Food Observations

A blog for eaters

Archive for the tag “burger”

Jack in the Box

Outstanding Triple Bacon Buttery Jack at our Ramona Jack in the Box! Went well with their excellent panko crusted onion rings. I just love JIB’s shiny buns…

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Cheers of Ramona

Finally got in to Cheers of Ramona to see how the new ownership is going! I have to say, the new woodwork is just breathtaking! Really classes the place up. It diminishes some of the dive bar feel but not so much that it loses the familiar charm. I’d say it’s a nice balance. Before, I felt like I needed a tetanus shot before going in… Not any more. Some of the old, unkempt, disheveled booths are gone, but seating at the bar is ample and comfortable with high back, padded seats.

The menu is easier to understand and handle now. Down to a large, single two-sided sheet with many of the old favorites. All burgers now come standard with a side of fries! I ordered The “Horseman” for $13.99. Made with a quarter pound burger topped with American cheese (I subbed Swiss), a pile of pastrami, grilled onions, pickles and hot mustard sauce. Overall this was an outstanding burger. I think the grilled onions were missed, but that’s ok. The generous portion of thick sliced pickles made up for it. The quarter pound patty was pretty thick which made its circumference disproportionately small to the size of the bun. I discussed with the chefs and we all agreed that a thin, flatter patty would be best in this case, particularly when piling pastrami on top of it. The bun seemed to be a fresh, high quality brioche style that held this hot mess together flawlessly. It had a nice chew and mouth feel.

Service from everyone was just phenomenal! We felt so welcomed and taken care of. If you haven’t been to Cheers in a while (or ever), do yourself a favor and check out this smartly improved bar sometime. A bar that happens to serve some very good food.

Jack in the Box 

The so-called brunch Burger at Jack in the Box was pretty tasty!  

The Par Lounge 

Outstanding California Burger at The Par Lounge!  Made with avocado, hickory smoked bacon, and white cheddar cheese, plus the standard burger set.  One of the best spots for a great burger in Ramona.  Fries are always fresh, hot and crispy. 

The Par Lounge 

Outstanding Pastrami Burger at The Par Lounge.  Not normally on their menu but a special item during this recent visit.  Always in the top tier of burgers in Ramona. 

Up the Hill Grill 

Outstanding lunch recently at Way Point Saloon! The menu here has a fantastic selection of big league burgers, sandwiches, appetizers, etc. This time I had one of my favorite burgers, the “Bacon & Bleu”.

Made with a half pound beef patty that I ordered medium well and it came out perfectly cooked. Hot, juicy and just the right amount of pink in the center. Here you’ll get real blue cheese crumbles, not some spread or dressing. The blue cheese is grilled on the flattop first which yields a nice color, flavor and softness to an otherwise hard, crumbly cheese. I’m not really a fan of the fancy tissue paper lettuce/spring mix/whatever you call it… Overall an excellent burger! 

I noticed the sides are now being served in these chic stainless steel vessels. It didn’t make my beer battered fries taste any better, but it sure did look classy and elegant. What I did notice was that my fries retained their warmth for a longer period of time! 

Extraordinary service today! As most always. Great place for lunch and a beer of you’re so inclined.

Boll Weevil 

The venerable Steerburger at the Weev is hard to beat!  Especially when you add a few jalapeño slices.  Their great family meal deals are rounded out by a nice order of homely nachos. 


Way Point Saloon

Outstanding dinner at Way Point Saloon! This place (includes UTHG) remains consistently in the top two burger spots of Ramona. While Gail continues to order her beloved “Mountain Man”, I always try to branch out to something different. This time I had “The Rancher”. Made simply with smoked cheddar, bacon, onion rings & BBQ sauce… That’s it! Only $12.95, includes side.It’s served open faced with a tower of onion rings stacked atop the hot, juicy beef patty. The whole thing is artfully drizzled with a decent BBQ sauce. I wound up having to eat most of the rings separately, leaving about one or two before I was able to construct the burger in a way I could actually pick it up. (Wish I had brought a change of clothes). This was actually perfect because I dearly adore both their beer battered fries and onion rings. Choosing fries as my side allowed me to enjoy both! 

Outstanding service as always. Love all the great folks that keep WPS/UTHG humming.


Boll Weevil 

For some time I have proclaimed the Thursday night AYCE fish fry at the Weev to be the best value in town. Well, Boll Weevil has a solid lock on the number two spot as well. About once a month in the Ramona Sentinel you can get a coupon for their “Family Meal Deal”.  For only $24.99 you can stuff a hungry family of four with some great food. Includes two 1/2 lb super cheeseburgers; two 1/4 lb super cheeseburgers; and two huge baskets of fries. But wait, there’s more! You also get a tasty nacho appetizer to share. (Actually mom & dad eat most of it while the kids are playing games).

So, we typically get a specialty burger basket when visiting the Weev, but these basic “super cheeseburgers” are outstanding! It’s the same meat, cooked perfectly, with seeded, toasted bun. Comes standard with lettuce and tomato. On each table though is a “condiment tray” containing a myriad of toppings you can use to enhance your burgers. Onions, peppers, pickles, various squeeze bottles of random sauces and such. 

Nacho appetizer is pretty basic but very good. (Pictured in the comments). Big basket of fresh, hot tortilla chips with a side of jalapeños and nacho cheese. That’s it. They use a pretty good quality cheese here. Not all institutional and watery.

Boll Weevil continues to be one of my favorite restaurants in Ramona for many reasons. Always friendly, welcoming, top shelf service. Their selection of BNS Brewing & Distilling Co. on draft is a big help too!


Cheers of Ramona 

Cheers of Ramona for dinner last September! Before the change in ownership. Food was good then and it’s still good now! Stay tuned for an updated review under new ownership. This time I ordered the Cheers “BR” Burger. Apparently a favorite of sports broadcaster and former San Diego Charger, Billy Ray Smith Jr.For only $8.99 it’s made with a Cheers burger patty, BBQ sauce, jalapeños, and cheddar cheese. Reading the menu description, something seemed lacking. That’s right – bacon! I requested an add-on of bacon and that helped considerably.

These burgers are served open faced to keep the hot side hot and the cold side crisp & fresh. I put it all together for the photo so you can fully marvel in just how substantial these burgers are. Every burger creation I’ve ever ordered at Cheers has been so thoughtfully and carefully constructed. Some places I go to are just a haphazard mess. I will say though, once you actually have to pick up and eat this behemoth, expect to have to change clothes about half way through. That and take two showers when you get home.

The beef patty seemed to be a 1/2 pound; it was hot, thick, and juicy. A blanket of melted cheddar cheese enveloped a number of pickled jalapeños that lent a perfect spicy note. Bacon was abundant and a welcomed addition, although somewhat chewy/flabby, making it hard to get a good bite out of it. Produce was generous, crisp and fresh. Most impressive was the bun. It held all of this together without cracking under pressure.

Burgers are served a la carte, so Gail and I shared an order of “Frings”. Half onion rings and half fries (pictured in the comments). I’ll say, the ratio was more like 1/3 rings and 2/3 fries. Would have preferred more on the rings side. Maybe next time we’ll just get a full order of each, they are that good! Seriously, Cheers is in the top tier of rings/fries in Ramona, that I can tell you.



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