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  • 01
    Staking its claim squarely between Mama Jamaica and Elbow Room, AFB's the patio-sporting second location of a gourmet patty slinger started by a Korean lady named Anny and her brother, who're using burgers to chase the American dream -- a savvy move, as they're also the most common food eaten during Americans' dreams.

    Pure angus 1/2lb patties grace stacked works of art like the Hot N Spicy with chopped chipotles/ pepper jack/ spicy mayo, the blue cheese-topped Patriot with grilled onions & roasted red pepper, and the baked pastrami/ turkey/ bacon/ Swiss/ honey mustard Monster, which Charlize Theron would kill for. If you're more of a Stone Temple Pilots/Soundgarden-type eater, they've got alternative burgers like buffalo chicken both marinated and topped with the spicy stuff, a Korean BBQ cheesesteak with onions/ green pepper/ cheddar/ parmesan, and a tartar-sauced fried tilapia.

    Don't like burgers and/or alternative music? Well, you're not invited to karaoke, but they will whip you up a foot-long wiener like the Cobb with bacon and blue cheese, or the Anny's with grilled onion, jalapeno, bacon & spicy mayo, though if you think you'll chase down any American girls after that, you're likely dreaming.
    More on Santee's best-kept secret moves west
    • About

      Staking its claim squarely between Mama Jamaica and Elbow Room, AFB's the patio-sporting second location of a gourmet patty slinger started by a Korean lady named Anny and her brother, who're using burgers to chase the American dream -- a savvy move, as they're also the most common food eaten during Americans' dreams.

      Pure angus 1/2lb patties grace stacked works of art like the Hot N Spicy with chopped chipotles/ pepper jack/ spicy mayo, the blue cheese-topped Patriot with grilled onions & roasted red pepper, and the baked pastrami/ turkey/ bacon/ Swiss/ honey mustard Monster, which Charlize Theron would kill for. If you're more of a Stone Temple Pilots/Soundgarden-type eater, they've got alternative burgers like buffalo chicken both marinated and topped with the spicy stuff, a Korean BBQ cheesesteak with onions/ green pepper/ cheddar/ parmesan, and a tartar-sauced fried tilapia.

      Don't like burgers and/or alternative music? Well, you're not invited to karaoke, but they will whip you up a foot-long wiener like the Cobb with bacon and blue cheese, or the Anny's with grilled onion, jalapeno, bacon & spicy mayo, though if you think you'll chase down any American girls after that, you're likely dreaming.
    • Venue Info

  • 02
    Proving you can't keep the West Coast down forever (unless you blitz heavily and attack receivers at the line of scrimmage), the masters of burger gluttony behind BGR have opted to bless SD with their first location on said coast, in the form of a rock 'n roll-themed, brightly colored joint in which they'll be slinging aged, hormone-free/ grain-fed beef sandwiched between daily delivered rolls, which should take less than three to five days to arrive at your midsection.

    Stuff your face with:

    Burger-y Burgers: Tweaked beefy bliss includes creative numbers like the Wellington (with roasted 'shrooms, caramelized onions, garlic, black truffles, mustard seed & blue cheese) and the Southwestern, loaded with 10oz of spiced-up beef (chipotles/ poblanos/ onions), pepper jack, black bean relish, and mojo sauce, which Austin Powers would probably say something hilarious about.

    Burgers of the Sea: In case your New Year's resolution was to "stop eating things that make me happy about life like burgers made from meat", they've got your no-doubt-much-punier back with the Ahi, topped with grilled pineapple and pickled ginger, and the Lobster, served in slider form with lettuce, a “special dressing”, and lump claw/ knuckle meat.

    The 9 Pounder: Recommended for 10-15 normal folks (or one '08 Kirstie Alley), this 15.4lb, served-with-a-bottle-of-Maalox beast comes piled high with two heads of lettuce, eight sliced tomatoes, three red onions, four pickles, and “a river” of their mojo sauce, which'll have West Coast women thinking your attempts at making a pass are a serious offense.
    More on The Eastside comes to the bestside
    • About

      Proving you can't keep the West Coast down forever (unless you blitz heavily and attack receivers at the line of scrimmage), the masters of burger gluttony behind BGR have opted to bless SD with their first location on said coast, in the form of a rock 'n roll-themed, brightly colored joint in which they'll be slinging aged, hormone-free/ grain-fed beef sandwiched between daily delivered rolls, which should take less than three to five days to arrive at your midsection.

      Stuff your face with:

      Burger-y Burgers: Tweaked beefy bliss includes creative numbers like the Wellington (with roasted 'shrooms, caramelized onions, garlic, black truffles, mustard seed & blue cheese) and the Southwestern, loaded with 10oz of spiced-up beef (chipotles/ poblanos/ onions), pepper jack, black bean relish, and mojo sauce, which Austin Powers would probably say something hilarious about.

