Phoenix: Burgers and Duck Fat Fries Done Right at The Wright Bar
The Wright Bar
2400 East Missori Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 850161 (map); 602-381-7632; arizonabiltmore.com
Cooking method: Grilled
Short Order: A delicious, super-sized premium burger that's more than large enough to share
Want Fries With That? Yes! The thin-cut fries are pretty much perfect, and they come standard
Price: The Biltmore Burger, $15.85
With 32 acres of gardens and inspiring architecture, Arizona Biltmore is a destination onto itself. The fact that several of the on-site restaurants serve a solid (and substantial!) premium burger only sweetens the deal. If you visit for lunch, I'd stick with sitting indoors to escape the sometimes searing heat, but for dinner, there's no better place to mow down a Biltmore Burger than on the patio of The Wright Bar.
Just check out the view and you'll see why I'm advocating for an outdoor seat.
Now, on to the burger. Official word from the kitchen is that it's eight ounces, but that might be after cooking. It could just as easily be 10. The patty is crafted from a blend of Black Angus chuck, short rib, and brisket from Creekstone Farms. You might balk at the price—nearly $16—but considering the fact that the burger is more than large enough to share, comes with a bucket-sized portion of fries, and you get to eat it while staring, slack-jawed, at some gorgeous scenery, it's a bargain.
The loosely-formed Angus beef gets a nice speckling of char from the grill while remaining moist and juicy inside. It has a classically beefy flavor: rich and fatty, with just the right amount of seasoning. Underneath the beef, there are the standard lettuce, tomato, and onion—all crisp and fresh—and a pickle spear on the side. The bun is soft, yet sturdy, and holds up to the beef juices to the last bite. I'd call this one a classic burger done to exacting standards. And we haven't even begun to discuss the fries.
Oh, the fries. The thin-cut, skin-on, duck fat-poached, sea salted fries. You want these. Luckily, they come standard, and are generously portioned. There are enough to share, but I'd still get protective of them if there's more than one other person at your table. Once you taste them, it's impossible to stop. The flavor of the crisp, salty spuds completely obliterates even the strongest willpower. A carb coma is pretty much inevitable, especially when combined with one of the bar's potent cocktails, so you might want to choose a table with high-backed chairs. After all those fries and a good-sized slosh of booze, you'll need the extra support.
About the author: Erin Jackson is a food writer and photographer who is obsessed with discovering the best eats in San Diego. You can find all of her discoveries on her food blog EJeats.com. On Twitter, she's @ErinJax