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San Diego’s Cafe Crest & the Butter Burger

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The Skinny: Cafe Crest is located in the heart of Hillcrest, an uptown San Diego neighborhood. It’s a full service American style diner that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner with Rainbow flags waving proudly.    You can even order burgers for breakfast there.

The High: After discovering the Cafe Crest and it’s Butter Burger through another Gastronaut blogger, thanks to a family trip I was able to seek the place out and try it.   The Butter Burger is made with a half pound of fresh lean ground beef, Garlic (Tarragon, Basil, & Parsley) Butter and then more butter after being broiled.  I also got a side of potato salad with a splash of yellow mustard.  My brother got the Ultimate Burger, which is a “12 ounce angus burger mixed with sun dried tomatoes, onions and parsley and homemade teriyaki sauce.”  And to top it all off, he also got bacon, his choice of cheese, and some beer battered onion rings.

The Butter Burger flavors were subtle, juicy, and the herbs carried through.  Each time I put the burger down to wipe my fingers, the onion bun the burger came bedded on, soaked up all the extra butter left on my plate.  My only problem with it was that the flavors were too subtle.  I’ve come to the preference that a healthy dose of salt and pepper is needed to really bring out the flavors from a burger.  I did manage to try the medium rare Ultimate Burger my brother got and while it did pack a punch, it too needed some more basic seasoning.  The bacon should have given it enough salt along with the teriyaki, but it seemed somewhat bland.    Well, either that or the Butter Burger coated my tongue and blocked everything else out.  The onion rings were very tasty though.

The Low: The potato salad I got was bland, even with the yellow mustard I added.  My mom, who was with us, ordered oatmeal and the fresh fruit she got were moldy.

Would you come back again? Probably not, but I believe every place deserves a 2nd chance at redemption….unless they were offensively bad.  The staff at Cafe Crest were very friendly and the food was still solid.

More Info: 425 Robinson AvenueSan Diego, CA 92103.  Credit card friendly.  Serves wine and beer.  Expect to pay $10.25 for the Butter Burger and $13.50 for the Ultimate.

– MJ