Burger Mania in the East Bay
A lot has changed since two all beef patties on a sesame seed bun made their debut. The burger has gone gourmet and is showcased at several new Tri-Valley eateries. Here are a few.
WALNUT CREEK – A SoCal favorite, Burger Lounge opened in Walnut Creek this spring much to the delight of burger enthusiasts. Aficionados will appreciate that the menu features 100% single source, American grass-fed beef, organic cheese, cage-free chicken and turkey and nitrate-free bacon. I ordered the lounge burger with white cheddar cheese, grilled onions, lettuce, tomato and house made Thousand Island dressing. I opted to add Applewood smoked bacon to mine. The juiciness factor was fabulous. It wasn’t too drippy, but I definitely needed multiple napkins. Instead of fries, I wanted to try the onion rings, which had noticeable seasonings mixed in with the batter. If you are an onion ring fan, you’ll like these.
Burgers start at $7.99. Open Sunday – Thursday, 10:30am – 9:30pm and Friday – Saturday 10:30am – 10pm. Beer and wine only. 2920 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek. BurgerLounge.com
DANVILLE – San Francisco’s Beep’s Burgers headed to the suburbs this summer, moving in to the “burger spot” in Danville’s Blackhawk Plaza.
With a more limited menu than its city counterpart, burgers here feature 100% Neiman Ranch hormone and antibiotic free beef. The signature Beep’s Burger comes with lettuce, tomato and Beep’s sauce. Add cheese, bacon and grilled onions if you’d like. I had mine with a generous serving of fries. Cooked medium, the burger had good flavor. If you want more of a tidy burger, you’ll love Beep’s where the drip factor is minimal.
The crispy chicken salad, which consists of a fried chicken breast sliced and served on a bed of jalapeño cole slaw, is notably good.
Go ahead and indulge. Order a root beer float with soft serve vanilla and bottled, gourmet root beer.
Burgers start at $6.25. Open daily 10:30am – 8:30pm. No alcohol. 3690 Blackhawk Plaza Circle, Danville. 925-263-2228.
DUBLIN – With a tagline of “Eat, drink, local,” Dublin’s Inc 82 was founded by folks who wanted more non-chain dining options in their city, so they created their own. The name pays homage to the year the city was incorporated.
I’m not a beer expert by any means, but I loved my flight of brews from a selection of options that are crafted in-house. The flight paired perfectly with an order of spicy wings served with a side of cooling, blue cheese dressing.
The Dublin burger features a six-ounce patty topped with sharp cheddar, onion rings, tomato, onions and pickles. It comes with a side of fries. If you expect a lot from your burger, you’ll love this one. If was layered perfectly with flavor and texture.
Salads, pasta and fried chicken round out the menu.
Entrées start at $12. Open Tuesday – Sunday from 4pm. Closing times vary. Full bar. 7370 San Ramon Road, Dublin. Inc82.com
Aviation Kitchen & Bar
LIVERMORE – Short on your daily steps? Head over to Livermore’s Aviation Rooftop Bar & Kitchen. After climbing three flights to get up to the restaurant (there is an elevator for those who need it), you’ll have earned your meal – and the beautiful view that goes along with it. The roof features cozy lounge areas along with several picnic-style tables. Inside seating is also available.
I enjoyed the Dallas burger topped with cheddar, pickles, onion strings, bacon, BBQ sauce and aioli. The burger was well seasoned with just the right juiciness factor. Burgers come with a side of crispy shoestring fries.
The chicken burger is also a winner. If you’re trying to stay on the lighter side, opt for a big salad.
Burgers start at $14. Open Tuesday – Sunday from 4pm. Closing times vary. Full bar. 2470 First Street, 3rd floor, Livermore. AviationLivermore.com
Janet Fazio writes ‘Tastes of Your Town’, a monthly feature on East Bay dining in the print editions of Your Town Monthly. A version of this article was originally published in October 2017 editions.
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