Escondido, CA
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Burger Bench offers uncommonly good fare

—THE BELLY PULPIT

The “Belly Pulpit” (David Ross) enjoying a Brie and Fig Melt at the Burger Bench.

The “Belly Pulpit” (David Ross) enjoying a Brie and Fig Melt at the Burger Bench.

I recently discovered my new favorite place, Burger Bench, which is located on 237 E Grand Ave, an avenue well known for good food, good company and good drinks.

Coincidentally, and one reason I want­ed to run this article in this our premier issue under new management is that this was the location of the old Daily Times- Advocate office more than 60 years ago. (See Ron Kinney’s column elsewhere in this issue).

Chef Fred of Burger Bench, who some readers may remember was a chef in Valley Center at a local pizza restau­rant, opened the new eatery a little more than a month ago. The restaurant is a stylish, well-lit operation, with a nice supply of local boutique brews on tap as well as Italian sodas.

Burger Bench’s name might suggest that it’s just a pedestrian “burger” joint, but it’s actually as far away from that as you can get. When I visited a couple of weeks ago I dined on a

Kehani Geronilla, one of the friendly waiters at the Burger Bench, hoisting one of their massive burgers, The Clas­sic.

Kehani Geronilla, one of the friendly waiters at the Burger Bench, hoisting one of their massive burgers, The Clas­sic.

Brie and Fig Melt, made with melted brie cheese, sliced green apples and house-made fig butter. That’s about as close to Heaven as I want to get without actually dy­ing!

I had with it some incredibly tasty “crispy tots” made just the way I like them. Let me go backwards here to mention that I started my culinary adventure with Arugula Apple Salad, festooned with handmade goat cheese, shaved Parmesan, sliced green apples and vinaigrette.

For those who actually want to get burgers at a burger joint, there are interesting variations, such as the “Bench Burger,” made with blue cheese, monterey jack, bacon, grilled mushrooms and onions and hickory barbecue sauce, plus “adult” grilled cheese sandwiches such as the “Clas­sic Cheese Melt” and the “Bacon Cheese Melt.”

The restaurant is a nice and casual place to get together with friends, lift a glass, and enjoy some good eats in a pleasant, airy atmosphere. Ask them about their vegan and gluten-free op­tions. Call 760-294-2001.


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