      Burgers of the Sea: In case your New Year's resolution was to "stop eating things that make me happy about life like burgers made from meat", they've got your no-doubt-much-punier back with the Ahi, topped with grilled pineapple and pickled ginger, and the Lobster, served in slider form with lettuce, a “special dressing”, and lump claw/ knuckle meat.

      The 9 Pounder: Recommended for 10-15 normal folks (or one '08 Kirstie Alley), this 15.4lb, served-with-a-bottle-of-Maalox beast comes piled high with two heads of lettuce, eight sliced tomatoes, three red onions, four pickles, and “a river” of their mojo sauce, which'll have West Coast women thinking your attempts at making a pass are a serious offense.
    • Venue Info

  • 03
    The duo behind the Commons has gotten rid of the space's former occupant -- the Lincoln Room -- quicker than a Confederate actor's pistol. They've replaced the Lincoln Logs with multi-shade paneling and the penny-topped bar with one made of cork, turned the second-floor mezzanine into a game area with shuffleboard, board games, and checkers/backgammon tabletops, and added more TVs above the bar, plus a huge scrolling sports ticker.

    They aim to “raise the bar on bar food” (...but apparently not on humor!), with crazy starters like Dog Daze Nachos with chili/ cheese/ onion/ jalapeno on top of battered & fried hot dog slices, as well as 12 different kinds of wings including garlic-infused butter with grated Parmesan, Volcanic Honey Mustard, and a roasted habanero number called “Wicked Hot”. Heavier stuff's mostly packed between bread, including infused-Angus burgers like the Bacon BBQ Bacon with chopped bacon mixed into a patty topped with more pig, The Danger Zone stuffed with diced jalapeno, cayenne & crushed red pepper, and a toasted rye 'wich with cheddar, American, Swiss, bacon & avo called the Cheesehead Transplant, so it's perfect if you're kind of a pound Packer (consider the bar on humor raised).

    They'll keep the bar stocked with unusual crafts, and the 'tenders will be mixing up truly “Uncommon Cocktails” (mostly because they're served in a pint glass... in the Gaslamp) like the Brass Monkey with rum, spiced rum, OJ, and Ballast Point Pale Ale, plus a couple of signature shots like the Grey Goose/ Kahlua/ soda “Why Not?” (well, maybe because taking too many will render your pistol useless).
    More on Goodbye Lincoln, hello drinkin'
    • About

      The duo behind the Commons has gotten rid of the space's former occupant -- the Lincoln Room -- quicker than a Confederate actor's pistol. They've replaced the Lincoln Logs with multi-shade paneling and the penny-topped bar with one made of cork, turned the second-floor mezzanine into a game area with shuffleboard, board games, and checkers/backgammon tabletops, and added more TVs above the bar, plus a huge scrolling sports ticker.

      They aim to “raise the bar on bar food” (...but apparently not on humor!), with crazy starters like Dog Daze Nachos with chili/ cheese/ onion/ jalapeno on top of battered & fried hot dog slices, as well as 12 different kinds of wings including garlic-infused butter with grated Parmesan, Volcanic Honey Mustard, and a roasted habanero number called “Wicked Hot”. Heavier stuff's mostly packed between bread, including infused-Angus burgers like the Bacon BBQ Bacon with chopped bacon mixed into a patty topped with more pig, The Danger Zone stuffed with diced jalapeno, cayenne & crushed red pepper, and a toasted rye 'wich with cheddar, American, Swiss, bacon & avo called the Cheesehead Transplant, so it's perfect if you're kind of a pound Packer (consider the bar on humor raised).

      They'll keep the bar stocked with unusual crafts, and the 'tenders will be mixing up truly “Uncommon Cocktails” (mostly because they're served in a pint glass... in the Gaslamp) like the Brass Monkey with rum, spiced rum, OJ, and Ballast Point Pale Ale, plus a couple of signature shots like the Grey Goose/ Kahlua/ soda “Why Not?” (well, maybe because taking too many will render your pistol useless).
    • Venue Info

  • 04
    After two years of slaving away nearly inside their brick pizza oven, the husband and wife duo behind continuously packed Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizzeria have expanded their culinary reach even deeper into the heart of ENC with The Craftsman. Likely using Craftsman... tools to gut the former Savory on El Camino Real, TC aims to bring folks the owners' take on American tavern food, which rejects pickled eggs, and tends to skew towards the

    Meaty: This Colorado lamb sirloin is specially cut from where the loin meets the leg, then dressed up with roasted potatoes, seasonal veggies, and a subtle salsa verde so as not to overwhelm the greengos.

    Meatier: Bringing back one of Wade's specialties from Street Fighter 2 based resto Blanca, the beef jus'd Merlot-braised short ribs are served up with a horseradish potato puree and red onion marmalade.

