Game of Burgers: Burger Barons, Third Round

Categories: Game of Burgers
g-burger-2.JPG
Dave Lieberman
G'ed up from the feet up
God (or your choice of deities reviewed by the OCeeker) bless whichever faceless Yelper first pointed out G Burger to the hungry, clawing masses. May your Yelp reviews be read by Morgan "God" Freeman as part of the Real Actors Reading Yelp Reviews series. And damn you, La Habra, damn you for being so freeway-inconvenient. Stay that way, though; after this feature is finished, I'm going to be one crispy French fry away from needing to use a freight scale, and it's a good thing G Burger isn't in my backyard.

But what about the burger? First of all, don't get avocado unless you get bacon, and don't get bacon unless you get avocado. Unseasoned avocado can suck all the flavor out of a burger, and bacon can overwhelm it. Together, they're a match made in caloric, nitrite-laden heaven. Second, rip those sexy strips of bacon apart and stack them on the burger so you're not biting the bacon fuse on the way to the meal. Third... Moses' sweet fancy manna dip, I inhaled that burger so fast other people looked on in amazement. (At least I think it was amazement.) The burger, huge and cooked absolutely the way I wanted it; the bun, strong enough to hold up the toppings. Yuppie lettuce that didn't distract from the ensemble with bitterness, ripe tomatoes (it is August, after all), onions with enough heft to punch through everything. This is the archetypal American hamburger.

umami-burger-2.JPG
Dave Lieberman
Oo, mommy.
Umami is not exactly some Yelp find. There are three locations within Orange County, and I'm sure we haven't seen the end of the orangeward expansion of the chain; frankly it's a good thing, a bullet in the eye of some of the less worthy hood-burger joints. They're next to a brewery, too (or the Anaheim location is, and since I live walking distance from there, I see no reason to darken the doorsteps of the other locations). That's nice. You can take your burger and eat it next door.

The burger was quite tasty, too. The bun was fine (though I can taste the char where that U gets burned in--is it really worth it, guys?), the toppings tasty and balanced, the lettuce that perfect marriage of leafy and crunchy, but the meat was so soft it got lost in the mix. I'm not sure I tasted much from the meat besides a vague soupçon de fancy boeuf. (That's a technical term.) Don't get me wrong, it still tasted amazing, but it's the burger in question here.

Hot-damn perfection or way closer and really almost as good? Sorry, Umami. Don't be mad.

Winner, and advancing to the Final Four: G Burger.




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29 comments
tqt08
tqt08

Does anyone know why they stopped with this competition? No new updates on the bracket since early August!

Mr_X
Mr_X

So, I take it the contest has slammed to a screeching halt while my accusations of foul play are investigated? Did you realize G Burger winning couldn't have possibly happened in any fair way, and you just threw out the entire contest? 

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

That comment regarding Tom Selleck completely killed my appetite for either of these burgers

Mr_X
Mr_X

I call bullshit. There isn't a burger anywhere in the world that uses as fresh and as quality ingredients as Umami. I bet G Burger is owned by some friends of the Weekly. Seriously, who the fuck goes to La Habra? I've lived in OC for my entire 39 years, and I don't even know where La Habra is, let alone have gone there! They just don't want Umami to win because it started in LA County. Fuckin' La Habra is probably closer to LA than it is to me anyway.

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

True, avocado may suck the flavor out of a hamburger, but it (or guacamole, including plain guacamole) is divine on a turkey burger

JohnF
JohnF

@Mr_X

 

Dude, coming from a guy that shares your love of Unami burgers, it’s really hard to respect your opinion when it’s based only on having tried Unami Burger but not G Burger.  You can say what you want about Unami burger being better because of freshness, pictures, conspiracy theories, etc. but all that goes out the window because you haven’t tried both burgers.

 

A couple notes:

 

From G Burger’s website:

 

“Every morning George Makri, owner of Gburger, gets up and goes shopping.   George goes shopping for the the ingredients that allow him to prepare you the freshest most delicious food everyday here at Gburger in La Habra, CA.   At Gburger, our Californian grown, 95% organic produce is purchased everyday for the restaurant.  Our 100% certified grain fed, hormone free Angus Beef is ground daily and hand formed into patties…We slice our deli cheeses fresh everyday.  Our high-rise gourmet buns are baked exclusively for us and delivered fresh to our door”

 

That sounds pretty darn fresh to me.

