7561 Center Ave. #53
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
One of my favorite times of the year is fall. As with most of us in Southern California, you are probably tired of the scorching weather we have had the last two months. I long for the crispness of autumn, but that's not the only reason I love this time of year. For me, fall means that hockey is back. Soon our nights will be full of driving up the 55 Freeway trying to make it to Honda Center before the puck drops at 7. This ritual always starts with us picking up our tickets from our good friend Steve. He lives in Rossmoor, so we always try to select a place in the middle of both of us. This time we chose to meet at Grinderz in Huntington Beach.
Grinderz is located in Old World Village, across the street from the Bella Terra shopping complex. Of course this time of year Old World is buzzing with activity, because Oktoberfest is in full effect. Grinderz is located on the outer edges of Old World, and is a great place to get a good base going when headed to Oktoberfest to indulge in some good German beers. Also for those of you that are averse to German food, Grinderz offers a great alternative to the brats, sauerkraut, and strudel.
We arrived here on the very first Sunday of Oktoberfest, which is a much more mellow time at Old World, than the drunken Friday and Saturday nights we have spent here. There's no air conditioning inside Grinderz, so if you are here on a sultry day like we were, be prepared to sweat a lot. As is our custom, we select our Ducks games first, and then eat. Much like the small dining area, the menu at Grinderz is not going to blow you away with its variety. They offer burgers, a chicken sandwich, and a couple of side items. There's also a couple beers on tap. The day we were here they had a couple of versions of Saint Archer's, a few Sam Adams varieties, and that all-American standard, Pabst Blue Ribbon. We were done sorting our tickets, so it was time to eat. Let's see what we thought of Grinderz.
We started things off with two sides, the first of which was this 50/50 Basket of Fries and Onion Rings ($4.00. This was a good sized portion for under five dollars. The fries here are advertised on the menu as being beer battered. they were pretty good, and came out nice and hot. The onion rings were okay. Dominated by the breading, the onion inside kind of got lost. Glad they sent this out with a side of ranch dressing.
Much more to all of our liking was this secret menu item, the Pig Sty ($6.50). This is not advertised at the restaurant, but you can find this on their menu online. It seems like everyone is doing a kind of version of In-N-Out's animal fries these days. This version at Grinderz was one of the best we have had. It starts with their fries, then they are topped with thousand island dressing, crumbled bacon, grilled onions, cheese and avocado slices. The fries stayed crispy, and everything worked really well here. The avocado was a new element, and added a nice creaminess, while helping to ease the saltiness. Again the portion size was more than enough for two or more people. Grab a friend and make sure to get this when you visit.
Both Katie and my dad got the same thing, so that helps to cut down on the writing. Thanks guys. They both opted to have the Cheeseburger ($4.25). The burgers here come with lettuce, red onion, tomato, pickles, and thousand island dressing. They also offer chipotle mayo for those that like a little spice. My dad did not say much about this burger, but Katie threw around words like, "classic", "fresh", and "a simple cheeseburger", to describe her love for this burger. She was plenty happy with her burger, and would get this again for sure.
I of course went big here, with their Double Cheeseburger with Bacon added ($6.75). This was a very solid burger. The beef was fresh, the bun absorbed all of the juiciness of the meat, while maintaining its integrity, and the produce used on this was pretty high quality. What kept this burger from reaching the next level was the lack of condiments on here. I could not detect the thousand island on this, and the bacon somehow got lost on this burger as well. Still a very good burger, and one that I look forward to having again in the future, but with thousand island on the side.
Except for the sweltering heat, Grinderz was a great place to meet up with our friend Steve, and pick our Ducks tickets. The burgers here are good and honest, and will make burger lovers happy. Their version of animal fries was one of the better ones we have had. This really is a no frills restaurant. Ordering is done at the counter, and you grab a seat in their sparsely decorated dining area. The guys and gals behind the counter were all very friendly, and answered all of our questions we had. Glad we picked this restaurant for one of our favorite times of the year. Now we just wish the weather would become more fall-like.
Out of five skateboards, (because this restaurant is located next to a Vans skate park, and Grinderz definitely has a skateboarding vibe to it), five being best to zero being worst, Grinderz gets 3.5 skateboards.
For more information about Grinderz, go to their website here: http://www.grinderzhb.com/