Burgers and Brew
6900 Airport Blvd, Terminal B (map)burgersbrew.com
Cooking method: Grilled
Short Order: A tasty burger, particularly for an airport
Want Fries With That? Sure do. A handful of lightly-fried spuds comes standard
Price: Cheeseburger and fries, $8.19
Notes: 2 locations in Sacramento, plus one in Davis and Chico
Sacramento airport's Terminal B is uncommonly awesome. Self check-in kiosks are plentiful, you can sit in a rocking chair overlooking a garden, and there are enough power outlets for every man, woman, child, and carrier-bound pomeranian to play a round of Angry Birds before departure. Food options are also above average. Many of the restaurants are independently owned, and three of them serve burgers. This was good news, because despite tasting 15 different burgers the previous night at the Sacramento Burger Battle, I was craving (even more) beef.
Cafeteria 15L and Esquire Grill, the two sit-down restaurants, both have a burger on the menu, but I chose the more casual Burgers & Brew, where a classic cheeseburger and fries is just over eight bucks, whereas a simliar meal at Esquire Grill will set you back $13.50.
Most airport food abuses your wallet while it chips away at your last shred of hope that maybe, this time it won't suck, but Burgers & Brew cranks out burgers that are actually pretty damn good. Half a pound of fresh Niman Ranch beef beef is grilled to order, and served on a lightly toasted roll with flavorful fresh veggies and a squeeze of mayo, and the option of a premium Belgian brew (like Leffe, Duvel, or Chimay). B&B is owned by Crepeville, so you can snag a strawberry crepe for dessert, though the Nutella cheesecake looked more tempting (and more portable).
Burgers are cooked to order. My medium rare patty didn't have much of a crust, but there were some small flakes of char, and a healthy blush of pink in the center that was moist and juicy. The patty had a clean and pure straightforwardly beefy flavor and was well seasoned. It would have been tastier if the cheese was more thoroughly melted, but when compared to all of the sad burgers I've shamefully scarfed at airports in the past, it's still far better.
The medium-cut, skin-on, slightly seasoned fries are tasty and filling. If you want something beyond the standard deep-fried starch, upgrade to beer-battered onion rings or the curly fries.
It's encouraging to see more airports straying from the traditional model by offering more upscale food and leasing space to locally owned restaurants. The same thing is happening at my local airport, where popular spots like Phil's BBQ, Saffron Thai, and Stone Brewing Co. will be part of the expanded Terminal 2.
More Airport Burgers!
- Newark, NJ: A Genuinely Good Airport Burger at Garden State Diner
- Burger Joint in San Francisco: An Airport Burger Almost Worth Missing Your Plane For
- LaGuardia Airport: Great, Reasonably Priced Burgers at Custom Burgers By Pat La Frieda