Riding Along to Riders Club Café's New San Juan Capistrano Burger Shack

Categories: Buns In the Sun

Photo by Courtney Hamilton
Burger Time

The much-anticipated second location of Riders Club Café has finally opened its doors in a San Juan Capistrano strip mall--but does it live up to its burger-slinging legacy? Yes and no. The menu, apart from the addition of (slightly too salty) fries, is identical in offerings and prices to its tiny shack predecessor--and that's fine.

More »

Five Things You Should Know About Holstein's Shakes And Buns

Categories: Buns In the Sun

Anne Marie Panoringan

While it's been a few years, we were already familiar with the Holstein's concept prior to Costa Mesa's opening. We paid a visit over the holiday weekend to see what sets them apart from comparable meat-and-bun joints. This is far from a formal review, as we only tried one infamous burger. Though the stuff we did learn is handy dandy.

More »

GD Bro Burger Will Leave You Stuffed

Categories: Buns In the Sun

Photo by Dustin Ames
That's the money maker

I will admit I was skeptical of GD Bro Burger. First of all, I've eaten a lot of burgers, and there's honestly not a lot of space to innovate between two buns. Second -- and the guys behind GD Bro know it -- the trademark red bun that adorns all of their burgers kind of looks like a gimmick.

But the truck just made it on the Food Network's Great Food Truck Race and the Afters guys have cosigned the restaurant by investing, so last Thursday night, I figured 'heck, why not' and made the trip to the friends and family soft open at the old Toro Burger spot in Santa Ana, where GD Bro Burger's new brick and mortar is now operational.

More »

Riders Club Café to Open Second Location in San Juan Capistrano -- With Fries!

Categories: Buns In the Sun

Photo by Courtney Hamilton
Come north, please

One of Orange County's best burger shacks is about to expand to a second location along the relatively barren stretch of road just off Ortega Highway in San Juan Capistrano.

Riders Club Café, the tiny, constantly-at-capacity San Clemente burger purveyor, will make its sophomore debut this summer. It's opening in the (apparently cursed?) space previously occupied by Café Cesar, in the shopping center that houses gastropub Public 74 and the Ortega Car Wash.

More »

In-N-Out Calls Out Bruxie On New 'Protein Style' Sandwiches

Can we say cease and desist?

On Monday, local waffle sandwich eatery-done-good Bruxie began promoting their new "Protein Style" burger. We took a screen shot in lieu of a mental note, but when we went online later, something was different. Subtle, but it's there. Thanks to the wonders of Facebook, you can even click on 'Edited' in the post to read the original text.

The edit got us thinking, so we reached out for an explanation. If you know your In-N-Out terminology-- then you won't be surprised by the response.

More »

BurntZilla Represents the Union of Two Great Food Trucks, Burnt Truck and Dogzilla

Photos by Jennifer Fedrizzi
Small bite, big flavor

The life cycle of luxe loncheras is the opposite of butterflies'. They spend their adolescent years flitting about from place to place, and if they're lucky and survive, they settle into the cocoon of a permanent home. The Lime Truck, Dos Chinos, Kogi: all have matured to be brick-and-mortars. The same has now happened with two of OC's homegrown New Age food trucks: the Burnt Truck and Dogzilla. But theirs is actually a merger of sorts, built on a solid friendship forged on the road and the fact they both serve products on King's Hawaiian rolls.

More »

Grinderz Rolls Out Quality Burgers in Costa Mesa

Josh Chesler
Grinderz skates past a lot of its burger competition.

Opening a restaurant (or a second location of your restaurant) can bring logistical challenges, like not knowing exactly when you should turn off the grill and close your doors on a quiet night.

Grinderz, which expanded from its Huntington Beach location to a new spot in Costa Mesa, is going through those challenges at their new spot (they close "around 9:00-ish"), but they're still putting out enjoyable burgers and fries while they're at it.

More »

Dough Exchange's Research and Development Free Bread Ends TOMORROW

Categories: Buns In the Sun

Photo by Charles Lam

Despite what you may have seen in some video earlier this week, Dough Exchange's research and development period will end THIS SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 14. That means no more free pastries, so if you're a horribly cheap date, you know what to do. The bakery will be closed February 15 as it's moved across the street into the Fourth Street Market. Starting the 16th, you'll be able to buy their breads and pastries (and some other goodies, I'm sure), over there.

More »

Rockfire Grill Has Created OC's Next Great Burger

OC Weekly
Least soggy bun ever!

At first, Rockfire Grill is discombobulating. The music is reggae; the food is American; and the owner is originally from Mumbai and also owns the Tangy Tomato, a Chinese Indian restaurant in Artesia's Little India. That Raj Syal now makes burgers tucked into flatbreads he bakes to order in a leafy Mission Viejo strip mall frequented by suburban soccer moms can be explained in one word: "freshness."

It seems to be his axiom, his mission statement, the one idea that drives him and his business forward, as well as why he left the day-to-day operations of Tangy Tomato to a partner and is refocusing his efforts on this concept he built from scratch. It's simple, he says to me: Bake the bread to order and serve everything fresh, and they will come.

More »

Jason Quinn's Dough Exchange Sucked at First. Now? Much Better

Dave Lieberman
Dough Exchange, or D'oh! Exchange?

The first time I went to Dough Exchange, the Playground-affiliated bakery in Santa Ana's East End Marketplace, was a week or so after it opened, and it was absolutely execrable. Jason Quinn had contacted me asking me to let him know when I came in, and being the contrary bastard I am, I snuck in without telling him. I went with a friend who is extremely knowledgeable about food, and we sat down with the four items we purchased.

It was as though the basic concept of gluten formation had escaped the bakers. The cinnamon roll was bread; the empanada was bread; the doughnut was bread; the croissant was bread. All four were tough and chewy, obviously overworked.

More »