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Hamburger Heaven

Mouth watering for a great burger? Look no further than our own Scotts Valley.

When I’m craving a great hamburger—maybe a classic with all the fixings, or one with bacon or mushrooms or grilled onions—I don’t have far to go. Scotts Valley restaurants are serving up an astounding selection of all sorts of tasty burgers, forcing the tough decision (face it, sometimes life is difficult) of where to go and once there, what to order.

Simply stated, Malone’s burgers are killer.

Juicy, cooked to order (the only place I visited that asked my preference for meat doneness), and served on a soft yet nicely chewy ciabatta roll, this burger can’t be beat. There are a variety of toppings to choose from, including a classic cheeseburger, a Cobb burger, a mushroom burger and a spicy chipotle burger.

My current favorite is one with Gorgonzola and caramelized onions. Though the menu says onion strings, they happily substituted the sweet sautéed onions instead. What an outstanding burger! Be prepared—these are big sandwiches (“almost a pound”) and come with your choice of soup, salad, or fries. They offer a half burger for one dollar less, but why bother? If you can’t finish it, take the other half home!

Read a review of Malone’s .

With Mint, owners Ed and Kelly Gladder have created an inviting, elegant yet casual restaurant with a non-fussy but absolutely delicious menu. Among the small plates, sandwiches, pastas, salads and other specials, they feature a new hamburger each week.

Recently, I tried the bacon-and-cheese-stuffed burger, and oh boy, was it fantastic. The bacon and garlic cheese spread were layered between two hamburger patties seasoned with a “secret” spice mixture. The edges of the patties were sealed and then the entire burger grilled to perfection and served on a nicely textured sesame seed bun with lettuce, tomato and onions. The burger came with potato chips and a generous garden salad made with super fresh ingredients. This is worth checking out—maybe on a weekly basis!

Patch has more on Mint and .

Auntie Mame’s is the place to go for some real home-style cooking, and their hamburgers really remind me of something you might have at a backyard barbecue. The burger is large, not perfectly shaped, thick and juicy, and served on a grilled French roll (still soft and easy to eat) with all the trimmings. Make sure you ask for extra napkins, because juices will be running down your fingers while eating this yummy burger. Additional topping choices include cheese, mushrooms, bacon, avocado and—for something different—grilled pineapples or jalapeños. All burgers come with your choice of fries, soup, cottage cheese or pasta, green, potato or fruit salad.

Chubby’s has a fun, 50’s style décor and a menu that reflects the old-fashioned food from the diners of that era, including darn good burgers at very reasonable prices. They offer a choice of four types of hamburgers: Chubby’s Original, the double half-pounder, the Be Bopper with bacon and cheese, and the Rock N Roller with mushrooms and cheese, which I tried. The hamburger wasn’t smothered in mushrooms by any means, but they were sautéed and melted nicely into the cheese. Served on a soft, yet textured round bun with all the fixings, this is a decent burger and the price can’t be beat. French fries and onion rings are available as a side. Oh, and don’t forget to order a shake or malt—the real thing made with Dreyer’s ice cream.

Last, but of course not least, is Bruno’s, a meat haven for many Scotts Valley residents. Bruno’s has an impressive list of burgers—13 in all—including the Presidential with two cheeses, bacon and avocado; the Ortega with diced chilies, sautéed onions and Pepper jack cheese; and the SBM with Swiss cheese, bacon, mushrooms and grilled onions. And then there’s the Proprietor’s Premium Prime Rib Burger, which uses “real prime rib ground into a ½ pound patty.” Now that’s a burger!

Read more about Bruno’s .

Linda Covella March 24, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Burger Update: I recently returned to Mint, and my husband and I tried two great burgers on the menu: a toasted bun filled with a grilled smoked salmon patty and lemon dijon aioli slaw; and a sausage-stuffed portabello mushroom, mozzarella, parmesan, spinach, tomato and roasted garlic aioli all served on a toasted bun. Wow--inventive and delicious!

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