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Bang for your Burger Buck: Burger Hut ~ Glendale, CA

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Once upon a time, the Geto Boys famously coined a phrase "my mind is playing tricks on me". Sometimes I wonder if they really meant to say that about a good old fashioned Los Angeles heat wave. Delirium, hallucinations, or even taking a lunch at an unassuming strip mall joint cluttered with promises of wifi, boba and burger combos. But sometimes it is good to get out of the heat and in front of something like this:

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120 degrees might be too hot for humans but it is downright cold for ground beef. Being a dedicated medium rare muchacho, I need a good reminder every now and then that black and blue bovine carries a rush of flavor, steak tartar can be delivered in ground beef form and the best burgers are always the juiciest.

But before we sink our teeth into this ridiculously rare 1/2 lb burger served for just under $6, it would be wise to revisit the doubts and head scratches that came to be my first impressions at Burger Hut. We are downright spoiled when it comes to going burger hunting in LA thanks to a restaurant map that is slowly becoming peppered equally with Umami Burgers as it is with Fat Burgers. Smashburger and the soon to be open Steak N Shake are turning up the heat on In N Out's stack burger domination. And lest we forget the countless restaurants, gastropubs and pricey food trucks all vying for the next "man you need to try this burger, like now" yelp review. So when one comes across a burger joint that is neither legendary dive nor concept burger with roots running deeper in a marketing agency than a kitchen, it is easy pass something like this off:

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. . . as a late night Kinko's run trying to pry my hard earned burger dollars. But when you are forever in the search for Bang for your Burger Buck, it is best to remember your elementary school teachings and not judge a book by its cover. I owe it you, the reader, to take a punch in the gut, even if it means the punch emanates from within.

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This menu was rife with budget breaking french fry and soda combos. With modest expectancy, I fired away at the half pound Angus with a request of medium rare. Fully expecting a "no", he surprised me with a "yes". Unsure about a juicy burger outcome, I dug deeper into the wallet and asked him about the cheese option. He responded with "it's more your preference" and when I followed with saying how cheese is my preference when the burger comes out a bit dry, he squarely answered with this: "it's going to be juicy bro". He wasn't kidding.

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Upon delivery I could not take my eyes off the pale red middle on the outside of the patty. You've heard of the chef touch when checking the doneness of a steak? You poke this burger with your finger and you may split the patty in freakin half. Burger juices were abound. The sheer weight of the sandwich was staggering; it drew out a chuckle from yours truly as I realized he simply could not cook this burger any less. This is the definition of chopped steak. It needs only some roughage, a little thousand island/secret sauce and a lot of napkins. Cheese is wholly unwarranted here, and my guess is the burger isn't even on the flat top long enough to generate a good melt. My kinda burger.

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Newsflash: Lettuce, Tomato, Onion and pickle are complimentary, by way of price and by pairing of sandwich. This ain't nothing new, but as always at Bang, we tip our cap to fresh produce that compliments hard work at the griddle. Look carefully and you can even see a string of beef fat that failed to get rendered in this patty's cook. Off putting for some, but I'll say this: I'll stand behind any burger joint confident enough in the quality of their beef to cook it rare, and second, who doesn't enjoy eating like a damn dinosaur?

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If there was a burger we have covered that had a legitimate shot at playing stunt double for a Carl's Jr ad while maintaining a cool red center, it would have to be this fine 1/2lb Angus. A penny shy of $6, we are pleased to report that Burger Hut delivers Bang for your Burger Buck enough to warrant a trip over the hill into Glendale, regardless of a heat wave.

Burger Hut
818 N. Pacific Ave
Glendale, CA 91203
(818) 547-4881

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