and had two of the most important ingredients yesterday to warrant a visit; Hunger and time! My trusty pal “Mikey” (she’ll eat anything), and I jumped into the car and drove on over to Lush Burger located in DC Ranch Crossing (southeast corner of pima & legacy boulevard) 18251 north pima road, for what we call “a Derty feed”).
The first thing I noticed on parking in front was that the patio set-up looked like any number of Scottsdale clubs with long, low couches and bright colors. I wondered if this was a burger joint of just another place to “be seen.” Walking inside you immediately come upon a fast-food style counter with LED TV style menu boards that are becoming the “must have” item for hip new eateries and a bubbly teen welcoming us to Lush.
After the above mentioned teen gave us the rundown on how things work at Lush (order with her, find a table and then everything becomes full service), we had a look at the menu. There were several burger offerings with “chic” names including the ‘Money” (Kobe beef of course, and should have been “$$$” instead of “money” at $12), and the “infusion” (a 100% Angus beef patty infused with green chile’s and pepper jack cheese $10), and of course the obligatory potato offerings including 50/50 fries (half sweet potato and half regular) and their signature Truffle fries (chives, white truffle and parmesan).
I ordered the truffle fries, the Infusion burger (the “chef” suggests medium), and a Sonoran Draft root beer. We found seats along the counter that were covered in black and white cowhide and waited for our food. After a while, another bubbly staff member arrived with baskets of fries smelling vaguely of truffle, followed by tasty looking burgers.
The fries were hot, skinny and crisp which I love, but didn’t really have the truffle flavor that I was looking for (okay, it was there but very faint and none of the staff seemed able to tell me what they used though I suspect truffle salt), a “B” then. On to the object of this review, the Infusion.. . I applied a bit of the chipotle aioli, grabbed up my burger, took a bite and promptly got drenched with all of the juice running out of it, down my arms and splashing off of the plate.. While this definitely indicated that it wasn’t a dry overcooked burger and I love a little mess with my meals, I thought this a tad much.
Let’s talk taste. The burger was juicy as I’ve said, and it had good taste and texture but I wasn’t getting the flavor of the green chiles and the pepper jack that it was infused with was only vaguely present. I would have to say it was about a 7 on a scale of 1-10.
The service was great with cute girls doting over us and eagerly supplying us with whatever we might need and the place is definitely worth a second visit (they are working out the kinks since they’ve only been open 24 days or so), but I would say this isn’t my favorite burger joint (it’s actually almost too nice to be referred to as a “joint”).
One notable piece of the puzzle was the Sonoran Root beer on tap served in a properly chilled glass. With just the rite amount of vanilla combined with smooth, creamy root beer goodness, this root beer (at $4/glass), was worth the trip by itself. Check them out on twitter.
Over-all, I give Lush Burger a solid 7 out of 10. If your looking for a place to be seen, have a decent meal and chill, it’s not a bad option but if your looking for a GREAT burger, you’ll have to keep looking. (I happen to know where to find one).