Jeff “Which Wich, Genhis Grill” Sinelli’s newest concept, Burguesa Burgers, is cheap. Yesterday a burger, fries, and a drink was selling for 68 pesos ($5.00). The concept, designed for a Mexican clientele, accepts pesos and dollars. The menu is in Spanish. The little drive-though shack is painted neon orange and looks like a giant festive piñata next to the original Sonny Bryan’s on Lemmon. There are no tables, but there are a few parking spaces if you care to eat in your car. They serve hamburgers and cheeseburgers, soft drinks mixed with cane sugar, and shakes with tiny donuts on the straw.
We ordered two burguesas con queso, fries, and a strawberry shake. Our driver, a vegetarian, skipped on their offer to make a burguesa sin burguesa. We sipped the strawberry shake with remnants or real strawberry in the mix, and headed over to the patio at Whole Foods on Lemmon to eat.
Here’s the deal: the burgers are skinny meat, skinny bun. I like that. If you like thicker meat, order a double. The lettuce is shredded and the secret sauce (Cholula hot sauce-spiked mayonnaise) adds a nice kick. I would eat the burger again.
However, I never want to see the fries once more. The skinny, limp, tasteless fries are served in a cup and hang over the sides like dead worms. Pick one out, squeeze it, and watch your appetite evaporate. I’m not a grease snob—I like a good shot of lard every now and then, but these pathetic half-cooked strings mixed with quarter-sized chunks of almost raw potatoes dissolved into a pasty mass. They leave a strong aftertaste of car exhaust—gassy, smoky, and toxic—in your mouth.
Our wacky art director, Todd, loves the Monumental, a ginormous burger/torta concoction with layers of beef, spicy mayonnaise, cheese, avocado, crispy tostadas (orange?), ham, and refried beans. Oh, and a whole pickled jalapeno.
The two other cars we observed were full of yuppie, white Americans. A Hispanic man stood on the street waving a sign and urging drivers to pull in. Burguesa Burger felt a little too American for comfort.