Haute hamburgers: A little bit PBR, a little bit Grey Goose

Luxe hamburgers are my official food of The Economic Downturn. Straddling the increasingly disparate worlds of white tablecloths versus paper plates, they’re comfort food with class. A little bit PBR, a little bit Grey Goose.
Gobbling upscale hamburgers made with pedigreed beef, drizzled with aoili, tarted up with house made pickles and truffled fries feels like a ridiculous indulgence at a bargain-basement price. Consider them your entree into some of the area’s best restaurants on a lunchtime budget.
Not that a good burger won’t run you upwards of $10-$15 — an eye-popping amount for the Mickey D’s set. A cost-per-bite steal for Michelin-rated restaurants.
What’s worth the price? BiteClub navigates the grills to get the lowdown in a continuing investigation. Keep in mind that many of these burgers are only available during lunch.
Mike’s at the Crossroads KRUSH burger
It’s hardly haute, sitting on ripped vinyl and sipping out of a “Stolen from Mike’s” tumbler, but the KRUSH burger
brings a touch of class — and Zinfandel glaze — to this
hole-in-the-wall joint. Extra credit: Fries on Friday, really flavorful
meat, sauteed mushrooms, onions and garlic. Minus: Buns can’t withstand
all the deliciousness. You’ll do better to lose the top bun and eat it
with a fork. $9.25
Mike’s at the Crossroads: 7665 Old Redwood Hwy., Cotati, (707) 665-9999

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21 thoughts on “Haute hamburgers: A little bit PBR, a little bit Grey Goose

  1. Odyssey in Windsor has an amazing gourmet burger- it is boneless short ribs stuffed with foie gras and black truffles all stuffed inside grass fed angus beef on a homemade bun! It is $24 but worth every bite.

  2. Actually Ravenous in Healdsburg has one of the best burgers hands down…all fresh ingredients…garden fresh tomatoes, balsamic roasted onions, mixed lettuces all on a homemade bun…we prefer it over the Healdsburg Bar and Grill

  3. SYRAH Hands down!
    BEST Burger in Sonoma County — possibly this side of the Mississippi!
    $15.50 is just a drop in the bucket for such perfection!

  4. There are good turkey burgers at Buns ‘n’ Burgers in the Larkfield Shopping Center, kinda near Molsberry’s. A bit greasy, but tasty! They’ve got that kitschy drive-up feel, too.

  5. Big D.. Try Carmen’s Burgers (in Town & Country – next to Pacific Market in Santa Rosa) They offer all of their specialty burgers using ground turkey. It’s great because you can have a patty melt with 1/2 the grease/fat!! Besides that – they offer a full bar!!


  7. Can anyone recommend a place that makes a good Turkey burger? The Powerhouse used to make the best turkey burgers around (fresh ground daily just like their beef burgers, to die for when topped with gorgonzola and grilled onions) but after they closed no one else has picked up the slack. Help a poultry eater out!

  8. Tried the Fig Cafe (casual sister of Girl and the Fig) in Glen Ellen the other night and the burger was absolutely fantastic.
    Healdsburg Bar and Grill has a great one too…get some smoked bacon, blue cheese, and carmelized onions on it! The parmesan/truffle oil fries are incredible.

  9. The Girl and the Fig in Sonoma has the best burgers I’ve ever had, wonderful homeade buns, amazing fries…outstanding!
    Oh, and Mike’s serves fries on Fridays now. Haven’t tried them, yet.

  10. Give Dempseys a go in Petaluma. Great burgers and fries. I worked there when it was first getting going 16yrs ago or so and the quality has never slipped. The owners are hardworking good people that farm alot of the veggies you get on your plate. Fresh tomato on a burger,thats pretty sweet. the aioli rocks as well.

  11. Or, do yourself a favor and just go to Happy Dog in Sonoma. A great hamburger is a great hamburger, and I’ll take good eats on the (relatively) cheap over pretense and “ambiance” any day.
    That being said, John Ash used to have a great hamburger on the lunch menu that was reasonably priced. Not sure if they serve it any more, but it was in the same range as the above burgers, and served on one of their excellent house rolls.
    Lastly, in Windsor you can get a Torta Cubana at Castañeda’s market off Old Redwood Highway. Something like $6.75, and you get carnitas, ham, queso fresco, lettuce, onion, tomato, jalapeño etc on a home made bun. It’s HUGE and exceptionally tasty. Not quite a burger but generally the same concept.

  12. My favorite burgers were always @ Mike’s, even without the fries (the homemade potato salad is great) until I had the burger @ Underwood. Surprised you didn’t include this spot.

  13. I use to work at Equus in the late nineties and have a pretty good ideal of what is going on with that burger plate you ordered. The problem for Equus is a Catch 22. Actually for a restaurant of Equus caliber, for $10 is too cheap of a price to charge for that burger so my guess is that they are not making money off anyone ordering that burger. In my opinion and my knowledge of restaurant finances they should be charging at lease $14.00 and upgrading the quality. But the problem then arises, would anyone in this economy go into a Equus type restaurant, pay $14.00 for a burger plus tips and cocktails in this type of economy. On a sidenote, there are clients who will still pay that price and more for quality but the problem specifically for Equus is that they have had such a inconsistent run of quality and service it might be too late to turn this ship around; especially since most of the old customers that propped the business up for all those years are probably dead.

  14. I stick with Mike’s standard burger, with bacon. Those burgers really need no accoutrements. Not that there’s anything wrong with excess. 😉

  15. I’ve had the Syrah burger and it is one of the best I have ever had and I am a true burger junkie. Another good place for a really good burger is Healdsburg Bar and Grill although their “medium” is way more rare than you’d expect. I just let them know I prefer a little more done and it comes out perfect.

  16. I’ve had the Syrah burger and it is one of the best I have ever had and I am a true burger junkie. Another good place for a really good burger is Healdsburg Bar and Grill although their “medium” is way more rare than you’d expect. I just let them know I prefer a little more done and it comes out perfect.

  17. Agree wholeheartedly on the burger and fries at Syrah. Paying extra for the bacon and cheese is totally worth it. Never had a bad meal there ever.
    Check out the burgers at the Healdsburg Bar & Grill, and the fries at Manzanita.
    In Petaluma, Walnut Grill is also worth a visit.
    I’ve never understood the hype around Mike’s, in any of its incarnations. The burgers just don’t appeal to me. And the “no fries” attitude is offputting.

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