Thursday, September 3, 2015

Blue Ribbon for Brea's Best Burgers?

Brea's Best Burgers
707 South Brea Boulevard
Brea, CA 92821

This review is long overdue. Almost every month I get reminded that I need to try the food at Brea's Best Burgers. It's actually one of my most ardent readers of this blog that has been trying to get me to go to this restaurant for a few years now. This anonymous reader of the blog heavily touts the double avocado bacon cheeseburger and the onion rings from this little restaurant off of Brea Blvd. Yes, we have been staying closer to home recently, but with my dad having his hip replaced at St. Jude down the street from here, it seemed like a perfect time to give this place a try.

I'd been here before, but that was long before I started this blog, and I had a hard time remembering it. Brea's Best has been family owned since 1980. The menu here kind of reminds me of one of those places that you see in almost every city. For Los Alamitos it's Volcano Burger, in Laguna Niguel it's Ted's Burgers, the Yorba Linda version would be Duke's, and in Orange they have Troy's Drive In. These kinds of places all claim to have the best breakfast burritos around, have lots of burgers and sandwiches offered, and have lots of other menu items available. So with Brea's Best being in business for 35 years, I had some pretty high hopes for this restaurant, but then we were met with this sign on the door when we arrived.

Major let down. We were informed by the sign that they could not make any burgers, other than turkey burgers, veggie burgers, or patty melts, due to exhaust fan problems. We contemplated leaving, but we had come all this way, and not sure when we would be back up this way, I begrudgingly went inside. It also struck me as odd that they could make a patty melt, but not any other burgers, but I've never worked in a restaurant, and have no idea how these things are done.

Ordering is done at the counter, and then you take a seat in what appears to be an added on dining room. This detached dining space was rather comfortable, even though it had maybe only ten or so tables. We were eating near 7pm, and had no problem finding a seat, but I've heard that this place gets packed around lunch time, so be on alert for that. Our number was called, and this is what hit our table.

I knew Katie would not be inconvenienced by the, "no burger" sign on the door. I assumed correctly when she got this Turkey Club Sandwich ($6.20) for dinner. Joining the sliced turkey on this pretty good sized sandwich was tomato, plenty of lettuce, avocado, sliced cheese and crispy bacon. Both her and I were impressed at how fresh their produce and turkey was. We weren't expecting that. She really enjoyed this sandwich a lot more than she thought she would when walking in here.

Well since I could not get a burger at Brea's Best Burgers, I had to settle for the closest thing on this night, a Patty Melt ($4.15). I was pretty disappointed with this bland patty melt. First, the patty was so thin and under seasoned. It really tasted like nothing, and the cheese did not really add anything here either. The rye bread was toasted way too much, so it was hard biting through the bread. Probably the best part of this sandwich was the grilled onions, which at least added a little something here.

I had looked online for their most popular side items before we got here, and a lot of people loved their Fried Zucchini ($3.75). First the positives about these. I liked that they were on the smaller size, the size of french fries, and I also liked that they definitely gave you your money"s worth. There was no way that Katie and I could come close to finishing these. Unfortunately they were served lukewarm, and they definitely needed to be salted to add flavor to them. The breading was crispy, but other than that it was bland. Should have tried the onion rings instead.

Not that we needed it or anything, but I also wanted to try the Chili Cheese Fries ($4.25) while we were here. I love chili cheese fries, and these were the best thing I ate here during this trip. The chili could have had a little more kick to it, as it was very mild, but these fries were topped with lots of it, along with plenty of cheese, and some really strong onions on top. I haven't had strong onions like that for quite a long time. The fries stayed semi-crunchy under the weight of it all. A pretty good version of chili cheese fries, but I'd ask for easy onions next time I was here.

So after my first visit here, I felt I had to give them at least one more shot, so at least I could try the famous Double Avocado Bacon Cheeseburger ($6.35). I can definitely see why people enjoy this burger. The bacon was nice and crisp, and really prominent. There was plenty of fresh avocado on this, and the double patty adds a meatiness to the burger, that I just didn't get with the patty melt I had on my first visit. Maybe a little too much lettuce, but still a good burger. It kind of reminded me of the burgers at Farmer Boys.

I'm really glad that I went back to Brea's Best for a second time to try one of their burgers. That burger helped me understand why people are so passionate about this restaurant. It's not the best burger you'll have, not even in my top 10, but it's a good, solid burger, and better than anything you can get at one of the big fast food restaurants. In fact, the appeal of this place for me was that the prices were more than fair for the amount of food that you get. Two people could easily split one of their side items, and still maybe not even finish them. Is this destination dining? No, but if you're in the area, and don't want fast food, but still want a burger, this is probably the place for you. Glad we finally got around to trying our favorite commentors favorite burger joint.

Out of five dwarfs, (because the very first woman to portray Snow White at Disneyland, back in 1955 once lived in Brea), five being best to zero being worst, Brea's Best Burgers gets 3 dwarfs.

Brea's Best Burgers does not have their own website, but you can find more information about them on their Yelp page here:

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  1. You finally tried it! I'm glad you came back after that first visit. I've never seen them have problems like the one you encountered.

    You're spot on about how it's affordable for lots of food. That's one of the reasons why I love this place.

    I was hoping for 4 stars but I'll take 3 considering that first visit had issues :/

    Thanks for finally visiting Brea's Best and keep up the great reviews!

    PS: you gotta try Brea's Best...oh wait nvm

  2. I had a breakfast burrito from Brea's Best on Sunday. Not bad at all. While I like Brea's best, I prefer PK Burgers on Imperial, just east of Valencia in Brea for both burgers and breakfast burritos. It was my go-to when I lived in the area.

  3. Anonymous - Sorry it took forever to get up there. Now you will have to steer me towards another one of your favorite spots. I promise it won't take me years to make it there. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Anonymous - I'll put PK on our list of breakfast burrito spots we need to try. Always up for a great breakfast burrito.