The Almighty Burger: Sure, everyone claims theirs is the best, but you just gotta try these
The hamburger is a go-to, default order when you’re trying a new eatery. Sure, at the golf course it’s more a 19th Hole meal than something you grab at the turn, but it’s a staple.
It’s hard to go wrong with a burger. Even a mediocre one on a grocery-store bun can cure a craving. But what about a really, really good burger? Can you find that at a golf course? We asked our loyal readers to chime in, and compiled the following FORE-approved recommendations.
Rustic Canyon GC – Moorpark, Calif.
What you’re ordering: Rustic Burger
What you’re paying: $8.00
What you’re getting: The Rustic Burger comes with a side and a drink. We suggest going with a pile of golden shoestring fries as your complimentary snack, but there are plenty of other options including house chips, potato salad and more.
Why it’s special: It’s a substantive sandwich. We hope you’re ready to eat, because this burger will leave you fat and happy. With two meat patties and double cheese, the calorie counter will get its workout. The grill’s most popular item, the Rustic Burger comes with two strips of crispy bacon along with lettuce, tomato and onions as standard fare on a toasted sesame seed bun. Don’t skip the condiment station because you’ll miss out on an abundance of fresh pepperoncinis to add an extra punch.
Where you’re eating: The Rustic Grill is an ideal 19th Hole. High top tables with wooden stools and comfortable booth seating welcome you after a round at this Southern California gem. If you’re really looking to kick back, you can scope out the set of lounge chairs perfectly placed near the big screen TV which serves as a centerpiece.
Elkins Ranch GC – Filmore, Calif.
What you’re ordering: The Cheeseburger Combo
What you’re paying: $10
What you’re getting: Cheeseburger, fries and a drink
Why it’s special: The Elkins Ranch cheeseburger comes out of the “in-n-out” school of burger where solid products lead to a “less is more” experience. The burger is a manageable size, but all the pieces taste good, and taste good together. The patty isn’t huge, but it’s well seasoned, and really, that’s what matters. Same goes for the bun, and the produce is all fresh. It’s your standard, all-American burger with mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion and cheese, and it’s done right.
Where you’re eating: Elkins Ranch Bar & Grill boasts a divey little shack, and that’s all you need. With a small bar, including a TV screen often showing golf, and an outdoor patio overlooking the golf course, you can eat your simple burger in a simple but charming setting.
Buena Vista GC – Taft, Calif.
What you’re ordering: Cheeseburger Combo or Bacon Cheeseburger Combo
What you’re paying: $9.75 or $10.50
What you’re getting: The cheeseburger combo comes with a side and a drink. We suggest you select the sidewinder wedges as your side, but an abundance of options includes salad, fries, garlic fries, sweet potato fries, onion rings, potato salad and more.
Why it’s special: The bun here steals the show. With a brioche-like quality, the buttery-but-not-over-the-top bun makes every bite just that much more delicious. The standard cheeseburger comes with a house sauce, onion, lettuce and tomato, and they provide pickles and pepperoncinis on the side for those who want to add a bit more flavor punch.
Where you’re eating: BV Grill is a hidden gem. Out of the way for most Southern California golfers, your best bet to get to the Taft golf course and eatery is to make it a pit stop when driving up I-5 en route to Northern California. It’s got an old-fashioned diner vibe, with tons of indoor booth seating, an outdoor patio, and some golf memorabilia to boot.
The Crossings at Carlsbad – Carlsbad, Calif.
What you’re ordering: The Crossings Burger
What you’re paying: $13
What you’re getting: This cheeseburger combo comes with your choice of house chips, fries, sweet potato fries, truffle fries, or for an additional $2, substitute a side salad or fresh fruit instead. We recommend the garlicy truffle fries, which have been battered and fried to crispy perfection.
Why it’s special: There’s nothing ordinary about this ½-pound burger, which is made with a succulent ground chuck and short rib patty, white cheddar cheese, butter leaf lettuce and heirloom tomatoes. What sets it apart are the pickled red onions and bacon tomatillo jam that give it a subtle, sweet and tangy finish to tie it all together. You can also add Applewood smoked bacon, a fried egg or avocado for $1.50 — we recommend bacon because, well, you can never have too much bacon.
Where you’re eating: Canyons Restaurant at The Crossings’ castle-like clubhouse rests at the top of a hill and is enough to make you feel you’re dining like royalty. Located just one mile east of I-5 on Palomar Airport Rd., it features a dining terrace with stunning views of the Pacific, as well as a Sunset Patio with comfy seating around several fire pits for a relaxed and intimate setting.