Full disclosure right off the bat: I have been to U Burger before, three times in fact, and have always liked it. I fully expected it to be among the top three burgers we’ve had so far, before we even went there in critical fashion. But I can’t review places based on reputation from past experiences because that isn’t fair. Maybe I had never tried to look for flaws or maybe I was just like every other red-blooded American because I just wanted a burger. But yesterday, U Burger just wasn’t very good. We may return to places if there is a serious uproar about a low score, but I need consistency. I should be able to walk in to any place on any given day and get their best offering. Yes, I am looking for flaws because that’s the whole point of this blog. We want the best, we’re not just looking to be full. So based on yesterday and yesterday alone, this was a very average burger, and it kills me to say it.
First of all, the meat is lousy, and you can pour as much house sauce (in this case a mix of mustard, mayo and ketchup) over it as you want, but you can’t cover up bad meat. Every place seems to boast fresh ground beef, hand-cut fries and limited use of freezers. Here, they only have freezers to preserve the ice cream. I dunno, maybe it’s time to break out the freezers because this whole fresh thing doesn’t seem to be working for anyone. You can say fresh all you want, but if the quality of meat is this bad, it might be time to take a different approach. Never mind how overcooked it was and completely dry, like a hockey puck. I realize that the true peak season of tomatoes might still be a week or two away, but the tomato on my burger was mealy and of poor quality. The lettuce was nice and crisp and the cheese fully melted. We had issues with the bun, however, toasted yes, but again of poor quality, perhaps something a supermarket chain might produce. We enjoyed the “hand-cut” fries, well seasoned and crispy and I had a Reese’s shake to go with it all, which was nice, if unspectacular.
I like the concept, it’s no frills, with not too many burger choices, not overwhelming and what they do offer is appealing, on paper at least. But I am tired of these In-N-Out clones, I know they are the best, but let’s bring a new style to the table. There is only one In-N-Out for a reason, and by the way, they don’t charge $10 for a combo meal. There is just no personality with the burgers at U Burger, some people may like the simplicity, but it’s not for me.