For years, growing up in south Orange County surrounded by family and friends, it is almost impossible to have not heard of The Crow Bar and Kitchen. My first contact with the restaurant, was in regard to their diverse and in-depth alcohol lists. From beer to wine, The Crow Bar and Kitchen will dazzle your eyes as you look up and down, and then back up and back down through the never-ending array of cocktails and martinis. Founded in 1991 by principal owner Steve Geary, the goal of The Crow Bar and Kitchen is “to create a true neighborhood place for people to gather and enjoy the finest of food and beverage in a relaxing, social and comfortable atmosphere”. Well friends, let’s dive in and see what it’s all about…
Menu Name: The Crow Burger
- Proprietary Blend of All Natural Angus and Prime Beef – Short Rib, Brisket, Chuck and Hangar Steak
- Rosemary Bun
- Tallegio and Gorgonzola Cheeses
- Carmelized Onions
- Wild Rocket Arugula
- House-made Ketchup
Calorie Count: (Unknown by any staff at The Crow Bar and Kitchen)
Cholesterol Count: (Unknown by any staff at The Crow Bar and Kitchen)
First bite: Wow. Yep, you read, or rather didn’t read, right… This burger doesn’t need a build up, doesn’t need an intro, all it needs, is to be in your mouth. As I smashed my teeth together in the most joyous of ways, instantaneously, the tallegio followed by the gorgonzola blazed glorious trails through my mouth. And just when you thought the excitement would end, oh boy were you wrong. The burger then opened fire with the phenomenal blend of beef and steak, never giving a dull moment. With an array of weapons such as the short rib, hangar steak, brisket, and ground chuck, there’s no escape from the desire to take another bite.
But you can’t. Why not? Because that first battle isn’t over quite yet.
The properly named, wild rocket arugula, jumped right into the bunkers left by my taste pores, and just as suddenly, filled my mouth with a fresh burst, yet strong flavor of spices and herbs. And just as I had been saying that there was a lack of unique buns in my last post, boy was I pleasantly surprised by the rosemary bun which held everything together and undeniably complimented the wild rocket flavor.
The truffle-aioli was the secret agent of the bunch. So decadent, literally disappearing from my mouth only to burst back in with a flavor, only understandable by comparing it to the in-person experience of a .50 cal machine gun.
And the House-ketchup. If you remember what I had said in my last post, I wasn’t the biggest fan of “your” basic ketchup on a burger. But this was no ordinary ketchup my friend. Mixed behind the scenes, with the love and care only a momma bear would use to make her honey, the ketchup was… I’m going to say it… The best ketchup I have ever had. In my opinion, this is the ONLY way I ever want to eat ketchup again. More pungent than the boring typical ketchup, with the slightest hint of barbeque, graciously touch your senses.
And do I even mention the fries? F yes. Let me tell you, these fries are deep-fried in duck-fat oil. Yep, duck – like the animal – oil. Seasoned with salt and pepper, moderately crispy on the outside yet perfectly soft and delicious on the inside. If you sit down at a table or at the bar in this establishment, you must try these. Whether these delectable fries are dipped in the truffle-aioli sauce or the house-ketchup depends on preference; however, let me tell you, that if you are anything like myself, each sauce was so good that I alternated the entire way through.
I have worked at a restaurant before, so I understand when they hit maximum occupancy and have to go on a wait-list in order for new guests to be seated. I also understand that I am 23, standing on the sidewalk in wealthy Corona Del Mar, without a “date” and most definitely not wearing Armani-style clothing. So when I had been told that the wait would be 40-45 minutes, although some would have considered it to be long, I was actually surprised that it wasn’t going to be longer. Yet, an hour and a half later, we were still waiting. This is my only qualm with The Crow Bar and Kitchen.
Other than that little hiccup. The experience, atmosphere and service was fantastic. Our server Bradley, was one of the best servers I’ve had wait on me in a long time and it was good to know that The Crow Bar and Kitchen dedicated time and effort into getting all their food products from local organic farms. The Crow Burger alone, was a surprisingly tiny amount at $8.50 while the Duck-Fat Fries were an additional $5.00. So total meal, without drink, came to $13.50. On par with the insufficient Umami Burger, yet money MUCH BETTER spent.
Thus, for a ground-breaking and record-shattering burger, The Crow Burger finds itself at #3 on THE Burger List, in between #2 The Counter and #4 Hodad’s.
- Burger taste… 9 out of 10
- French fry taste… 9 out of 10
- Burger presentation… 9 out of 10
- Price… 8.5 out of 10
- Knife test… FAIL
TOTAL: 35.5/40 = 89% (-1%) = 88% B
*Note: Actual ranking is subject to change when new burgers make the list. Also, the percentage score will not reflect the burgers’ ranking on the list, for each burger is unique and must be graded on it’s own merits. For up-to-date rankings, check THE OC Burger List in the menu! Thanks.