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The Double "OG" Crispy Burger. Courtesy photo/Crispy Burger
The Double "OG" Crispy Burger with cheese, grilled onion and Thousand Island on a toasted brioche bun. Courtesy photo/Crispy Burger
Columns Food & Wine Lick the Plate

Crispy Burger: There is a new burger in town, and it’s fabulous!

In North County, it seems as though we are presented with a new burger option every year or so. And given the lack of decent options just a few years back, that’s not a bad thing.

Everyone has an opinion on what makes a burger great, and I would include myself in the highly opinionated range of folks.

I’ll state up front that I do not want a half pound of beef with toppings piled so high that the essence of the burger is lost and half of it ends up on your lap.

I never understood those Carl’s Jr. ads with the exploding burger and their attempt to make that sexy, or appetizing. What focus group told them “Yeah, we love exploding burgers?”

Anyway, my burger of choice is somewhere between a slider and a full size burger, say about a three ounce patty with at the minimum an 80/20 lean to fat ratio, with a fabulous bun, minimal toppings, cooked to crispy perfection on a flattop surrounded by caramelizing onions.

The only joint I’ve found like that is in Detroit called Motz’s Burgers (Do a quick Google image search and you will see what I’m talking about). I also prefer eating two burgers of that size (three if external hunger inducers are involved) rather than a double or a triple.

All that said, for those of us that frequent the intersection of Leucadia Boulevard and Interstate 5, there has been a sign up for what seems like eternity for a Crispy Burger that finally opened. The new burger joint piqued my interest immediately as the name gave me hope for a burger just like I described. I popped in recently and will say, the burger was as close to my personal preference as I’ve found in the area.

Not to discount Shake Shack, which is fabulous. This is just a slightly different animal, and they focus exclusively on burgers, other than the obligatory Impossible Burger and burger bowl (don’t get me started on why those even exist). Now, I completely understand the fickle nature of the uber-healthy coastal folks that demand those options.

A Crazy Ding Dong Shake at Crispy Burger. Courtesy photo/Crispy Burger
A Crazy Ding Dong Shake at Crispy Burger. Courtesy photo/Crispy Burger

Let’s start with the burger itself. According to Crispy Burger co-owners Angela Ablahad and Ramzy Rahib, their primary differentiators are in the meat itself, its freshness, how they cook it, and the buns.

In the early stages of their venture, they went through blind taste tests, deciding that 100% certified Angus beef was the best one (Interesting fact: Only 5% to 8% of US cattle make the cut to be “certified.” Each cow has to pass 10 specifications for quality in order to make the cut).

Plus, Crispy Burger has the added bonus of receiving a fresh delivery of ground beef every other day and the meat is never frozen, which are both very important factors in preserving the true flavor of the meat. The burger shop did not want to mask the true flavor of the beef, but rather enhance it with simple seasonings while cooking in it in a manner to enhance the natural taste.

The restaurant’s best seller is the original “OG” Crispy Burger, consisting of two, three ounce patties of meat, cheese, grilled onion and thousand island served on a lightly buttered and toasted brioche bun. They also offer an all American style that consists of a classic burger: meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle and your choice of sauce — ketchup, mustard, mayo or Thousand Island.

The burgers are all cooked to crispy perfection to order on a flattop so be patient, it’s worth it. They will also be offering burger specials with different toppings and such but I’m pretty sure my order will consistently be two Original “OG” Crispy Burgers (single), half fries half rings, a fountain soda, and a shake to sip on later.

And then there is the bun, and Angela and Ramzy did their research on these. They landed on St. Pierre Bakery brioche burger buns, considered by many to be among the best available. The buns’ perfectly golden and plump texture provide the perfect vessel for their fabulous burgers.

Their fries and onion rings also rise above many in the area due in part their meticulous testing and sampling. They selected the rings specifically for the light crunch of the panko exterior and the crunchy coating of the fries.

Both selections travel well, meaning land at their destination crunchier than others. I loved that they offered a combo side of rings and fries enabling me to sample both in one order. Crispy Crazy Fries are also a thing topped with melted cheese, grilled onions and Thousand Island dressing.

And let’s not forget the shakes. Again, they keep it simple but deliciously so with milk and ice cream only. Basic flavors as well as retro specials like the amazing Ding Dong shake and Root Beer Floats. I flashed right back to my second grade lunch while indulging in that one!

Find them at 905 Orpheus Avenue, Encinitas right off the Leucadia Blvd exit or www.eatcrispyburger.com

1 comment

Ronski June 14, 2022 at 9:08 am

I concur. Their burgers are very, very satisfying. Just the right size too.

They nailed it. Been there 3X since they opened! 🙂

I wish them the best.

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