Burgers on the Edge

Reid, 25. August 2008, 21:51

(Kapahulu Safeway shopping area)

We tried this place a few weeks ago.

That’s the flat-screen menu that they have. One of the cool things about this place is that each burger comes with a choice of the type of patty you want–beef, wagyu, turkey (burger) or chicken (not a patty); one type of cheese; 4 sides like lettuce, onions, tomatoes; and one type of sauce (about 10 to choose from). They have small checklist where you can choose your items. Or you can order a pre-set burger. (You can sort of see some examples in the picture.) The burgers also come with a special buns made from another place that I don’t recall right now. Most of the burgers are about $8-$9.

The burger above is a pre-set burgers–the Paris Burger–that I ordered. That came with a wagyu patty, foie gras, carmelized onions and apples. ($19).

Larri made up her own burger with the beef patty, some kind of aioli, mushrooms and feta cheese.

We also got the fries with truffle oil and parmesan cheese (or some kind of cheese).

The verdict? The Paris burger definitely wasn’t worth the price. The foie gras wasn’t very tasty and the wagyu didn’t tasted like a normal beef patty. The apples and onions worked well with the burger though. The bun was also a problem to me. It was too pillowy, almost like a little thinner sweat bread. (Larri didn’t care for it either).

Larri’s burger wasn’t that tasty either. The patty wasn’t as flavorful, although she likes hers well-done, so that might have contributed to the lack of flavor.

There are a lot of combinations you could try, so it would be worth going again, although I wouldn’t recommend the Paris burger. (Oh, the fries weren’t that great either.)

Mitchell, Renee and I went to check out Burgers on the Edge. We tried the Jamaican burger (my part wasn’t very spicy, but there was a nice char/crust on the burger I liked), the portabella burger (no meat, but a mushroom cap filled with creamed spinach and something else that was savory and creamy (sould have been fantastic if it had been more temperature hot), and a bacon, bbq sauce and bleu cheese burger (bleu cheese made it delicious!)

I liked the truffled fries (could have used a little more truffle oil, inspires me to make my own) and the sweet potato fries had a light coating and came with a yummy, mild horseradish sauce that was good. Fries were $4.50 for a decent amount. Also, they have Coke products and not Pepsi. Awesome. Refills are free if you eat there.

We didn’t try the wagyu (sp?) burgers, but I’m willing to go again and try that meat with some subtler toppings. Also am interested to try their chili and see if it is as “kick ass” as its name declares.

All in all, average. Perhaps a little better than Island burgers at Ala Moana (and in generally the same price range, unless you get the Parisian at BotE, which has foie gras and is $18.

Mitchell and Renee…your thoughts?

anyway, it looks like i’ll be the first to post about the burgers on the edge outing. i had the pleasure of dining with penny & mitchell last night. i guess i should preface this by saying i’m NOT a burger afficionado. growing up, i would eat mcD’s (there’s something about their onions…) and my dad’s homemade burgers (with rice and his cream of mushroom gravy). i tried school lunch burgers once in elem. school and pretty much stayed away from ground beef patties since. within the last 10years or so, i’ve been a little more open to trying them -teddy’s spud burger and dhmg portobello mushroom & teri burgers, being among my favorites. i haven’t had burgers at a sit-down restaurant — usually because there’s other stuff on the menu that look more appetizing… i do like japanese ones (not 100% ground beef) and my dad throws a lot of minced veggies in his (a sneaky way of getting his kids to eat veggies).

we ordered off the BoTE favorite creations list: portobello mushroom sandwich, the jamaican burger, and the barbecue burger with apple wood smoked bacon & bleu cheese. we also had the truffled fries and the sweet potato fries, which came with a mayo-horseradish sauce. i liked the truffled fries and thought they went well with the portobello (of course, both being mushroom-based…). the flavor of the truffle oil was subtle as it should be – i’ve got a bottle of truffle oil at home, & believe me, you CAN have too much of a good thing. besides being a waste of money (truffle oil isn’t cheap), drowning something in truffle oil does not make for a pleasant taste experience. i’m used to dhmg’s portobello mushroom sandwich (the porto. sauce is what makes it), so i thought BotE’s portobello sandwich was really mild in flavor. i dunno. i think i was expecting a creamier/more flavorful sauce or spread reminiscent of hot spinach dip or something… the sweet potato fries went well with the jamaican burger. when i think jamaican, i think scotch bonnets & for some reason was expecting the flavors to really pop. i did like the sauce, & honestly, it’s the first time i’ve ever ordered anything “jamaican,” but it could stand to be kicked up a few notches heat-wise. it was my idea to order the barbecue burger — i’m a sucker for anything that lists apple wood smoked bacon & i do like a good bbq sauce. i’m glad that the bleu cheese was fresh (clean tasting… i’ve been to some restaurants that served old bleu cheese that smelled & tasted like old sweaty socks, blecch) and it added flavor to the mild bbq sauce.
like reid, i’m not crazy about the bread (and i love sweet bread…). penny mentioned the meat had a nice char & i agree. mitchell mentioned, albeit somewhat more eloquently, that the concept is good, but somewhere along the line, something was lost in translation. the menu sounds fantastic, but while the food was good (freshness factor was a plus), i think they could stand to be a bit bolder with the flavors. the order sheet reads “enjoy…an adventurous pairing for those with an edgy palate…” – i think the jamaican was one of the ‘edgier’ menu offerings and i didn’t find it edgy at all. with the kapahulu safeway clientele, maybe playing it safe with the seasonings is a wise thing – it’s easier to add flavor than subtract and you appeal to a wider base of consumers… i’d go back to check out the wagyu (we opted not to get that this time around, as it should probably be enjoyed without being smothered in sauce) and to see how kick-a$$ their k.a. chili really is… the manager was nice and sought feedback. they weren’t very busy, but it was a monday night and it rained. i was surprised to see how many employees there were in the small space! if that’s the size of their usual crew, i’d be surprised if they make payroll…

