Monday, September 5, 2011

The Secret Is Out About Burger Parlor

Burger Parlor 
108 W. Wilshire Ave.
Fullerton, CA 92832

When I heard of Burger Parlor, I knew I had to go. When I read the reviews from other blogs, I moved Burger Parlor immediately up my restaurant wish list. If you have ever read my blog before, you know that I love hamburgers. They are such a diverse, yet simple food. Our county has such an embarrassment of riches when it comes to great burgers here. I was just hoping that Burger Parlor could live up to the hype I had built up in my mind.

Burger Parlor comes to us from Joesph Mahon, a classically trained chef. From La Habra, he left to learn his craft, but now he is back in OC building burgers four nights a week. Oh yeah, did I mention that Burger Parlor is a pop up restaurant? They share space with Rialto Cafe Wednesday through Saturday nights. The pop up aspect of Burger Parlor kind of added to my excitement a little bit. It was like a secret spot, even though it has been written up in numerous places already. Enough chit chat though, let's take a look at the food.

Before our dining partners arrived we ordered the Snack Shack to start us off. This is not your normal chili cheese fries. At Burger Parlor they serve Belgian fries with a short rib chili and a cheese sauce. I am not usually one to like cheese sauces, but this one was very smooth, and not crazy cheesy. The potatoes were not what I had expected either. They came cut larger than I would have liked, but it worked here. They were cooked all the way through, and were a great compliment to the chili. My one complaint about this would be that I would have liked a little more chili served with this. Otherwise, it was a very good starter.

I will start the burger portion of our show with my choice for the evening, the Mahon Burger. This burger features pastrami, Swiss cheese, caramelized onions, pickles and a mustard sauce. Once again this burger was not what I had expected, but it turned out to be very good. The pastrami was not sliced, it was cubed. This allowed for more pronounced bites of the meat. The burger was very juicy, and the cheese was good as well. The mustard did kind of get lost here, but that can usually be a good thing because mustard tends to overpower foods. I would definitely get this burger again, but first I have others that I need to try in future visits.

Some people like putting potato chips on their sandwiches, that is what Katie's burger reminded me of. The Chip Shot combines fontina cheese, chipotle aioli, mushrooms, and tomato confit, with potato chips added to the top. Katie felt that the burger tasted fresh, but she would have liked a stronger cheese on this one. The fontina was too mellow for her, so all she could taste was beef and potato chips. She did mention that the bun was great. Mahon has worked with a small bakery to perfect his bun recipe, and the buns really did stand up to the items inside the burgers.

The health nut of our group, Heather, ordered the OC Burger. This one featured a turkey patty, with sprouts, avocado, carrots, provolone, and an herb sauce. I usually stay away from turkey burgers, but the bite I had might change my mind about the holiday fowl being used in a burger. The patty was very moist, and the condiments used here were very fresh. They melded together nicely. She also had some fries, which were again sliced thicker than I would have liked, but they were crisp and cooked all the way through, so they turned out to be all right. Heather was pretty happy with her choice.

Trevor had one of the more unusual burger offerings at Burger Parlor, the Lasorda Burger. With a name like that you would expect it to be a bloated burger featuring blue cheese, (Get it?  Because the Dodgers wear blue, and because he is big guy!). Anyways, this burger came with a sausage patty, a fried mozzarella patty, oregano, and roasted peppers. Trevor enjoyed this burger, but was not overly impressed. He felt that the fried cheese here was a little over the top. He would opt for a more traditional burger the next time he was here.

We also had an order of Beer Battered Onion Rings as well. These had a great outer coating, that over shadowed the onion inside, but that is easy to do with onion rings. These came out scalding hot. We ordered a feta sauce to go along with these, which went very nicely with these rings.

Burger Parlor was all it was advertised to be. The burgers were fresh and the combinations worked well. The menu is pretty small compared to other burger spots, but you will definitely find a burger to your liking. They offer ten different burgers, to go along with their three sides items and three salads. Next time we will have to save room for desserts. The Ice Cream Sandwich and Banana Bread Pudding really caught our eye.

The prices were a little on the high side, but these are gourmet burgers, and it is okay to splurge every once in awhile. They run in the $8 to $11 range, and with fries and a drink it will run you about $16. A little higher than that combo meal at Carl's Jr., but way more satisfying. This place really reminded me of Umami Burger. Smaller burgers that really hit the spot. We were glad to be part of the, "in crowd", on this particular night.

Out of five glasses of Hawaiian Punch, (because it is a little known fact that Hawaiian Punch was invented in a converted garage in Fullerton), five being best to zero being worst, Burger Parlor gets a solid 3.5 glasses of Hawaiian Punch.

For more information on Burger Parlor, click here:

 Burger Parlor (at Rialto Cafe) on Urbanspoon


  1. Glad to see you made it out there. I can't wait to go back.

  2. Dan - It was really good. Your article was one of the one's that convinced me to go. Thanks, and thanks for the comment.