The Unvegan

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A Beach Burger at The Beachcomber

Get that pickle OUT OF HERE.

A few years ago, I was introduced to The Beachcomber, a cafe in Crystal Cove, just south of Newport Beach. At the time, I had just eaten and couldn’t even imagine having more food, but I was certainly able to appreciate the setting and my cousins seemed to love the food. My now fiancee and I vowed to return one day and that day finally came over the weekend. While The Beachcomber appears to be a hidden secret, the hour-long wait to be seated begged to differ. Yet, while waiting for a restaurant can sometimes be obnoxious, The Beachcomber is quite literally on the beach and the beach is so nice that I would pay money to use it even if there wasn’t a restaurant.

A meal with a view.

The menu isn’t big, but it definitely covers a decent variety of food. Like most oceanside restaurants, there is a fair amount of seafood, but they also had a burger that I settled on after a long debate between it and the Turkey and Brie sandwich, by the recommendation of our waitress. Called the Beachcomber Burger, it was a half-pound of American Kobe beef (as though there is any other kind in America), topped with bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, sun-dried tomato aioli and my choice of cheese. I went without the veggies, but let the aioli stick around in the hopes that it would not be too tomato-ey. For my cheese, I picked white cheddar. It also came with some slaw and fries.

A close-up of just how close that pickle got.

The plate that was brought to me looked nice aside from one frightening object. Yes, The Beachcomber managed to sneak a disgusting pickle spear onto my plate. I thrust it into the welcoming arms of my fiancee, then assessed the damage. Miraculously, the pickle left no lasting damage aside from one fry despite being perched precariously close to my bun. Although I disdain slaw as much as any vegetable, I had allowed it so I could give it to someone else at the table. With the damage cleared up, I set to work.

What can brown do for you?

While I am against the use of Kobe-style beef for burgers, I have to say that this was one tasty patty of beef. I have always been of the opinion that using Kobe-style beef to make a burger destroys the marbling of the beef that makes it so special and the result is a waste. Kobe-style or not, this was a well-made burger. It was juicy and had a pretty thick grind, and although it was a little more cooked through than I would have liked, it stayed juicy throughout. The white cheddar was a great addition and, as always, was far superior to its yellow cousin. The aioli also turned out to be a pretty nice treat and although the tomato bits got a bit unruly at times, I was able to scrape them away with ease. Needless to say, the bacon was delicious and the bun did a good job of keeping it all together without getting too fancy.

Don’t stop, come eat. You’ll like it.

The end result was surprisingly good for Kobe-style beef and something I’m glad our waitress had pushed me that way. The fries were a nice complement to the meal and although it all added up to a somewhat pricier burger than I prefer ($14.95), the value of the view and surroundings was out of control.

For any visitor to Newport Beach, The Beachcomber comes highly recommended with the unvegan seal of approval. The wait may be a bit long, but the grub and view will be worth it. Plus, I think Beaches was filmed there.