6/30/2013 – La Paz Burger Wars

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.

Looking towards the kitchen and the street from our table against the back wall.

Looking towards the kitchen and the street from our table against the back wall.

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.

Unhinge your jaw.

Unhinge your jaw.

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.

Would have been nicer to have the Montery Jack melted rather than in chunks.

Would have been nicer to have the Montery Jack melted rather than in chunks.

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.

¡Buen provecho!

¡Buen provecho!

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About sryoder

Steve & Lulu... retired. Had enough of the cold wet dreary fall/winter/spring in the Pacific Northwest. Bought a boat, fixed it up, sold our home and sailed to Mexico in November, 2010. Been here ever since except for occasional forays to the States (summer only, thank you) to visit the kids, parents and siblings. If you're looking for a sailing blog, this is the wrong place. This is a traveling, hunkering in, eating blog. Sailing is just how we get from place to place when we can't walk.
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10 Responses to 6/30/2013 – La Paz Burger Wars

  1. Joan/Raymond Yoder says:

    I don’t care where you get it, there is nothing like a GOOD cheeseburger. Love, Mom

  2. Brian says:

    Thanks, I’m hungry again. I just spent the last 30 minutes drooling over those photos on AHT, and I just finished breakfast 35 minutes ago! Seriously though, love the blog, you guys are awesome and constantly make me HUNGRY!

  3. vickiel@q.com says:

    You know how to live! It is hot here. yeah! so I had a cucumber and arrugula sandwich on sweet hawaiian bread (I can’t spell anymore!) 5 wt watchers points (veggies are free)

    • sryoder says:

      That sounds like a nice, cool meal. And, since vegetables are free, a big ol’ slab of tomato with a little bit of Italian dressing on it would have gone nicely on your sandwich. Would have made the sandwich nice and messy too.

  4. Larry says:

    Sorry to say Buffalitos closed recently. The new burger champion is Harkers (on the malecon close to the bus station)

    • sryoder says:

      Sorry to hear about Bufalito’s. We’ve tried Harker’s and liked it but, with Bufalito’s gone, until I get down there to try again, my vote would have to go to The Shack.

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