Square Burgers Suck
Apart from a few longstanding traditions (Wendy's square burger patty, but who eats those anymore?; and the cryptic White Castle), a burger should never be square or otherwise polygonally shaped, especially if it's served in a bar where a solid beer selection is offered on tap. The only thing worse than a square burger is a rectangle one, served on a non-matching oblong bun thing (officially, a "french roll").That's the horror that was dumped onto my table after I ordered a burger at Pike Bar in Long Beach recently. The spot is generally a gratifying watering hole on Fourth street which received a "best fish and chips" nod from the Press Telegram not so long ago. It has enough micro brews on tap to certainly make good on its promise of a great burger and great fish and chips. Sadly, it's a promise the joint isn't even acceptably making good on.
Before I get to the pitiful slab of dry meat masquerading as a burger that I had to wash down with my (tasty) Hefeweizen, I have to address the trickster "steak cut fries" issue.
The waiter (who was unpleasantly aloof) hadn't even bothered to ask me how I wanted the meat cooked, a bad first sign I'd noticed but decided to ignore (believing that they knew exactly how to cook their burgers since they're award winning and all). I wound up abandoning the top half of the dense roll and forcing some of the burger--now wedged between a piece of lettuce and the other half of the bun--down . I tried to wipe the bad taste from my mouth with big gulps of beer but couldn't do it, especially after the bill came: $7.50 for a piece of sorry meat and hard bread. I would've been better off ordering an In-N-Out burger to go for $1.50 and grabbing a bottle of Negra Modelo at the corner store.
Oh and the fish and chips: forget about it. Way overrated. Not nearly as bad as the chips, but served in a small basket instead of a plate and simply not worth $9.95. Stick with the beer here if you harbor any fantasies of bar food-beer bliss. Or at least wait until you've had a few before you order any food.