The Blind Burro
639 J Street, San Diego CA 92101 (map); 619-795-7880; theblindburro.com
Cooking method: Grilled
Short Order: A tasty burger with a spicy, Mexican flavor profile
Want Fries With That? No fries, but you get a side with the burger (go for the street corn off the cob)
Price: Chorizo Burger, $11; churros, $4.50
Chances are, if you've heard about the food at The Blind Burro, it's the fish collars slathered with orange-chipotle barbecue sauce, skirt steak tacos, or the margaritas—all great. But another item worthy of praise is the chorizo burger ($11), a beef patty topped with strips of grilled poblano peppers, chorizo, oaxaca cheese, and cilantro pesto mayo, on a squishy torta roll.
The patty is made from brisket that's ground in-house and grilled reliably to order. My medium-rare patty was moist on the center, with visible grill marks and great charring. The beef flavor was rich and tinged with a pleasant fattiness, but where this burger really shone was in the delicious confluence of all the different toppings, and how well portioned and executed each element was. The creamy oaxaca cheese was perfectly melted, the poblano peppers were legitimately spicy, the house-made chorizo—arguably the star of the burger—was smoky, and the lively cilantro pesto mayo brought the whole thing together.
This isn't a burger tinged with Mexican flavors, it's a full-on flavor assault. You might want to wear a neck brace.
I thought the lightly toasted torta roll might be the burger's Achilles' heel when I halved it for the autopsy shot, but the soft, spongy bread gave the beef just the right amount of cushioning, and the bread-to-meat ratio was spot-on.
All sandwiches come with a side, including options like beans, poblano rice, and Tuscan kale-cabbage slaw, but I urge you to go with the street corn off the cob, topped with a good dash of Tapatio, lime juice, and so much crema and cotija cheese that it's practically decadent.
If you make it through the burger and spicy street corn with stomach real estate to spare, you've got to try the churros ($4.50)—chubby prism-shaped nubs of deep-fried dough dusted with sugar and cinnamon and served with creme anglaise. If you're too stuffed, do a few laps around PETCO Park, and figure out a way to make it work. The churros are perfectly crisp on the outside and ever-so-slightly custardy on the inside. In a word: flawless.