Tucson Lifestyle February 2017 : Page 74

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Burger Meisters

Sarah Burton

The hamburger is one of America’s most-loved foods. Some say the most important part is the beef, others insist it’s all about toppings, and many maintain a good burger requires a quality roll or bun. This versatile menu item can be simple and classic, or dressed up and even daring. We’ve collected a representative sampling of eateries that feature burgers on their menus.<br /> <br /> Zinburger Wine &amp; Burger Bar<br /> <br /> Although they make a standard burger — aptly named “Plain &amp; Simple” — the innovative toppings and ingredients on Zinburger’s menu are sure to win over the most stalwart traditionalists. For example, the Bruce Lee, champion of the 2016 Burger Battle, comes with an Asian-inspired barbecue sauce, jalapeños and cucumber, all finished off with rice wine vinaigrette and Sriracha mayo. Or you can go a bit less exotic with their namesake, the Zinburger, which boasts Manchego cheese and onions braised in Zinfandel wine. Here you can choose between certified angus or grass-fed beef from Strauss Farms for any burger. The accompaniments are varied, with options such as hand-cut fries loaded with applewood-smoked bacon, cheese sauce, sour cream and chives. Or the zucchini fries crusted with Parmesan and ranch. When you’re ready to feel like a kid again, order up one of their indulgent shakes. <br /> <br /> 1865 E. River Rd., (520) 299-7799 6390 E. Grant Rd., (520) 298-2020 zinburgeraz.com<br /> <br /> Bob Dobbs<br /> <br /> Located in the heart of the historic Sam Hughes neighborhood, Bob Dobbs has served as a local pub since 1983. And just as long, their Bob Burger has hooked locals and visitors alike. General Manager Ruby Hazen points out that this particular menu item is by far the house favorite, “I have met people who are only in town to visit but make sure to stop by for a Bob Burger.” This double-patty burger is a standout thanks to its famous seasoning, according to Hazen. It’s then topped with melted cheddar and served on a French roll. Choose your side — go for either the hand-cut fries or housemade chips — add a cold beer and enjoy the friendly ambience inside or on one of the awningcovered patios. <br /> <br /> 2501 E. 6th St., (520) 325-3767 bobdobbs-tucson.com<br /> <br /> Canyon Café at Loews Ventana Canyon<br /> <br /> If the quickest way to elevate a burger is to start with high-quality ingredients, Chef de Cuisine Mike Behan at Canyon Café started several rungs up the ladder. The kitchen uses a special blend of ground beef from all different cuts, such as short ribs and tenderloin, served on fresh-baked brioche rolls. Topped with the kind of complementary flavors sure to bring you back again, including marinated Portobello mushrooms and aged provolone cheese. The mushroom marinade boasts a pinch of finely ground coffee, which only deepens the already rich, smoky flavor. If you have room left, don’t leave before treating yourself to the Black Bottom Peanut Butter Pie while soaking up the stunning view of the Santa Catalinas. <br /> <br /> 7000 N. Resort Dr., (520) 615-5496 loewshotels.com/ventana-canyon<br /> <br /> Union Public House<br /> <br /> Overlooking the courtyard of scenic St. Philip’s Plaza, Union Public House is a local spot dedicated to made-from-scratch foods. There, among other creative and locally sourced takes on American comfort food, you will find their signature Union Burger. What tops the Angus beef patty is why you should add it to your musttry list: bacon jam. Apple cider vinegar, apples, bacon and butter come together in a spread, and are then paired with a Red Dragon English cheddar, topped with fresh wild arugula and house-pickled red onions. Executive Chef Tucker Hartford points out that the bun is equally unforgettable. “The Union Burger comes on a brioche roll we make here daily — the most buttery, golden brown brioche you’ve ever seen.” If you’re not up for a burger, what’s another popular option? Hartford recommends the Tomahawk Chop, a custom cut of a heritage Berkshire hog, raised and processed right here in Tucson. <br /> <br /> 4340 N. Campbell Ave., (520) 329-8575 uniontucson.com<br /> <br /> Graze<br /> <br /> Following upon the longstanding popularity of salad-and-sandwich restaurant Choice Greens, the eatery’s owners forayed into a healthier burger option with Graze. Graze capitalizes on the community’s positive reaction to their philosophy of using top-shelf ingredients. “We always focus on quality,” says Co-owner and Operator Jeff Katz. “We feel those products are not only better tasting but better for you.” These ingredients include hormone- and antibiotic-free beef from Niman Ranch, nitrate-free bacon and hot dogs, Veggie burgers made with locally sourced tepary beans, and an all-natural chorizo burger. This design-your-own-burger spot has you start with a basic burger, then choose your toppings, everything from cage-free eggs and Hatch green chiles to natural cheeses and organic ketchup. Fries, twice cooked in non-GMO rice bran oil, can be dipped in one of the six sauces available at the sauce bar — Sriracha mayo, curry ketchup, sweet red chile and honey mustard, to name a few. <br /> <br /> 2721 E. Speedway Blvd., (520) 269-6888 grazepremiumburgers.com<br /> <br /> Truland Burgers &amp; Greens<br /> <br /> Although only open a handful of months, Truland Burgers &amp; Greens is a fullservice concept from the creators of Graze and Choice Greens, located in charming Casas Adobes Plaza in Northwest Tucson. Like Graze, only premium, healthy ingredients are used to make burgers and salads. Where Truland differs is the addition of patio seating, full table service, and a bar serving handmade cocktails with craft beer and wine on tap. The menu boasts unique burgers such as the popular Shroom &amp; Swiss, with natural Swiss cheese, caramelized onion and grilled cremini mushrooms. The Firecracker is served with natural pepper jack, grilled jalapeño, and Sriracha mayo. Choosing your side is a tough call between sweet potato “tots” and truffle fries, topped with Parmesan, truffle oil, pecorino and parsley. Sweet treats abound at Truland, from organic cane-sugar Maine Root fountain sodas to all-natural ice cream shakes. Or if you’re looking for something to share, the four-layer, giant Truland Carrot Cake should do the trick — and even better, $2 from every slice purchased goes to Tucson Values Teachers. <br /> <br /> 7332 N. Oracle Rd., (520) 395-2975 trulandburgers.com<br /> <br /> Trident Grill<br /> <br /> Variety is not lacking on Trident Grill’s burger menu, with offerings such as the Voodoo Daddy (with andouille sausage and Cajun mustard), or the Steakhouse burger (topped with peppercorns, bleu cheese, mushrooms, bacon, creamy horseradish and balsamic). But the local favorite, according to General Manager Jason Machemer, remains the Wildcat, loaded with cheddar, bacon, onion rings and local Chef from Hell barbecue sauce. “Starting with quality beef is a must for a great burger,” Machemer attests. It’s appropriate then, that all of Trident’s patties are half-pound, made with Harris Ranch grass-fed beef, then served on locally made brioche buns. If burgers aren’t your bag, rest assured that there are plenty of other offerings ranging from fish tacos and Thai chicken salad to hot pastrami or Philly cheesesteak. <br /> <br /> 2033 E. Speedway Blvd., Ste. 101, (520) 795-5755 2900 N. Swan Rd., Plaza Palomino, (520) 396-4455 tridentgrill.com<br />

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