310 South Victory Blvd., Burbank CA 91502 (map); 714-361-4264; facebook.com/CornerCottage
Cooking Method: Griddled
Short Order: This old school burger stand has all the authentic flair, but falls short on delivering the flavor.
Want Fries with That? Sure; they're aren't the best, but are serviceable spuds.
Prices: Single Burger, $2.30; Cheeseburger, 2.50; Double Cheeseburger, 3.00; Pastrami Burger, 3.95
From this week's title you already know how this burger story ends, so before I get to the beginning and middle, let me take a moment to give a shout out to my superstar, AHT editor Robyn Lee. I know Kenji already gave her the huzzah, but I wanted to acknowledge the honor myself. It's been about three years of burger reviews for me here at AHT and I've enjoyed every delicious moment of it. While I love burgers, the reason I love writing about them here is, in large portion, due to working with Robyn. When I saw Time magazine gave us the Top 25 Blogs nod I was happy and proud to be a part of it, but know that the recognition is a direct result of Robyn's amazing work. Thanks for everything, Robyn!
Ok, now on to this week's burger. I headed to a classic hamburger stand in Burbank called Corner Cottage. It's a beloved breakfast burrito spot here in LA (you'll see a line that's twenty deep on a weekday morning), but when you look at the menu and its large selection of burgers I'd expected the owners put as much thought and care into the great American sandwich. Sadly, I'd be wrong.
Now there isn't anything particularly bad about a Corner Cottage burger, but then again, there isn't anything particular great about them either. Well. that's not entirely correct; the prices are great. The regular single burger starts at $2.30 and things don't get much more expensive from there. Since the prices allowed it, I tried most of the burgers on the menu (I skipped the chili-topped ones). The single cheeseburger is a commercial beef, thin-pattied affair topped with some standard American cheese. Before you think that I'm dismissing the burger on that basis, let me remind you that I love a classic burger stand burger when done properly. In this case, there's little to recommend about the execution or ingredients. The toppings are all serviceable, as is the commercial bun, but the beef is barely noticeable in this burger.
I went in for a double cheeseburger hoping to remedy the lack of beefiness, but again found myself left wanting. Even the doubled patty was barely present and the meat itself was weak on seasoning and flavor when tasted on its own.
I made one final attempt at a pastrami-topped burger (a preparation I've enjoyed many a time across the Los Angeles burgerscape), but this one was yet another beef-less affair. The heavy saltiness of the pastrami was nice, but the patty itself added almost nothing to the burger.
The medium-cut fries were managed well and with a heavy salting by yours truly managed to be the most tempting part of the meal. That said, they aren't at a level that makes them special.
Alas, this seems to be the case with all the entirety of the burger-related items on Corner Cottage's menu. It's all passable and certainly fairly priced, but there isn't the magical flourish that seems to inform their breakfast burritos. It's on to the next burger for this reviewer. I'm happy that I'll get to tell that story the same time next week here at AHT.
About the author: Damon is one of our roving burger reporters and food writers. When he's not eating more than is warranted or healthful (and then writing about it) he can be found writing and producing for television and film. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.