Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Keeping the American Dream Alive One Steakburger at a Time

Western Steakburger
2730 University Ave.
San Diego, CA

It says right on the awning over the entrance to Western Steakburger “Serving the best BBQ Burgers in San Diego.”

I think they are being WAY too modest.

Western Steakburger should be in the conversation for best burger IN AMERICA.

Yeah. This monstrosity is THAT good.

I have an unyielding philosophy when it comes to burgers.

Meat is good. Huge slabs of meat are better. Lots of meat piled on top of huge slabs of meat is HEAVEN.

Well, 2730 University Avenue in the blue collar North Park neighborhood of San Diego may not look like heaven to you, but it sure tasted like it to me.

“Gus” Anastasiu, the Greek-American owner of Western Steakburger, isn’t afraid to mix it up.


His most famous creation, the restaurant’s namesake burger, the Western Steakburger, is topped with that quintessential Greek specialty, gyro meat.

Now that’s thinking outside the box!

Add a little Greek flavor (and a quarter pound of dead sheep) to the top of the all-American burger and you’ve got the best of American assimilation sitting right there in front of you on a big bun.

That’s why I don’t have a problem with legal immigration. I mean, I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for great-great-great-grandpa Suit757 coming over on a famine ship from Ireland 150 years ago.

If you are willing to come here, bust your butt, risk your meager savings on a good idea and assimilate into the American culture, my door is always open to you.

Especially if you feed me this well.

I was pretty excited when Mr. Anastasiu slid me my “Wild West Steakburger”, a relatively new creation of the owner.

Like the Western Steakburger, the Wild West is a full half pound mammoth slab of beef topped with marinated gyro meat.

But why stop there? See above.

If meat on top of meat is better, then even more meat on top of even more meat is even better than that.

Right? Are you following me?

This upgraded version of the Steakburger adds strips of high end thick bacon to the gyro meat and half pound of cow.

I mean, loyal readers know the Suit757 mantra by now. Everything good in life can be improved with bacon.

Even an eight ounce slab of burger that’s already covered in marinated slow-roasted lamb.

The meat alone on this mountain of a sandwich had to tip the scales close to a full pound.

But we’re not done.

I paid an extra fifty cents for cheese. Plus the Wild West Steakburger comes with BBQ sauce, mayonnaise, ketchup, tomato, half a head of lettuce and a whole pile of sautéed onions.

Holy crap!

I could not begin to wrap my mouth around the thing, hard as I tried to squish the ingredients between my hands and open my ample jaws.

How did it taste?

Like heaven on a bun.

The burger was cooked more well done than I normally prefer, but it didn’t affect the taste or juiciness.

Grease and condiments dripped onto my paper plate in a joyful mess.

The well-seasoned gyro meat added a touch of exotic flavor while the bacon served its crunchy, savory purpose. Meanwhile the BBQ sauce and mound of slippery onions added a touch of sweetness that made my taste buds smile.

One of the most epic burgers that has ever graced my stomach.

And that’s saying something. As Suit757, I consider myself something of a burger expert.

Western Steakburger is a simple local hangout. The décor consists of pictures of John Wayne and Ronald Reagan, true American heroes.

The crowd was almost entirely locals chatting amongst each other and joking with Mr. Anastasiu about the Olympic Games being broadcast on the overhead television.

One customer of Mexican descent was bragging about his native country’s soccer team and gigged the owner about where all the Greek medal winners were at.

“We can’t win anything because Greece doesn’t have any money!”

As his countrymen back home on the Mediterranean sink into an economic abyss built upon government dependency and debt, Gus Anastasiu lives out every day the best American values embodied by the heroes like John Wayne and Ronald Reagan that decorate his little restaurant.

Dream big, work hard, think outside the box and do it better than everybody else.

It ain’t easy. But it beats the hell out of sitting around helplessly in poverty waiting for the Germans to bail you out.

And that, my friends, is why gyro meat on top of a burger can be the prefect embodiment of the American dream.

America. What a country!

Rating: Bought the Shirt!

Western Steak Burger on Urbanspoon

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