Best Cheeseburger in Davis: De Vere’s

Best Burger in Davis de Vere's
de Vere’s Irish Pub’s Bacon Cheeseburger (sans bacon)

Let’s try this again… de Vere’s is relatively new to Davis, the original restaurant is in Sacramento and a regular watering hole for politicos due to its proximity to the Capitol. The Davis location, while serving the same fare, has a very different feel. I’ve eaten at both locations multiple time and have always enjoyed the food. Though, I will say now that if you can get a table outside at the Davis location you’ll be better off for it. The acoustics inside aren’t great and the restaurant can be half empty but still sound as if crowds of people are yelling inside of it. I will admit that I’ve been looking forward to this burger. de Vere’s BLT with fried egg is one of my favorite sandwiches of all time…

Full disclosure I know one of the owners of the restaurant. I don’t think that affected my rating though.

Best Burger in Davis de Vere's

The Review

Patty (26/35) -Ordered medium rare, came out medium. Well seasoned – peppery with a hint of garlic. Not too oily or greasy. No gristle. Good bite nice and moist.

Cheese (25/25) – What excellent cheddar! Nice sharp taste. Works great with the patty! Really pops. Love it.

Bun (15/15) – Another great bun! Soft pretzel bun, lots of flavor. Absorbs liquids from patty and toppings. Holds up. Fluffy without being all air.

Toppings (13/15) – Great red onions, butterleaf lettuce (finally!), more than one tomato slice. No pickle on the burger. Just a dill spear on the side. All fresh and crisp!

Condiments (5/10) – Good mayo spread on the top bun. No mustard on the burger?! No mustard on the table?! Mayo was lost among the strong tastes of burger, cheese, and bun.

Ambiance (8/*) – Very nice setting. Sitting outside on a spring day it is just lovely. Staff was friendly if a little slow.

Total (93/100) – A solid, delicious burger with only a few flaws. Great setting as well (eat outside), friendly service. Not a bad deal for $13.00. If you’re curious about the sides the “chips” were thick and tasty with peels on! You can get a salad or soup if you want instead.

Best Burger in Davis de Vere's
de Vere’s house “chips.”

Best Cheeseburger in Davis: Tommy J’s at Froggy’s

Best Burger in Davis Tommy J's
Tommy J’s The Cheeseburger

It was my birthday this Sunday and I couldn’t think of a better thing to do on my special day than to eat another cheeseburger, this time at Tommy J’s, in pursuit of the best cheeseburger in town! But, since it was my birthday I wanted to invite all of my friends to eat burgers with me. So that is what I did!

Tommy J’s is the restaurant part of the bar Froggy’s in downtown Davis. It’s a little confusing, I know. But it is worth figuring out. Tommy J’s has a good cheeseburger and a wide selection of specialty burgers like the Cajun Burger, Blue Buffalo, and Swiss ‘n’ Shroomer. I’ve had a couple of these before and they’re also quite good. If I wasn’t on a mission to find the best cheeseburger in town I’d have order the Cajun for sure, it is a wonderful blend of spicy and savory.

Anyway, down to brass tacks let’s rate this cheeseburger!

Best Burger in Davis Tommy J's
Tommy J’s The Cheeseburger with the house fries

The Review

Patty (25/35) – Ordered medium rare, burger was medium rare. Good mix of fat and meat. Good seasoning. Moist. Not too greasy, but also not dry.

Cheese (6/25) – One thin slice. Unable to taste. Overwhelmed by the burger, bun, and condiments

Bun (15/15) – Fantastic bun! Thick bottom absorbs grease and liquids without getting soggy or falling apart. Fresh. Does not seem mass produced. Not mostly air.

Toppings (7/15) – Lettuce is crisp, onion is fresh but sparse, pickles are only okay, tomato is mealy and tasteless, only one slice.

Condiments (6/10) – Only mayo lightly added to the top bun. Added mustard from the table. Menu mentioned a 1000 Island house dressing but I did not see any or taste any on the burger.

Ambiance (10/*) – Friendly pub atmosphere. The birthday party took over the entire space but the service remained very friendly and helpful. Fries were very good.

Total (79/100) – This is a good $9.49 cheeseburger brought down by a weak cheese and a lack of top condiments.

Best Burger in Davis Tommy J's
The review in action!

