Jay Fox's Dining Guide
I GET A REAL CRAVE FOR A BURGER
“I once made love to a taco shell stuffed with rancid meat and watery tomato bits. It was the best sex I’ve ever served to an unsuspecting customer.”
CRAVE REAL BURGERS
7465 N. Academy Blvd.
9344 Dorchester St.
THAT’S THE BEST PUN I’VE EVER COME UP WITH. I hope some of you catch on. These may be the best burgers in Colorado right now. They’re mighty fine, made with fresh ground chuck, hand-pressed and cooked to order on a flat top grill. Too bad I can’t get them to make me a half pounder or at least put two together. But they’ll only cook ‘em separately. Darn!
Owned by famed Castle Rock chef Jeff Richard, who also owns the Old Stone Church but doesn’t return phone calls or emails. Several years ago Chef Richard operated a fish and chips place in that two story building due south of the outlet mall at Founders Parkway, where he served the finest fish and chips I’ve ever eaten. Sadly, that restaurant didn’t survive so now its burgers, burgers and more burgers. Super burgers. If you see a sorta grumpy-looking, middle-aged dude with graying hair, that’s Chef Richard himself on the grill. But the guy you wanna know is the genius who makes the “adult” malts. My oh my. More later.
Our first visit ever was to the Castle Rock store that sits a short distance southwest of the outlet mall next to the movie theater. Reminds me of a typical east coast diner, with large comfy booths, cooks grilling right in front of us and waitrons hustling and bustling hither and yon. The servers were mostly young and friendly. G and I luved everything: the food, the ambiance and the service.
Our terrific middle-aged waitress told us they opened a store in Highlands Ranch that very week, so the following weekend we headed over there to check out the new place. We had the very same waitress, who works several days a week at each of the two stores.
Here burgers are king. Besides a maaavelous plain burger, they offer all sorts of weird burger combinations. Try the Popper: beer battered cream cheese, and jalapenos, avocado chipotle mayo and LTO. Or the Nutty Professor: peanut butter (ugh), bacon, jalapenos and onion. I can’t imagine peanut butter with anything. Or even by itself. I don’t eat things that stick to the roof of my mouth or require me to finish my meal with a toothpick or a drill. BBQ ribs and corn on the cob are also on my Never Eat list. You want me to eat that stuff, take it off the bone or out of the husk. Anywho, back to the grub.
Check out the Flaming Tiki: grilled pineapple, pico, fried jalapenos, habanero mayo, avocado and pepper jack. Howsabout the New Mexico Relleno: fried queso, roasted poblano chiles, avocado and green chili. There’s over a dozen others, but the most famous is their 3 Little Pigs: pulled pork, ham, bacon, cheese and onion strings. A sure winner is the Colorado burger: shredded lamb, poblanos, onions, pepper jack, avocado, chipotle mayo and tomato. All include a burger patty and you can get an extra patty for a coupla bucks extra. But the thriller is the Big Bad Wolf.
For those of you up for a challenge, the Big Bad Wolf challenge sez you got to wolf down three loaded 3 Little Pig burgers within 45 minutes. If you win, you get your photo on the Wall of Winners. Big Deal. If you don’t fulfill your mission, your cost is $25 for the sangies and your picture goes on the dreaded Wall of Losers. There are restrictions, so check it out. There are lotsa winners on the Winner Wall but mostly Losers.
While the menu revolves around burgers, there are other yummy items to try. They offer several salads and a half dozen sangies. Most notably among the latter is the Pickled Pig: BBQ pulled pork topped with fried pickles, onion strings and cheddar cheese. You really need to check out their menu cuz some of the selections are weird. No, all the selections are weird.
The french fries are really good but the sweet potato fries are better. I always get a side of cole slaw. I have them toast the bun well, eat the meat and stuff with a fork, and make me a cole slaw sangie. Yo! They also serve loaded fries with green or red chili, truffle fries, and fried pickles as appetizer or sides.
There are two other things that draw me back time and time again. First, they are a Pepsi house, rather than Constipating Coke. And second… Drum roll please. The desserts. Prepared by Certified Crave Shake Gurus. Hand crafted malts and shakes, the best anywhere. There’s a Best of the Best. Adult shakes and malts. With goodies in them. I get a Chocolate thingy with brownie pieces and cherries and Frangelica. Oh my, as smooth as can be, absolutely 2-die-4.
They also offer tap and bottled beer as well as a few house wines. But why get a glass of wine when you can get a little hooch with some ice cream. Lotsa ice cream. Yo, mama!
Jay Fox is back on the burger beat. Send him your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.