The pool area of the St. Regis in Dana Point is like the gardens of Tivoli combined with an all-inclusive resort in Mexico. Well except for the all-inclusive part. Food here comes at a premium price, but for most people staying at a place like this and charging the food to the room, that price is pretty negligible. I am not one of those people, but I was fortunate enough to have my food being provided by my future in-laws. Plus, they picked the place, so I surely couldn’t be blamed for the fact that a basic burger with cheddar and a sweet potato bun ran $20.
The burger was called Burger Bar for some unknown reason and came with regular burger fixings, like lettuce, tomato, onion and thousand island, which I went without. It also came with fries. I must give credit to the fast service and also the burger deserves its due for being massive. While it was served at poolside, this was not a burger made for maintaining a bathing suit body (but it was one of the few good unvegan options). The patty alone must have clocked in at at least 1/2 pound, while the slice of cheese was about the thickness of three normal slices of cheese. The bun was proportional to the rest of the burger and throughout the feeding did a great job of maintaining size.
I liked that the burger had been grilled on a real grill and maintained a good amount of char taste. Inside, it had been cooked pretty close to medium-rare, which is always a feat on a grill. It had a nice, thick grind and the cheese had been melted just right on top of it. The bun had also spent some time on the grill and was nice and toasty. I couldn’t really tell the difference between this sweet potato bun and a regular brioche bun, but it did its job.
I have to say I was happy with this burger. Much happier, in fact, than I thought I would be. But then again, I wasn’t shelling out $20 for something I could have made myself for less than $5. To be fair, that was not the point, because the cost of this burger was not simply the sum of the ingredients, but the surroundings that made it possible, the service, the company and the convenience. Oh, and the fries were pretty good.