Sunday, September 25, 2016

You're the Boss at Burger Boss

Burger Boss
27690-B Santa Margarita Parkway
Mission Viejo, CA 92691

I get pretty excited whenever a new burger place comes to town, even though it seems like this happens at least every month or so. Perfect for a burger lover, such as myself. There's a sort of anticipation as to whether the new joint can replace one of my burger spots on my personal, "Mount Hamburgermore." Trademark pending. Most of the time the answer is no of course, but I do always have that sense of anticipation that this new burger is going to be able to dethrone one of my top burgers. Oh, you want to know who is currently on my Mount Hamburgermore? Read on then.

Back to the new burger place on the block, Burger Boss.  Burger Boss has burst on the scene all of a sudden, and are planning a very aggressive expansion from what I can gather. They have two restaurants open in the Inland Empire and have five listed as either coming soon or already up and running in OC.

Since every burger spot needs a gimmick, Burger Boss actually has two. They are a 100 percent completely customizable burger spot. There are no already made burger options here, you build yours from the bun up, adding sauces, toppings, and proteins. Their second twist is that they are featuring grass fed burgers, while all their meats are growth hormone and antibiotic free. They also do not offer real bacon, instead only having turkey bacon at each location. So this would be my first time partaking in this alternate bacon. I was interested to see how this would play out.

The ordering process at Burger Boss is a little different than most places. When you walk in the door, immediately to your right there are two ordering screens where you can build and order your own burger. These machines are not very user-friendly. With so many options, each burger takes a long time to build, and the swiping and selecting features are not too easy to navigate through. Also, with only two of these machines in a such a tight area, this part of the restaurant tends to get a little bottle-necked. Seeing our struggles with this machine, our friends Chuck and Stephanie decided to order at the register up front, which also was not a speedy process with the small type on the menu boards and the many choices of toppings.

After ordering, you give your name and the food is brought out to your table. I'd much rather be given a number, or get the food myself, than having someone carrying my meal and yelling my name in a restaurant. This 50 seat restaurant seems smaller than it actually is, because the layout is kind of off, and people appear to be on top of you while you're eating. There's an odd 4 seat high top bar facing the kitchen, which takes up too much room, and really restricts the flow of the space. Even though I was a little uncomfortable here, and there were some kinks, I was still pretty excited to see how Burger Boss was going to turn out for us.

Up first was Katie's dinner, the Chicken Sandwich ($8.67). She chose to add smoked Gouda, grilled mushrooms, baby spinach, grilled onions, and garlic herb mayo to her sandwich. She enjoyed this sandwich, but would skip the spinach next time, or at least take half of it off. The chicken was moist and the mushrooms were done nicely here. She would not hesitate to get another chicken sandwich at Burger Boss again.

Sorry, I did not get real great shots of my Double Burger ($12.36), because I was so excited to try it. I piled on the toppings here; turkey bacon, fried egg, sharp cheddar cheese, grilled onions, and jalapenos, along with chipotle mayo. To be honest, I expected a little more out of this burger than what I got. The meat here is very clean tasting, it's not greasy, and even though this was a double, I did not feel sluggish after finishing this. Good quality meat, but it still needed to be seasoned more. The toppings also fell flat as well. This was my first time having turkey bacon, and hopefully my last. It did not have the flavor of regular pork bacon, in fact, I couldn't taste it at all. The chipotle mayo had no flavor, and the jalapenos were very weak. When I saw this burger placed in front of me, I thought it was going to be great, but it was just very average.

This was the same sentiment that Stephanie had about her Burger ($7.98). She said it was okay, but she was hoping that the combo of pepper jack cheese, jalapenos, grilled onions, and chipotle mayo were going to provide something in the way of heat, but all fell flat. She felt the meat here was pretty solid, but the toppings are where things went awry.

A simple Burger ($7.98), for a simple man. Our old friend Chuck concocted his burger with Gouda, lettuce, pickle, tomato, and garlic herb mayo. He thought his burger was good, but he did not think it was worth the price.

The fries at Burger Boss are customize-able as well. Both of us couples got the Boss Fries ($3.99) to complete our meals. Katie and I went with chopped jalapenos and onions while adding their sharp cheddar sauce and thousand island dressing to the top of the fries. Chuck and Steph had just the cheese sauce covering their fries, along with some ketchup and chipotle mayo on the side. We should have just had the fries plain. The cheese sauce was not too tasty, and just like on the burgers, the other sauces failed to impress. The fries were good enough on their own, though. Good crunch to the outside, and soft inside, just like a great french fry should be. Next time I'd just get the regular fries, and forgo the boss version.

So, you can probably guess that the burgers here at Burger Boss did not make my Mount Hamburgermore. The burgers were not awful, but they did not pop with flavor, and either did the dull toppings or condiments. I don't really get the whole, "healthy burger" concept. People don't eat burgers to be healthy. When I want one, I'm fine with a greasy, great tasting burger with real bacon. This is kind of like vegetarians eating veggie ham and salami, which is another thing I have never really understood. If they don't like meat, why are they eating vegetables disguised and flavored as meat? Burger Boss should at least give people the option for real bacon, but sadly, I'm not sure that would have saved the boring burgers here. Sadly, these burgers could not live up to my current top four burgers who have taken up residence on my personal Mount Hamburgermore, which currently includes the burgers from The Counter, G Burger, Burger Parlor and Hopdoddy. Looking forward to seeing who'll be able to knock one of these guys off my mountain.

Out of five video games, (because the TV show Bob's Burgers has an episode called Burger Boss, and it centers around a video game), five being best to zero being worst, Burger Boss gets 2.5 video games.

For more information about Burger Boss, head to their website here:

Burger Boss Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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