Gourmet Chefs visit B&R Old Fashion Hamburgers

Chef Adam Sobel Chef De Cuisine at Guy Savoy in Vegas and on the right Chef David Varley, Chef De Cuisine atBradley Ogdens in Las Vegas visit B&R Old Fashion Burgers!

They couldn’t stop raving about the burgers!

“DAILY BREEZE” NEWSPAPER ARTICLE: Friday, February 14, 2003

B&R Old Fashioned Burgers

What the heck is a Culinary Detective you ask?

Well let me explain things to you a little bit. You know when you are driving down the street, kind of hungry with a grumbling tummy that’s saying “feed me now”! You see those little places on the corner; in the non-descript strip mall with the hand painted signs, the ultimate “Mom and Pop” place. You know you want to go, but you don’t, you just can’t bring yourself to pull in to the parking lot, get out and try it. You like what’s familiar and comforting, so you just keep driving and wondering what the food would have tasted like, secretly angry with yourself for not having the guts to try something really new and untested.

Well, I am the guy that does it for you; I cruise strip malls and out of the way places looking for new eating experiences. I look for the good stuff, big food, food that’s made by someone that did not graduate from the Culinary Institute, but has a great love for food and cooking, someone that takes pride in what they make. I look for places where food is actually food, not some piece of art on a plate. I do not fear the “B” in the window, that simply means the food has “flavor”, if there is a “C” in the window, then its “authentic”. Follow your stomach, you just might like where it takes you…

The first place I am going to report on is without a doubt, the biggest and best hamburger, on the face of the planet, at least the parts that I have been to. It’s called B&R Old Fashioned Burgers on Rosecrans and Cerise in the city of Hawthorne. It’s located at 3512 w Rosecrans in Hawthorne in a small strip mall next to a liquor store and a barber shop. . The décor is “brown tables and chairs” with graffiti etched into the windows and signed pictures of rappers on the wall. The food is simpley amazing!. It’s pretty much just a hamburger place but what makes it different is the love in which each hand made patty is created.

They have normal size char grilled hamburgers, which are quite good if you are a burger whimp, but if you are a lover of big, juicy, ketchup and mustard running down your arms burgers, than you must get the “Royal Burger”. The “Royal Burger” is two- lb, hand-made patties – char grilled (they take a while because they are so big), lettuce, tomato, cheese, bacon or pastrami, a fried egg, onions and finally some chili. When the burger comes to your table the first thing you think is “how the heck am I going to eat this” as you survey the massive burger which is around 5 inches thick. The only way to eat it, and still remain somewhat clean is to totally commit yourself to it. Once you grab a hold of it, you must not let go, ever, until it is finished or it will explode and fall over the plate and then you simply have a “chili size” with egg. The burger has so much flavor its almost criminal, and believe me, you will feel guilty after eating one. Look at the bright side of things, if you do manage to eat and finish a “Royal Burger” from B&R burgers at lunch you won’t need to eat dinner.If you ever wanted to go someplace, but just can’t bring yourself to do it, drop me a line and maybe I will conduct a “culinary investigation” and report back to you here.

Chris Cognac, a detective for a South Bay police department, specializes in reviewing hole-in-the-wall restaurants. If you’d like him to conduct a culinary investigation at a restaurant you’ve been hesitant to try, write to him at the Daily Breeze, 5215 Torrance Blvd., Torrance, CA, 90503 or e-mail him at chris@culinarydetective.com .

B&R Old Fashioned Burgers / 3512 W Rosecrans Ave, Hawthorne, CA 90250 – Phone: (310) 679-4774.

“DAILY BREEZE” NEWSPAPER ARTICLE: Friday, December 26, 2003



Best little treasures of 2003 revealed

Well, 2004 is less than a week away and so ends the first year of the Culinary Detective.

This column has been a joy to write and pretty fun to “investigate” as well. I have found there are a lot of people just like me who love to check out hidden treasures and hole-in-the-wall places in the never-ending quest for great food that’s just off the beaten path.

During the past year I found, stumbled upon or was guided by RAVE! readers to a host of great places.

After thorough analysis, here are my favorite spots, as of 2003, around the South Bay:

B&R’s Old Fashion Burgers, 3512 W Rosecrans Ave., Hawthorne, 310- 679-4774
You want to know the best burger in Southern California? It’s the Royal Burger at B&R Old Fashion Burgers. Two handmade half-pound ground beef patties, chili, bacon or pastrami, lettuce, onions, and cheese, topped off with a fried egg. The Royal Burger is a massive piece of heart-stopping tasty goodness, the Holy Grail of burgers, which I feel truly blessed to have stumbled upon. Judging from some of the e-mails I have gotten, many of you have blessed by B&R burgers during the last year as well.

Rizzo’s Pizzeria, 2350 Sepulveda Blvd, Suite G, Torrance, 310- 530-9527
Rizzo’s, which has been around for 20 years, has the absolute best garlic breadsticks on the planet. I have yet to find anyone who has tried them and didn’t like them. The pizzas are huge and made from some of the best dough I have ever tasted. They have an “all you can eat” special on Mondays that includes pizza, breadsticks, salad or spaghetti and a drink for $7.90. Chuck and Annette Rossi run a true “family” place with lots of fund raising and community involvement, which makes Rizzo’s a true benefit to the South Bay.

Big Mike’s, 1314 Hermosa Ave., Hermosa Beach, 310-798-1499
This place was the winner of my “quest for the best cheesesteak in the South Bay” contest. Big Mike’s serves up massive cheese steaks on really high-quality bread. The beef is top-notch and the sandwiches are cooked just right, with the gooey cheese melting into every nook and cranny of the steak and onions. Mike also makes the best “chickensteak” in town and does not skimp on the meat either. I don’t know how the restaurant does it, but nobody in the area comes close to making sandwiches like Big Mike’s.

China One Buffet, 2864 W. Imperial Highway, Inglewood, 323-756- 2988
When it comes to Chinese buffets there are few that can top China One Buffet for the combination of price, quality and overall selection of good food. The restaurant has General Tso Chicken, which is very hard to find in the South Bay. The food does not sit and get stale as at some Chinese buffets; it’s kept fresh so it’s hot and delicious when you put it on your plate. There’s also a salad bar, pizza and stuff for the kids, as well as crab legs for the adults. Great place, good value. Check it out.

Rajin’ Cajun Cafe, 422 Pier Ave., Hermosa Beach, 310-376-7878
Stephen Domingue truly takes pride in every aspect of the Rajin’ Cajun. He and his sister Janeen take care of their customers as if they were guests in their home. When Stephen Domingue asks you how your food is, he really wants to know if you liked your meal. He is a true Southern gentleman. The food is awesome, a great variety of Cajun specialties from recipes taught to Domingue by his mother in Louisiana. You can get alligator, hush puppies or a salad in a flower pot. There’s gumbo and jambalaya that’s done just right; if you close your eyes you would swear you were eating on the front porch of a Southern mansion along the riverfront.

Chris Cognac, a detective for a South Bay police department, specializes in reviewing hole-in-the-wall restaurants. If you’d like him to conduct a culinary investigation at a restaurant you’ve been hesitant to try, write to him at the Daily Breeze, 5215 Torrance Blvd., Torrance, CA, 90503 or e-mail him at chris@culinarydetective.com .

Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without permission.

Burger Heaven! – Pulp Religion Article: November, 2003