There's probably no burger more beloved by chefs in San Diego than The Drugstore Burger at The Lodge At Torrey Pines; it came up time and again in our conversations with chefs about their favorites.
It's a simple burger, just a bun, meat, cheese and a few garnishes, but this is The Lodge At Torrey Pines, so you can be sure the ingredients are well-chosen and that the cooks in a kitchen know a little something about putting together a great plate of food. The burger's built with seven ounces of Niman Ranch ground chuck, chopped Bermuda onion, shredded lettuce, sliced tomato and pickles on a sesame seed bun. If the mayo tastes better than Best Foods, that's 'cause it's house made, with a good amount of olive oil.
The Lodge's executive chef, Jeff Jackson, first made this burger when he was the exec chef at Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica, where it became internally famous among the hotel's staff. The Drugstore Burger was inspired by the burgers he remembers eating at the local lunch counter while growing up in Oklahoma City; though he wasn't yet on the chef-track, he told Eater that the memory of how those fry cooks made the burger stuck with him; he still models their technique of flipping the burger and steaming the bun in the resulting beef fat and meat juices.
When he helped open The Lodge At Torrey Pines in 2002, Jackson made the burger an official menu item at The Grill next to the golf course eatery and at the hotel bar (you can also request it at A.R. Valentien).
Chefs-in-the-know are already aware of the two off-menu spins on The Drugstore Burger, which Jackson says can be requested in any of The Lodge's eateries; The Atomic Burger swaps the mayo for mustard and adds chopped jalapenos and The Balboa layers on crispy bacon and a fried egg.
· The Lodge At Torrey Pines [Official Site]
· All Burger Week 2013 Coverage [~ESD~]