The Unvegan

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Why are there pickles on this plate?

EDIT: This review is of the original. The new Salt’s Cure is apparently bigger and better. We shall see…oh yes…we shall see.

My continued quest for amazing burgers took me to a place called Salt’s Cure in West Hollywood. At this particular intersection, only one of the corners lacks burgers, as the other two are populated by Fatburger and Astro Burger. And while Salt’s Cure isn’t strictly a burger place, a quick look at the high priced menu on the wall when I walked in all but guaranteed I would be eating their burger.

Shoulder of pork and elbow of fiancee.

We began by ordering one of their homemade pretzels and a plate of cheese and meat to join it. We went with all three cheeses on the menu, two of which were creamy and the third was blue-ish. As for the meat, we chose the pork shoulder, which turned out to be prepared as a cured meat dish. Not exactly the pork shoulder I was accustomed to seeing, but it certainly fit the bill of the restaurant. These were also served with homemade bread sticks (the crunchy sort), homemade raisin bread, plus some walnuts, raisins and a fruity jam. Basically, it was an awesome spread, except for one thing – pickles. Never before had I seen pickles on a cheese plate and I hope to never see them again. These unwanted veggies ruined at least two slices of bread with their juices (fortunately the fiancee ate those) and generally turned the assortment ugly. Luckily, the cheeses were delicious, as cheese tends to be, and the pork shoulder was also quite stellar. It wasn’t overly salty or seasoned, but cured in a way that released the natural flavor of the piggy in a really delicious manner.

Just look at that bacon girth.

As for the main course, I went with their Bacon Cheeseburger. At 17 bucks, this clocked in as the cheapest entree and was topped with lettuce and onion, with a side of homemade fries. I ordered mine without the lettuce and onion, and was pretty surprised when the burger arrived and wasn’t the size of my head. Not that the thing was small, but for some crazy reason I still associate price with size. I guess I’m just old fashioned like that. The burger was topped with one thick slice of bacon and the white cheddar cheese was oozing down the sides of the guy. I must admit that the burger was quite thick and had been perfectly shaped to fit the upscale poppy seed bun.

This picture is so grainy and that burger is so cheesy.

As far as the taste breakdown, the burger was definitely awesome. The cheese and bacon were both of the highest quality and flavor. The meat itself had been cooked to more of a medium than medium rare, but was still impeccably juicy. So juicy in fact that I feared for the life of the bun. Fortunately, these fears were unfounded, as the bun held up strong against the onslaught of burger juice. The meat also had a nice, thick grind to it and had clearly been pressed into a perfectly round shape. I’m always torn when places do this. I know it makes the burger easier to cook and fit into a bun, but it also sometimes makes me feel as though the burger had been sitting in the back for a while rather than being made just for me. Nonetheless, the burger was great.

Then there were the fries. Quite often, homemade fries wind up in strange sizes and uneven cooking (likely due to the strange sizes). As opposed to the burgers, it seems to be better to have uniformity to fries. At Salt’s Cure, though, the fries were nicely sliced into crunchy-on-the-outside and soft-on-the-inside pieces. This made me a happy man, and they also lived up to their name by seasoning the fries with just the right amount of salt.

The burger at Salt’s Cure was definitely one worth having. I loved the place’s stress on doing things in-house or local, but they were not without flaw. For one, their menu was incredibly limited. Sure, the meaty options were there, but seriously there were only like 5 entrees and the burger was the only one under 25 bucks. And that brings me to my next issue. Yes, the burger was delicious, but $17 delicious? Not quite. It was absolutely worth the visit, I’m just struggling with finding a reason to go back.