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The SCV’s best burgers, fries and shakes

Signal staff picks

Posted: August 20, 2010 6:00 a.m.
Updated: August 20, 2010 6:00 a.m.

The enticing cheeseburger and chips from FreshWorks California Grill. You can see the freshness.

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Make no mistake, this is not a statistical survey, reader poll or contest. This is just a nod toward those establishments that some of the employees at The Signal consider favorites when it comes to good old hamburgers (or cheeseburgers), French fries (including sweet potato fries), and milk shakes. We harbor no prejudices for or against large chain restaurants or small mom and pop diners. All that's required for a listing here is that one or more of us made a recommendation. Many of you will agree with these selections and many of you will have your own favorites outside this list. But the important thing to note is the SCV has a multitude of restaurants serving burgers, fries and shakes, and we all need to do our part to keep them in business. So get out there and chew!

When it comes to hamburgers, everyone has his or her own style. Of course, whether to add cheese or not can become a heated discussion. But beyond that some folks like their burgers big and thick and full of produce and some folks like them mass produced with a familiar flavor time-tested by hundreds of thousands. Then there are those of us who like their burgers any way they can get them.

You will notice that our cover photo featured a Double -Double, fries and vanilla shake from In-N-Out Burger - and that's because In-N-Out was named by several of our staffers as a favorite in each of our food categories. You don't have to go Double-Double, either, and can get your burger "Protein Style," with lettuce replacing the bun. Michelle Sathe noted that at In-N-Out "you can get the whole meal for around $5.

Salt Creek Grille
24415 Town Center Drive, #115
Valencia, CA 91355
(661) 222-9999
"My favorite burger has to be the Grille burgers served at Salt Creek Grille," said Michele Buttelman. "The burgers are a half pound of Angus beef, cooked perfectly and topped with cheese and Dijon mayo. I always include the apple wood smoked bacon for an additional dollar." Half Pound Grille Burgers (add Applewood Smoked Bacon for $1): The Cheese Burger - cheddar cheese and Dijon mayo $10.95. Mushroom and Swiss Burger - sautéed mushrooms, Swiss cheese and Mayo $11.95. Bleu Cheese Burger - chunks of fresh gorgonzola cheese and mayo $11.95.

FreshWorks California Grill
23340 Cinema Drive
Valencia, CA 91355
(661) 291-1600

Both Jim Walker and Leslie Mallicoat (and others) recommended the burgers at FreshWorks California Grill, ranging from the basic Hamburger at $4.45 to the one-third pound Frisco Burger at $6.95. All of the burgers are hormone and antibiotic-free.

All Star Sports Grills
28200 Bouquet Canyon Road
Saugus, CA 91350
(661) 296-8000
Mike Magin recommends the half pound burgers at All Star Sports Grills, which range from $8 to $11. They come with fries or coleslaw, and sweet potato fries or onion rings add $1.50.

Dink's New York Deli
Patios at Westfield Valencia Town Center
24201 Valencia Blvd.
Valencia, CA 91355
(661) 284-7755

Dink's burgers are half a pound of ground chuck, with all the fixings and French fries for $5.95 - and on Thirsty Thursdays only $3.50. Enjoy a delicious burger seated comfortably indoors or out on the patio.

27530 Newhall Ranch Road, Unit 1
Valencia, CA 91355
(661) 295-5536
The Tri Tipps Burger offers delicious sliced tri tip, sharp cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and chipotle ranch dressing on a sesame seed bun for $6.50

Wolf Creek Restaurant & Brewing Company
27746 McBean Parkway
Valencia, CA 91354
(661) 263-9653

The Wolf Creek Burger ($7.50) is a six ounce patty of choice ground Angus beef, char-grilled to order with caramelized onions, tomato and melted cheddar - and served with garlic fries. Or try the Road House Sliders ($7.95).

Other top burgers included those from The Habit, Johnny Rockets, TPC, Origami, Jimmy Deans, Lazy dog, Tiny's Big Bite, Telly's, Carl's Jr., McDonalds and Cousins.

Some people like big old think fries, maybe 12 to a potato, and others prefer skinny ones. Some like them crisp and some like them soggy, but "fresh" is always a winner. When you add in accents of garlic or other flavors, you get even more diversity in favorites. And then sweet potato fries open whole other vistas.

More of our staffers said they liked McDonald's fries than any other kind - although many of them had other recommendations as well. McDonald's "World Famous Fries" seem to have just the right blend of size, crisp and salty goodness to please the majority of palates.

In-N-Out fries have a lot of fans as well, with their fresh-cut potato flavor.

Salt Creek Grille
"I love the thin, perfectly salted Salt Creek garlic fries, too. Yum," said Michele Buttelman

Bier Academy
18511 Soledad Canyon Road
Canyon Country, CA 91351
(661) 298-1321
Both Mike Magin and Jim Walker hold Bier Academy's fries in high esteem ($4), whether the garlic style or sweet potato fries.

Other top fries were found at TPC, Telly's and Cousins.

I'm not sure anyone likes a watery milkshake, so thick and creamy are usually favored criteria. Beyond that, there are hints of malt that many people enjoy (remember malteds?) and an outright spectrum of other flavors.

Valencia Town Center
24180 Magic Mountain Parkway
Valencia, CA 91355
(661) 799-3663
With the recent opening of Chick-fil-A, SCV residents were treated to a temporary taste sensation - the peach shake. A number of staffers thought these were the best shakes they'd ever had, but Michele Buttelman, in particular, lamented their "limited time only" status, officially disappearing this Sunday. (14 ounce, $2.49, 20 ounce, $2.89.)

FreshWorks California Grill
Aleks Gajewski thought FreshWorks had a "killer" Oreo Shake ($4.95).

Other shake favorites were Foster's Freeze, Wendy's and In-N-Out.



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