 

Also, check out Yelp! reviews:

Unami Costa Mesa has 3 and half stars after 449 reviews.

Unami Anaheim also has 3 and a half stars after 89 reviews.

G Burger? 4 and half stars after 502 reviews (including one review from March that states, “Forget about the Unami, Father's Office and those expensive 10 dollars burger.  This is the real stuff.  Juicy Patty, fresh ingredients and the most importantly, they know how to cook burger right!”)

 

STILL think there’s no way G Burger could be better? 

 

Lastly, if I could taste something just by looking at a picture vs actually eating it, a) I’d probably be about 30 lbs lighter and b) I could save myself a trip to La Habra and give you my opinion right now but since that’s not the case, I’ll be heading out there to try G Burger (hopefully this weekend) and THEN let you know what I think.

 

You should too (with an open mind).

 

JohnF

 

PS. The one thing I do agree with is that similar burgers should’ve been compared, especially when both Unami and G Burger offer a truffle burger.

Dave_Lieberman
Dave_Lieberman

 @Mr_X Call bullshit all you want. I'd never set foot in G Burger until this contest and was blown away. Maybe if you actually set foot out of oh-so-safe-and-cozy Irvine you'd discover there's a lot of awesome stuff in this county, stuff that I put thousands of miles a year on my car finding.

 

Oh, and if you're going to accuse me of writing reviews in exchange for free food, or of cronyism, come right out and say it, and put your real name on it, coward.

JohnF
JohnF

@Mr_X

I tried Unami for the first time about a week before the Game of Burgers started.  Previously, TK’s was it for me, but Unami’s burger was better than any burger I’ve ever had, by far.  When I saw that Unami was included in the Game of Burgers, I figured it’d win, even if I hadn’t tried all of the burgers from the competition. “How could anything possibly be better than Unami”, I thought.

 

So when I saw, “I call bullshit” in response to G Burger beating Unami, I was expecting to read on about how this person tried both burgers and felt there was now way G burger could win. Instead, we got 2 conspiracy theories, (G Burger owned by friends of the Weekly and OC Weekly doesn’t want Unami to win because it started in LA) and flawed logic (G Burger can’t be better than Unami because G Burger is in La Habra and you don’t know where it is or have ever been there).

 

I don’t know anything about G Burger, but what proof do you have that their ingredients aren’t as fresh or of the same quality as Unami?

 

In lieu of logic, I’ll have try G Burger for myself.

 

JohnF

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

 @Mr_X If you've never been to La Habra and lived in OC your entire life, you're an idiot AND a pendejo. And accusing us of payola? Pathetic.

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

@JohnF Wow even I want to eat there now

Mr_X
Mr_X

 @JohnF Dude, I cannot tell you how much I like you. Seriously, I wish I had more friends like you. I'm going to try to figure out where La Habra is (my mom recently moved to San Bernardino, I think La Habra might be on the way to San Bernardino (I base this on nothing)) and I'm going to try one. And I'm going to explain, to any confused counter person that will listen, that I wanted to hate their burger, but JohnF from the internet convinced me to drive out and try it.

 

Peace out, Man

Mr_X
Mr_X

 @Dave_Lieberman What does it matter what my name is? The Weekly knows who I am, I've been writing incoherent letters to the Editor over there since Will Swaim was in charge. What are you gonna do, track me down and beat me up? Internet tough-guy, eh? Yeah, I accuse you of cronyism. Either that or not having the taste buds god gave a dung beetle. 

Mr_X
Mr_X

 @JohnF Extra Reply, sorry, look at the picture! The giant chunks of red onion? That shit should be sliced THIN! the bacon looks leathery and the 'yuppie' lettuce is wilted and old looking. The cheese isn't even melted! They put a slice on the bun, not the meat!

