Joseph Mahon Re-Invents An American Staple Taken For Granted.
Burger Parlor's owner, Joseph Mahon, has mastered the art of burger making. Cited by critics for his ability to do the simple things very well, Mahon began focusing on the simplicity of burger building after hosting a successful weekly event titled “Burger Mondays” at Bastide in West Hollywood. Burger Parlor's introduction to Fullerton was originally established as a pop up that rented space from Rialto Café. The operation shut down at Rialto, but is now established at the former Monkey Wrench Collective location: 204 N Harbor Blvd.
The grand opening was on Sept 30th, and despite a freezer that did its job a little too well (products frozen through), Burger Parlor is entering their second month with an engaged following of foodies from throughout the city and beyond.
The menu consists of a set of burgers that range from the classically styled Parlor Burger (American cheese, lettuce, tomato, caramelized onions & secret sauce), to the eccentric Portland Burger (marinated beets, pickled carrots, sprouts, fried mozzarella, arugula, tomato confit, & herb sauce).
We decided to try the Mahon Burger, named for the man himself, and the Royale with cheese. The buns, which Mahon describes as a cross-breed between a Brioche and a Hawaiian bun, encompass a thick, juicy patty cooked medium rare.
The Mahon Burger (shown above) comes topped with thick-cut, lean pastrami, Swiss cheese, caramelized onions, and grain mustard sauce. It's a great choice for pastrami lovers. The Royale with Cheese (shown below) is a fine specimen of Americana as the patty is rested on a bed of baby spinach drizzled with a light aioli sauce, and topped with American cheese, fried onions, and an egg cooked sunny side up. The combination doesn't make for the tidiest burger known to man, but it's a sure contender for the title of “tastiest”. The Royale is listed at $14, but it's a treat worth the price, and no dollar menu could ever compare.
The cultural significance of the cheeseburger could not be given full justice without discussing the sides that come with it. Burger Parlor gives their customers a few options. Their classic-cut fries are fried to a crisp with golden brown edges. Spice lovers should try dipping their fries in the parlor's house mustard. They cut it with horseradish juice to give the mustard a little kick that wakes your taste buds up. It's not overwhelming however if you can't handle too much heat.
Customers that wish to venture away from the traditional fry should try some baked potato fries: a whole potato cut into thick wedges, fried and served with sour cream, shredded cheese, and green onions.
However, possibly the best side available at Burger Parlor would be their onion rings. Mahon has an amazing recipe that keeps rings intact every bite, rather than other rings that leave you holding the batter between your fingers after a single bite. Lightly battered and salted, the crisp exterior is a delicious compliment to the caramelized onion cooked within. They too are very good with Burger Parlor's mustard. This is definitely a spot worth checking out.