Best Cheeseburger in Davis: Black Bear Diner

Best Burger in Davis Black Bear Diner
Black Bear Diner’s Classic American Cheeseburger

Black Bear Diner is a local chain of diners that started in Mt. Shasta, CA and has spread across the western United States. They’ve had a location in Davis since 2009 but I’ve never eaten at the place. I had an old room mate who worked at one of their locations to the north who said that their desserts were really good, sadly I am not looking for the best banana cream pie in Davis (though I should be because I always need more banana cream pie in my life.)

Here we are though with Black Bear Diner’s “Classic American Cheeseburger” it’s a 1/3 of a pound of ground beef patty on a brioche bun with onion, lettuce, tomato, mayo, and thousand islands dressing. It can be purchased for $8.49 and comes with a side of french fries or onion rings. I deferred and asked for a side salad.

Best Burger in Davis Black Bear Diner
Looks so lonely in that basket

The Review

Patty (12/35) – The meat appears extra lean. Almost dry. I was unable to detect any seasoning on the patty. I asked for medium rare, it came out done.  The patty looks like it was preformed and precooked. Considering how quickly it came out. Hard to tell if the patty is truly tasteless or if it is just being drowned by the sauce (see Condiments below)

Cheese (6/25) – Tasteless. Seriously, I couldn’t taste the cheese in a single bite. When I tore small pieces of it off and tasted them I still couldn’t detect any flavor! I don’t know if it was real or not. I think a slice of American Cheese might have been better.

Bun (10/15) – The bun is soft and fluffy. It was not dry. Not much more to say. The top of the bun was absorbing large amounts of Thousand Islands sauce.

Toppings (10/15) – A single leaf of lettuce, tomato, and red onion slice were in the burger. No pickles! All looked and tasted fresh.

Condiments (0/10) – The menu said that the burger would have mayo and Thousand Islands dressing on the burgers. I could detect no mayo. Also, why is there no mustard on this burger? Why is there no mustard on the table? The burger was literally drowning in Thousand Islands sauce. It did not taste like a house made sauce either. The sauce overwhelmed every aspect of this burger.

Ambiance (0/*) – Lots of pictures of bears, psuedo-rustic, I get the feeling they wanted the diner to look like a log cabin. Very generic “diner” look and feel.

Total (38/100) – Boo. How I suffer in pursuit of knowledge! This burger barely rates higher than the one I had at Sudwerks. I suppose if I had to look for a silver lining it’d be that it was cheaper than the one there…

Continue reading “Best Cheeseburger in Davis: Black Bear Diner”

Best Cheeseburger in Davis: Redrum Burger

best burger in Davis Redrum
Redrum Burger’s 1/3 pound Cheeseburger

Here we are for the second burger review in Davis. If you’re confused as to what all this is I recommend you read this post about why I’m eating all these cheeseburgers and then this one that breaks down how I am doing the ranking, that should get you all caught up. This week we went down to one of the oldest burger joints in Davis, Redrum Burger, though people in town still call it by its original name, Murder Burger. Redrum is a tiny little grill shack right off of the 80 that definitely qualifies a-hole-in-the-wall location.

Anyway, to the burger! This is Redrum’s 1/3 pound cheeseburger. I ordered it with a side of regular fries and a chocolate milkshake. The burger itself was $6.59, the fries were $2.49 and the milkshake was $4.99. Let’s break it all down:

best burger in Davis Redrum

The Review

Patty (25/35) – I ordered the patty medium rare. The clerk told me it might come out medium, despite his warning the burger came out medium rare. The meat was high quality, not too greasy, seasoned well.

Cheese (17/25) – Good cheddar. Medium or sharper flavor. Melts well.

Bun (12/15) – Bun was ungrilled. Fresh. Not greasy. Held up throughout the meal.

Toppings (14/15) – Crisp, fresh lettuce. Big tomato slices. Bright red onions that bite back. Strong pickles.

Condiments (10/10) – Mustard and mayonnaise on the burger. No Ketchup? Yes! Not drowning the toppings and burger.

Ambiance (5/*) – This is still one of those old school roadside diners. It comes with “grit.” Slow service. The tiny space was full and there was only one person on the grill

Total (85/100) – Much better than the last burger. This is how I wanted this project to start, this is a great, cheap, roadside burger. Not a big fan of the fries though, too soft, not salty enough. Milkshake was great! Also, I ate it all (unlike the last one.)

best burger in Davis Redrum
Redrum Burger’s fries