hi penny! you beat me to it =D you must’ve posted while i was still typing…

well, went to BotE again – my sister wanted to try their food. we had the chili fries, truffled fries and she created her own burger: meat, garlic aioli, havarti, lettuce, fried onions, bacon, and portobello mushroom slices. she loved it, but there was something in there that i found unpleasant – not sure if it was the aioli or the cheese… i wouldn’t call it “kick-a$$,” but it was pretty good, actually kind of reminiscent of kit n kitchen’s spaghetti sauce. i think it’s the carrots (lots of veggies visible – minced carrot, onion, green pepper, kidney beans, tomato…garnished with fresh jalapeno slices), topped with white shredded cheese (monterey jack?). the truffled fries were really well seasoned today. =)

I think I mostly agree with what everyone has already said. Reid, I think your initial review was spot-on, and if you were right with any more frequency, maybe we wouldn’t have had to try it ourselves. But alas, you aren’t reliable enough.

My biggest problem (and it’s huge) is that it seems to me that the meat is either overworked in the prepping or the grind is too fine. I like a burger to have a hamburgery crumble to it. Not fall-apart crumbly, but not dense and difficult to chew, either.

I liked the consistency of the bun, but it seemed a little dry to me; perhaps even borderline stale. I do not want a ciabatta roll when I have a burger; give me something nice and pillowy, but with good flavor. A good potato bun or sweet bread roll works for me.

I’m not reliable? I think the problem is in your taste buds.

The thoughts that the burger might be overworked or the grind to fine never occured to me, but those are good suggestions. The flavor of the patty is not that great either. The bottom line is that the burger is mediocre, and to me, you have to a good-to-great patty to have a really good burger. I’d say the second most important thing is the bun.

Perhaps, part of the problem is that they have so many different types of burgers to choose from, including many ingredients that people can try in various combinations. I like that aspect of the place, but maybe it makes it difficult to focus and arrive at a few good burgers. Just get the patty and bun right and everything else should fall into place.

Okay, a little more detail in my thoughts on BotE, since I have a bit of breathing time this evening.

The fries: I wouldn’t say they were great, but they were good enough and interesting enough to keep my attention for quite a while before I moved to the burgers. The sweet potato fries don’t match up to good regular fries in consistency or texture, but the flavor is great, and I dig the color. The truffle fries were interesting; I liked the subtle flavor a lot, but I wished it were maybe not so subtle.

The portobello: This was my favorite of the three burgers we tried. I liked the juicy mushroomy texture of the mushroom, and whatever it was stuffed with worked really well in this sandwich. This is a good sandwich I’d go back for, maybe.

The Jamaican: Very interesting. If the meat had been more to my liking, this would have been my favorite. I honestly didn’t notice much Jamaican seasoning (Renee got it all, I think!) but the combination of flavors was nice. This stuff on a nice, juicy, Kobe burger such as can be had at Keawe Grill would have been great.

The Barbecue: Lately—and I know this is going to sound like blasphemy to some—I find bacon a huge distraction in a lot of dishes, and burgers are one. In this case, I thought the bacon was good, but perhaps too good for the burger. I didn’t find the sauce very interesting, and I thought there was too much of it. The bleu cheese, however, was terrific and REALLY added to the burger. I never really thought of this combination before, but it works. I was impressed that the menu lists havarti and gruyere as cheese options, and I was disappointed that I didn’t get to try a burger with either of them, but the bleu cheese on this barbecue burger made up for that.

I’m putting this on the give-it-another-try list, perhaps sometime after the new year.

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