Kalbi Burger

To my lucky readers, we have another guest blogger!  Care Bear has so willingly offered her authorship for today’s post about the very popular Kalbi Burger.

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Well hello everyone!  Let me introduce myself, I’m sometimes referred to as Care Bear but don’t let the name fool you, I could still be a lethal assassin like Nikta, my new TV show interest. Anyhoo, today I am honored to be a guest writer for Overworked’s blog (aka BO per WonTuan).

The target of the week: Kalbi Burger.

The top secret mission: To gather intel on this new Asian infused burger joint and to annihilate some burgers while we’re at it.

The elite undercover burger tasting agents (and yes, everyone will be bears): Overworked Bear, Hates Asian Food Bear, Panda and Little Bear, Bowtie Bear, Buff bear, Hawaiian bears consisting of Luau and Macadamia Nut Bear. Luau brought Farm Bear. And then there’s me and Token Bear.

Per Wiki (because Wiki holds the answers to everything!), Kalbi refers to grilled meat which is marinated primarily in Korean soy sauce, garlic and sugar or apparently it can refer to a Hindu caste known today as Patel or Chowdhary. I’m pretty sure it’s the former we’re talking about since all the Patels I know would probably not be eating cow.

Per usual, my espionage instincts required documentation for my classified files. As I whipped out my camera, a guy yells “order #63!” That’s me! Kabli burger combo with sweet potato fries.

I sat down and eagerly inspect my dead but likely well cooked prey (how evolution has made things so easy!) I quickly nibbled on a sweet potato fry after dipping it in their mustard sauce concoction. It was a standard sweet potato fry and the sauce isn’t anything special. It tasted like mild honey mustard; I’ve had better. Nonetheless, it was doable and much needed as a side to complement burger feasting.

Sweet Potato Fries

Kalbi burger fresh ground short rib meat, American cheese, romaine lettuce, korean vinaigrette, tomatoes, red onions and kalbi aioli sauce

My attention then turns to the much talked about Kalbi burger. The bottom of my bun was soaked in sauce and hence looked quite mushy. I didn’t mind, I figure that might be a mark of a really good juicy burger. My first bite indeed revealed a juicy burger—it was dripping on me so I had to place it back in the basket. The juice was more from the saucy kalbi aioli component—mostly sweet, good amount of salt that won’t raise your blood pressure and minimally tangy. Aftertaste was mild. Some of the other bears thought there was an odd ever changing aftertaste from each bite due to how the buns were greased and/or buttered. Maybe mine wasn’t excessively greased since we ordered later. I’ve seen other yelpers complain about how their meat was overcooked but mine was perfectly cooked medium. The buns could have been better; they were plain plain PLAIN and not well toasted. Devouring this burger required several hiatuses and the deaths of a handful of napkins to persistently wipe the juices off my hands. (Thank god this place gives out lemony towelettes to clean your hands afterwards.) Overall it was a good experience to try but I expected more POW! BAM! ZAP!…my description for flavor.

Garlic Fries

The garlic fries were definitely garlicky and even had some visible garlic bits. Do not order this unless you plan to fully repulse your date or asphyxiate some vamps (both of which could be on a spy’s agenda). That having been said, I indulged for neither of the above reasons. It was just yummy and I was willing to bet Token Bear wouldn’t find me repulsive since he was stuffing his face with them too.

Saigon burger angus chuck patty, cucumber, jalapeno, cilantro, pickled carrot and radish, saigon sauce

Alright, let’s focus on this burger a bit shall we? There was no excessive sauce component which would dampen my buns. This burger consisted of the usual Vietnamese dressings: pickled carrots and daikon, cilantro (I heart cilantro) and green jalapeno pepper. I can’t recall but I’m pretty sure there wasn’t any pate on it. On the actual Kalbi burger website under gallery, the Saigon burger looks like its oozing with some white sauce, which I assume was a mayo mixture. In real life, the white sauce is just mysteriously termed “Saigon sauce” and the consistency was slightly thicker than the kalbi aioli, which means….death of less napkins. Actually, I didn’t have to put my Saigon burger down once to wipe my hands. Meat again was cooked medium and bun was still plain. However, the taste of this one was much more exciting! It was light and airy, like a Care Bear’s cloud. The texture from the pickled ingredients gave a great crunch factor and the pepper gave it a ZING! The flavor profile was very reminiscent of the Banh Mi’s (Vietnamese Sandwiches) I’m used to, but in burger form. Was I biased because I just really like Banh Mi? I then turned to my fellow Banh Mi lovers, Farm Bear and Buff Bear (Overworked Bear was intently scrutinizing her meat), to ask if they were feeling tricked into liking the Saigon burger too. Farm Bear unfortunately didn’t get the Saigon burger so both of our attentions turned to Buff Bear who told me he could consistently eat Saigon burgers all days in between his bountiful naps. Just kidding, although I’m pretty sure he might have thought that. He told us the rest of the table by his end (other non Banh Mi lovers) liked the Saigon burger better too.

Can I just add, I stole a taste of Farm Bear’s chili cheese fries and it was heavenly. The fries were smothered in perfectly melted cheddar cheese, topped with thinly diced purple onions and a heaping of chili (more meat than beans) which was not too shabby either.

So that’s that! Mission Accomplished.

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It’s Overworked here to add a tidbit about another burger I got to try.

Seoul Burger angus chuck patty, american cheese, romaine lettuce, sauteed kimchi, red onions, thousand island sauce

This burger was successful in the flavor department.  The combination of sauteed kimchi and thousand island dressing really brought home the taste.  However, I will say this was the MESSIEST burger out of the 3 we tried.  I am a clean eater, so there’s nothing more bothersome than getting my hands greasy and sloppy.   I was also really bothered by the over buttered greasiness that permeated throughout all the burgers.  I shoulda told the own about this when I met him, but I just didn’t have the balls.  I was just like “Oh yes sir, yes sir, great burger sir!”

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I thank Care Bear for her very colorful and clever blog post.   I’m sure the elite undercover Bear Spy Team will have many future food missions.  So stay tuned!

 

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