Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Are Whole Foods' hamburgers really all that?

Several Chowhound posters recently mentioned the deliciousness of Whole Foods' hamburgers, made fresh at the grill. I wanted to pick up some Ess-a-bagels from New York, so I decided to see for myself at the 3rd and Fairfax branch. I ordered my burger with cheddar cheese, medium rare, grilled onions. Turkey and vegeburgers are also available, of course. The Chowhounds specified to instruct the counterperson not to press down on the burger with the spatula and to make sure he took it off the grill at the right time. Sure enough, the guy disappeared right around the time my internal timer started thinking "medium rare." I implored two other counterpeople to remove it; after much skepticism and donning of rubber gloves, the patty was finally placed on its whole wheat bun with Russian dressing and lettuce. After being wrapped up, the burger had to wait in the checkout line with the rest of my stuff (I forgot the bagels with all the burger drama) and then get fished out of my grocery bag. By the time I settled at a table and unwrapped it, the bun had nearly disintegrated.

The meat was indeed excellent, with a large, juicy and flavorful patty. It needed just a touch more salt to bring out the flavor. It's true, they make a good burger -- undoubtedly with some kind of special beef -- but it's hard to say if it's worth it, between babysitting the cooks and the insufficiently hefty bun, which led to a huge mess when eating it.


Anonymous said...

I don't really trust Chowhound's enthusiasms, unless it's a poster I recognize. Cheap is too often the deciding factor.

Disco said...

While I don't know anything about WF brugers, the creme brulee french toast (at the Westwood branch's breakfast bar) really hits the spot (even when it's a little too "bruleed").

As for chowhounds - hit or miss - I'm sort of over them/it.

And did I understand you correctly: they sell Essa Bagels at the 3rd and Fairfax branch? I used to live around the corner from Essa in NY and I've been missing their bagels ever since.

Bloghungry said...

I have often questioned the value of the whole foods, it seems more like a cult way of life than a grocery store, but it certainly sounds delicious. I'll give it a try. Love your blog.

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