Every so often on the La Paz Gringos Yahoo group, the discussion comes up about who makes the best burger in La Paz. There are always a few regular contenders, notably The Shack, Tailhunter’s, Bandidtos, and our favorite, The Buffalito Grill. Seems kind of silly for a bunch of American ex-pats to sit around in Mexico, land of so much great food, extolling the virtues of this burger or that burger. But there ya go. Probably Jimmy Buffett’s fault (as so many things are) when he glorified the cheeseburger in his song Cheeseburger in Paradise. I wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t even know we were supposed to miss cheeseburgers until he made them sound so freakin’ good.
But, we’re as big of knuckleheads as the next guy and sometimes we find ourselves really wanting a burger. Of course, the fact that I’m a devoted reader of Serious Eats’ “A Hamburger Today” articles doesn’t help at all. I mean, some of these descriptions and reviews could make a vegan second-guess their choice.
Anyway, the other evening we decided to scratch our itch and head down to Buffalito Grill for a cheeseburger and fries. This took a little bit of devotion as they don’t open until 7:00 PM in the summer and the last shuttle back from town is at 7:30. So that means we had to add the cost of a taxi to our dinner out. But Buffalito is worth it.
This is not the first time I’ve blogged about Buffalito Grill but since some of you may have missed the first one, here we go again. The restaurant is open air. It’s surrounded on three sides by concrete block walls (against one of which is the bar) and on the 4th side, the street side, by the open kitchen.
We got our menus, which double as placemats, ordered a couple beers (I fall off the wagon when eating out. After all, with a big ol’ cheeseburger in the offing, a light beer is the last thing I need to worry about making me fat.), and started working our way through the choices. Just to give you an idea of how hard this can be, here, you try:
(remember: 250 grams is a little over 1/2 pound, and all burgers are served with fries or a salad – a salad, yeah, right))
Clasica Burger: 250 gram beef patty, tomato, sauteed onions, pickles, Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses. 85 pesos (~$6.30 US)
4 Quesos Burger: 250 gram beef patty, sauteed onions, Cheddar, Mozzarella, Monterey Jack, and Bleu cheeses. 90 pesos (~$6.67 US)
Tropical Burger: 250 gram beef patty, arugula, bacon, fried garlic, tomato, sauteed onion, Pineapple, cherry, Cheddar and Montery Jack cheeses. 110 pesos (~$8.15)
Rajas Burger: 250 gram beef patty, Anaheim chile strips, Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses. 90 pesos
Hongos Burger: 250 gram beef patty, mushroom, sauteed onion, bacon, Cheddar and Montery Jack cheeses. 90 pesos
BBQ Burger: 250 gram beef patty, tomato, sauteed onion, pickles, Cheddar and Montery Jack cheeses, bacon, and BBQ sauce. 90 pesos
Big Burger: 500 gram beef patty, sauteed onion, bacon, Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses. 115 pesos (~$8.50)
And, finally, our choice:
Buffalito Burger: 250 gram beef patty, basil, arugula, bacon, fried garlic, tomato, sauteed onion, Cheddar and Montery Jack cheeses. 100 pesos (~$7.40)
There’s also a chicken burger and a veggie (cringe!) burger but we’re talking about BEEF here!
As so often happens when you’re getting a signature type burger these days, the thing arrived at the table looking good but way to big to actually be able to eat.
However, it mashed down to a reasonably sized burger. The arugula and basil kept wanting to expand but, with a firm grip they could be held in check. The beef was cooked medium and actually had a beefy taste. However, I think next time I’ll opt for the Clasica so more of the beef taste can come shining through.
The fries were nice and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. And. although it doesn’t look like you get very many, I was plenty full when I was finished.
When we return to La Paz this fall, we plan to set a week or so aside and actually go out and review all the contenders for “Best Burger in La Paz”. We’ll order a basic cheeseburger and fries at each place and compare the results. It’ll be a tough job but, if we don’t do it someone else will have to.