Eat This Now: The $5 Queso Fundido Burger at Lola Gaspar

LP Hastings
Eat this now, in queso: it's gone next week!
Lola Gaspar's Queso Fundido Burger will arrive at your table in nothing more than a paper food boat lined with brown parchment. There is no foliage nor pops of color. No truffle oil that costs more than the burger itself will coat the patty, and its sesame-seed bun won't make you wonder about its pedigree. But this is the Sonnet 130 of OC's burger world--and the cheese, the cheese is everything.

Not too long ago, Lola began offering a $5 burger special on Monday evenings. It changes every week, and has created a revivifying alternative to their normally pricy and small-portioned menu--sorry, guys, it's the truth.

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Game of Burgers: Fast Food Fiefdom, Final Round: TK Burger Versus In-n-Out!

Categories: Game of Burgers

Well...hello again! Last time we did this tournament, Dave had a showdown between G Burger and Umami Burger in the Burger Baron category, with the La Habra upstart beating the Los Angeles chain in a controversial upset.

That was on August 9. I was supposed to follow by matching up TK Burger versus In-n-Out in the Fast Food Fiefdom category. And then...and then...and then...

I dropped the burger. Here we are, over a month later, and I'm just about to announce the winner, even though I knew the results in early August.
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Game of Burgers: Burger Barons, Third Round

Categories: Game of Burgers
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.

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Game of Burgers: Gastropub Gentry, Third Round

Haven Gastropub's Lamb Burger, with onion sprouts
Haven Gastropub vs. The Crosby

The gastropub bracket held some heavyweight contenders that withered when the heat was on. Anne Marie narrowed it down to Haven Gastropub and The Crosby in Round Two, and I agree these were the two strongest burgers in the bracket.

Haven and The Crosby are so evenly matched with exemplary burgers that I'm faced with a Sophie's choice: only one can live to play on. Which favorite do I choose?

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Game of Burgers: Dominion of Diners, Third Round

Categories: Game of Burgers
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Edwin Goei
Mick's Karma Burger

In this third round in the Dominion of Diners, we are left with two very good competitors. Taylor called it exactly like I would have if I had judged round two. Whomever should ascend to the next round will fight on to what I assume will be the most difficult-to-judge and hard-won battles yet.

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Game of Burgers: Burger Barons, Second Round

Categories: Game of Burgers
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Ah, the Burger Barons--those places selling mostly burgers in higher-end joints at higher-end prices. With that price comes better quality ingredients, only, unlike the entrants in our Gastropub Gentry, many of these burgers are customizable with an array of toppings, rather than customized for you by a chef. 

I compared bacon cheeseburgers at each stop because I'm a fatty. Some of my fellow bloggers needed French fries to tie break. With the bloody battles in this round, that wasn't necessary. 
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Game of Burgers: Gastropub Gentry, Second Round

Categories: Game of Burgers

Here's the thing about gastropubs-- the simple definition is that they are bars with really good food. So to strip them down to bun and meat wouldn't even be a playing field, in my opinion. These worthy gentlemen are all trying to prove a point with their fried eggs, pickled vegetables and aiolis: they're fancy without the white linen tablecloths.

In the two duels we conducted based on Shuji's round one results, it was Haven versus St. Roy Chef's Pub and The Crosby versus Red Table. The better match ups would have been St. Roy versus Red Table and The Crosby versus Haven. The latter pair offers only one burger option on their menus, making the match up straightforward. Also, Red Table and St. Roy share a common denominator in that their dominant (or in St. Roy's case, original) focus is more dining than pub scene. Their Santa Ana and Orange counterparts, while noteworthy for grub, we consider them bar before restaurant. Yet we were handed the mismatched, and so we duel.

Haven vs. St. Roy Chef's Pub

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Game of Burgers: Dominion of Diners, Round Two

Categories: Game of Burgers
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I have more experience with HBO's Game of Thrones than I do with these four burgers. Which I suppose is a good thing for I had no biases. I may be a Wildling when it comes to the burgers I've been called to judge, but my judgements were as fair as and balanced Tyrion Lannister (though perhaps a bit longer). 

Enjoy our second round of our Game of Thrones-themed Game of Burgers and witness the ruthless battle between Memphis & Pee Wee's and A's Burger & Mick's Karma Burger.

"Don't fight for a king. Don't fight for his kingdoms. Don't fight for honor, don't fight for glory, don't fight for riches, because you won't get any."

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Game of Burgers: Fast Food Fiefdom, Second Round!

Categories: Game of Burgers
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This bracket ain't fancy-schmancy, but it's got some great burgers worthy of your stomach space. (And some not-so-great ones.) 

Read on!   

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Game of Burgers: Burger Barons, Round One

Categories: Game of Burgers
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We've got no shortage of places in Orange County that specialize in burgers and only burgers. They're not diners (not enough blue hair and orthopedic shoes on the waitstaff), they're not fast food (not at these prices), and they're not gastropubs (which have non-burger foods). The question is, are they any good? Is it worth the $11 average cost for a burger at these places? We pit eight of them together in the initial round.

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