A few days before I was scheduled to fly out to New Orleans, Custom Burger / Lounge, a new eatery, opened up within one block of my workplace. The San Francisco Chronicle lauded the restaurant for being half-lounge, half-burger joint. Indeed, Custom Burger is a gourmet version of Fuddruckers, if you will.
I am all about customization. Just look at my vehicle. I might not have a gold-plated grill, spinning hubcaps, painted flames, or a upward-reaching foil, but I do have a pine tree-shaped air freshener and two plush dice dangling from the rear view mirror. Thus, I knew that I would like Custom Burger, where I could choose everything and anything for my burger lunch.
When I arrived at the restaurant for lunch on opening day, I was surprised by the significant line. However, the burgers are made-to-order, so a wait is more or less to be expected. Even with the wait (and the extended time to review the menu), I still had trouble deciding what to order. After much agonizing and indecisiveness, I finally decided that my burger would be made of an Angus beef patty with a rosemary focaccia bun and creamy blue cheese sauce. For my three toppings, I opted for balsamic marinated onions, sauteed mushrooms, and arugula.
Thankfully, my selected toppings melded together well. The balsamic marinated onions were supple and pleasantly acidic. The deep, bronzed color of the onions reminded me of a comforting bowl of warm French onion soup. The fresh arugula provided a verdant color and a biting and taste bud-awakening zestiness to my burger. Finally, the concentrated and meaty flavors in the sauteed mushrooms accentuated the smoky aroma from the Angus beef patty.
My open-faced burger was served in a wire basket with a plastic cup of the blue cheese sauce on the side. I was afraid the blue cheese sauce would overpower the other ingredients, however, the blue cheese crumbles were heavily diluted in mayonnaise. Thus, the sauce befittingly acted as the "back-up vocals" to the other powerful flavors in my burger.
I also tried the tower of beer-battered onion rings, and the "half and half" order of fries, which included sea salted skin-on potato fries and sweet potato fries. Thankfully, the sweet potato fries were crisp and freshly fried, not limp and lifeless. However, I was a little put off by the uneven clumps of batter on the sweet potato fries. The regular fries were unremarkable, but were paired pleasantly with the burger.
The "towering" presentation of the onion rings was amusing, and, just as I like 'em, the piping hot onion string inside slid out easily from the breaded onion ring tunnels.
My only beef with Custom Burger (pun intended), is that it wasn't really "custom" for two of my friends and fellow diners. My friends ordered the sesame bun, but were given the plain bun instead. Similarly, a bun substitution also happened to Bunrab!
Despite those shortcomings, if I was in the area, I think I would "lounge" around Custom Burger again.