The Unvegan

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Putting a Chile on it at Chelsea’s Kitchen

Almost acceptable.

One thing that will make the transition from Pasadena to Phoenix doable is the fact that La Grande Orange and its family of restaurants originated there. There’s no Luggage Room yet, but hopefully some day…

Nonetheless, there is a spot called Chelsea’s Kitchen that I hoped would please me and ease me. The menu even sported the same font and design as the aforementioned restaurants, almost as though to get me excited about Chelsea’s Kitchen.

The restaurant could best be described as a combination of American and Mexican, so I found myself a burger that represented that perfect middle ground where Mexican and American converge: the Green Chile Cheeseburger. Although the menu simply said it was topped with green chiles and cheddar, I inquired as to whether other vegetables would be present. The answer was a firm yes and I immediately requested to not have them and to get the burger medium rare.

Both of my requests were obliged, and although there seemed to be an excessive amount of green chile, it was something I could handle. What I couldn’t handle, though, was the burger itself. I can’t say for certain what the issue was, but there was simply something mushy about the innards of the burger. It wasn’t because they hadn’t been cooked right, so I’m going to chalk it up to the grind of the beef or the ratio of the meat to fat. Regardless of what it was, something was just off. But what wasn’t off were the delicious fries. So, there’s that.

Or perhaps what was truly off was my expectations, which are admittedly not high in general, but certainly high when it comes to La Grande Orange restaurants. I mean, their other two restaurants were non-stop great. In any case, there are plenty of burgers to be had and sadly Chelsea’s Kitchen did not appear to be one of them to be had again.