Mr_X
Mr_X

 @JohnF The proof is simply that NO ONE uses ingredients as fresh or as fine as Umami. Does G Burger grind it's own blend of meat in house several times a day? Do they process they're own cheese, so that fine vintage cheese melt like american singles? No, they do not do these things. HAVEN doesn't do these things! Playground does, but that's it, at least as far as the OC is concerned. What does G Burger do? They put avocado on their burger. Which shouldn't be allowed in a competition like this. Like to Like. Why try a fancy bacon avocado burger at one place and then the absolute basic burger at another? Why not match that G Burger to a Truffle Burger? 

 

I've eaten hamburgers literally all over the world (barring la habra, which, now that I look at it on a map and realize why I've never been there) and Umami beats them all by a mile.

 

But please man, if you're willing to brave La Habra, come back and let me know what G Burger is like.

Mr_X
Mr_X

 @GustavoArellano Flamed by Gustavo! I feel semi famous! It's like that time I took a leak next to Tom Selleck in a bathroom at the Bonaventure! 

 

Seriously though, you're someone who's opinion I respect, I've been reading you since you started with the OC Weekly, and when I go to a place you write about, I almost always enjoy it, so, tell me, seriously, what's in La Habra? What have I been missing?

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

@Mr_X Just head for San Bernardino and take a [i]very[/i] sharp left at that big road known as the 60 Freeway

JohnF
JohnF

 @Mr_X Haha, nice.  As for me, I talked the girlfriend and son (not much effort needed on him) into heading out to G Burger for dinner tonight.  Will report back.

 

JohnF

Mr_X
Mr_X

 @GustavoArellano Yeah, but Slater's is heinous. It's so white trash that it's impossible to even like it ironically. Their 50/50 burger is disgusting. I have to guess that you have to be hammered to enjoy it.

JohnF
JohnF

 @GustavoArellano Hmm...that was also by Mr. Lieberman's doing.  

 

NEW conspiracy theory! 

 

Just kidding...(kinda)

 

No seriously, just joking

 

 

 

 

 

 

sorta

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

 @Mr_X You guys are simply silly. Look at all the times we've written up Slater's 50/50—much more than G Burger (look it up). We LOVE Slater's 50/50—and they lost in the first round.

Mr_X
Mr_X

 @JohnF in my defense, I am of course completely unreasonable. 

 

I did a search for mentions of G Burger, and the Weekly really loves the owner of G Burger, there are a LOT of mentions of the guy. They even gave him Best Burger of 2011. I feel like the fix is in.

 

 

JohnF
JohnF

 @Mr_X Like I said, I have no idea what G Burger does or doesn't do, so you saying "NO ONE else" does this or that, doesn't make it true (although I have to believe you're probably right).  However, it's not just about the ingredients (although it's obviously, a big part of it).  

 

You've got a point with the regular Unami burger being compared to G Burger's avo+bacon burger, especially since that seems to have been a big point in G Burger's favor.  That doesn't seem like a fair comparison. 

 

Your points about the onion, bacon, lettuce (or maybe it's just red leaf lettuce?), and cheese in the picture are valid.  It just doesn't look that good.  

 

I'll still give it a try though, even though I still have a hard time believing there's a better burger than Unami's.

 

JohnF

 

 

Mr_X
Mr_X

 @MeToo. I don't have to eat it to know I don't like it. Onions in giant chunks like that? Leathery bacon? Wilted lettuce? I can tell from the picture it's crap, I don't need to eat it.

Dave_Lieberman
Dave_Lieberman

 @Mr_X "Brave La Habra"? What are you afraid of, people  hucking fruit at your car? It's Brea with pan dulce.

MeToo.
MeToo.

 @Mr_X Sound like a "book by it's cover" opinion to me. Get off your ass and go! Then report back with an informed  opinion instead of the whines of a sniveling bitch. I'm sorry to say it but that's how you are coming across here Mrs.X 

Mr_X
Mr_X

 @GustavoArellano I will totally try all those places. Except Arthur's, I've been to the Arthur's in Orange, and my cardiologist won't let me return.

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

 @Mr_X Chicken Box, Moros, Great Wall Mongolian, La Perla Tapatia, Arthur's Coffee Shop...shall I continue?

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