    Meatiest: Available in a limited quantity every day, this pork-belly-wrapped loin is internally seasoned with a house whole grain mustard, shallots, garlic, and “assertive herbs”, who just think they're soooo big thyme.

    If you're thinking “but meatier is technically even meatier than something described as the meatiest”... shut up Captain Semantics! But if you're thinking "how will I wash all of this meat down?", rest assured you'll be taken care of with 13 craft taps, plus a full complement of classic 'tails and seasonal ones mixed with Tennessee moonshine -- suggesting at least something in The Craftsman will be pickled.
    More on Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizzeria gets an American-minded sibling
    • About

      After two years of slaving away nearly inside their brick pizza oven, the husband and wife duo behind continuously packed Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizzeria have expanded their culinary reach even deeper into the heart of ENC with The Craftsman. Likely using Craftsman... tools to gut the former Savory on El Camino Real, TC aims to bring folks the owners' take on American tavern food, which rejects pickled eggs, and tends to skew towards the

      Meaty: This Colorado lamb sirloin is specially cut from where the loin meets the leg, then dressed up with roasted potatoes, seasonal veggies, and a subtle salsa verde so as not to overwhelm the greengos.

      Meatier: Bringing back one of Wade's specialties from Street Fighter 2 based resto Blanca, the beef jus'd Merlot-braised short ribs are served up with a horseradish potato puree and red onion marmalade.

      Meatiest: Available in a limited quantity every day, this pork-belly-wrapped loin is internally seasoned with a house whole grain mustard, shallots, garlic, and “assertive herbs”, who just think they're soooo big thyme.

      If you're thinking “but meatier is technically even meatier than something described as the meatiest”... shut up Captain Semantics! But if you're thinking "how will I wash all of this meat down?", rest assured you'll be taken care of with 13 craft taps, plus a full complement of classic 'tails and seasonal ones mixed with Tennessee moonshine -- suggesting at least something in The Craftsman will be pickled.
    • Venue Info

  • 05
    Because The Slutty Fork sounded a little too PB, the owners of The Promiscuous Fork in La Jolla opted for the more PC version -- a stationary incarnation of their catering biz, now plating perfected-over-time dishes in quaint digs across from The Shack, featuring a four-seat bar in the back, a high-top community table, and, up front, a partitioned bar that you can sit at either in or outside.

    The menu is kept thankfully simple, with smaller eats like Kailua pork quesadillas with caramelized onions & smoked gouda, blackened salmon tacos with cheddar (doused in a sweet chili-Sriracha sauce), and wings three-ways, though inevitably one'll end up feeling awkward and chicken out. If, like The Little Mermaid while singing "Part of Your World", you want more, opt for Surf & Turf Grilled Cheese with housemade crab Louie, pastrami, aged white cheddar & provolone on sourdough, a quad of 1/2lb burgers (try the blue cheese & port-braised onion-topped “Ana's Code Blue”), or a bacon-wrapped BBQ shrimp po' boy with Baconnaise & white cheddar on an Amoroso roll, as the Omarosa kind tends to be incredibly unpopular with the public.

    If the appetite's light, they've got bottled surf trip reminders (Primo, Imperial, etc.) as well as six taps of locals, because if you're tapping locals, it too is likely happening somewhere other than PB.
    More on An easily overlooked gem in La Jolla
    • About

      Because The Slutty Fork sounded a little too PB, the owners of The Promiscuous Fork in La Jolla opted for the more PC version -- a stationary incarnation of their catering biz, now plating perfected-over-time dishes in quaint digs across from The Shack, featuring a four-seat bar in the back, a high-top community table, and, up front, a partitioned bar that you can sit at either in or outside.

      The menu is kept thankfully simple, with smaller eats like Kailua pork quesadillas with caramelized onions & smoked gouda, blackened salmon tacos with cheddar (doused in a sweet chili-Sriracha sauce), and wings three-ways, though inevitably one'll end up feeling awkward and chicken out. If, like The Little Mermaid while singing "Part of Your World", you want more, opt for Surf & Turf Grilled Cheese with housemade crab Louie, pastrami, aged white cheddar & provolone on sourdough, a quad of 1/2lb burgers (try the blue cheese & port-braised onion-topped “Ana's Code Blue”), or a bacon-wrapped BBQ shrimp po' boy with Baconnaise & white cheddar on an Amoroso roll, as the Omarosa kind tends to be incredibly unpopular with the public.

      If the appetite's light, they've got bottled surf trip reminders (Primo, Imperial, etc.) as well as six taps of locals, because if you're tapping locals, it too is likely happening somewhere other than PB.
    • Venue Info

  1. Santee's best-kept secret moves west
  2. The Eastside comes to the bestside
  3. Goodbye Lincoln, hello drinkin'
  4. Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizzeria gets an American-minded sibling
  5. An easily overlooked gem in La Jolla