The Unvegan

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Heading to Cali at Aioli Burger

Cali cali!

Sometimes burgers build up a reputation. Whether by winning awards or word of mouth, it happens. This happened to Aioli Burger in both ways. Yeah, it won some burger battles, but also people told me about it and that doesn’t happen as much in Phoenix as it did in LA and Pittsburgh, so I figured it had to be real. Plus, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I got a taste of Aioli Burger at the Scottsdale Culinary Fest earlier this year. Basically, the hype was real.

So I arrived and got a look at the menu. The burger that called out to me the most was the California Burger and it’s not because I spent so much of my life in California, but because it was topped with avocado, a fried egg, pepper jack cheese, chipotle aioli and pickled red onions that I had no need for. I ordered up a side of the Signature Loaded Fries, which were topped with Kiltlifter cheese sauce, avocado, chipotle aioli, bacon and again those goddamned red onions that nobody likes. I took a number and awaited my food, hoping it would be onion-free.

Aioli fries.

It was onion-free, so that was a good start. The burger was a beautiful sight to behold and I beheld it very quickly into my mouth. The flavors played very nicely with each other and the burger was well-seasoned and cooked nicely. While I had been expecting something a bit more gourmet (for literally no reason whatsoever aside from a strange hunch), I was perfectly happy to find that this burger fit into the realm of whatever comes after fast casual.

The fries were also pretty solid, although the way they were plated made it seem like the portion was small. It wasn’t small, but it also wasn’t very big. It was, however, quite tasty. The fries were plenty crispy and able to withstand the combination of cheese sauce and aioli, but the avocado seemed just randomly thrown on and with poor intention. Honestly, if you’re just going to throw two slices of avocado on a huge plate of fries, you better be more intentional about it.

All that said, Aioli Burger has the goods. It may not be blazing an exciting new trail in burgerdom, but it’s worth eating if you find yourself near the truck or brick and mortar locale.